Mary El Tarot - Eight of Cups

Bat Chicken

This is the third lion to appear in the 8’s, only he is a skin only, draped on the head and shoulders of a child bearing the 8 pointed star of Venus and Ishtar and alternately the octagram of creation in the Gnostic tradition. It is also an magical symbol used for protection and invocation in the Norse tradition. Is the child Christ?

I get the sense of the lamb in lion’s clothing. The child protects themselves with the skin of the lion. That reminded me of a Canadian book, by Michael Ondaatje with the title “In the Skin of a Lion”. Apparently Ondaatje named his book from a line in the “Epic of Gilgamesh”, from Tablet 8 of the epic. No coincidence, I am sure!

Gilgamesh cast off his royal robes and replaces them with the skins of a lion and other wild animals and wanders into the night begging the Moon god for a vision after the death of his friend - a more wild man. He leaves behind civilization on as much an inner journey as outer one. He must leave one thing behind to achieve another and his grief is his path to renewal. To see things with the eyes of a child? It is the precursor for a symbolic rebirth – a necessary change.



This was my card of the day today.

This has to be one of my favourite cards. I love the idea of the innocence surrounded by strength and protection, the lion and the lamb. The state or army who protect the weak and vulnerable, those who can be warriors lending their skills to those who's gentle talents lie elsewhere. Maturity protecting the youth.

The Gilgamesh story is interesting. Removing the human trappings of grandure in exchange for the 'power' of his animal allies. This is a very shamanic way of looking at things and in this card it does raise the possibility of the spiritual strength behind each one of us when we are at our must vulnerable.

The other aspect that strikes me is the choice we have to make decisions and actions based on spiritual truths or human truths. In this card we are being shown to surround ourselves in the spiritual truth or honesty and strength that following that truth often requires. Children usually don't see the convoluted reasons behind human actions, they most often see to the core, heart of a matter. Basic common sense without the trappings of greed, fear and political games.


Eight of Cups

A helper comes to visit. She is royalty of some sort and dressed in a lion's skin. She is a protector. She is here to protect us while we journey and to offer wisdom and nurturing. I think of the Empress when I think of this card.

Meanings: Friend. Benefactor. Guidance. Wisdom. Nature. Protection. Nurturing. Strength. Power. Influence.