Eight of Cups – Ruler of Rejected Prosperity & Lost Success

You are strong enough to gain wisdom from a challenging experience. Etteilla.  It warns against misplaced trust. Look deep within to understand what motivates an occasional tendency to be pessimistic or depressed. With the Eight of Cups, look inside and recognize the part of you that still nurses an old wounds. For the most part, you are getting on with your life. There may still a part of you, however, that holds out and resists the healing. Are you nursing old wounds from painful losses of faith and trust? If so, now may be a good time to scrutinize your current motives.

Gerd Ziegler writes that water of emotions is not updated by any source. Water begins to stagnate and fog of poison raised to a sky, eclipsing a light of clarity. Two outstanding lotus flower continue to shed their energy. Spoiled, stagnant water swallows fresh flowers. — You have already spent enough of your energy on people who do not give anything in return. You filled them with energy, but they are like a bottom
less pit. You feel empty and sucked. The more you try to revitalize relations, which are stuck in the familiar rut, the more powerless and empty you feel. Time to think about yourself, set some limits and say “No”.

If you are married or in relations, the Eight of Cups shows incomplete success, yet compassion. It seems as something is important missing.  A person has some unexplained worries and needs
to learn to appreciate what he or she has.

Do not deny this pessimistic tendency. Failing to recognize the truth only causes repression that flares up in another part of our psyche. Instead, seek to understand and accept the hesitation and fear you may feel, and come to terms with them. Very soon your emotions will be at their rightful place.

  • Ruler of Rejected prosperity, Lost Success
  • Denial and Self-denial
  • Fate Obedience
  • Cessation of efforts
  • Lethargy, laziness, negligence
  • Fading light, Eclipse, Falling Atlantis
  • First decade of Pisces from 19 to 28 (29) of February.
  • Astrological equivalents: Virgo, Scorpio. First decade of Pisces.
  • Saturn in Pisces. Saturn/Moon as a symbol of a sad farewell.
  • The esoteric meaning – search

When Eight of Swords shows up in a spread, it is a real challenge how to interpret a reading.

General Meaning

A person is looking for a spiritual path because he changed his life goals and priorities.

The most traditional meaning of the Eight of Cups  is “oblivion of previous plans.” The fact that until recently, a person cared for his dreams and was inspired by “visions
” of the Seven of Cups, which precedes Eight of Cups, now loses its attractiveness; the interest wanes, for some reason, ceases to exist, knowing that this is not “a life” he dreams of.

Magic fairy tales of the Seven of Cups are drained. A person feels he paid emotionally price, giving more than a person receives. And so, there comes a moment when a person turns away from his dreams. A person says a farewell to an old sorrow, to old ideas, and habits.

A person goes away leaving all his triumph and his dreams behind. Just like Eight of Swords depicts an oppressed man leaning on a staff, decisively and humbly goes off a rocky shore. Behind a person there are froze eight cups that symbolize its past success.

A person realized inferiority of his former life. The Eight of Cups tries to say: the hour has struck! No wonder it depicts an eclipse, stressing the importance of a time factor.

In a negative surroundings, the Eight of Swords may indeed indicate a certain eclipse of the “darkest hour” of life, when a situation is hopeless, forces are exhausted, a battle is lost, a collapse of ego). In a more positive sense, Eight of Cups means that a person unleashed the past, throwing the usual bog and going into voluntary exile – to evolve.

A person may need a temporary solitude to concentrate on what gives life a true meaning. A time for concentration and meditation has come.

Crowley emphasizes that a person is in a bad company that somehow poisons and destroys him, and he needs to leave negativity behind. An inert and stagnant environment does not give a room for development, and a person is unable not reveal his creative potential.

By the way, a meaning of Eight of Cups also includes a possibility that a person makes mountains out of molehill – it is not so scary, is not so important; — a person will realize it as soon as he starts to take first steps and see everything from a close range.

On a Deeper Level

The Masonic symbolism of Eight of Cups represents a candidate ready for initiation into the mysteries, surrounded by eight masters. He or she says “goodbye” to worldly goods and worldly pleasures. In fact, the eight of Swords is a card of vows. A person knowingly and voluntarily departs from temptations of everyday life for the sake of a high and narrow path to dive into an inner world. The Eight of Cups has a lot in common with the Hermit. An image of a stranger in a trench coat, leaving his way to his ultimate goal to find enlightenment in depths of loneliness. The difference is that the Hermit is centered and calm.

A person is taking a journey inside himself to search for spiritual truth. His quest is a journey of knighthood for his soul (which symbolizes the Holy Grail). The mountains symbolize his search for spiritual heights, and his pilgrim’s staff is a symbol of willpower and wisdom.

This card has accentuated relation to astrology.

Firstly, it depicts a time of an eclipse. A meeting of a Moon and a Sun is a fatal moment.

Possibly a person is peculiar to a subjective perception of events and fascination with surreal and romantic anxiety about things that do not exist in objective reality, but they lie down at the bottom of our subconscious.

