Today’s Tarot: Five of Cups (loss, regret, crying over spilled milk and what you can do about it)
The Cups are the suit of the emotions in the deck. Some are fantastic like the Ten (love of family, contentment, joy) and some, not so wonderful. The Five of Cups falls in the less than ideal batch. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we remain steadfastly focused on the negative. We hold on to regrets. We cling to our sadness because it’s what we know. We wrap our sorrow around us like a prickly blanket and we don’t shrug it off because it is either familiar, or it has sapped our energy to such an extent that we can’t even rouse ourselves to take care of ourselves.
That last happens to me because of my thyroid. It’s not an emotional source but the results are the same. I get too fatigued to do the self-care that would make me feel better.
The Five of Cups hearkens something similar. If you get to a place of such sorrow that you can’t lift a hand in your own defense, it’s gone too far. Sure, we can all cry over spilled milk. We’ve all been there and with the possible exception of the Dalai Lama, we’ve all done it. We’ve all hung on to our regrets. And what has it gotten us besides more time spent regretting our actions, our feelings, our thoughts? Really, it hasn’t brought anything new into our lives. We tend to get the feedback that we’ve screwed up pretty quickly. The consequences tend to be immediate or if they aren’t, we still internally sense that something is off. What the Five of Cups tells us is that we are still right in that moment before we say, “screw this,” get up and free ourselves from the binding, cloying parts of our sorrow.
The time we spend regretting what we did or didn’t do, did or didn’t say, did or didn’t think is much better spent on self-care and self-love. It will have a better outcome than any sort of self-flagellation. I read somewhere that depression is anger turned inward. I think that is one of the best definitions of depression that I have ever read. The insidious thing is that depression seduces us into thinking that it belongs in our hearts. And it doesn’t. There is another path, but in the moments when we are saturated with those depressed feelings, we don’t see them.
If you look at the card, the figure is focusing on the cups whose wine has spilled. He is lost in the sadness and regret of whatever happened to turn those cups on their sides. There are two perfectly good and full cups just behind him, but he doesn’t see them. Or, if he did see them at one point, he didn’t and isn’t focusing on them. Whatever good thirst-quenching liquid they contain is lost to him because he can only see the spilled wine.
This brings me to today. Today is a good day to look up, look around, do a handstand and try to see things from a different perspective. If you are finding yourself stuck in a pattern of depression, sadness, or regret, stop, take a moment and count. your. blessings. Everyone gets depressed. Research shows that those who are most successful in life take the depression, deal with it and tell it to go take a hike. They remain positive. They don’t let themselves get sucked into the whirlpool of sadness. One of the best ways to avoid that emotional drain is to keep focusing in on the positives that you haven’t seen or have ignored. They will help you put one foot in front of the other and before you know it, you’ll be walking, skipping, and running toward your bliss.