By Sarah Taylor
What an interesting and absorbing reading — at least from this tarot reader’s point of view. First, there’s the more immediate, easily accessible layer to the three cards laid before us. Then, there is another force of meaning that rises up to meet us as that upper layer is parted to reveal what lies underneath.
It’s also a potent reading. Potently feminine. (But not lacking in masculine. Oh, no.) Bear in mind that we all hold feminine and masculine within us, and our psyches host a dance between both that is ever-moving. So if you feel this reading isn’t for you when you look at the two figures on the outer cards, then perhaps you can think again.
Let’s go for that upper-most layer first. We have a balance in the reading in that we have a Major Arcana card (The Empress); a “pip,” or numbered, Minor Arcana card (Six of Cups); and a Court Card — also part of the Minors (Queen of Cups). We have a second balance in that we have two distinctly feminine cards flanking the Six of Cups.
This is not only a celebration of the feminine, but a call to the feminine — the feminine in each and every one of us. This is a call to understand, embody and embrace the complexity of “feminine” — questioning and redefining our assumptions about her if necessary.
The feminine isn’t some sexualised add-on — known primarily for her fertility and her Playboy-esque buxomness that emphasises tits and ass over substance. The feminine is not simply some statue to add to our altars, without embracing her wholly in our hearts. She isn’t some frippery that frills out what it means to be driven in a driven world — some motherly respite and haven from the legitimate business of going out and getting things done; of being taken seriously.
This feminine — this wholistic, all-shade celebration of the feminine — means business. But it is business in her own way.
So if your business — whether professional, familial, financial, intimate — somehow feels slighted, or insignificant; if you feel like what you are embodying in your lunar, watery, intuitive, sexually independent and aflame, creative, cyclical femininity is not taken seriously — no matter what sex or gender you are — then it is time to look at the figures of The Empress and the Queen of Cups and hear what they have to say to you.
I am woman. Hear me roar, sing, laugh, cry, create, destroy, birth, bury, intuit, know. I am all of these things, and more. I am the beginning, I bring the end. I was there at your birth, I fed you through life, I nourish you now. I am the upper, and I am the under.
And I meet the masculine in my full force, as he meets me in his.
And this is where the second layer comes into the story — that meeting of the feminine who cannot be her full self without the masculine. The Mother of Cups (the Queen), who cannot be who she is without a Father. The Empress, the figure of Demeter, who descends into the realm of Pluto to find both her daughter, and herself.
The Six of Cups corresponds to the aspect Sun in Scorpio. Scorpio is ruled by Mars and Pluto — both masculine. If you look at the card itself, there are four cups on the left, bathed in the light from The Empress, and two on the right, in the darker earthiness, which is both the terrain of the Queen of Cups (as the goddess of Willendorf) and the god of the underworld, Pluto. But it is the two cups on the right that hold me, as they seem to come together in the darkness, a star falling into the top one (the light of The Empress), as they birth a bubbled embryo between them.
Persephone rises. There is birth; there is spring. Demeter and Pluto have come together to create a new way forward.
The only way this birth happens is for the feminine to have her full place in her world — in our world. Nothing can be birthed when she is relegated to a two-dimensional figure that pays lip-service to a role that is as integral as the egg is to sperm. That egg has to be viable; it has to be whole. The egg of creativity and potential is not a charm to be placed on a mantle, to look pretty. It holds and nurtures life.
So wherever it is in your life that you are holding back because your feelings are an inconvenience; or you are complying to some outward expectation of femininity, sexuality, sensuality; where you play down your intuitive abilities, your beauty (inner and outer), your shine, your razor-of-light-sharp knowingness that can guess the game in an instant. Wherever you are denying your connection to your body, to nature, to the world and its people while they call to you: this reading is the call back to nurturance of self and others, and the marriage between body and mind.
Both are richer for the union, and one has been sorely underestimated and under-used for a long, long time.
And, what do you know? Once again, the tarot cards are reflecting the astrology.
The Empress, as Venus, gives birth to The Emperor/Aries, associated with Mars. The Six of Cups is associated with Scorpio, which Mars will be retrograding through in a matter of weeks. We are shifting into a time of inner (feminine) contemplation of how we act in and move through the world (masculine).
The 2016 Spring Reading from Planet Waves covers this combination of inner and outer, higher self and physical self, spirituality and sexuality. And I know for myself that Eric’s readings are the most phenomenal piece of equipment to carry at times like these.
To get your own copy to help you navigate through the coming weeks, sign up here.
Astrology/Elemental correspondences: The Empress (Venus), Six of Cups (Sun in Scorpio), Queen of Cups (the watery aspect of water)
If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.