Humans have little signs they throw off when they're ready to move on. Many people in relationships say they knew weeks before a break-up that it was coming. You can tell when a class should be dismissed by the fidgeting of the students. You can tell someone will quit a job through disinterest and tardiness. When you begin slowly dislodging yourself or unburdening yourself from the actions and behavior you've lived with before, it's a sign that you're ready to head onward. We can all feel when it's time to move on – the Eight of Cups embodies that moment.
On the Eight of Cups we see a series of mountain peaks dotted across the landscape – the full moon shines over them. In the foreground are a series of cups, piled all around and on top of one another. Just behind them is a man with his back turned to the cups. He seems ready to climb to the next peak, walking stick in hand. His shoulders are slightly hunched, perhaps with the weight of a personal burden. He does not, however, look back to the cups – he only looks forward.
This card signals that it is time you move past something. Every life has stages, and each stage builds on top of the next – you can only journey forward once you're ready to use what you've learned from your past to build a future. You'll know when you're ready to move on – the antsy, fidgety, dismissive behaviors will already be evident. Take these signs to heart, and know that it's ok to leave certain things behind.
If your energy is low, the Eight of Cups may be telling you to keep a watchful eye on yourself. Are you running yourself ragged? Forcing yourself to follow through motions that you no longer feel alright about? These are the afore-mentioned signs of needing to move on from an area in your life. This energy will drag you down if you continue to live in it – this card may be calling you to action.
If you pull the Eight of Cups while doing a reading, here's a few questions to ask yourself. Do you feel stuck? Do you feel tired, listless, or uninterested in your life, or an area of your life? Is it time to move on? What do you stand to gain by staying here? What do you stand to lose by moving on?
The Eight of Cups has a lot in common with the Six of Swords. Both the Eight and Six cards signify movement, either through or away from something. They also both tend to come packaged with a negative mood or attitude – this is most likely because moving past something is difficult, and likely to bring out harsh emotions. The Three of Wands also shares a lot in come with the Eight of Cups, though it might not seem so at first. The Three of Wands can signify a new direction, somewhere that you lead yourself to... and while the Eight of Cups also stands for movement, it often points to something you move away from, rather than to.