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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Card of the Day: Ten of Pentacles

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Today’s card comes from the Wild Unknown Tarot deck by Kim Krans.

IMG_0549I love a rainbow.  I’m that crazy lady with the neon rainbow knit hat, the rainbow socks, the fingernails with the rainbow jamberry decals. I once had a giant rainbow umbrella (it broke, sadly).  My entire knitting group sends me links to rainbow projects and rainbow yarn whenever they see it.  I love the association.  I like all the things they represent; I like that they’re the spectrum of light; I love their symbology around queer folks; I like that they make me think of magic.  And I like this card, the Ten of Pentacles.  It’s such a positive card.  It, like all tens in tarot, represents the culmination of the journey of its suit.  Pentacles are the suit of Earth and they represent the physical material aspects of life.  They can be read as involving money, physical health, issues of housing, food, and other physical or material things.

I particularly like the way this ten reads.  Nine pentacles orbiting around the heart of the card.  The center pentacle has another tiny pentacle right in its center.  It has that beautiful spectrum of color radiating from purples on the outer edges of the card down into a warm deep red at the center.  It feels like a kind of magical hearth, and gives the impression of this slowly focusing energy as you move down your path and start arriving at the heart of the matter.

The Ten of Pentacles is a very stable and secure card.  It speaks to security and comfort.  The struggle all through the pentacles, starting out with few material concerns, through the Five of Pentacles which stands for bad health and being cast out, is brought full circle by the ten.  You have all these pentacles, all this success and wealth.  Maybe your health has been faltering and you’ve been feeling out of sorts–this would be a good card to see, better things are here.  It also speaks to permanence.  This isn’t some easy come, easy go kind of energy.  The ten reflects a lot of hard work that you’ve put in building up to this security.

The more I look at this card the more it feels to me like a heartbeat.  Starting from the outside and moving in.  Breathe In – Care for yourself, Breathe Out – Share that stability with others who aren’t as far along in the path of the suit.  You need to be secure in your foundations before you can support others.  And maybe this exists in a cycle: circle down to your hearth and rest there when you feel unsteady, then circle back outwards to others when you’ve built up your energies.  I really like that the card border is white on this card, because white light is all the other colors of light put together.  When you see those rainbows of light when you bend light through a prism, that’s all the colors separated out, combined the light is white.  And that white light, which is often thought of as healing light or as divine light, surrounds everything, never constricting, only supporting.  May you be held in that white light, feeling the safety and support that is the Ten of Pentacles.