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Lyones 
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Legends: 2 of Cups: Tristram & Isolt


I just realised that the boat in this card has a similar dragon to the 6 of Swords, but this dragon, instead of looking up and seeking, is looking ahead, it's ears up, somewhat content.

The tale of Tristam and Isolt is rather tragic, but contains the realities of trials and tribulations of relationships. The picture on the card evokes the emotional "happily ever after" initial response, but on reflection of the story, the meaning is far deeper than romantic fairy-tale endings. It's a bit more like Romeo and Juliet in it's despair, re-uniting the couple in death.

Being drawn to someone is the easy part, developing trust is harder, and maintaining the balance and harmony, even more difficult, and yet as I look on Tristam and Isolt's embrace, I feel that the depth of emotion keeps them in each others memories, even when they are apart.



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Old 06-02-2005 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #1
WalesWoman 
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This is the most romantic 2 of Cups I've ever seen I think, or is it poignant? Definately a card that makes an emotinal impact just to look at it. Union and conflict, the give and take too after reading the story of Tristram & Isolt...that whole bittersweet sorrow and joy that comes with loving someone, even if it doesn't end in tragedy or separation. Even when you love someone and live with them, there is still a separation of individuality, separate lives, separate goals, separate values and identities. No matter how much you may see eye to eye on most things, there is always something that seems to come between you, that sometimes the only place you can really meet and be together is in the realm of emotion and being carried away on it. It's there you can leave everything else behind and just be.

If it was a perfect world anyway...and even in an imperfect world, it is the one place where you can escape for a short time the cares and worries, the responsibilities and differences and discover what floats your boat and possibly just how sound a vessel it is.
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Last edited by WalesWoman; 23-03-2005 at 10:00.
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Old 07-02-2005 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #2
Sophie-David 
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The Love Potion


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyones
I just realised that the boat in this card has a similar dragon to the 6 of Swords, but this dragon, instead of looking up and seeking, is looking ahead, it's ears up, somewhat content.
Thank you for that comparison, Lyones. Its yet another illustration of the depth of committment and loving involvement Anna-Marie entered into when she created this deck. In the myths of both cards there is that bitter-sweet mixture of pleasure and pain which is so typical when life is lived to its fullest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyones
The tale of Tristam and Isolt is rather tragic, but contains the realities of trials and tribulations of relationships. The picture on the card evokes the emotional "happily ever after" initial response, but on reflection of the story, the meaning is far deeper than romantic fairy-tale endings. It's a bit more like Romeo and Juliet in it's despair, re-uniting the couple in death.
I can't help but recall Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde which I have in the definitive contemporary Metropolitan Opera production on two DVDs, with Ben Heppner and Jane Eaglen in the title roles. I find a lot of the First Act pretty heavy going, but the rewards in the Second Act are absolutely sublime, centred in the exquisite duet, O sink hernieder, Nacht der Liebe - Sink Down Upon Us, Night of Love. Where words fail us, music plunges us into the very core of the erotic experience.

In the scene of this card, the love potion which Isolt's mother had prepared for her and King Mark, to reconcile her to an arranged marriage she did not desire, has been mistakenly consumed by Tristram and Isolt. Perhaps they drank it at the little table in the foreground, with its two royal stools finished in purple with what may be golden dragons, royal symbols of their high passion. Isolt still holds the fateful bowl of the love potion in her right hand as they are drawn into irresistable embrace, Tristram's golden cloak sweeping gloriously about his beloved, encompassing her in his magnificent passion. Tristram's upper body is suggestively naked as he clutches Isolt to his chest, heading east into the rising sun, the dragon ship echoing their erotic longings as it plunges into the foam. Isolt wears the white purity of a gown of love's initiation, her gold trimmings echoing the passion of Tristram's flowing cloak.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyones
Being drawn to someone is the easy part, developing trust is harder, and maintaining the balance and harmony, even more difficult, and yet as I look on Tristam and Isolt's embrace, I feel that the depth of emotion keeps them in each others memories, even when they are apart.
They face a difficult and tragic journey together, but their soul-felt love makes their union eternal and irrevocable, and death will have no power over it.



