QUEEN OF CUPS – the contradiction of Yin
Water and winter are the most Yin, that is soft, feminine and receptive of times. This Queen of Cups, of water and as a queen, her natural element being water, brings us into a space of deep softness.
Or does it?
Water is soft, yes; receptive, yes; but it is also an element that carries massive power. Both in ways unnoticed and in ways that are unmasked, powerful, sometimes full of rage. From soft droplets of rain tenderly touching your upturned face, to tidal waves of tsunamis, destroying villages, shaping canyons and consuming shorelines. Water, the flow or lack of flow, also relates to our emotions, feelings and contributes to shaping both our conscious and subconscious perceptions about ourselves and others.
Before I proceed, I will reveal that this particular read on the lovely Queen of Cups is strongly infused with how her shadow elements have been being reflected in my world at this particular moment. Yet as I do not believe anything happens in a vacuum, the perspective I offer about a particular aspect of this queen, may be something we all have reason to consider or reflect upon, either personally or with regard to the state of the world we currently find ourselves in.
The Queen of Cups emerges, sensuously gliding out of the waters of our subconscious, a place we often refer to yet, I wonder, what do we really understand about the nature and purpose of this intangible place?
The subconscious mind is the storehouse of all of our experiences, the journey’s we’ve taken, sights, smells and tastes. The memory of different textures, the touch of the rain on our skin or the caress of a soft hand, or the sting of a slap or harsh words. All of it; it’s in there. It’s the store room of the art gallery of our life, where we go to pick and choose what pictures we might hang in the bedroom or what old serving vessel we want to dust off to serve guests bowl of soup. Our feelings and perceptions about the guest, their likes and dislikes. Oh and look over there, there is a little potion bottle, label half scratched off and the ink bled, you’re not so sure what’s in there, but it looks good and you’ve got guests coming so, why not?
The subconscious mind is that tricky little room where we store all the things we’ve learned and experienced. Useful things too, like driving a car or typing or chopping onions or even just walking; they can simply happen because those skills are stored and ready to go into action automatically and then we can also do other things, while not even having to THINK ABOUT what we are doing. It allows us to multi task. But because many other things are stored there, and over time without regularly seeing the light of day, or brought into our current reality, makes it a not so reliable resource.
So this lovely mistress of the depths, of this inner chamber, that holds the treasures of our life experiences, the perceptions we’ve formed and carried about ourselves and others; needs tending, pruning, updating. You know operation systems upgrades. But we don’t think about that. We aren’t taught to be skillful with our emotions, so suddenly those soft droplets of rain caressing your face become stinging hail or raging waters spilling over into every corner of your life. You see the unskilled, in the art of our emotional life, which is most of us, lack the ability of to be self reflective and to pause periodically to see what still ‘holds water’ around certain thoughts, ideas, or ways of being. So we create a minefield of misshapen, tilted and broken, his/her-stories, based on long expired concepts either about ourselves or what we perceive about the people in our lives.
We have all lived through times in our lives when we’ve just stood scratching our heads wondering, how did that recipe not turn out, or thinking ‘I am sure I packed that painting up’ or finger pointing behavior saying ‘I am certain that photo album was in YOUR care so where the fuck is it, how did you lose it?’ On and on, even leading to the elephant in the room; wondering how the hell we ended up with an orange ape* ‘running’, rather ruining, the world. In almost every case it’s because we’ve lost tabs on how this luscious, charming and compassionate Queen is managing that precious resource, our subconscious mind and, more importantly, how she is letting the information flow to the conscious mind.
Letting her glide along, gathering up experiences, helping others, applying balm to hurt knees and feelings, along the timeline of our linear experience, as well as many of the memories she goes back to retrieve, like the folk remedy for the bee sting or great aunt Ida’s lemon cake are pretty harmless, but if this Queen hasn’t invited over her friends, the Queen of Swords and the Queen of Discs over in a while, to help her clean out those cupboards, you could be in for a wild ride when you are sitting down to your brandy spiked tea trying to piece together information about the his/her story of the family tree or just telling stories about other people. So, although Mary White, the creator of the Mary-el Tarot, assigns this Queen the deeply important purpose of being THE ONE who is the holder of ‘the ring, the sword, the symbol of your purpose in life and the reason you live’ , which sounds amazing and romantic; I’m wondering has she had the cleaning team over recently?
My point is, we are, all of us human, perfectly imperfect and this Queen rose up from the depths of her watery chambers for a reason over the last week; both personal and global. We all, at least those of us who took the red pill, are on that fast paced track of wonderment about ‘Why’ and How’’, ‘Who am I and What is my Purpose’, so we need to be vigilant about the stories the we tell ourselves and the ones we ‘hold’ about others. We need to get into that storehouse and check out what is in there, to vet it, to clean it out. That dress you rocked 20 years ago or even 2 years ago, it ain’t working anymore, and people know you have that thing down there, and they be like; ‘do you know she has that thing down there and what was she ever even thinking in the first place?’ And yes, it’s a dress, so what, but it’s not just the dress, it’s your ideas, things you went through, thoughts, ways of doing things, and all sorts of outdated and expired garbage that have nothing to do with who you are now, and simultaneously, it’s all the ‘stuff’ and thoughts you ‘hold’ about others. It all needs a big clean out once in a while. So, the next time you are sitting with someone, a friend, family member, thinking about your reasons for voting for this or that person, causes you champion; you can be certain you are seeing them NOW not through the thoughts or perceptions you had 2 or 20 years ago. I am just saying that place, that storehouse, you need to get in there STAT and get it in order. Not try to erase and go all ‘eternal sunshine of the spotless mind’ on your life and your journey; your mistakes and battles, they do make up a piece of the tapestry of your life, but they are likely not the threads you are still weaving.
I am not meaning to rat out this queen, I love her, I AM her in many ways, but, like I said, this one place, this domain that she presides over, requires some oversight, as we know, all rulers need a security council. Well that’s another essay, but you know what I mean.
No, we can not control what others think or say about us, but if you are an emotional being or if you live at all in the public eye, or even if you are on the journey of wondering ‘what kind of ancestor will I be?’ Then set your boundaries, attend to the sacred space of your life experiences, so that you can sit tall, have a direct gaze and speak eloquently and clearly about your OWN personal life story.
Through the tenderness and the heart of one’s personal life experiences, the vulnerability and the violations that many of us have lived through, many unheard, or perhaps even told to swallow our hurts like a bitter pill; this queen can be there to comfort you, just be sure she is hearing what you are saying in the NOW not listening from the untended storehouse of the subconscious mind. Ask yourself, who is your Queen of Cups? This queen can either enrich and season your soup to perfection or she can kill you with that mislabeled bottle of arsenic she pulled off the shelf. Is she holding the gems of your heart and emotions and life experiences true? Or is it time to hire a clean up crew?
- with no disrespect to our kin primates