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The Tarot of Eli-Minor Arcana: Thoth- 10 of Cups- Satiety & Gothic Tarot- 10 of Cups

Western Qabalistic, Tantric, and Alchemical Tarot Card Comparisons.

· Gothic Tarot

Thoth- 10 of Cups-Satiety

Lord of Perfected Happiness.

MALKUTH, Earth, is the 10th Sephiroth on the Tree of Life, and is the placement of the 4 Tens.

The 10 OF CUPS is known as SATIETY, and is attributed to Mars in Pisces. Crowley calls this card, The Lord of Perfected Success, as this is the influence of MALKUTH in the unconscious Mental World known as Briah. Satiety, is a word meaning, filled to the point of excess, though it is hard to argue that excessive happiness is a negative thing; However, perfection is the point where transformation ends and no change is permitted. Total Happiness without change is the stuff of "Looney bins".

What is exceptional about this card, is that the general astrological meaning of Mars in Pisces doesn't apply. Pisces is a watery sign, and Mars would signify a dispersal of energy to a point of frustration.

However, the meaning here is that fiery Mars, the god of war, causes the Waters of Pisces to rush furiously into Briah, bringing great excess on the Material plane of Malkuth. The imagery of this card expresses the opinion that all happiness is inspired from above, i.e. comes from the Divine. One could say that Happiness, is a higher-inner state of inner energy consciousness. But it must end so that we can still be challenged to create.

In his letter to Lady Frieda Harris (the artist of the Thoth cards) on December 19,1939, Crowley wrote:

The background; it ought to look menacing. There is something very sinister about this card. It suggests the morbid hunger which springs from surfeit. The craving of a drug addict is the idea. At the same time, of course, it is the final agony of descent into illusion which renders necessary the completion of the circle by awakening the Eld of the All-Father."

This goes along with the Hindu concept that if Shiva in his state as All-Father, is dreaming the universe and if he awakens the universe will cease to exist. This is because Perfection is not of the material worlds, but of the Invisible One.

To be sure, when Tarot is used for public Divination, it is best applied to mundane matters, whereas the meaning may be different if applied to a more spiritual plane. The Placement of the cards, in the reading will clarify this statement.

In ordinary matters, the divined meaning of the Ten of Cups-Satiety: Matters definitely arranged as wished, permanent and lasting success of a physical issue, as it is done and finished. However, beinga 10, this is a short duration card, as 10's are a union of 1 and 0, so from one to zero is the flow of this cards influence. So often one is only satiated and/or overly full for a short period of time, much like the impermanence of a drug, with struggle around the corner. The 10 of Cups, although in the seemingly stable form of the Tree of Life, has a conflicting element that causes a tilting of the Cups, spilling water from the Great Lotus that overhangs the whole system.

This conflict is from Mars in Pisces. Mars is a noted gross, violent force, depicted in Myth as the God of War who attacks any noted perfection. Pisces, is notably peaceful, spiritual, sensitive, psychic, and receptive. Mars is brutal, fiery and dominance surely upsets Pisces.

This combination means that the proper work of Water is done, and a substantial disturbance is due. In fact, Mars in Pisces, is considered by many astrologers to be the worst position of the 12 signs.

Yet, through all this supposed doom and gloom, when this card is thrown during a reading, it means that emotional matters are definitely arranged and settled...for the moment. Pleasure proceeds, to dissipation and fanatical hunger, as energy-in-motion follows the second law of thermodynamics. The message here is," Enjoy the moment of completion, all is done. Sit back, have a "dram", but avoid stagnation, as soon you'll be called on to perform at your best."

10is a number that when added together [1+0 =1), you end up at the beginning. It is the "up the down staircase" number that places us on top of one flight of stairs, only to find out that we are at the bottom of another flight. There are some Tarot readers that forgot this part of the Arcana, and call the Ten of Cups, permanent success, but Qabalists know that the only permanency in this One Energy Universe, is change/transformation. Yet here dances the "Lord of Material Happiness", the tenth Sephiroth, Malkuth and all seems well...but then we know how long happiness in material things lasts in a “not this, not that” world! Soon material consumption becomes a madness on its own.

Gothic Tarot- 10 of Cups

The Gothic Tarot- 10 of Cups, sticks to its multiple vampire bats and one blood cup theme. One might say that the 10 vampire bats are going "batty" over this one cup of blood. The airway around the cup is certainly full of bats and the 10 of cups is about overflowing fullness. Sorry, but that is the best I can do with the gothic imagery of this card.

In ordinary matters, the divined meaning is:

  • Matters definitely arranged as wished, permanent and lasting emotional success on one issue; which will fade into another unsolved issue, as this will wane after great exaltation. This meaning of material success is reinforced if the 10 of Cup's lands on the position of "Beneath you" or "of House and Home", on a Celtic cross layout. In fact, that would be paramount for this card, as it is a 10 of Malkuth (Kingdom) in an Earthly existence position. However, the tilting of the cups shows us that 10s are the end of one issue, and the beginning of the unfathomable new.
  • Emotional fulfillment in intellectual ideas.
  • Search for the path of inner completion. 
  • Optimism. 

If ill defined by the surrounding cards:

  • Bathos.
  • Inner emptiness. 
  • Sentimentality.

Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donation. Your generosity blesses you. May you live long and prosper.

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