How the Two of Cups Can Teach us Self-Loving and Acceptance
Spring is almost over and it is Pride Month, I am very excited. It is starting to heat up almost everywhere, but in San Francisco (especially in my neighborhood) summer means a blanket of fog for a few months. No worries though, I don't mind and I have a few trips planned to escape my little microclimate!
I began anchoring my blogs and newsletters around the Zodiac season and each sign's corresponding Tarot card last year. We are currently in Gemini season, whose card is The Lovers. In addition to my 2021 post on The Lovers, I've also covered this card as it relates to 2022, which is numerologically a Lovers year.
It is important to me to keep my communications with you all fresh and offer something I haven't shared before; however, I don't imagine anyone has memorized my take on the cards, plus I've gained a lot of new subscribers, thank you!
All this is to say that I'm going to depart somewhat from explaining the Major Arcana cards that I've written about previously. I'll have shorter summaries on the cards aligned with the Zodiac seasons and links to past content if you want to go back for more details, but I will be introducing new cards that I haven't discussed in length before.
Also, these blog posts come directly from my newsletters, and I am reposting this a few days after the Full Moon. The content and the ritual can be used any time but if you aren't already signed up for my newsletter, be sure to so you can get these musings as soon as they go out!
Also, your feedback is cherished. Please email me if there are cards, questions or topics you'd like to hear more about!
Gemini, The Two of Cups, and The Lovers
We are still in Gemini season, whose Major Arcana card is The Lovers. The Lovers is all about self-acceptance on a cosmic scale, which can be hard to put into practice. As a Minor Arcana card, the Two of Cups is here to give some gentle and practical instruction on how to receive love in our everyday lives.
And so, we will be anchoring this month’s Full Moon ritual with the Two of Cups to help attract more love.
The constellation Gemini tells the story of twins with different fathers made immortal by Zeus. This story speaks to the inherent duality of being a spirit in a body which is the heart of The Lovers.
Gemini and The Lovers are ruled by the planet Mercury, who is a master communicator and connector. When we are in this energy we are excited by external tangible things, relationships, and transactions.
When most people see The Lovers card, their assumption is normally that it represents a romantic ideal of love. Instead, The Lovers card acts as a mirror to help us integrate our soul’s highest wisdom with our human experience.
In a reading, this can prove challenging. The Lovers once showed up for a client with career concerns. She was quick to jump in with her assurance that it meant her boyfriend would propose and take care of her so wouldn’t need to worry about the promotion she felt she deserved.
Whenever we think that it is someone, something, or some external situation that needs to change in order for us to find peace, that is when The Lovers steps in to say, “No my love, you are the gift.”
It is always our internal orientation that we see manifested in the external, not the reverse.
We live in a world that wants us to believe that we need to do to be.
This is the playground of the ego.
“I need to do my homework to get into college to get a good job to make enough money to be happy.” This line of thinking inevitably leads to comparison. “Ted is able to sit down and focus in a way that I just can’t. If only I could get better at studying, then I might be able to enjoy school.”
Most of us got the message from some figure of authority, “If you would just behave the way that I want you to, I wouldn’t have to be so hard on you.” And if miraculously you avoided that language from others, I think we all carry a voice that says, “The only reason you’re getting approval, is that I’m here to push you.”
I recently got to spend some time with my friend's twins (coincidence?) who are 11, and about to turn 12. As a fun exercise, I asked them what advice they would give an 8-year-old. This sweet little boy said, "Be yourself, but not too much." His sister agreed. My heart sank. I remember hearing that advice my entire childhood and I wanted so desperately to learn how to follow it.
When I pressed this boy as to why younger kids should learn this, he said that it was because, "Not everyone will like you, so you have to tone yourself down." This kid logic is what drives most of our adult fearful behavior patterns. The threat of social exile is so real in sixth grade, and we are hard-wired for love and connection, so to make meaning, we identify what parts of ourselves we will exile instead.
Brene Brown's research on shame is useful in understanding the duality of Gemini and The Lovers:
“Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for belonging but often barriers to it.
Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance... No matter how separated we are by what we think and believe, we are part of the same spiritual story.”
The Lovers is here to remind us that we can never be in exile from our highest selves, and our highest self is not some 'better version' of who we are today. Whatever qualities we label as 'too much' become our evil twins, receiving the blame for any and all disappointment.
The work of The Lovers is to reintegrate our whole selves and it is the Two of Cups that can show us how.
In the Two of Cups, we see a maiden and a youth before a pastoral background. They stand beneath a winged lion head, which is atop the snakes of a caduceus. Both excitement and fear are in their expressions. The Cups are ruled by water and represent our heart center, our feelings, and our emotions. Carrying water requires a vessel. We cannot hold more water than our vessel will contain. As we add more cups, our ability to give and receive grows. While this card can certainly pertain to a romantic relationship, that is only a fraction of its truth. We all know how scary a first date can be, so it's easy to digest this card within that narrative; however, the truth of this card is that The only limitation on the volume of love we can attract is how much self-acceptance we bring to ourselves. It takes courage to stay present when we are in the experience of fear and self-criticism. The Two of Cups is here to demonstrate how to take the first step towards the grander message of The Lovers. The Two of Cups says, "All your feelings and all your parts are valid."
My personal 'evil twin' shows up in the form of a math block. I have a ton of shame in my inability to do mental math and a lot of stories that tell me I would be better able to accept myself if I could only 'get' numbers. Zahara Efan is a teacher of mine who specializes in helping women and their relationships with finances. When she challenged me to embrace my anger toward math and all the crappy math teachers I had to endure, it was a revelation. She mirrored back to me that I am brilliant creative and artistic, and that no part of me could ever be devalued, diminished, or improved by memorizing multiplication tables. This is the Two of Cups in action. It in this work we become vulnerable enough to embrace the parts of ourselves that we wish we could remove. When we release the pressure we put on ourselves to be better, to be other than exactly who we are today, then we can receive more love. This is the antidote to shame and the elixir of attraction.
June's Full Moon
Farmers Almanac calls this the "Strawberry Moon" which can lend your practice some extra sweetness. This will also be a Supermoon, meaning it will appear larger than usual because of its closer proximity to us.
In order to work with the Two of Cups and this Supermoon, we will be making Moon Water. The Moon was at its peak early this morning, so you will see it at 98% tonight. You can make Moon water any time, but a Full Moon is best.
Moon water is exactly as it sounds, water that is left out to absorb the energy of the Full Moon. Water is receptive by nature and will hold onto the energy of the Moon and your intentions.
Find a clear vessel that you can cover. A glass jar with a glass lid is ideal, but plastic wrap will also work. You don't want any bugs finding their way into your water, but you also do not want to block the moonbeams. Next, take some time to set your intention. What is the part of yourself that you would rather cut away and ignore than get curious about and accept? Remember that there isn't some better version of you out there that deserves love. You are complete and completely deserving of your own love, just as you are in this moment, and always. When you feel ready to open into the curiosity of that self-acceptance, fill your container with purified water. When we are in deep observation, we can become fascinated with the enoughness of every moment. Just as water is perfect in all its shapes, so too are you. Exactly as you are. If you want, you can add a crystal, like quartz or amethyst to your water to be charged. Place the container outside under the Moonlight, or on a windowsill where it can gather the light. If you want to keep the energy of the Moon water pure, you'll want to bring it inside and transfer it into an opaque thermos before sunrise. If you forget and your water receives sunlight, it's okay, it will become celestial water instead. Remember, the purpose of this work is to embrace what is, exactly as is - perfect. Between the Full Moon and the Summer Solstice next Tuesday (or any time), keep your Moon water nearby. Try to bring awareness to your thoughts and when you notice the invitation to self-criticize, know it is actually a call for love and acceptance. Quench your thirst for more love with your Moon water.
I am sending out all the feels for you as you move forward in this brave work of The Lovers and the Two of Cups. I cherish your feedback, questions, and ideas, so please don't hesitate to reach out! xoxo Meredyth