Robin Wood Tarot - 8 of Cups

Little Baron

Got this card as tomorrows draw so thought I would throw out what I already thought about it.

This has become the ‘Andrea’ card for me. Eight cups are stacked up. A man walks away from them. He holds a long staff and his red cape flows behind him. The landscape ahead of him is rocky and covered in mist. He is leaving what appears to be ordered, in favour of a lifestyle that seems to be a little vague and unsure.

When I was working in my last job, this card came up as a daily draw and I couldn’t understand what it might mean. I was certain that it predicted my leaving the company that day; that something was going to be wrong with my work and I would be called into an office and asked to pack up my stuff and leave. I was pretty much convinced that it was going to happen and I told my friend and colleague, Andrea, that morning. She said 'well, it might be me .. I have been offered a new job’. I considered the idea and even though it seemed plausible, I was stuck on the fact that it was a daily draw. I reminded her that she would have to give notice and that the card predicted that whoever was going to leave, would be doing it that day.

That afternoon, Andrea handed her notice in to our boss. Neither liked each other, if they were honest, so I imagine that she was as happy to see an end to their working relationship, as much as Andrea was looking forward to leaving. When it came to 5 o’clock, one of the women came up from Human Resources. My boss told Andrea that she had to clear her desk straight away as they were putting her on gardening leave. In other words, this was her last day working for the company. It was only after an hour or so later, after I had gotten over the shock that Andrea had left, that I remembered the predictive ‘8 of Cups’.

I still see Andrea walking away from the cups when I look at this card - from whatever RWS inspired pack I am using. As much as she wanted to leave and did put on a brave face, I could tell that she was upset by what had happened. It was an emotional leaving. Even though she knew that she had a new and better job to go to, the future was still a little misty (the man leaves the lush green grass, as he hobbles over the dark grey rocks - in some situations, this might mean cutting your nose off, despite your face, even though it did not for her).
The organised cups, for me, represent packing everything up, making a clean break and moving on - for good. It might also be leaving what you know in favour of a little mystery and unpredictability. Two sets of ‘four’, after all, is very claustrophobic - especially for water, so it might suggest a need to travel lighter and more spontaneously than before. As an exit, I think of this one as being quite dramatic and emotional. For me, this appears to be one where you are NOT coming back.

Leaving an unsatisfactory situation and moving onto something new
Break loose and try something different
Pursuing something more satisfying
Seeking more meaning in your life

When reversed:
Refusing to move on
Maybe you want to give something one last shot before casting it aside
Trouble with letting go
Regret of leaving a relationship or situation

Any more ideas?



Personnally, I see this card as having finished a task and moving on to something else. I think it doesn't just limit to the workplace. When I see the stacking of cups, I think of my personnal projects (mostly writing)

Little Baron

annik said:
I think it doesn't just limit to the workplace

Me neither. That was just an example of how it has worked into my daily draws, and accentuates the finality of the person's 'leaving'. But of course, it could represent leaving anything of order or stability - emotional or otherwise.



When I usually get this card, I get the feeling that the guy is leaving something known, (this could be a stable income or something of worth) to travel something unknown. He is leaving the comforts behind to seek something more and could be something difficult but most likely meaning more to the seeker... Or at least thats what I get when I pull this card. I get this card alot. It usually shows that Im not interest in the money where I am at or the stability but am seeking something worth more to me and it may seem like difficult journey but I'm well on my path.... Figure everyone views it differently I guess....


Little Baron

I see it very much like you do.

It is almost taking the less traveled path in the hope of being enlightened. There are no guarantees that you will. But you know that you need to change direction, so you just trust and make that move.



The examples that you all have given (mostly) pertain to leaving or finishing work or projects and moving on.

These are good examples, but I wonder if the card speaks more closely to the emotional departure (being it's a Cup) of leaving whatever behind.

I guess the distinction I'm trying to make is that the element this "leaving behind" is talking about is how it affects someone emotionally. You can finish up a project and move on to the next without feeling the effects of the Eight of Cups. But I'm thinking that when this Eight comes to bear is when you walk away from something in which you are or have been [very] emotionally invested, and that is more of what this card's connection it is talking about.