The Light and Shadow

Advice: Do not make any drastic changes. You need to take a vacation, meet new people and renew. You also can get a temporary solitude to meditate and see your life through a magnified glass.

Warning: Do not run away from a situation. It may seem logical and morally justified to move, — a person can think he is doing something heroic, — but in fact this is just a path of least resistance. “Not renounce loving”. This is no time to abandon the familiar (or to abandon his promises and intentions) and go aimlessly somewhere, anywhere, — where the grass is green
er. No good deed goes unpunished, and the best the enemy of the good.


Personal Relations

A person changes his or her perceptions about a partner as a fairy-tale prince and princess, realizing that ideal partners do not exist. A person needs to create a new perceptions of reality and take his or her love on a new level of conscious reality and make necessary steps toward happiness and openness.

Another interpretation if a card could be a situation of a love triangle where a third person should go. It could show a secret dating with someone. Something beautiful has to be abandoned.
In some instances it could be a signal of marriage for a person who never wanted to, but decided that the time is now to change his life. Marriage there may well be perceived as a monastery (“when a
dashing playboy takes a veil”). From now on, a playboy decided to make a stop to any random relations (for his marriage is modesty, correctness and decency). A person takes on new commitments and gradually gets used to a new lifestyle.

It reflects an impotence of a person in his current situation: unfulfilled expectations, disappointments, depression, emotional exhaustion … and stagnation. Brewing difficulties forced him to realize that a change is needed, but he does not have enough gunpowder. A person is in”consternation” – his heart is numb. Or a person is emotionally blocking his or her feelings.

Reversed Eight of Cups means that a mistake has already been made, and it may be worthwhile to consider how to change an attitude to life, learning to appreciate what he has.

The most optimistic meaning of the eight of Swords at a love relationship is that both parties shall try overcome their difficulties through patience and tact, that is grinding together like perfect diamond
s – two strong personalities. Eight of Cups shows quite conscious emotion — being coordinated with logic and reason — brings a harmonious combination of desires and passions. This situation, when love does not hurt business, and the business does not hurt love.
The Eight of Cups predicts a cooling period in love: this card – so that it is better to postpone love relations “for later”, until a better time and focus on business planning and meditation retreats – or just contemplation.

Personal Feelings

By Crowley interpretation, the “overexhausted” Eight of Cups follows by dissolving ecstasy of the Seven of Cups. It is a kind of “hangover” after past period when there were too many pleasures and self-indulgence of passions and desires. Feelings are exhausted and they are searching a new way out by soul-searching or spiritual development. A person is forcing himself to take a path of self-restraint and renunciation as a way to strengthen his willpower and apply manifestation of his inner
r strength.

One of the age-old interpretations is avoiding temptation. A person prefers to lose what could attain, — he would rather give up and turn away than to seize on an opportunity to take it. For example, a person turns away from a poured cup of love and go through the lonely hermitage. Thereof, one of the traditional values of the Eight of Cups is missed opportunities (he notices and sees everything, but refuse to take it). Traditional interpretations of Eight of Swords boil down to the fact that a person gets what he or she has hoped for, including love, if their own caution and shyness do not paralyze them completely. Presence Eight of Cups in a spread indicates that currently everything is going as planned, but a person is terribly insecure, too shy to take necessary steps, and as a result a person runs a risk of losing what he or she really wants to get into the heart! It is very important after all go after his good fortune and get it.

In the direct position, the Eight of Cups may indicate such qualities as practicality, knowledge of social ritual, ability to be in harmony with people, while keeping a distance. In ancient predictions the eight of Cups shown a tendency to live today’s day without thinking about the past or the future.

Sometimes Eight of Swords depicts people who prefer go with the flow, pointlessly wandering, looking for “something they do not know what it is”.

Reversed Eight of Cups

A person has a desire at all costs to attract attention and provoke interest: a creation of an artificial personal history and a mystery. Event: inability and unwillingness to leave a situation, but at the same time pretending that a person is leaving. – Warning: others can see through your tricks. You will be lucky soon, and ruling planet of Scorpio gives you a present you were longing for so long and
even thin
king that your dreams are completely unattainable. You will be getting a second chance.


Eight of Swords with Other Cards

With High Priestess – Solitude

With Hermit –  search for deeper meaning,  temporarily isolation and solitude

With Power – resistance, strength  to make decision, breaking habit, an attempt to overcome dependence

With Death – departure

With Devil – a person moves to decay due to bad habits or following dangerous ideas (like a sect)

With Sun – this card weakens negative influences of Eight of Cups

With Three of Wands – travel, opening new horizons

With Eight of Wands – completion phase of life, cards are mutually reinforcing, A person’s plans are implemented and it is a time for new plans.

With Nine of Wands – confidence

With the Six of Swords – a happy spiritual journey

With Ten of Swords – burning bridges, irrevocable withdrawal, possible suicide.

Reversed Eight of Cups with the Three of Cups – debtor is to pay the debt.

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