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Ace of Chalices

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Ace of Chalices


I admit that the Ace of Cups is one of the first cards I look for in any deck, and to me, a failed Ace of Cups can mean the difference between a successful deck, and a merely so-so one.

I love the Fey Ace of Chalices. It captured my heart the minute I saw it. A little fey - girl or boy, we don't know - with big trusting eyes, stands in a large cup of aquamarine water, cupping water in its hands to offer to someone outside the image. It reminds me of St Exupéry's The Little Prince - it has the little prince's same fresh, unsullied but deeply serious innocence. I am reminded of what the little prince learnt - and taught: "we only really see with the heart; what is essential is invisible to the eyes". This Ace of Chalices fey has an all-seeing heart shining through its golden eyes...

It reminds me too of that scene in Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, when Beauty stoops to the stream to cup water in her hands for the Beast to drink. One of the most touching and erotic acts of love ever filmed.

When we love absolutely, unconditionally, we can do nothing else but hand out our heart - our emotions, our love, our compassion, our understanding - the way this fey is handing out water. Simply, humbly, without drama or thought of reward. The fey is putting out its cupped hands because it is the most natural gesture in the world. "Here, you are thirsty, drink." There is a charge of compassion and trust flowing through this image, and also a strange kind of eroticism - Beauty giving a drink to the Beast...

And this brings me to a third reference. Garance, in The Children of Paradise, tells her beloved, the complex, frightened Baptiste - "It is so simple, love..."

Yes, looking at this card, love is so simple. Without anything but water held out in a pair of cupped hands, love can create anything, and wear down even the most unmovable situation. It demands nothing, and so obtains everything.

Or so I hope...
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to me it's a card of extremes. extraordinary blessing or unspeakable tragedy. you can't have one without the other. no card is entirely bad or good.
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I am also reminded - very strongly - of 1 Corinthians 13. A passage that speaks of agape love, rather than eros - though to me, the distinction is moot, because erotic love without selfless love is merely lust and possessiveness. The two were beautiful joined in Cocteau's film Beauty and the Beast that I mentioned above.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see through a glass, darkly; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manhattan9thgate
to me it's a card of extremes. extraordinary blessing or unspeakable tragedy.
There can be no real tragedy, where there is love. Even the most cruel of times, bringing death and destruction to many, can be redeemed with that kind of love and trust.

It is Anne Frank, writing in her diary, discovering young love and sharing her first kiss even as the Nazis who would one day kill her were hunting out all the Jews in Amsterdam. Oh yes - blessing and tragedy...

But the greatest of these is love...
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The artistry behind the cards


Every tarot deck creator brings much of themselves into their work. When Maria created these 78 illustrations she must have brought so much more with her. This is, by any standard, a most extrodinary deck wherein the cards can speak so movingly to us. I credit this deck to contributing greatly to whatever tarot skills and sensitivities that I have. Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helvetica
There can be no real tragedy, where there is love. Even the most cruel of times, bringing death and destruction to many, can be redeemed with that kind of love and trust.

It is Anne Frank, writing in her diary, discovering young love and sharing her first kiss even as the Nazis who would one day kill her were hunting out all the Jews in Amsterdam. Oh yes - blessing and tragedy...

But the greatest of these is love...
ummm.....well......, the story of Medea comes to mind...........not exactly an insignificant archetype.........and there are Medea's in the news all the time

that's pretty real to me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manhattan9thgate
ummm.....well......, the story of Medea comes to mind...........not exactly an insignificant archetype.........and there are Medea's in the news all the time
You see Medea in the Ace of Chalices????? Where, how, what???

Are we looking at the same deck?

And even if you do - Medea's children loved their mother - no doubt up to the bitter end. It didn't save them - but it definitely gives them the Ace of Chalices generosity. Love isn't supposed to be utilitarian you know!

Medea is a story. Anne Frank was a real person. And she died.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helvetica
Bloody hell! you see Medea in the Ace of Chalices????? Where, how, what???

er, are we looking at the same deck?

And even if you do (weird weird weird) - Medea's children loved their mother - no doubt up to the bitter end. It didn't save them - but it definitely gives them the Ace of Chalices generosity. Love isn't supposed to be utilitarian you know!

BTW - Medea is a story. Anne Frank was a real person. And she died.

***NEWS FLASH***

Ace of Cups reversed could imply serious tragedy, if you don't agree.....well, life is tough ain't it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manhattan9thgate
Ace of Cups reversed could imply serious tragedy, if you don't agree.....well, life is tough ain't it.
Since when does the Ace of Cups reversed imply serious tragedy? I do think life can be tough, and I have seen some of life's toughness (including a few Medeas in my time) but not, as rule, in the Ace of Chalices. Can you please show where, in the Fey Ace of Chalices, you see tragedy, or the shadow of Medea - unless this sweet little fey be one of her children? I thought of Anne Frank - but quite honestly, I thought even that was stretching it a bit.
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Edited

Although side note, Anne Franks house is very sad, very moving.
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