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Madame Squee  Madame Squee is offline
Hope will never be silent. ~Harvey Milk
 
Join Date: 17 Jan 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 4,890
Madame Squee 
Hope will never be silent. ~Harvey Milk

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This morning, I noticed the palm leaf tied to the traveler's staff in the 8 of Cups. It was kind of an "ah-ha!" moment, so I came here to see what others may have thought of it and was so pleased to find rachelcat's observation about pilgrims and palmers, as well as everyone else's thoughts and feelings on this depiction of the 8 of Cups.

My feeling about the 8 of Cups has always been more around abandonment, but now I'm beginning to take hold of the idea that it's also about searching for a deeper meaning in this life.

I also did a bit of googling and found that, in the middle ages, there was a certain distinction between pilgrims and palmers:

A palmer is a pilgrim privileged to carry a palm-staff; originally a branch of a palm tree carried by a palmer in token of his having been to the Holy Land. Palmers differed from pilgrims in that a pilgrim made his pilgrimage and returned to public or private life, but the wandering palmer spent his life visiting holy shrines, and lived on the benevolence of God. Betoken on one of faith.
http://www.heraldryclipart.com/symbolism/p.html

I also learned that pilgrim dress included a wide-brimmed hat and an outer robe, similar to the costume of our traveler in this 8 of Cups.

So, my immediate reaction is that the differentiation between pilgrim and palmer actually will provide me with a significant range of meaning for this card: leaving to search for deeper meaning with the intention of returning (see Flavio's post above), and leaving without thought of returning -- truly leaving without looking back (abandonment) in order to search for new meaning in life.

I also now think "having faith" plays a much greater role in the meaning of this card than I ever realized before. I believe that, while one may have put their affairs in order before leaving, one has no real idea of what lies ahead -- just something "better". Therefore, faith plays a huge role in the departure. (Many, many pilgrims departed with an imperfect understanding of what lay before them, and naturally many never returned, having succumbed to the fate that befell them. However, who's to say that they did not they find what they were looking for?)

That's all I have right now, but I've recorded it in my journal of card meanings.

Thank you everyone for this great study group on the Hanson Roberts 8 of Cups!

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