Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015

By Sarah Taylor

You do the same thing, over and over; or you change.

This phrase came to me as soon as I had drawn the three cards. Or, rather, as soon as the three cards drew themselves: there they were, left on the table after the fifth shuffle of my deck, the exact number I needed. And a perfect combination.


Two of Disks, The Fool, Five of Cups from The Röhrig Tarot deck, created by Carl-W. Röhrig. Click on the image for a larger version.

You do the same thing, over and over; or you change. This is Psych 101: the repetition of the very things that hurt and — here — disappoint us tends to be our default setting. It is an unconscious process that only comes to light after the play has finished, the lights go up, and you are hit with the realisation that you’ve seen it before. Many times. Your life as the play. All the world’s a stage.

Which means that the large, dense, looming cube in the Five of Cups may also seem familiar to you. It embodies that experience when the road is blocked by something that frustratingly prevents you from getting where you feel you want to go. More than that, though, is that sinking feeling that you know this cube very well. You’re practically on first-name terms with it — if it were interested in engaging you in conversation. But it is not.

Its job is to be where it is. In front of you. And, because we are dealing with cups, what it will bring up in you is something feeling-based. It may be accompanied by thoughts, but primarily it is the emotion attached to meeting that obstacle that prevails.

Imagine yourself in this position. You might not need to imagine this; it could be that this is something you are facing down at this moment. Now, here’s the thing: Stop. Stop, and feel. Stop and move, not along that road — which is not, or no longer, available to you — but into your feelings about that road and what you have met on your way to where you were heading.

Feel. Disappointment is the route in, but what lies beneath that might be altogether more raw. Grief, pain, loss. These are the feelings associated with how the Five of Cups appears in your life, hinted at in the card:

unexpected disruptions,” “Lost balance,” “problematic Relationship.”

What formative experiences have generally taught us to do is to avoid these feelings. When we were younger, we probably couldn’t afford to dwell on them; our very survival was at stake. Now that we are older, however, that pattern has been ingrained. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Don’t feel. Don’t go there. And what happens? Unacknowledged, unmet and unfelt pain, pushed back down into the recesses of our psyches, which then creates the very circumstances to bring them to the surface again. Not to punish us — but so that we have another opportunity to acknowledge, meet, and feel them.

You are not being punished. You are getting a chance to do what you didn’t do last time. You are getting the opportunity to stop, in that moment where you would shut your eyes and refuse to see; instead you can stop, sit down, and sit with that cube. That sum of all of your disappointments as they are meeting you today.

The paradox, when looking at this particular version of the Five of Cups, is that the only way out is through. Not “through” measured by progress in your physical reality but by moving through the internal terrain of your heart.

Become a Fool. Be prepared to step into the unknown. Not-knowing allows The Fool to come into play — and it is here as a central archetype whose potential is activating at this moment. The Fool is calling you into your own Fool’s Journey, which here begins with opening your heart to what wounded you profoundly some time back.

That heart-opening is the agent for the change that appears to the left of The Fool. Unlike the Five of Cups — associated as it is with what lies within — this change is one that manifests in your outer life, as you, The Fool, are able to hold open the space for it, while also admitting the full emotional extent of what the term “disappointment” means for you.

The change is not something enacted consciously; it happens as a result of playing The Fool and being wholly prepared to step into the abyss of your blocked heart. That is the route to the great opening, where a landscape lies ready to reveal itself. Where you lie ready to reveal yourself — both to yourself and to others. And it is beautiful!

Astrology/Elemental correspondences: Two of Disks (Jupiter in Capricorn), The Fool (Uranus), Five of Cups (Mars in Scorpio)

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.

14 thoughts on “Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015

  1. valerie ervin

    I love this reading! I used to be afraid of the “blockage” that seems to be indicated when the 5 of cups shows up. Your reading has really helped me to see that the only way out IS through. I was incredibly disappointed very deeply in the not too distant past and this reading is right on time for me. It is about opening the heart, the agent of change, to get through the disappointment. This reading spoke to me and as usual was so right on time. Thank you so much.

  2. Cowboyiam

    Sarah you say

    – Your life as the play. All the world’s a stage. –
    And as that quote goes on – and every man will play many roles in his time –

    What I find so uncomfortable, at the moment, is the question in my mind – what part am I playing now?

  3. Mandy

    I feel prompted by this reading to offer a link to an amazing woman whose work regarding Black Moon Lilith (mean apoge in the astrology charts) had a profound impact on helping me to realize my own unconscious shadow blocks.
    She offers a free downloadable PDF which highlights the effects of:

    Natal BML in the signs, houses and aspects
    Transiting BML
    Transits of the planets to BML
    and more

    I’ve put her work to the test for the last couple of years, charting this for myself and I am astounded with her accuracy regarding it. There’s one requirement for it to work – you have to be truly willing to look at your shadow side and do the healing required.

    If you find her work to be of benefit in any way, and you are able, please click her donate button as this document has been years in the making. Her daily report of the energies is also very wonderful!

    Laura Walker

    click the top link titled: Books
    The Black Moon: Guide to Healing the Shadow Side

  4. marilyn

    In Numerology, the five represents the Addict, the same old habits keep repeating themselves causing you to either drink to extreme or take drugs to extreme. Its the habits that causes the “Addict”´thus going round and round the same old things. Break the habits and you can cure your addiction. First sign of an “Addict” is the lies to cover it up, second sign of the “Addict” is to get caught in those lies. Stop the lying, start telling the truth, you`re on your way.

