Sometimes a Tarot reading can demand a true creative effort! This card, for example, gave me a hard time.
This post continues the reading started in Part 1: The setup.
The reading is one using “traditional” meanings (gleaned from authors such as Arthur Edward Waite, Eden Gray, and Leanna Greenaway), in a “predictive” (or fortunetelling) reading. The purpose of this reading is not fortunetelling, but to demonstrate how a predictive reading can be used to stimulate the creative imagination and as an aid in problem solving. (See Part 1 of this series for the reasoning behind the exercise.)
This crosses you (Obstacle): Ten of Cups (Reversed)
The card in the previous position--Temperance--is a major arcana card, which points to an inexorable force, a major influence on the querent’s circumstances. The “crossing” or “obstacle” card should therefore have less power, but is an aspect to take note of.
What could the Ten of Cups—reversed—mean in this position?
The book meanings for this card reversed include the loss of a relationship and family quarrels, neither of which would fit my situation.
Taken literally, the two cards would indicate balance and harmony, which is threatened by quarrels, betrayals and lost friendship or family relationships. Since the 10 of Cups (as a minor arcana card) have less impact than Temperance, the overall balance and harmony represented by Temperance is not seriously threatened, but could be compromised. This interpretation could fit, but does not feel right.
Reading reversals is always tricky. There are numerous ways to interpret a reversed card, but one way that the books I used have not covered is the more internal, private reading of a card when it is reversed. Upright, the card points to the achievement of happiness and success, and harmonious relationships. Reversed, the card could therefore point to inner harmony, a good relationship with my inner creative self (the Cups suit can indicate creativity), and a feeling of contentment and attainment. But how can these positive aspects be a challenge?
So far with this interpretation, the 10 of Cups reinforces the balance and harmony indicated by Temperance, with a warning that some of this harmony is being compromised by (too much?) inner harmony. This sounds like creative complacency? And again, this seems to be the ideal situation, not current reality: ideal even with the ‘threat’ of creative complacency.
So again, I’m going to take this card as referring to the ideal situation, taking due note of how large the gap is between the ideal and the real. The two cards—situation and challenge—therefore indicate that balance, harmony, moderation, a good use of resources (Temperance) also refers to the inner world (10 of Cups reversed).
The question now becomes: how to attain this happy state of affairs? To break it down: the ideal circumstances in which to continue the book project would be to attain an inner and outer state of balance, harmony, creative achievement and moderation. The problem situation has become much clearer, as the reading suggests areas that I can specifically focus on.
I want to emphasis that, as a sceptic, I do not believe in any external, supernatural forces informing this reading, or that I am uncovering ‘hidden’ information about my situation. My personal belief is that, in focusing on the situation with these cards as prompts, my mind is being stimulated to consider the problem and come up with suggestions. Although I have no quarrel with anyone believing differently, I do want to draw your attention to how the cards can be used purely as a tool for creative thinking.