cosmic tarot, 4 cups


the card

This young man is immersed in his comfort zone, he has no alternetive, and yet he barely has any clothes to cover himself wtih, truly an innocent coming to age. The lotus below him are only now opening, his awarness is only starting to come into being. He has a plate of fruit, wine beside him, a horse is behind him as well, there is a castle just infront of the horizon, thsi is a privilaged man, and yet he looks like his happiness can be shattered at any moments notice, a reminder of the reality of the worlds problesm (5 of pentalces for example). he has no partner (like the 3 of cups) and may fall into an emotional illusion (6 of cups) or tailspin (7 of cups). This man needs someone else to be with or risk becoming the hermit.


I get the impression he has all the alternatives, but either doesn't see them yet or does not know what to do with them. He seems open to it all, waiting what is to come. He could also expect friends, I'd say.


There isn’t much visual parallel between this card and the Thoth version. The water lilies are the only similarity I can find. The title of the card is Luxury and the astrological attribution is Moon in Cancer.

A very good looking but very young man is sitting on a blanket in a pose that emphasizes his physical attractiveness. An elegant carafe of wine and plate of fruit are behind him. There is a white pony in the background.

To spend some time with this young man could be a very enjoyable sensual experience. However it is not one likely to lead to lasting happiness. He is so very young, what would you talk with him about after? And although the house in the background appears luxurious it doesn’t look like the surroundings offer much of interest. So the card seems to be about enjoyment but with the potential to go stale. Pleasure that doesn’t stimulate in a way that leads to growth will eventually become boring.

The Moon (especially I think in this deck) is about our desires and longings as well as the unconscious part of ourselves. The Moon rules Cancer so it should be a good placement. From what I’ve been able to understand of the astrology behind this, the Moon is too comfortable in Cancer and that is where the idea of staleness and boredom comes from. It makes sense even if you look at it as number and element. Water likes to flow and Four is the number of stability, so the Water becomes stagnant.


My view of studying the four of cups in the cosmic deck, If you look at the young man sitting on picnic blanket he has his hand on his head looking down indicting that he has had enough of everything that is on offer around him he has turned his back on the fruits of labour that are laying on the ground behind him.

But on closer inspection of his sitting postion you can make out three triangle shapes made by the placment of his arms and leg a small triangle shape made near his head could it possibly be representing thought, feeling, and emotion and the triangle made by his arm behind is back could that be telling us his feelings of apathy of his mind,body and spirit and the triangle made by his crossed leg with a little bit of fresh green leaves sprouting through the possibility of some room for a fresh prespective if he just reaches over and takes a sip from the cup steming out from the fourth lotus flower.

Showing him thats there's more on offer for him if he just takes the cup looks around at what he has and takes that leap on the horse waiting patiently to ride bare back over the hills up towards the sky and the two flying birds on the right hand side of the card to discover a whole new world, also to the top left of the card there's what looks like either an apple tree or maybe even lemons I can see them as both just depending on which way I'm looking at the card.

If you stare at the young mans sitting postion for long enough you can almost make out the shape of the triskelion symbol from his overall shape and this is just such a short look at the card there is much more going on in this card aswell.


The young man in plenty of luxurious things around him - fine food, fine horse, fine wine, fruiting trees, fine castle in the background. Yet he shows no interest and his cups are not overflowing.

This suggests to me two main things

1. He could be feeling unfulfilled with what he has, he has plenty yet his cups are not over flowing with love and affection. His picnic remains uneaten and he has no company. He looks down in thought - so focused upon his personal feelings that he can not appreciate what is around him.

He has all the physical things he needs except emotion.

2. Alternatively perhaps he has a partner that he is waiting for but is bored with this relationship. He has plentiful things in this world but because he can not find fulfilment in his relationship he can not appreciate what is around him.



He looks down in thought....

...This man needs someone else to be with or risk becoming the hermit....

...he has his hand on his head looking down indicting that he has had enough of everything that is on offer around him..

...He looks down in thought - so focused upon his personal feelings that he can not appreciate what is around him....

I'm looking at his face - his brow is not furrowed and there's a relaxed easy smile.
His focus IS internal - but he looks VERY contented to me.

So I see this card quite differently to others. :)
Our lives are so busy - it's rare that we find ourselves with a moment to just sit in the sun and be with our own thoughts.....
Now THERE's the Luxury!


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I see this card as moment between break and stagnation - before hesitation turns sour - of a person who has many options and lives in the illusion (youth) that this will continue. He weighs his options but from a limited point of view. He can afford right now to dither but soon he'll have to make up his mind and act in accordance with his decision.

There are quite a number of tarot cards that emphasize the difference between outward growth and inner growth. This card focuses inward (Cancer). It shows the promise of letting options come to fruition (is that a word?) and the dangers of waiting too long. Chesed gives the benevolent influence of Jupiter, the steady light, and Moon in Cancer gives the danger of illusions or passivity. For me, the card's essence is that both influences oscillate here. And I really like how Lösche keeps the images open to associations.