Tarot Draw #5

So, it’s been about 2 weeks since my last tarot post. That whole “I’ve missed posting here and I want to do more of it” thing hasn’t exactly led to an upswing of writing so far, apparently. I’m clearly still struggling a little bit with setting a routine around regular writing for the website, though I’ve managed to finish a couple of other non-website related pieces of late.

In any case, I actually drew a card last week and just haven’t gotten around to writing anything about it until now. In a shocking development, the question is job-related. I’ve spent some time recently reflecting on what kind of work I really want to do, and this draw was related to that reflection.

Question: What’s one thing my next job needs to include in order for me to be content?

Card: Two of Cups

2 of Cups
2 of Cups

First impressions: Huh. This card has always screamed “Relationships” to me. I certainly haven’t looked at it through a professional or otherwise work-related lens before.

About the card: The card contains just two people, a man and a woman. They’re both well-dressed and are facing each other in the center of the card. Each of them is holding a big damn cup – the woman is holding hers in both hands, while the man is holding onto his cup in his left hand and reaching out to hers with his right. Between the couple there’s a caduceus and above that a winged lion’s head. In the background there’s a pretty little scene with low hills and a building that looks to me like a cottage or house.

The story without words: The scene here reads pretty strongly as a wedding. There’s clearly something ceremonial about the way the way the cups are being held…or exchanged, really, now that I look at it again. Rather than the man reaching out toward the woman’s cup, maybe he’s just handed it to her and is pulling his hand back instead. That makes quite a bit more sense, actually (I mentioned before that I’m slow, didn’t I?). The caduceus symbolizes balance and healing, which certainly fits with the notion of this being a commitment ceremony of some sort.

But what does it mean?: Looking at the card, I’m reminded of Kahlil Gibran’s words about marriage in The Prophet, which include the following:

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

Gibran’s words speak pretty clearly to my own feelings about partnerships of any sort – be they romantic, platonic, or professional. My best relationships have always been about exchange, and the best projects I’ve worked on – professionally or not – have ultimately been about collaboration. What really feeds me, what I really crave, is that sense of working with a team of excellent collaborators. And that’s really what I see in this card – individuals coming together to create something new, something unique. The fact that there are just two individuals in the card and they’re pretty obviously getting hitched is, at least in the context of my question, beside the point. Mind you, I don’t know if my next paid work will include this kind of collaborative exchange, but even if it doesn’t, this card is a good reminder that that is something I want in my life.

2 thoughts on “Tarot Draw #5”

  1. I know that in my own job hunt, the chance to build professional relationships is one of the things I want most. Please don’t stick me in a room alone with a computer, or have me work on lots of solo projects. I want to work with people, collaboratively. I want a team. And if I’m going to spend 8 hours a day with people, I want those to be good relationships.

    Also, I know I want to be fed by my work, to have it recharge rather than drain my batteries. Not that I think it’ll be a vacation, but I know it’s perfectly plausible for me to work hard and yet look forward to the work. I want to feed and support others, and I want to be fed and supported myself.

    The other thing about this card? It’s an equal partnership — yes, gendered, and yes, maybe he’s handing her the cup, but there is no supplicant here, no generous master and abject servant. It’s needing as much as being needed.

    Or maybe you just need to wear red roses in your hair….

  2. Wow. I think that Gibran excerpt is one of the most elegant ways I’ve ever encountered to describe the concept of exchange – particularly in relationship to this card. Nicely done!

    I’m quite pleased to see you return to writing about your tarot draws. (Although your squirrel-related posts = awesome.) 🙂

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