Number 5 is ruled by Geburah, a fiery Sephiroth of Severity, who is now in the Water Suit of Cups. There is a natural antipathy here, as fiery heat causes a natural disturbance in placid water. What is even more disturbing is the fact that this card is also attributed to Mars in Scorpio. Scorpio is in its worst aspect in Mars, on this lowest plane of Geburah, which in this case, is the putrefying aspect of water. However, the powerful masculine aspect of Mars, slows down the putrefaction so that it is internal and not external, frustrating the anticipated pleasure that is emotionally sot after.
Waite's card displays this meaning of loss as a dark robed lord, whose head is hung in despair. His castle is in the background, the flowing river displaying the element of water and the bridge that connects the background to the foreground. The foreground shows the dark image with head bowed over the three overturned cups while the two upright cups stand behind him. The overturned cups imply a battle with casualties and loss of what was loved while the upright imply the battle is won but the cost of winning is too much and brings despair instead of celebration.
The Thoth 5 of Cups-Disappointment, symbolizes this Martian disturbance, besides the using the signs of Mars and Scorpio, as the lotus blooms being dried out by a hot wind, over a dead sea with the pentagram inverted, a sign of evil, showing material triumph over spirit/Will. Mars is too hot for this card's natural watery peace and balance. What was thought to bring pleasure, dose not, and the person is disturbed. Expectations were not met and emotional disappointment prevails.
Not always a totally devastating card, but disappointing none the less, as the Spirit points out to us that dependency on or expecting, other persons, places, or events to make us happy, breeds disappointment. Look inward to find happiness as Happiness of the Divine Creative, built us to be Us and we don't need to seek it any more than a fish swimming in the ocean needs to seek water. There is joy in the breath as it dances in and out of you.
Being highly emotional, the Five of Cups tells the reader that the querent is experiencing:
- Disappointment in love and marriage.
- Unkindness from friends, whether the querent deserves it or not, as shown by accompanying cards.
- The end of pleasure, sorrow and the loss of things from which pleasure is expected.
- Sadness, deceit, treachery, ill-will, detraction and ill requited charity and kindness.
- Will be or is trouble from unexpected sources.
- Death of what was loved. This is one of the cards that could mean death of a loved one, depending on the support of such a supposition by the accompany cards.
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