By Sarah Taylor
This week’s tarot reading — the final one using the Xultun Tarot deck before I move on to a new deck next week — is a simple one. It is all minor arcana, which means it deals more with external events than internal processes. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that ‘simple’ means insignificant. Every moment is an act of self-definition, and this is no exception. It will feed into larger, soul-based themes; it is a proving ground for your own evolution.
The first card that I laid down, as per a clear instruction from my intuition, was the middle card — the Five of Cups. This feels like the pivotal card. It is being emphasised. It is a watershed moment.
The Xultun version of the Five of Cups is not so different from its Rider-Waite Smith counterpart that you cannot see the same theme to the story being woven. The figure in the card stands facing a small temple, arms crossed, head bowed, a look of defeat on her face. This defeat seems to be mirrored in the glyph enclosed in brick-red rock under her feet. There is sorrow, but not one where there is an ‘opening to’ the pain of the situation. Here, there is a ‘closing off’, a disavowal.
The Mayan temple might be in the distance — hence its being smaller — but what feels more important, making allowances for perspective aside, is that it is dwarfed by the figure. There is a contraction of Spirit in that moment that she closes her arms around herself, closes her eyes — a decision not to look. Cups are feelings and here three are spilled. Perhaps there is a feeling of disillusionment, of not wanting to do this anymore. The atmosphere feels futile — punitive, even. “Why me?” “What did I do to deserve this?” “Why can’t I get a break for once?”
What she is doing is punishing herself. She is ostraciser; she ostracises herself. It is her decision to view her circumstances as a deliberate hindrance. It is her choice to act on that misunderstanding by shutting down. And in that moment of shutting down, she cuts herself off from the divine. She is, in essence, starving herself.
And for what? Because if she were only to look in a different direction, she would see something entirely different: two cups waiting for her, evocative of the Two of Cups: love as it is expressed in this world of opposites. And perhaps it is just as well those other three cups have been upended. What was in them needed to be spilled. It might have felt like blood was being spilled, but it was poison being released. The temple in the background asked for its sacrifice, yes. But in that moment of lost insight, she didn’t consider this possibility: it wasn’t her blood that it wanted; it was asking her to relinquish something that no longer sustained her. And so she has. All it asks from her now is to open her eyes and correct her vision.
Something offered itself to her. It seemed viable, and yet somehow was off-kilter. Look at the expression on the Servant of Jades’ (Knight of Pentacles) face. His eyes are open, and yet he seems deeply burdened. Yet there is nothing obvious that is burdening him. Outer appearances hide something that troubles, only betrayed by his lowered eyelid and the downward turn of his mouth. Funny too: there seem to be two Suns in this picture, but they are both subterranean. There is a mystery at the heart of this card, a contradiction, and the logical focus is on loss because nothing else seems to make sense. Both figures face each other, the cups spilled between them. Something went awry in spite of intent.
Or did it?
Because the gift here is not the Servant: it is the jade that he holds out to the figure in the Five of Cups. That jade is the pathway to the final card, the Eight of Jades. In the Eight, the figure has taken the jade — has, to all intents and purposes, turned around to change perspective — and is actively working with it. She has turned away from the three cups and towards the two remaining cups — what was worth conserving — and the energies are flowing again.
Back to the drawing board. But it is a new and improved drawing board, with more information, more resources, and an opportunity to acquire skills and abilities that will prove valuable and which will generate returns.
A situation has given you something. It might ask you to see it differently; it might ask you to look at what you have not been seeing. But it is a nugget of gold in the making. Identify it, take it, use it. Don’t close yourself off to your connection to a higher wisdom. Open yourself to the possibility that anything lost was lost for your better interests. It was something you could drop. You no longer needed it. What you have within your grasp will free you up to do your own Great Work. It is time to forge ahead. Just remember to keep your eyes, and your heart, open.
Astrology correspondences: Servant of Jades (Capricorn), Five of Cups (Scorpio, Neptune), Eight of Jades (Pisces and perhaps Taurus).
Click here if you’re interested in purchasing the Xultun Maya Tarot deck.
If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.