And, of course, it goes without saying that this card also talks about walking away from a romance or relationship that isn't move on to something or someone better (whether or not you understand or realize that the next one will be better).

I see a little bit of a leap of faith element to the Eight of Cups, too...moving on to the unknown in one's quest or journey.


Definately a leap of faith card... well said starrystarrynight. It has alot to do with faith.. and it could go with anything I guess that we experience whether it be emotional, spiritual or in the physical. The main thing I see is leaving something that may be secure or seem secure to further journey forward... And all this is with the card right side up. ( I don't work with reversals right now.) Is there anyone that sees this as a bad thing right side up? (This being said since I get this card 85% of the time for myself)



I also draw this card a lot and I think overall it is may favourite card (not just in this deck). I agree akadafool, I think it's about leaving the known and moving to the unknown. So there is an element of risk I suppose. But at the same time, as a Sagittarian, I see it as an exciting card. It's like you have an opportunity to leave the stability and head off to the unknown.

I remember when I first travelled overseas. I felt so excited about leaving behind all the bording, mundane stuff and although I had no idea what to expect I just had a sense that the world was waiting for me, and that whatever I experienced would help me to grow. That's the sense I get from this card whenever it comes up for me. (Maybe it's just been too long between adventures in my little world).


Eight of Cups

But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well something's lost, but something's gained
In living every day
Both Sides Now ~ Joni Mitchell

Yesterday I quoted from Joni Mitchell's tune, "Both Sides Now," for the Seven of Cups. Today, further on in the song, the words also apply to the "Eight of Cups." I love, love, love, this card; especially Robin's version of it. To me, it speaks, in particular, of my own adult life's journey...not always easy, but definitely never a dull moment. In order for one to move forward, sometimes it's imperative to let go of what is no longer working in one's life. THAT'S often the message I get when the Eight of Cups comes up, especially in my own personal readings...very freeing, very exciting, sometimes scary, tho' always and forever interesting. Robin, herself, wrote that the card's key words are, "Enough of This!" It's a card that can give the needed boost to move on; live and let live; even unto beginning again.

Robin's "Eight of Cups" is a very beautiful in color and meaning. The evening seems enchanted; with the misty (and mysterious) "mountains of enlightenment" looming ahead of the figure as he makes his way on foot into the depths of the night, while the "full moon [is] held in the arms of the old." The moon is like a faithful companion; always there; lighting the still-virgin path leading to new experiences. And yet, because it's moonlight, what's to come might not be as clearly lit as it would be in the brilliant rays of the sun. Perhaps the querent knows he has to move on, but is unsure of where the new path(s) will take him or how exactly he should even proceed. The Eight of Cups is a nudge to trust one's own intuition; to put fear behind and rely on one's own gut feelings.

Timing for decisions of leaving aspects of the old life behind and for moving on to new horizons is crucial. If the Eight of Cups shows up reversed, perhaps the timing is off just now. Maybe more deep and critical thinking is necessary to insure success for the future. A reversed card could even mean to stay least for new, unforeseen, developments could change the whole situation being presently looked at.

Upright, the Eight of Cups could represent a general search for truth and deeper purpose in life. It doesn't necessarily have to mean you have to up and leave everything that came before, but perhaps it does alert one that there is more to explore in life and that it's time to STOP stagnation and apathy and be open to fresh, new ideas that will stimulate growth. That said, the Eight of Cups could actually hint that a physical change is change of job, change of relationship(s); change of location; change of priorities; change of lifestyle; change of behavior(s)/emotion(s); etc. I've seen this card show up when a trip for the querent was in the offing, as well.


I see the card the same way as what you all said... but there's one more thing I read into it sometimes as well:

I tend to notice that gap on the top row where a cup should have been but isn't. It makes me wonder... was it never there to begin with? Maybe he's leaving to search for it- for something to complete him, so to speak. Or was it there before but now gone? (Possible with the arrangement of the cups and how the position is "in-between") If so, maybe he's searching for what he feels is missing.

Yes, he may be leaving things behind... things that are important, emotionally invested, and so on... but perhaps he does it in hopes of finding something better out there, something that will fulfill him in such a way that those 8 cups with "one missing" couldn't.