The Four of Cups and Emotional Well-being

This period rules over The Emperor, card no. 4 of the tarot. I love that number, it feels safe and cozy. But this energy can feel restrictive, too. Ah, such is stability. The 4 of Cups, pictured, can be an aspect of The Emperor. The 4oC can mean sadness, pessimism, depression, moroseness, failing to see the good that’s here. It is commonly explained by the idea that water that cannot run its course, that is stopped and pooled, becomes stale and starts to stink. This is because Cups are ruled by water (our emotions, subconscious, and interrelatedness); and 4’s are the numbers of stability and squaring. I pulled this card while hiking by that snowmelt desert oasis creek seen in the image. The Wooden Tarot illustrates that card with a single image: a putrefying or drying rose. Interestingly, this goes so well with what that creek represents, because for many months yearly this creek dries up to a little stream, with much of the vegetation around it drying up or rotting. This card is a call to let the water flow in the heart, so that it may feed all the little streams within. It is about crying when the emotions are stored; about really releasing when there is a lump in the throat. It is about letting our walls down for a little bit, and feeling vulnerable yet safe to surrender our accumulated worries and anger and disappointments onto the currents of life. It is about getting to know our bodies, subtle and physical, and letting the thoughts and emotions of each day through and out, rather than blocking them halfway in in an effort of self-preservation that ends up crystallizing the pain in the heart. When you hear something that upsets you, or see something unpleasant, or think something sad or disturbing, have you tried letting it through and out? This mindfulness practice helps keep our inner creek from being dammed and drying up. It keeps our soul’s flora vibrant and alive, contributing to a sustainable sense of well-being and inner peace. What feels lodged in that heart of yours in this moment? Can it be dislodged with a good cry; with acknowledgement and release; with surrender to the importance of its message? Be well, luminous one. Take good care of your tender heart.