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Old 07-02-2005 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #3
Sophie-David 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
This is the most romantic 2 of Cups I've ever seen I think, or is it poignant? Definately a card that makes an emotinal impact just to look at it. Union and conflict, the give and take too after reading the story of Tristram & Isolt...that whole bittersweet sorrow and joy that comes with loving someone, even if it doesn't end in tragedy or separation.
There is also a fragility and innocence about them, Tristram's naked and confident embrace, Isolt's trusting response. They are vulnerable to the emotional seas about them, perhaps occasionally drenched in a high spray. They know what they face when they land in Cornwall, yet they hold onto the moment as securely as to each other, trusting somehow that the strength of their love will carry them through their trials, for it is all that matters, all that will remain to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
Even when you love someone and live with them, there is still a separation of individuality, separate lives, separate goals, separate values and identities. No matter how much you may see eye to eye on most things, there is always something that seems to come between you, that sometimes the only place you can really meet and be together is in the realm of emotion and being carried away on it. It's there you can leave everything else behind and just be.
The separation that remains, even of lovers living together, is healing and healthy, the dynamic which promises further growth, the painful process of healing the soul's gaping wound for which only the loving partner has the remedy. Each sees in the other their own weaknesses, each recognizes the challenges in relating effectively to the other which also lie within. In learning to deal with their external conflicts in the context of love and trust, there is hope of each one resolving conflict's essence, the dynamic tension which drives the soul towards greater wholeness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WalesWoman
If it was a perfect world anyway...and even in an imperfect world, it is the one place where you can escape for a short time the cares and worries, the responsibilities and differences and discover what floats your boat and possibly just how sound a vessel it is.
So their passion is like an oasis, a safe haven of joyful renewal which restores their faith in both the self and the other, filling their future with hope no matter what the cost.



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Know that you are - already - the Christ, the Bodhisattva. By your great love the One became Many, as with delight and joy you assumed the cloak of duality. Form is made of but three things: energy, change, and love.
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My current partner and I have been having a long distance relationship for a fair while (about 3 years on and off) only recently has the distance become less, but when ever he goes home or I go home after spending weeks and weekends together I get this 2 of cups. The amount of hugs and embraces, clinging on to eachother on train stations and before he runs off in the car. We are always in each other's thoughts (well, hopefully!). I'm not saying we are Tristram and Isolt incarnate, but it feels like that sometimes.
I love what you have all said about this card, but i can definately equate to it, the 'everything will be alright when i get a hug from him' seems to fall in here, because to Isolt feels that with their love and being together things will be alright.
The idea of the fitting pieces of yin and yang spring to mind. Without each other they can just function (for they will always carry a little of eachother in everything they do) but to be at peak performance is when they are together.

Aw its too romantic, too heart felt, too true for the 2 of cups I think I am going to cry lol.

Sezo
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Old 07-02-2005 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #5
WalesWoman 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inanna_tarot
I love what you have all said about this card, but i can definately equate to it, the 'everything will be alright when i get a hug from him' seems to fall in here, because to Isolt feels that with their love and being together things will be alright.
You said it all with that simple statement. Sometimes that's all you need, just a hug to check back in with each other and know everything is just fine. Sometimes being two can feel so alone, but one little hug can make things be in sync again. Affirmation!



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Old 10-02-2005 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #6
Lyones 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sophie-David
Tristram's golden cloak sweeping gloriously about his beloved, encompassing her in his magnificent passion. Tristram's upper body is suggestively naked as he clutches Isolt to his chest, heading east into the rising sun, the dragon ship echoing their erotic longings as it plunges into the foam. Isolt wears the white purity of a gown of love's initiation, her gold trimmings echoing the passion of Tristram's flowing cloak.
That is so beautifully said David - I love the way you have described the cloak enfolding Isolt, it makes the moment very intimate. I wondered if the fact that Tristram's chest is naked, might suggest that his heart or feelings are exposed.

