Meditations on stability

The Spanish Tarot by Fournier.

I should clarify, I mean emotional stability.

I have been leaning lately more and more towards traditional cartomancy, the cards have been speaking in a way that is very grounded, practical and even mundane. That is a good thing, embracing the quotidian aspect of life. Lately, that is the kind of reader I have been striving to be, practical.

Here is the four of cups paired with its playing card equivalent.

The Spanish Tarot by Fournier and Pagan Playing Cards by Uusi

The number four is just plain square, all sides are equal, no corners hidden nor misshapen. This card is about the stability deduced from the square. Grounding emotional stability, connection, practical and established. Nothing surprising here. Yet, if you look at the vines growing between the four cups you see that these qualities also have an underbelly. A negative aspect. 

Stability is good but too much can lead to lackadaisical complacency. We need tension, duality, struggle. Or else, what are we living for?

The 4 of cups pleases us with its balance, a relationship that has settled into its niche, all the gears turning in unison and smoothly. No mystery hidden, no shady corners, no secrets to discover. If the 5 of cups didn’t exist we would have invented it, or the 7 of cups. The tension is necessary for advancement, to keep the flower growing and flourishing, experiencing all the cycles of life.

But then again, when I am aware of the qualities of this card, I strive to be this kind of reader, a practical, direct and balanced reader.

I have been toying with the idea of reading professionally, deliberating within me the logistics of that endeavor. Also, poetically speaking, I long to create stories that can reveal, illuminate, entrance and elevate others. I feel the cards are about this, about contextualizing what we oftentimes can’t find the words to express, like a concise story, or the perfect painting, or the most beautifully constructed verse. At the right moment, these pieces can be revealing, and in that precise moment of revelation we see, truly see without distractions, without a blindfold, without presumptions, assumptions, without judgement. We are above duality, and capable of seeing the message and ourselves crystal clear. This is what drives me, those moments.

Before any of these wishes of mine can flourish, they must have roots, so perhaps I will dabble in the suit of batons for a little while.

Until the 5 of cups, happy reading.


4 thoughts on “Meditations on stability

  1. I’ve been interested in trying my hand at traditional cartomancy, as well, but I haven’t actually taken any practical steps in that direction. And to be honest, I’d like to be able to wow people by telling their fortunes with regular playing cards, but ultimately, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put the Tarot away long enough to favor some other type of deck. I’ve gotten too used to the 16 court cards as opposed to 12, is what I think it is. Well, that and the Major Arcana. But I like those for reasons deeper than fortune telling, and I think you can be successful enough without them.
    Of course, I also really enjoy the thought of using the cards to tell stories (and that’s all traditional cartomancy really is, right?). I’ve been toying with the idea of adding a creative writing category to my blog, using the cards both randomly and deliberately to create stories.
    Anyway, keep up the posts, I always enjoy reading them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yeah, I wouldn’t leave tarot either, but for some reason I find myself downsizing, I sold a couple of my decks and now I find myself gravitating towards less picturesque decks, sparse and simple. Something about cartomancy is very appealing, very practical and direct. I really love that. I just have one playing card deck, that one shown but it really is enticing. And the idea of storytelling has me hooked. Thank you for reading, you know I love you posts as well. Always very insightful, intelligent and thoughtful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you.
        I’ve noticed your collection moving towards more Marseille-style decks. I agree, there is a certain freedom in these cards that have neither pictures nor keywords to color the interpretation. It’s almost pure when compared to others. However, I like to keep a good many illustrated decks in my collection. To me, the Tarot is an art form as well as everything else, and I appreciate good artwork. The possibilities are endless, and I enjoy seeing and experimenting with different interpretations. I use two Marseille decks, plus Crowley’s which really boils down to non-illustrated pips as well, and I find that sufficient enough. Everything else I use is an exploration of the possibilities of interpretation. I look at it like having several collections of the same folktales, but told by different authors, each with his or her own twist on the classics. It all just adds depth to the overall meaning.
        But with all that being said, I do realize that illustrated pips are like crutches, and I’m preventing myself from really internalizing the meaning inherent in the number and suit sign by using them so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, I still have fully illustrated decks I love and will never get rid of and I occassionally use them. But perhaps not for everyday. I do love your take on illustrated decks, a collection of folktales retold and I agree. Some illustrated decks do the “job” wonderfully. The Wildwood is an example, or Dame Fortune’s Wheel, also Robert Place’s decks are truly exceptional and superbly executed, among others. These I do use and they are great readers with depth.

        Liked by 1 person

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