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Embracing Miracles with the Ten of Cups

Double Rainbow
Photo by Typhaine Braz on Unsplash

To help you get into a Ten of Cups vibe as you enjoy this post, check out the very sunny and rainbow colored playlist here.


When I first started learning the Tarot, I understood the Ten of Cups as the 'happily ever after' card. And what's not to like about happily ever after? Nothing, except that it's a fairy tale.

If we turn to the Tarot as a tool for predictions, it's easy to interpret the Ten of Cups as a sign that everything will work out great. The problem with that kind of interpretation is that it keeps the pot of gold happiness in an ever-elusive mirage someday in the future.

The truth of the Ten of Cups is actually more radical and more accessible than any fairy tale ending. The Ten of Cups is a reminder that when we awaken fully to our true selves, we awaken to a happiness that is ever-present.

The Ten of Cups

Ten of Cups Tarot Card
The Ten of Cups in The Smith Rider Waite

In the Smith Rider Waite deck, the Ten of Cups is a portrait of harmony. A happy couple stands in an embrace, arms outstretched to a beautiful rainbow. There are two children who are happily playing, enjoying themselves completely in the present moment. The rainbow above is filled with ten radiant full cups.

The element of the Cups suit is water and the Cups represent our feelings, our heart centers. The Tens of the Tarot represent a completion and an expansion. We've traveled from Ace to Ten and are about to graduate into the Court Cards. We can think of the Tens like a Full Moon, or a fruit that is over-ripe and ready to fall. Or in this case, a state of overflow.

And that is really the lesson that the Cups offer - how can we come to life from a state of overflow.

In the Ace of Cups we witness that overflow, and when we come to the Ten of Cups we know how to experience it.

We've all been offered a model of love that equates to sacrifice.

We often learn this from our mothers. What is the best thing a woman can be? A wife and a mother? What is the best thing a wife and a mother can be? So self-sacrificing, so selfless. And we know that model is horseshit because we have received sacrifice love from our mothers, and we didn't like it!

Yet, what do we do to show the people we cherish the most in the world how much we care? "Look how miserable I am! Look how much I have sacrificed for you and the world. Why isn't my misery making you happy?!"

The Cups teach us that if we want to give from a state of overflow, our receiving game has to be as good or better thank our giving game.

When I first arrived on my own path of healing, all I had to explain my suffering was a mantra that "It is in giving that we receive". It wasn't until my teacher Maureen Whitehouse refected back to me, "Sure Meredyth, that can be true, but you aren't receiving anything!"

I couldn't argue. She was right.

When I first interpreted the Ten of Cups, I thought it might be a wedding day, or some significant milestone in life. The truth of the Ten of Cups is that we don't need to wait until our wedding day to feel like we're overflowing with love, it's possible every day!

When we see a rainbow, we stop and take notice. Rainbows are beautiful, and surprising. Even and especially in places like Hawaii and Ireland, rainbows are celebrated in songs and poems. We feel lucky when we see a rainbow.

That lucky rainbow feeling is absolutely possible for us to experience every day. When we are on the lookout for miracles all the time, we begin to see them every day. That is the experience of coming from a state of overflow means. We awaken fully to the miracle of our own selves.

If you've never seen this video of the Yosemite camper who tries to capture that rainbow miracle feeling, or if it's been a while, check it out above!

You can tell in this video that here is someone who is actually in a state that understands what "It is in giving that we receive" really means - there is no effort or sacrifice!

Though rainbows don't last very long, we aren't crestfallen when they disappear. And as Dolly Parton said it best, we know that, "If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain!"

For today, this first day of spring, I'd like you to invite to experience the miracle that you are by seeing the overflow of belonging that exists all around us.

You don't need a special occasion, a double rainbow, or even clear skies to stop and look up. The bulbs that were dormant are starting to bloom. The days are getting longer than the nights. And all of it, including and especially you, are miraculous.

Your sacrifice isn't what gives you meaning or purpose. Your purpose is to awaken to the fulfillment and joy of your inherent being.

I'll leave you with a favorite quote of mine from Kurt Vonnegut:

“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is."

Double Rainbow
Photo by Jared Erondu on Unsplash


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