The Babylonian Tarot- 8 of Cups-Neglect, shows another form of the the Epic of Gilgamesh. Here, after a long and arduous quest, Gilgamesh's journey takes him to his ancestor, the Babylonian Noah, Utnapishtim. His ancestor tells Gilgamesh of the Great Flood, and how all humanity was destroyed except of Utnapishtim and his wife, whom the gods made immortal. Gilgamesh, who could not accept his own mortality, queried the Ancestor on his own need to be immortal. Utnapishtim, taking pity on him, told Gilgamesh of a certain plant, that when eaten, would make him immortal. However, it was at the bottom of the sea. Therefore, Gilgamesh dove to the bottom of the sea to get the plant. Being successful, he journeys back to the City of Uruk and before entering the City, he takes a bath in a pool of water were a snake attracted to the plant, carries it off and eats it. By neglecting the plant, Gilgamesh had lost his chance to become immortal.
All the above story is shown on the card, along with 8 fluted cups sinking to the bottom. Below the figure is the cuneiform symbols for the number 8.
The divination meaning of this Babylonian Tarot card implies:
- Success abandoned.
- Happiness, security, and stability are deliberately left behind.
- Disillusion with things that once were thought to bring happiness.
- A quest for growth.
- Time to leave has not yet arrived.
- Clinging to an outmoded situation.
- Run from, rather than solving problems.
The Thoth 8 of Cups is called- Indolence and/or The Lord of Abandoned Success.
Attributed to this card is Saturn in Pisces. The Angels of the Decan: Vabaliah and Yeshivah.
Here, Hod is in Briah, the Mental World.
To reiterate, Hod, the 8th Sephiroth called Splendor, is the concrete mind; however, with Saturn in Pisces the 8 of Cups, being a Water sign doesn't balance Saturn's energy well.
With Saturn in a water sign, a certain amount of introspection, manifests as disinterest with material conditions. The effect, is discontent or a decline in interest in anything. Thus, one's tendency is to abandon success.
The interpretation of the 8 of Cups, is based on the fact that Pisces, is calm and stagnant water that is completely deadened by the heavy influences of Saturn. We know Water, is the Element of consciousness, so what is going on within one is a deadening of interest, a complete lack of wonder.
As previously stated: Here, Hod is in Briah, the Mental World. To reiterate, Hod is the concrete mind; However, with Saturn, which is Grandfather Time, in Pisces the 8 of Cups, being a Water sign doesn't balance Saturn's leadened energy well. Therefore, the lotuses of enlightenment droop, for lack of sun or rain. The Sea of mind has become little stagnant pools, in poisoned soil. All the cups are old and broken, symbolizing "an old and worn out" way of thinking. The Sun of Spirit, is a pallid yellowish light barely shining through the leaden clouds of indigo. Therefore the 8 of cups implies that the mind and emotions on autopilot; thought process is not conducive to expanding and liberating the Life of the person into the eternal Now. The blood in the body is moving like molasses. This person needs stimulation!
Not my favorite card, but this dullness of mind, is often necessary to warn us that it is time to evaluate our feelings! For, feelings are an illusion of knowledge, whereas true knowledge is made manifest as Form.
When the 8 of Cups or is thrown during a reading the querent may be experiencing:
- Exhaustion, being overly tired, drain and dull emotionally.
- There is an unconscious change taking place, on a deep inner level of feeling.
- There is a warning here to Pay attention to yourself...stop and examine your perspectives, this is the end of something and the beginning of something new!
- The emotional state of stagnation and stillness. This could go on for 8 weeks or 8 months, depending on the querent's actions.
- There is a need to focus and consolidate your emotions in an inspired way.
- One feels life is not worth it.
- Qabalistic Thoth Tarot has no reversed meaning. To a Qabalist that is just sloppy card handling. However, if the card is surrounded by what is considered negative cards, it is then called Ill defined. When the Indolence card is "ill defined", it is opposite of the mundane definition. Therefore, if ill defined the 8 of cups implies:
- Time to stand up for yourself.
- Lazy time is over.
- Wake up call.
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