The Artist's Concept
In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the Eight of Cups brings to my mind the idea of walking away from an unfulfilling or otherwise unsatisfactory circumstance. It is about going in the direction of ‘something better.’
My design for the card is based largely on that symbolism. In the foreground is a stagnant pool, around which are situated eight clay containers, most of them empty. The atmosphere is one of darkness, opacity, emphasized by an eclipse in the upper left. These elements symbolize a barren, unpromising situation, or at least one in which progress has come to a standstill, or is no longer possible.
Saturn in Pisces is the astrological correspondence of this card, following the Golden Dawn system. The planet Saturn represents inertia. The two fish represent the astrological sign of Pisces, a sign of naturally still water (according to Maxwell Miller in The Universal Tarot). Weighed down by Saturn, Pisces’ calm water cannot move at all; rather, it grows stagnant.
Eight is the number of the Sephiroth Hod on the Quabalistic Tree of Life. Hod is ruled by Mercury. Hence the face of this mythological figure looms beyond the horizon. As Mercury is associated with movement, he summons the viewer of this darkened, bleak scene to hurry onward, to get going once again.
Listlessness. A lack of purpose. Need to move onward, away from what no longer works, to something new. Letting go of what was once important, but no longer fulfills. Possibly travel.
Computer-generated collage, using Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop.
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