Today’s card is the Princess of Cups from the Manga Tarot
This Princess looks like she might be wearing a wedding veil. She has flowers in her hair and a lovely kimono as she bears a golden cup aloft while riding a sea dragon. I got myself into a little stir trying to figure out what the flowers in her hair were. I used a plant ID website and (assuming that these illustrated flowers are based on real ones) I think these flowers are either Japanese Meadowsweet or Wild Sweet William which might be a type of Phlox. I don’t know much about either of these types of plants, but there you go.
Botanical ramblings aside, there’s a lot to dig into with this depiction. I appreciate the image of the Princess (sometimes called a Page or Squire or Daughter) as the cup bearer of the suit. The card position typically depicts the youthful or inexperienced energy of the suit, sometimes shown as a young child excited at something.
This depiction shows a young woman but she isn’t rushing about like a giddy child. Instead she takes her position and her role with seriousness and strength. She understands that she still has much to learn, the dragon is as much her protector as he is her steed. But she holds the cup carefully with a steady and intense gaze. There’s almost a challenge in her expression, warning you not to trifle with her. She doesn’t race into the fray like her sibling the Knight might do, she approaches with reverence and steadiness. You can feel that she is in the progression and I feel hints of the Queen in this card. It’s what the Princess will become as she grows in age and in her power. Notice the way that the Dragon’s gaze matches hers. A psychic link exists between the Princess and the Dragon, they are partners.
I get both literal and political forward motion out of this card, the Page wanting to advance and also the Dragon charging through the water, you can see it all displaced around him. The control of the Page is very evident here, she sits serenely in the middle of all this chaos.
When you see this Princess it’s a sign of calm and respectful control. This card indicates that there is much to be learned, but you’ve got a good grasp on things even if our surroundings feel wildly out of control. Keep your eyes focused on your goals and someday you might become the Queen too.