  5. Jaimie

    I just stepped outside and was almost blinded by the moon. I says to her, “So you’re the one keeping me up.” Which was true, especially when you add the 5 of Cups to the insomnia mix. California poppy tincture ain’t got nuthin’ to offer to help, except a more calm exploration of what my own cube has to share with me.

    During early Bush the Dubya years, I had a dream in which a woman was reading my cards. I was working a lot with Tarot then, seeking a depth of understanding that eludes me to this day. The Dream Woman told me to pull a card. I pulled the 5 of Cups. I hated it while I was awake, and I hated it in that dream. I started to cry and she asked me why and I told her that it was my card and I hated it. She just smiled and said, “No, this is your card.” The Star. And she crossed the 5 with it.

    So a little bit ago, I’m all sorts of sprawled out on the couch, feeling and considering things that go right along with the 5 of Cups. I feel caught in a spiral, and it’s such a familiar one, and a lyric of PJ Harvey’s is on a loop in my heart: “Shame is the shadow of love.”

    And so I’m letting that spiral around with the shame stuff and feeling the suck of all the past shit that never seems to flush, and I find myself here, reading your column, and now it all seems to cohere somehow and though I’m far from feeling I’m out of the spiral (5 of Cups needs some of my focused attention for only Gods know how long), I do feel like I’ve got a handle on how to proceed. Be The Fool. Some more? Really? It’s OK if I strike out into new territory again? With what I’m mining so maybe I don’t keep making the same choices that land me in Shame Central? OK, then. OK.

    So thanks for this reading, Sarah. It’s helped me through a long night of being immersed in waters I don’t like. They’re foul-smelling and cold and being immersed in them hurts. But it’s OK to hurt and be with the wounding. Thank you for assuring us it is so.

  6. Christine Kilavos

    I found myself sitting with those wounds this weekend. Taking a look, feeling them, weeping letting emotion rise and then physical movement which let’s gestation to occur and let the question arise “What do I want?” From there the understanding that I will clearly have to venture into the unknown
    be the fool and create as I go along.
    This reading is comforting in that I am on the right path to opening myself to the unknown space that awaits.

  7. Denise Logan

    Sarah, I have missed connecting with you and here this mornin is the very reading that my walk was kicking up. How accepting change, feeling the disappointment and going forward is what is called for. Thanks to the force that allowed it to drop out onto the table, into my mind this morning and confirming it all right here on the screen of my Ipad. Take sweet care of you.

  8. Sarah Taylor Post author

    Thank you, Lizzy, valerie, Cowboyiam, Mandy, marilyn, Jaimie, Christine, Denise (hello!) — for all of your comments and insights. This is not an easy process, these three cards, but they hold such potential in them to release what has been asking for our attention; yes, I’m in there too.

    And, always, ask for help if you need it. It is never a sign of weakness — only strength.

    ~ S

  9. Lizzy

    “The Fool is calling you into your own Fool’s Journey, which here begins with opening your heart to what wounded you profoundly some time back.” Am on the case right now, dear Sarah – have really homed in on this, perhaps for the first time ever. Helped, once again, by your further encouraging words. Thank you again.
    Am also profoundly moved by the comments here.

  10. Carmen

    Although its a difficult card, I do love how the 5’s in the art of tarot convey the different layers of complicated conflict. In this case it being felt emotionally within oneself and seeking what to do about it. Without extra noise from the source of the conflict. To me – I see how the 5 of cups could also be significant if it resulted in a sense of loss over being treated like the fool as if we were childish or stupid in our innocent attempts at showing vulnerability. I’ve definatly experienced conflicting feelings when someone could care less about treating me fairly. And oftentimes the person doing the judging and minimizing has little emotional intelligence. I’ve seen people react violently to a person not hiding their duality or refusing to be ashamed of something they think you should be. Which leads me now to the 2 of disks. I’m learning when you find yourself the odd person in the group you must try to seek answers within first, and then outside to find balance. But its a solitary act. I don’t know if I read the cards right, I’m certainly a tarot novice. But I’ve gone through some extraordinary adversity the last few years and this is an ongoing theme in my life. I step back and see it mirrored in these cards. In the feelings of isolation, in not being accepted for irrational reasons by most likely some pretty unhappy people. The 2 of disks inspires me to look for new answers more tangible and concrete. Focusing on the disappointment of being wrongly accused of something and judged only allows adversaries control over me. I identify them with the devil card because of their repetitive obsession to teach me a lesson. But I’m working on not identifying myself with the problems anymore, only solutions. I’ve sought harmony despite them repeatedly trying to lure me to engage with them. I can already see an incredible advantage I’ve developed through this trial. I’ve put a wall between them and my desires to be who I am, uninterrupted & happy. Thank you so much for teaching me new ways to make my life successful. Much appreciation!♡

  11. Sarah Taylor Post author

    Carmen –

    “I’m learning when you find yourself the odd person in the group you must try to seek answers within first, and then outside to find balance. But its a solitary act.”

    It is a solitary act; there can be no other way on that journey of individuation. And it is hard. I feel that the Two of Disks demonstrates both that sense of friction that happens in our environment — friction that can work in our favour — as well as actively shaping that environment to better support us as we grow into ourselves. First “me”; then “we”.

    Thank you.

  12. Alaine Grant

    it’s 6a.m. and I’m reading this again, plus the more recent comments and I get me…entered an I AM in my journal which is fresh but not new…and awaiting your late column today…thank you Sarah for your insights and I do so enjoy the comments very much…Black Lilith reference is much appreciated Mandy…
    I am a performer-teacher in dance & music. [and related arts…]

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