Margarete Petersen’s Four of Cups is another ethereal image. I see a deep blue sky with wisps of clouds, at first glance. The mainly gold-coloured ‘frame’ around the sky suggests boundaries, again, although all the Cups cards are set up this way. Looking at it through the magnifying glass, I see two birds fighting - or perhaps a mid-air explosion. Hmm. Imagine my surprise when I read in the accompanying book: “halfhearted and superficial feelings can be a virtual maelstrom” – so perhaps the mid-air explosion wasn’t so far off the mark! To quote Margarete Petersen again: “Learn to distinguish your many feelings…Emotions that are cleansed and clarified turn into abundance.”
Four of Cups (trimmed): © Margarete Petersen Tarot
Traditional meanings for this card focus on weariness and dejection, boredom and dissatisfaction with our lot. A sense of being stuck in a rut, perhaps feeling bitter about our situation – on an emotional level, given that we’re in the suit of Cups. The number ‘4’ reflects solidity, stability but here it’s too solid – seemingly immovable. Often we can overcome this simply by seeing this as a period for reflection and rest, during which we find a different way to feel about things – a change in emotional perspective – or as Margarete has written, distinguishing between all the emotions (letting the two birds fight it out!) and working out how to make the best of them.
Emotional rut?Observe, clarify, structure:
Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA, 2004.