Tarot of Prague Café Club Eight of Cups

Bean Feasa

The woman in this card cuts a striking figure in her colourful robes. She stands out against the card's streetscape, barefoot in her exotic plumage. Is this why she has to leave it all behind? Is she looking for somewhere, some place or situation or way of life, or even set of beliefs where she will fit in naturally, where her clothes or lifestyle won't seem out of place?
For some reason the light in the card strikes me as morning light - that pale blue that comes just after dawn. So is that moon a cold, early-morning slice of moon? The day of departure has dawned and she's been forced to recognise this and act accordingly.
The neatness of the six soldierly cups left standing on the steps behind tells us she tried hard to make this place, this situation, work, tried to tidy it up, keep it upright, make it all look good. But the fallen cup and the one she still holds seem to imply she's just been struck by the realisation that it just isn't working out and that she has no choice but to move on.
As the book points out the woman is sombre but not necessarily unhappy. I would go so far as to say there's even a hint of relief about her. She's already almost forgotten the final cup she holds in her hand - somehow I imagine she's just about to drop it - as she looks off to her left, to a new day and a new direction altogether.


Hi everyone,

This card is haunting isn't it? The more I look at it, the more I see in it. She looks to me like she was working her way up the steps and then quite suddenly thought, I've had enough and took a change in direction. She takes one cup with her, so maybe she is exploring the one, herself. As her head is covered, could it be that she is trying to block something out, or is she keeping her thoughts to herself? This could tie in with the moon which inicates an inner awareness. Also her multi-coloured attire becomes a purple colour inside. Is this significant? Is she searching for something on a deeper level? Why is she barefoot when her clothes appear to be so rich? The way her scarf is wrapped around her neck brings another phrase to mind. Perhaps she is wrapping something up, a project, or phase of her life. I often hear the phrase 'lets wrap it up', meaning finish it off. The shutters and doors are down in some of the buildings, which is a good 'catchphrase'. She also faces toward the wall, perhaps she came up against an obstacle that was too difficult for her to overcome.

I like this card very much, so much just came to mind when I really started to look at it. Thoughts anyone?

J :)


Yes, I also love this card. I think it most often deals with the bringing of something difficult into consciousness and then dealing with it. The woman is warmly dressed but has bare feet. I think this indicates that she has had an unexpected revelation. The presence of the New Moon augments this for me. The bare feet represent a kind of innocence and vulnerability at the same time. It is as if one has been surprised by the revelation and has left to deal with it, forgetting to put on the shoes. New shoes might be necessary - a new way of doing things.

Notice how mute, clean and ordered the buildings are? And the Cups all neatly lined up? But all is not as it should be. One Cup has fallen over – perhaps it was just a little thing that sparked the realization – And the woman is walking away with quietly determined energy. The vibrant orange and blue show me this energy.

There is a recurrent dream I have so like this. The environment is so bleak and cold. There are no other people around and there never will be. It’s not a good dream. I love the way this woman is walking towards something else, and the decision enlivens her – see the light of the orange robe reflected in her face?


Bean Feasa

Hi Jewel-ry, and Moongold,
Thanks for your replies. Jewel-ry I like your idea that she was actually 'working her way up the steps' when she realised she'd had enough, and sure enough, when I look again I can detect that kind of turnabout in her stance.
And Moongold, when you said that the 8 Cups 'most often deals with the bringing of something difficult into consciousness and then dealing with it' that gives me an added slant on the 8 of Cups in general, not just in the ToP. I had been thinking of it more in terms of making a conscious decision to move on, rationally counting the cups and finding them wanting, so to speak. But I think the idea of something surfacing from the unconscious and compelling a change of heart is much more powerful, so thanks for that.
The barefoot-though-beautifully-clothed-paradox is haunting all of us. It adds to the feeling the clothes themselves give me that she is in touch with something deeper, aware that there is something beyond the workaday streets and buildings, and she is determined to find and connect with it. I don't know if you've read 'Women Who Run with the Wolves' but in that book Clarissa Pinkola-Estes, the author, talks to an old woman who has gone barefoot all her life, and been so deeply connected with the earth and with life in general through the soles of her feet that she is horrified at the idea of wearing shoes - she thinks of it as 'blinding' her feet. So I think the bare feet, which we might normally see as a sign of poverty, may in fact hint at richness of spirit.
That's my tuppence-worth anyway :),


The bare feet were something we liked about the original painting that this is based on. We actually emphasised the richness of the colouring of the clothes - though in the original they are quite bright - and we liked the contrast of rich clothing and bare feet.

There is a humbleness and a connection with the earth about this woman, but also a determination and independence.