Quote:
Originally posted by inanna_tarot
The idea of the fitting pieces of yin and yang spring to mind. Without each other they can just function (for they will always carry a little of eachother in everything they do) but to be at peak performance is when they are together.
I love the idea of yin and yang Sezo! althought they are oposites, they fit perfectly together, and one without the other is just a shape without any meaning. Together they are perfectly balanced, perfectly moulded to each other, and where the one shape retracts, the other fills in, as if making up for what the other lacks. With the yin/yang idea, there's also a feeling of compromise, where the yang protrudes, the yin is inverted and vice-versa.

Quote:
Originally posted by WalesWoman
This is the most romantic 2 of Cups I've ever seen I think, or is it poignant? Definately a card that makes an emotinal impact just to look at it.
I agree whole-heartedly I also think it is the most romantic 2 of Cups. Where others stare into each others eyes, or toast to an agreement, yet remain two separate entities, Tristram and Isolt drink from one bowl and take it one step further in embracing each other - yielding to each other. It seems, as is often the case, that they did not mean for love to happen, at least not between the two of them. It's a pleasant surprise when it does. Masks and logic have been dropped in favour of submitting to emotion and allowing themselves to love and be loved, denouncing anything that may separate them.

Isolt holds the bowl that contained the potion - I think this indicates holding onto what brings two people together in the first place, the commonality, what was shared.



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WalesWoman 
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I just had an idea of what was in that potion, that ???? that makes us fall in love...chemistry. Have you ever tried to explain why you fell in love with someone...it isn't about what they looked like, or how they act or any of that, those things seem to come later.

It's the combination of pheromones and something in our chemical balances that make one person appeal to us or not, for no explainable reason. We can choose who not to love, but who we love isn't that easy to explain. We can come to love someone, based on knowledge, respect and affection, but that "spark", that butterfly feeling that makes you nuts just thinking about that person isn't something we can force or control, it just is.

It's a brain thing, and the yin-yang comes into this as well. The chemical receptors in our brains, that makes one person connect while another may not. I've often thought of it as a puzzle, that until everything fits, it just isn't going to give you the whole, it won't make the picture. So we spend our lives looking for that other puzzle part to make us whole.



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It's ironic that the book says this card can symbolize a 'harmonious domestic life,' when Tristram and Isolt had anything but.

Maybe I've been jaded by Parke Godwin's interpretation of this particular afair (see book: Firelord), but when I think of this story, 'romantic' is not the word that comes to my mind. Tristram and Isolt were a summer fling, for lack of a better phrase. They had a wonderful time on the boat, but after that, Isolt's life becomes hell.

Yes, she might still love him, but is she even old enough to know that? He was one of the first men she ever really knew, and he was kind to her. After her marriage to Tristram's uncle, young Isolt was thrust into a situation where she had two men demanding her affections. She would have been torn in half (metaphorically) by this --- there's a lovely speech about her feelings in Godwin's novel, culminating in her admiting how relieved she was that Tristram was banished because then, at last, she could finally sleep alone some nights, whereas Tristram wastes away, pining for her, drunk half the time and angry the rest. This is the pair that I see in this card, which detracts, I think, from the card's intended meaning. This is the Isolt that I can relate to and understand. An Isolt who never once had a chance at independance until she was freed from the influence of the men in her lives (Tristram's banishment coupled with her husband's aging), though it was the one thing she always wanted.

Isolt is young, and even as she lets Tristram hold her close to him, she stares at the bowl in her hand, maybe regretfully, maybe fearfully, because she knows they've made a mistake in drinking it, in allowing themselves to become as close as they are. Tristram's cloak is yellow, the colour of hope and youth, and it wrapps around her as he perhaps whispers words about how everything will be alright. He is caught up in the idealism of love, in the idea that love conquers all, but she still looks at the bowl.

Neither of them are smiling, though it is this brief time on the boat that both will always remember with bittersweet fondness.

Tristram's hope does not prove in vain, though, even in Godwin's story, for when Tristram dies, Isolt goes to him at last.

For me this card is the hope of new relationships, and the warning that, even if they do end poorly (as so many do) we can't waste away, pining for the might-have-been. Sometimes, things happen with the right people, in the right place, but at the wrong time, and forcing it to work prematurely will only bring misery to both parties.



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