The Two of Cups


The key phrase for the outer meaning of this card is Work of Love.  The work is a reflection of Arcanum II, Veiled Isis symbolizing Labor, and the love is a reflection of the emotion of cups.  Other combinations or interpretations might be:


Romantic impulses

Love of home

Scientific methods used in the home

Love of research

A perfect union

Reciprocal love


The key phrase for the esoteric, or inner, meaning of the Two of Cups is Revelation and is based upon the Scorpio decanate of Cancer and the constellation of Hydra.  Hydra is a giant water-serpent extending a third of the way around the celestial sphere.


We all know about ourselves and other people that we, as humans, have character traits that are not appealing or that we, as humans, may envision ourselves as grander or weaker than the rest of the world may perceive us. Zain writes, “These traits represent the means by which the unconscious mind compensates by subterfuge for failure to make a correct appraisal of its own true relation to life.”     There are hundreds of these character flaws that rear their ugly heads from time to time, marring an otherwise pleasant personality.  Jung calls these darker traits our “shadow” and warns that if our shadow energy is not acknowledged and sublimated into more positive channels, these darker traits will show up again and again in different areas of one’s life. The story of Hydra further illuminates this idea.


According to Greek mythology, Hydra, the water-serpent, had 9 heads (the number varies into the hundreds), only one of them being immortal and representing the drive for significance and survival.  It was one of the 12 labors of Hercules to severe the heads of Hydra.  In trying to do so, Hercules quickly realized that when he cut off a head, two heads immediately grew back. Hercules solved this problem with the aide of his constant companion, Iolaus, who seared the open wounds with a hot iron to prevent other heads from growing. Zain further explains, “To apply this technique to character adjustment it is important to realize that attempting to slay character traits through repression only results in other maladjustments.  Instead, the most effective treatment is to apply the hot iron of discrimination and to sublimate the energy through wise appraisal thereby directing the energy to find full expression in more highly acceptable ways.”  The spiritual text for this card is “Not through slaying desire, but through sublimating it to a higher plane of manifestation, do humans make soul progress.”  Perhaps another key word for the esoteric meaning of the Two of Cups could be Sublimation.


For more information about the Minor Arcana of the Brotherhood of Light Egyptian Tarot, browse to for a donation-based online course. 



About letstalktarot

Allyn McCray began reading Tarot in 1971 after discovering a deck in an occult shop in San Francisco, California. In 1999, the American Tarot Association recognized her as a Certified Tarot Reader. During her experience as an Internet reader between 2000 and 2002, Allyn’s readings were regularly featured on the websites, Psychicnut and Roadtalk. In 2002, Allyn joined The Church of Light, aka Light.Org, a non-profit international school of esoteric studies, where she is now a Hermetician, Certified Teacher, and Minister. Allyn also serves as the Communications Director of The Church of Light and is a Section Advisor in The Order of the Sphinx.
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