Card of the Day: Ten of Cups

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Today’s card is the Ten of Cups from the Universal Goddess deck

This cup shows Hestia the Greek Goddess of the Hearth.  Hestia is a goddess who is very IMG_0566near to my heart.  I love the hearth based deities because I’m very much a home centric person.  The modern day hearth is sort of the whole kitchen these days.  The kitchen is where people gather, food is prepared, and love is given.  We have a lovely home altar above our stove at my house and it’s a very homey place.  Before we bought our house I had a very distinct image in my head of my yellow kitchen.  And when we bought the house, that was the first paint color that I chose.

Getting back to the card itself, I both like the image and I don’t like it.  I’m not crazy about the whole white washed look of the whole thing and I don’t love the man+woman+children = the epitome of family and home.  Families come in all shapes and sizes and colors and configurations and this one just reinforces that white nuclear 1950s family thing.  But I can deal with it, I do like the gathered around the fire image and the image of Hestia’s arms stretched out protectively around the scene.  I also like that Hestia is shown here as a mature woman.  There are lines on her face, her arms are muscular, and she’s dressed comfortably and sensibly.  She was the one who tended the hearth fires of the gods and was the home builder.  She is the goddess of ‘women’s work’.  All those thankless but essential tasks that are needed to keep people safe and warm and fed.  Especially in the past when we cooked over open hearths instead of on tidy gas or electric stoves.  In most cultures women were just expected to do all these kinds of tasks and the amount of work that it took was never acknowledged.  Running a household, keeping it clean, keeping food on the table is no small task.

But I’m getting away from the Ten of Cups here, so I’m going to pull it back in now.  This card is a wonderfully comforting sign.  In Tarot, the Ten cards are symbols of a completed cycle or the end result of the labors of their suits.  This ten represents a safe and happy home.  What that means to you might be completely different than the very limiting depiction on this card.  To me it means my wife and I with our two cats curled up on the couch with lots of blankets, snuggled together drinking tea and watching a documentary about nature or cooking.  To my parents it might mean all of us kids and our spouses at their house, having a barbeque out back in their gorgeous backyard pergola.  To you it might mean quiet space alone in your loft in Boston or a tiny cabin in the woods on a mountain top.

The Ten of Cups means family too, but it means your family of choice.  I’m lucky enough that my blood family is wonderful and supportive and loving, but that’s not the case for everyone.  This Ten of Cups family isn’t a family where people hold anger towards each other in their hearts or say hateful things or try to harm you.  The Ten of Cups family is the people who love you unconditionally and who are always there for you, whether it’s through a Skype call or a text message or a hug and a movie night.

Wherever you feel comfortable, safe, secure, and loved, that’s what the Ten of Cups is all about.

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