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Conversational Tarot — Ten of Cups

August 22, 2014

A while back, I described a way to initiate thought-provoking conversations using the messages of the cards. (See: A great way to facilitate this process is to use my Pithy Tarot app, which provides a quick little meaning along with a card.

Ten of Cups -- Tarot eCards AppToday I came across a meme on Facebook that showed a picture of the Ten of Cups along with this quote: “When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinessess.” – Joyce Brothers

Is this true for you? I think this may be a good general rule of thumb, but many of us did not have a happy family life. Perhaps a more general interpretation would be better: “The greatest happinesses are tribal happinesses.” For some of us, our “tribe” is indeed our family, but for some, it is not. Some of us are “ugly ducklings”, meaning that we have to fly away from home to finally find our “tribe.” I know that has been true for me. This is not to say that I had no happy times with my family as a child growing up, but my happiest memories are with groups of friends I made after the fact and also with the family I have created as an adult. But perhaps that latter case fits the description given in the quote above.

So let me know what you think, ok?  Where have your greatest “happinesses” been?

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  1. Laura Rose Gatley permalink

    I totally agree with your interpretation, James. I had to join a 12-Step program 34 years ago to find my tribe! Never in a million years did I guess at this one!

    • Isn’t it a great feeling when you do find your tribe! Glad you found yours. I hope it brought you many times of happiness.

  2. Family, like home, is where the heart is.

    That’s my view anyway. Some people are blessed with a rich, happy family life from the womb. Others are born to abuse. I would guess most people are somewhere in between. This is our starting point. As the 10 of Cups/Water/Hearts, for me this largely depicts having come home, be that a return to family after separation, or having built a loving family in one’s adult life. I find it fits either reality pretty well.

    Another way of viewing this, is to think of whatever it is into which we place our heart and love; that becomes for us our center, and as the earth revolves around the sun via gravity, so too our lives revolve around that into which we invest our love. Toward that, we are inexorably drawn.

    Importantly, that love may be invested into positives or negatives. I find that insight adds a depth and subtlety to this image.

    (The image is not mine, it stems from Augustine’s 4th century observation “my weight is my love.”)

    • Great quote: ” our lives revolve around that into which we invest our love.” (Thank you for sharing that.) For some of us, it’s the family we are born into; for others, it’s the tribe we find.

  3. LOLOL, James (the two comments of the Happiness post and the 10 of cups), frankly I have adopted a view of the 10 of cups as being “too good to be true”….stance. It’s what we hope that whatever we are looking at (health, family, relationships, family interactions, employment, etc), that the client wants something so badly and wants it to be all roses, when in fact it maybe too good to be true (unless amended with a down to Earth card that grounds as a true means of “happiness” or success). By opening this card to possibly fit (too good to be true ending “and they lived happily ever after), it also helps open the card to see what also might be underneath holding the client back from the happiness they truly want (esp with the cards they are paired with in the reading). But anyway, just wanted to let you know what I’ve seen with this card that can possible work for other’s as well.

    • Yes, I do see the 10/Cups that way sometimes. I think it was Rachel Pollack (in 78 Degrees of Wisdom) who noted that it looked like those people are dancing on stage in front of a theatrical scrim, which implies that it’s all an illusion.

  4. You raise a very interesting question here. Thinking about this I have to simply say that they have been with the people I share love with — and those people have been family, friends, clients, students, whatever. Yes, it’s the tribe but what connects us all is love. It’s about the love, not about how the relationship began. And I have to say that those loving relationships have also been the source of the greatest sorrows and hurts. But there is another source of “greatest happinesses” for me — nature. Sometimes, even often, I experience these moments of ecstasy in nature–in the woods, walking on a beach, sitting on a high hill, humming with the moon, feeling the blessings of the sun, of the nature spirits. It isn’t about people; it doesn’t even feel like it’s about me. It feels like the “love hum” of the universe — and perhaps that’s really where all love comes from and we are just channels for that. *I* dunno…

    • Interesting points, Jessica.
      I think that what Joyce Brothers was getting at is that the happiest times are the ones spent with loved ones, which you also mention. What I disagreed with is her assumption that that means family. Of course, the definition of what is “family” may make the difference. If family = the people we share love with, then you, she, and I are in close accord.
      Also, your comments about finding happiness while alone in Nature takes this all on an interesting turn. Dr. Brothers was a psychologist, so it’s not unusual that she would have placed happiness in a social setting rather than alone in Nature. But people (such as you) with an inclination that is more spiritual than clinical would also find profound happiness in settings where they commune with Spirit (however they name that and wherever they find that). But that also comes down to finding the most happiness with whomever it is that you love, but in this case, the one you love is ethereal.
      So maybe we should say that the greatest happiness comes when sharing and experiencing love.

      • James, I totally agree with your last sentence! One thing I’d add to this is that I see love as a universal energy — like chi or prana or non-local consciousness. It is in us and around us and it flows through us to the degree that we are open to it. Certainly the suit of Cups defines and describes the many ways we block, experience, and open to it.

        Of course, other energies (like trust and joy and creativity, to name a few) do the same. They flow through — or they don’t. Depends on us. The more open we are to them and the more we express them, the more wonderful our lives are.

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