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What does the King of Cups mean?

December 4, 2016

King of Cups -- Tarot of the MastersHere is a pithy meaning for the King of Cups:
“The quality of Mercy is not strained.” — William Shakespeare

This quote (from The Merchant of Venice) has become a common proverb. In The Merchant of Venice, it was used to implore someone to be merciful with a promise that their mercy would bless them as much as it would the recipient. See the following excerpt from the play, which puts it into its Shakespearean context.

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

Note, however, that modern use of this adage sometimes differs from Shakespeare’s intention. For example, it may suggest that someone’s mercy or generosity is too limited and that it should be expanded.

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Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot Book and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!

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