In general, the Four of Cups seems to represent the manifestation of all good things. The key phrase for the outer meaning of this card is INCREASE IN THE FAMILY, and most of the time that is how it’s interpreted in a spread. However, the increase in the family could be a pet, a visitor, or even a house plant; in other words, whatever it is, it must be fed and cared for! Other interpretations for the outer meaning of this card are:
Great joys are in store
A strong and lasting friendship
Loving, parental care
The astrological interpretation of the Four of Cups is based on the Scorpio decanate of Scorpio, sub-ruled by Pluto. Here we see pictured in the skies Ophiuchus wrestling with a large serpent, representing man’s struggle with his animals desires. Zain calls this the “sex decanate” and explains that not through suppression can the serpent be overcome, but through the guidance of the surplus energy into proper channels, such as strenuous activity, healing, creative ideas, and diverse goals. The key word for the astrological meaning of the Four of Cups is RESROUCEFULLNESS.
The spiritual message of the Four of Cups again stems from the constellation of Ophiuchus, symbol of the energy generated through the union of polar opposites. Zain writes: Genesis 32 relates that Jacob wrestled throughout the night with God in the form of a man. Prevailing not against Jacob, He (God) touch his thigh and it was out of joint. Likewise, Ophiuchus, somewhat crippled with his thigh out of joint, does not wrestle with a man but with the serpent of generation.
From this account, we are reminded that the thigh is ruled by Sagittarius, the sign of religion, and the message of this story relates to the problems resulting from religious practices that deny the ever-insistent force of reproductive energy. The key is to honor rather than to deny this creative force, hence the spiritual message is: Continual kindness between the sexes generates a power by which the heights may be scaled.
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