Why do we use the image of a heart as the epicenter of our emotion? From a physical standpoint, we know that our heart doesn't hold our love, our anger, or our fear... so why use that image? Many argue that the heart image is appropriate because the heart keeps us alive, very much like our emotions. Blood flows in and out of a heart, just as our emotions flow to and fro. But what if the emotional center was instead pictured as a cup? The metaphor fits – a cup is filled and emptied frequently, as our emotional epicenter is. A cup can hold a great deal of life-giving water, just as our emotional center holds life-giving feeling. This is why the Ace of Cups is the perfect card to embody our emotional expanse.
The Ace of Cups card is simple enough in appearance. We see a hand emerging from a cloud – in it's palm, a large, ornate goblet. From the goblet, streams of water are bursting upward like a fountain. A bird flies directly over the cup. Below the cup is a pond, filled with lily pads and their flowers. The card has a simple, singular focus: the cup. One could note, however, that the water in this image is also very prominent, and is worth it's own focus.
Emotion is at the heart of the Ace of Cups: every emotion, whether it's considered positive or negative. The emotion that is most often connected with this card is love, due to it's ability to affect us to greatly. When this Ace saunters into yours readings, take a good look at how emotionally in-tune you are with yourself and those around you. Do you let your emotions run your life, or are you afraid to experience emotion at all? Many of us have been taught to despise, hide, or believe that our emotional depth is simply too shallow to focus on. Whether you're a man, woman, child, or elder, your feelings are something you should have a good relationship with. We all need to come to terms with our emotional selves, and this card begs for that balance.
When you pull this card, it's important to note the power of emotion. It can start a life, a relationship, or end either of those. Love and hatred have both been known to start wars. Don't play this card off as the card of a weakling – a man that knows his own emotional depth and breadth is a man to be reckoned with.
This Ace asks some potentially hard-hitting questions of us. How do you approach emotion? Can you face it in others? Can you face it in yourself? How do you deal with emotions when they come up? How can you use your emotions to strengthen yourself?
The Ace is the true embodiment of a suite's message – any Ace card will symbolize the heart of what each card in that suite boils down to. This means, of course, that it can be hard to parallel these Ace cards against other cards in the deck. The 10 of Cups symbolizes emotional completion and fulfillment, which comes close to the Ace. The Two of Cups also notes an emotional connection, which simply wouldn't be possible without the intuition and power found in the Ace card.