The building you can see (the only with dark red and white sgraffito work) is actually a convent. It is a very strange building altogether. I once saw a young woman at a window there pacing backwards and forwards for some hours. Each time as she got to the window she would fling out her arm, only to withdraw it. This movement was repeated dozens, if not hundreds of times. It was so upsetting that in the end I had to move so as not to be able to see her. She looked like someone torn between wanting to escape and wanting to stay.
We've seen several odd events at this building (our terrace looks right on to it) and there is sometimes a dream-like quality about them. It has the reputation as the most haunted building in Prague, but I somehow think it's haunted by dreams and imaginings, rather than "ghosts".
I should say that this isn't about convents - in total contrast, we also look on to another convent from our other window (and on to the Strahov Monastery from a third! lol) and there the nuns just seem jolly and engaged - busy gardening, feeding their chickens, working in the adjacent hospital, playing sports, chatting etc. Quite different.

Anyway, I think all this was going on in my mind when I decided to set the card on these steps (this is one card in which I chose the setting - usually it is more of a joint decision). I like the calmness and confidence and groundedness with which this woman is making her decision. Other people might call her silly - she appears to be walking away from a lot. But she knows what she is doing. Any turmoil and indecision is in the past - now she is on her way...

Bean Feasa

Wow baba-prague! Thanks - you've made the card seem even more haunting. I love eerie atmospheres, they always seem to hint at some deeper ungrasped meaning. Very appropriate for a Tarot card.


Have to keep on stepping!

This version of the card brings the meaning of the 8 of Cups to us clearly, I think. There is the need/desire to leave something, i.e., people, places, things behind; habits, ways of thinking that have become outmoded, the past, etc. Familiar and even somewhat comforting in their familiarity, they must go or rather she must go away from them.

The woman in the card is NOT A HAPPY CAMPER, if her face does not depict sadness then I don't know what it does relay. But, but, if I look very closely, I think that I can see a glimmer of hope and expectation and faintly a hint of the excitement she feels her "change" will bring about. Oh, she is definitely ready to take the plunge and be "somewhere else" doing "something else;" she's dressed for the occasion. She intends to arrive at her destination "looking more suited to the part," the new role she will be playing in her life. She doesn't want anyone seeing her to associate her with her past upon first observation (and she intends to keep it that way). Her clothes are colorful, nothing bleak, she does not intend to hide away; she is ready to stand out, be bold in what she is embarking upon. When she arrives she will remove the scarf covering and hold her head up high.

Did she awake while others slept, to slip quietly out and away forever (because she will not be returning) from an abusive relationship/spouse? Did she put years of her life into a particular career only to realize that she is not happy and must make a change? Are the 7 Cups on the stairs representive of time put into a job/marriage/relationship? She will have to cut her losses. Who or what do the 7 Cups on the stairs represent? If there are people involved, such as loved ones (family) 6 will be just fine. Perhaps, the 7th represents someone who will be really hurt, who will experience the sense of loss at her departing with more devastation, as opposed to the others. They will miss her, perhaps, but life will simply go on for them, they will fall back into routine, they know their roles well.

How many times has she stood at the top of those stairs that lead away from what is familiar, but, has become too much of a burden, thinking of what she must do and trying to muster the courage to do it; weighing the known against the unknown.

I heard someone say once that she would rather stay with the devil she knows than risk getting involved with a "new devil." She was speaking of her husband and things were not good, to say the least. Unlike our lady, she did not want to risk the unfamiliar.

The very important Cup that she is still holding is the part of her past that she will take with her. You can never sever yourself completely from an experience deeply felt; it remains with you and is a part of you, regardless. It is what you do with that experience, however, what you learn from it, the perspective you place it in that determines its value in your future. She is carrying her "life lesson" from the situation she is leaving behind. I don't think she is going to drop that Cup - she can't and I think she knows that.

Even with the death of a loved one, we leave them behind physically, but, in spite of overwhelming grief, we carry them (their memory) with us in our hearts. We continue with them - we can NEVER sever ourselves from them. No, she is definitely taking this Cup with her. It will be of use to her later.

She realizes that she is the sum total not just of her experiences, but, with what she CHOOSES TO DO with those experiences. This woman is brave, her heart is heavy (for now) but, she is LOOKING FORWARD to joy, a sense of freedom, new friends, and most of all to meet her new self.

I am SO PROUD of her as she takes that last step. You go, girl!! :D

There is so much that comes forth from this card, thanks again, Karen and Alex.



It is quite a beautiful card! We can truly feel she is between two state. She is thinking and it is really looking as a not very pleasant/good situation to her. Like all change, it is not always happy. There is always a little hint of sadness.