The “boy-meets-girl” fairy-tale is one of the oldest (and perhaps now most irrelevant) cliches in the annals of romantic storytelling. It struck me that the RWS suit of Cups offers an almost pitch-perfect “storyboard” for the ups-and-downs often associated with these narratives, with a few added wrinkles to make it interesting. In this essay I will use the “boy-meets-girl” scenario, but feel free to substitute any set of variables you prefer as you read: “girl-meets-boy;” “boy-meets-boy;” “girl-meets-girl;” or, if you’re really serious about your political correctness, “they-meets-them” (smile, that’s a joke).
There are ten iterations in this allegory, spanning the range of romantic experience from initial yearning to ultimate fulfillment. Here is my rather fanciful take on the story-line:
Ace of Cups: Boy yearns for love.
2 of Cups: Boy meets “Girl A.” (Life is good.)
3 of Cups: Boy meets “Girl B” and maybe “Girl C.” (Life is even better . . . for a while.)
4 of Cups: Boy gets bored with “too much of a good thing,” or perhaps he just has too many “irons in the fire” or “balls in the air” and is weary of the effort.
5 of Cups: Boy loses “Girl A” due to his inattentiveness (and maybe “Girl B” and “Girl C” if they find out about one another).
6 of Cups: “Girl A” returns; Boy has been missing her.
7 of Cups: Boy still doesn’t know exactly what he wants.
8 of Cups: Boy loses Girl A” for good and wanders off, seeking redemption.
9 of Cups: Boy finds his soul-mate (or maybe becomes an alcoholic or bartender).
10 of Cups: Boy eventually finds emotional fulfillment and settles down.
I think it would be useful to lay these cards out as a reading template and then draw ten minor arcana cards from a second deck to reveal how closely an individual’s romantic outlook might align with the model. “Good” cards in “bad” positions could mitigate or even negate the possibility for an unfortunate outcome, and “bad” cards in “good” positions could take some of the shine off the victory. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you could draw ten cards for “Boy,” placing them above the template row, and ten cards from a third deck for “Girl” (see above for gender-inclusiveness options), placing them below the template cards, which could then be used as a kind of pivot-point on which their relationship would turn at various key junctures in their journey together. The partner whose card agrees most closely with a template card would take the lead in “acting out” the potential inherent in the model (or at least feeling the compulsion to do so).
I’ve been pondering how this would work for the other suits. Wands could be related to ambition as expressed in the pursuit of a job or career; Pentacles may suggest pursuit of material objectives; and Swords might reflect pursuit of heightened awareness or understanding. If I can puzzle these out to the point that they make “storyboard” sense, I’ll post them.