A dove sits on a branch, watching the offering of a single Cup from an expanse of water. In Greek mythology, the bird is sacred to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. It is of little surprise then, that the suit of Cups relates to the element of Water and emotion.
All Aces are seeds, so the Ace of Cups represents a new beginning in the emotional life of the person being read for. When this card arrives in a reading, we are alerted to new emotional experiences. Whether these are good or bad depends on it’s positioning in a spread and the cards which surround it.
As an example, when the Wheel of Fortune sits beside the Ace of Cups, the combination might well describe a change in the querent’s love life. If a relationship has been on the rocks, then it’s likely that things could now get back on track. The wheel is turning in the couple’s favour; difficulties are sorted and set aside for the future. This duo could speak about a new love interest, a new friendship, or the renewal of love in an existing relationship.
When sitting with the 9 of Wands, we could be looking at someone who is not used to opening up emotionally. Not everybody finds it easy to speak about how they feel and this combination could suggest that the person being read for naturally protects their heart and feelings in the same way as the man in the 9 of Wands. If the reading is about a relationship, these two cards could shed some light on why another person is being emotionally unresponsive. Have they been wounded before and are now frightened of accepting your emotional invitation or offering-up their own feelings to you?
Usually, the Ace of Cups is a positive card. It represents emotional offers, emotional openness, and the start of something which has the potential to be emotionally satisfying. An acorn contains the potential of the full Oak tree within it; in the same way, the Ace of Cups contains every potential scenario and possibility we could encounter in our personal relationships. It is the whole Cup suit in seed-form. So when this card turns up for you, remember that this seed, however small, could eventually grow into something bigger than you might currently imagine. All great loves begin with the Ace of Cups (whether in friendship, romance, or work). However, with each new situation comes an array of different emotional reactions; as with each of the cards in the suit of Cups, some will be far easier to deal with than others!
© Steven Bright Tiferet Tarot 2014
Illustrations by Steven Bright