One of the things I struggled with when learning tarot was the interpretation of the cups. Too many people expect them to be about love or even happiness, and I’ve struggled over time to find the right words to express the much deeper connotations.
For a while I used “joy” as the descriptor, but it goes even deeper than that. And understanding the deeper meaning is key to actually benefiting from tarot readings. Much of what we do in life (one could argue ALL of what we do) is some part of a search – not for happiness or love – but for something much more profound than that.
Of course, part of the problem is that we’ve been indoctrinated by culture to believe that love is a path to happiness, and that happiness at some fairly constant level is possible. Yet those aren’t true. Not for most people, at least. Happiness is temporary and love is not the answer to everything in life.
But that deeper, more profound feeling of being emotionally full and fulfilled can come in many forms from many sources. It can be empowerment. It can be confidence. It can be pride. It can be a sense of belonging or “fit”. It can be accomplishment. It can be security.
If we interpret the cups as love and happiness, though, we may be missing out on lessons and opportunities for something far more. Self-evolution is a process not of reaching happiness or finding love but finding that deeper connection.