The Princess of Cups and the Rider-Waite-Smith Page of Cups are comparable cards. Waite didn't have Princesses in his deck, as he felt it would revel too much of the Arcane mysteries that he swore to keep secret, so he kept the original "androgynous" image of a page. Crowley thought all should know of Tetragramaton. The androgynous medieval Page image of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck, is again mundane and rather unremarkable. No secrets of ancient wisdom reveled here, but there is a suggestion of the "first matter" as a fish is shown with head above the rim of the cup. This also suggests life emerging from water or the sea, as does the water Lilly motif of the page's garments. In the back ground is a beach and sea illustration, further supporting the water element of this card. Hence, this cup represents the "Holy Grail".
The Thoth Tarot Princess of Cups and the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot- represent the earthly part of Water; especially the faculty of Water that promotes crystallization. She represents the power of water to give substance to idea, to support life, to form the basis for chemical combinations. This is also the power of Woman and is part of the Magic-Womb rite that she preforms.
In the Thoth Tarot, She is represented as a dancing figure, robed in a flowing garment at whose end crystals are forming. She is crested with a Swan with open wings. In oriental philosophy the Swan represents AUM---which is the symbol of the entire process of creation. In western philosophy this is best describe by the word Magic In Greek myth, the Swan is the reborn form of Orpheus, who chose to be reborn in that form. Orpheus was associated with all forms of music and the lyre. A myth that I shall not explain in this short blog, but it is easily researched on the INTERNET. Also to the tradition of men who plied the seas, a swan meant good luck.
The Cup borne by the Princess, has a Tortoise or Turtle climbing out of it. The Turtle or Tortoise represents wisdom in the west while being somewhat grander in the east as the Hindu Tortoise that has an elephant on its back supporting the universe. It seems that in the medieval western cultures, being able to pull your head into your own shell was a wise decision.
The Princess of Cups is standing on a foaming sea in which a dolphin disports; the dolphin represents the Power of Creation ( the first matter). This is a card of water crystallizing light and life emergent from the sea.
[Tarot significator birth chart courtesy of The Qabalistic Tarot- by Robert Wang]
The archetypal personality that the Princess of Cups or the Page of Cups, represents is:
- Infinitely gracious, voluptuous, gentle, kind, and tender.
- Her life is Romance, a perpetual dream of Rapture.
- Superficially, she seems selfish,and indolent, but this is not so. She just goes about her work silently and effortlessly with no need to consult others but always willing to assist.
- As a helpmate, she is unsurpassed for she is very dependent on others but at the same time very helpful to them. This concept of dependency may seem counter intuitive to Powerful expression; However, it is in Union that Her power flows and in this sense, the art of dependency becomes crystal clear.
To find an ill definition of this card is rather difficult, because her strong-positive points of union can be considered weak-negative points when solitary. To some being a Romantic can seem a negative character trait....to others, empowered artistic expression. All in all She is enjoyable, as a beautiful as an exotic dancer of the seven veils. I for one, would never try to contain her nor pin her down for display. I'd rather be Pan to Her Romance and play the flute of Her dance.
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