Mary El Tarot - The Ace of Cups

Bat Chicken

This card has the look of an angel. The body and head are of a human with, again, the features of both male and female. The element of water is in both the symbols and the cool blue background of the card. The belly has a pool of water further referring to the angel’s element. The water and the face of the Man represent the fixed sign of Aquarius.

The interesting features of this card are the repeated water symbol – there are two here – one on the chest and one on the forehead. I am also curious about the red cloak.

This card is calm and there is no restraint like the lion and the eagle. There is no wildness here. The serpent is held comfortably making me wonder if water, emotional balance is a key to uncomplicated kundalini awakening. Or perhaps the domain of the serpent is only water and earth in the next card, the Ace of Disks. It does not appear in the Wands or Swords cards.

There is a general commentary on the Aces as a group and their commonalities here.



The Ace of Cups seems depressed. I remember one day going to class and one of the students was simply a black hole. When you looked at him, you could almost literally see the deadness in and around him. He had fallen into a familiar depression and got medications that helped.

At first glance this card leaves me feeling flat. Maybe that's where the idea of depression fits in. But upon thinking about it, most people aren't all cheerful, smiley and jubilant all the time and this card represents only the potential.

What I do get from this card is that it's about an internal process. The angel's wings are furled inward in a protective manner. The card feels calm, not gushing.

I think the symbol on the angel's forehead is meant to signify the feminine? Which would fit the suit's usual designation of feminine, passive, and receptive. And there is a duplicate holding the red wrap on the angels chest near where the heart would be and may be an indicator of emotional receptiveness. The first symbol is over the area often spoken of as where the third eye is located and may represent psychic receptiveness.

The red wrap connects to, and is perhaps held in place, by the inverted triangle on the chest. It may allude to the masculine as it also covers the angel's external nether regions.

The snake/serpent confused me, but looking again at the card I see that it's head is directed toward the feminine symbol holding the wrap on the angel's chest, so perhaps it's another masculine symbol. However, the angel is holding it back, keeping it from reaching that symbol.

This may be completely off-topic for this card but it occurred to me that the snake might represent sperm being kept from reaching the egg. No fertilization. No penetration. No sex at all.

ETA: The symbol is the alchemical symbol for water. I don't think knowing that changes anything I've posted above, but I thought I should include the information just in case.


It's been a long time since I've posted anything to the Mary-el study group, but I've rediscovered this deck just today, and wanted to share some thoughts I've had on this card.

The first thing I noticed about this card, was the passive, indirect stare of the angel character in the card. Some people have called him almost vacant looking.
It occurs to me that in the Ace of Cups, we have all the seed and potential of the suit, the idea of something. At this time nothing has true shape or form, feelings exist within all of us, but until our outlook, personality, opinions and our view of the world mould and shape them, they don't truly exist.

I believe this is why the Angel looks so passive. At the moment he is neutral. He is waiting for us to overlay our interpretations onto him, to give feelings form and direction. Water has to be directed. That's what I see the red wrap that winds around him, red to me has always stood for the material world, and, as it's red; our passions. Reality and how we interact with the world is what forms a feeling and gives it direction (in my opinion!). We choose how to feel about a situation. If a person speaks rudely to me, the choice is mine whether I am offended by their behaviour, or whether I let their anger roll over me, and choose to be compassionate, thinking maybe they have had a bad day and are just lashing out. The knowledge the snake will impart when he bites us (he's too small to be a constrictor type!), again will affect our emotions and how we direct them.

I like how the blue egg (?) lies over the belly area. How many times do we describe our intuition as being in this area. I had a gut feeling etc etc etc. I know when I'm feeling nervous or excited I get butterflies or a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. We truly do feel our emotions in this area.

I think in a reading I would look to cards near to this one to look for direction in how or what I'm feeling regarding a matter. This card in itself, does not hint at which direction your feelings lie. The water churns and rolls around our angel, the feeling are there, they are just waiting for us to give a name to them...

I'm really not sure if I have explained myself very well at all here! If anyone reads this and is confused just let me know, and I'll try to articulate myself a bit more clearly! :D