The IV of Cups is often interpreted as being introspective and apathetic to the outside world. It can be a card of reflection, meditation and going within. Perhaps you are feeling bored or tired of the same old situations. It is then advised to go into your heart and mind in order to reevaluate your situation and move forward or change direction. But what about going beyond the heart and mind!? What about getting into your very being? This is the essence of who you are, some might say your consciousness and some might call it your soul. Regardless of what you want to label it, your fundamental state of being is outside of your thoughts and emotions and can actually guide you much more effectively than obsessive thinking or deep feeling.
These concepts of being and consciousness are explored in the book The Power of Now, by Eckhard Tolle. Kristen and I have been listening to this book in the van while we are driving from gig to gig. I listened to it about a year ago and am really enjoying listening to it all again with Kristen. We talk about the different ideas in the book and bring them up throughout our daily thoughts and actions in order to see how we live consciously and when are outside the now. In the book, Tolle’s explains that living in the past and living in the future are the basic problems of human unhappiness. When you are constantly replaying events from the past, you either live in nostalgia or you live in misery about your mistakes. You can’t change the past, why obsess about it? On the other hand, constantly thinking about the future, whether in eager anticipation or dread, causes anxiety and worry about something that doesn’t even exist. The answer to these miseries is to live in the now.
So maybe the IV of Cups is asking you simply to be present in this current moment. There is nothing outside of the moment that exists. The past is gone and the future will never come. It will always be now. Meditation can help you experience the now, which is what it looks like this figure on the IV of Cups from the Rider Waite deck is doing. Some interpret the up in the air as something the figure is missing out on because he is sitting with his eyes closed. But what if this Cup is simply a distraction from the now, something that makes the figure anticipate the future or get lost in the past? How does sitting and brooding on that help him live in the fullest right now? Maybe instead the figure is choosing to listen to the sound of the wind in the trees, or the feel of the breeze on his skin, truly feeling connected to all that is in the moment.
I like to think that when the IV of Cups comes up in a reading, it is time to live in the moment. No matter what it is that you are caught up in, be it rooted thought patterns leading constantly into an uncertain future, or continusously replaying unchangeable events from the past, stop that for the moment. Just be. Be still. Be quiet. Stop thinking. Stop feeling. Can you do this? I know that personally, for me it isn’t easy. My brain wants to go a hundred miles a minute. When I succeed in stopping that out of control train of thought, when I relax, breathe, meditate, be still in the moment- I feel peace. It’s worth a shot, so why don’t you give it a try next time you feel anxious about the future or sad about the past. Remember that you are only right now.