The Rider-Waite ACE OF CUPS represents the all-encompassing Maternal Force, symbolized as water pouring dramatically from the Cup and becoming calm underneath as a placid lake decorated with water lilies. Waite shows the Ace of Cups as the perfection and formalization of Tetragramaton (the All Encompassing) evolving towards matter. The Twenty 6 drops of water are the gematria number of Tetragramaton, the Divine Creative and I would suggest you get and read the A. Crowley book 777 for in-depth understanding of gematria which is Qabalisitic numerology. The White Dove is the symbol for Venus as the Great Mother, who produces the circle and the equal armed cross of Earth, illustrated as being held in the dove's beak. The Great white hand from the clouds, symbolizes the Divine Creative.
The Thoth Tarot Ace of Cups, Shows a magnificent Grail, filling with "White energy", empowering the surroundings, with Spider Woman's (Native American Mother Nature) web emanating from it. For those of us who do not know the Myths of Spider Woman; She is a Native American description of the Great Mother Goddess who wove the fabric of the universe. Today we acknowledge time-space, as a woven grid of energy, the similarity simply means that we have proven the Myth.
The Ace of Cups represents the secrets of elemental Water in its original form. The Wyrd (weaving) of Atomic particles into flowing waves/currents of conscious energy we often call "emotions".
Water is the Feminine compliment (magnetic) , the Moon-vaginal-womb to the masculine- electric- Sun-phallus. Thus the Ace of Cups implies the Womb of the Great Mother Filling with the Semen-Energy of the Solar Father. Metaphor for the electromagnetic web/spectrum.
The Thoth Ace of Cups presents the Grail floating Upon the Dark Sea of Binah accompanied by Lotuses, two in one, that fill the Grail-cup with "Life Fluid". This Life Fluid is either represented as Water, Wine or Blood according to the selected purpose of the symbolism, but is modernly seen as a form of electricity. In western symbolism, the Lotus or water lilies, can be replaced by a Blood Red Rose, thus representing the Blood Red Sea of Binah from which all purified Life flows. The Blood Red Rose is the image for the "Rosy Cross" symbol.
Remembering that all Aces are the "seed" of a force, no matter how much imagery we use to describe "The Womb with a View" (I've called the Creatrix that since I was very young), She is a Force that makes Form from "I Will" into "I Am" (ideas) then mating these ideas to Understanding and birthing a child, which is a " Me" (self-consciousness). To represent this amazing Force, in any form of metaphor is difficult at most, and a mystery in the least. It's like trying to identify, after time past, the one who has left foot prints in the melting snow. You know someone has been there, but no conclusive clue on their identity. She is the Seed of all Life; of Energy as Form.
When thrown in a divination, the Ace of Cups, represents, the seed of a form, and idea beginning to formulate; a birth starting in the mind as a zygote that will take about a year to manifest its true form.
The seed of anything is a phenomena in itself and this is also true of the Four Aces that are the seeds of an alchemical element. It is important to remember, that the Aces are not the state of Air, Water, Fire or Earth itself, but rather a mysterious seed of those elements.
Interpretations are most troubling because of the fact that Aces are above and beyond the numbered cards as Kether is above and beyond the rest of the Tree of Life. Kether is said to be symbolized only by the "topmost point of the Yod of Tetragrammaton" (777 by Aleister Crowley).
It may help us to understand the Aces better if we realize that they form a link between the "small cards" (minor arcana) and the Princesses, who rule the Heavens around the North Pole. Now, I don't mean there are a "ring around the rosy" of female gods dancing in the sky around the North Pole. Rather,The Great Pyramid is the Meridian and the rule of the elements goes East, in the order of Tetragrammaton, Fire, Water, Air and Earth. Thus, the Aces-Princesses of Wands, roughly covers Asia:,Cups the Pacific Ocean, Swords the Americas, Disks Europe and Africa. Studying the Shield of David and/or the Pentagram, which represents the Spirit ruling the Four Elements (The symbol for the Triumph of Man) may help in furthering the understanding of the Princesses reign that imposed limitations.
Aces are like "single celled" organisms in the Great Sea, seemingly so insubstantial that they are almost impossible to see unless we use the Magnification provided by Understanding the Princesses who build "All that is substance" from the insubstantial.
For instance, nothing seems more insubstantial than the Essence of Spirit, Fire.
The Hebrew Letter Shin, Fire, has to do double duty as Spirit as well for Spirit is the Passionate Heat of Goddess/God that is known as the Lust to be and as Lust, it is hard to grasp its beginning. But this Fiery Lust of the Greater Mind (Macrocosm) is the essence of the Big Bang, a Divine Frenzy that began the Microcosm. This is just as hard to understand as the thought that in a moment of Self-analysis a Singularity (I) began all the diversity around and in us.
Thus Kether, is too expansive to pin point, and thus the Aces simmer in waves of invisible possibility, whose direction is supplied by the Princesses.
I've heard the Aces compared to ovum but that is in error, The Aces are the essence of ovum, and can only become Ovum, that is impregnated by the spermatozoa of the male electric force, within the Womb that is a Princess.
The Ace of Wands, is Spirit/Kether, which is an essence of Everything but is No-thing, it is the Movement within the Motion of Energy and/or "I Will Be". As you can foresee, Spirit/Mind is representative of Kether, and acts like the essence of Fire but is as contemptuous of definitive explanation, as is any attempt to explain the inexplicable such as the Ace of Cups as the essence of emotion and/or imagination; that's about as far as the brain can go with Kether who is Eheieh, meaning "I Will Be" and more often than not, the Aces. This is so arcane it is like trying to grasp smoke. Yet, "I Am" is the essence of "Me", something one realizes when they know themselves.
When the ACE OF CUPS is thrown during a Divination, it implies:
- Not over-extending or under-extending emotions and reflecting accurately what is going on with your nature.
- As an open channel, you are experiencing empathetic bursts of feelings, sentiment, sympathy or enthusiasm.
- A new emotion or insight.
- The opening spiritual, or psychic channels.
- The gift of Love. A surrender to inner beauty and emotions of pleasure.
- Applying new attitudes to which brings rewards when in tune with the Law of Love.
- The Vessel or House of the True Heart, joy, contentment, abode, nourishment, abundance, fertility...an enhancement of good feelings.
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