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Queen of Cups

by mythos

Card Meaning
Artistic Media
Artist's Bio


Queen of Cups, Archetypal Mother of the sea, walks through her elemental home carrying her chalice.  The seabed is a garden of hidden treasures and obstacles.  Her courtly entourage are fish and undines.  The moon smiles upon her in a sunset sky.  Her throne faces her watery home.  She is water of water.


Sea/Ocean/Stream: Walking in the sea represents the symbolic journey through, within and across "sea of life." Elementally, water is symbolic of all potential, all unformed universal principles.  Filled with hidden things, it represents chaos and calm, controlled and uncontrolled emotions, the known and unknown, the personal and collective unconscious.

While oceans symbolize potential, seas, with their shores and their inflowing streams of watery life can indicate known quantities, limits which can be set, boundaries that contain and stabilise emotional, imaginative and dreamy chaos.  Nonetheless, shores symbolise the fluidity between the metaphysical and the factual.

To we short-lived creatures, the ever-moving tidal oceans appear to be unchanging over the eons.  Thus oceans represent a paradox between ever-changing emotion and the still pure life of soul.  Both in flux and still, formless and formative, they are ever-present reminders of universal truths, and moment-by-moment changes of feeling, dreams and imagination.  We may experience oceanic impulses and tsunamis of the soul, and yet the stream of life flows into the seas and oceans continuously maintaining its waters via metaphorical, metaphysical and meteorological processes.

Fish:  Fish cannot, symbolically or actually, be separated from water. These colourful beings represent both the Queens court as well as elements moving within the depths of our psyches.  Related to fertility because of their abundance of eggs, they also symbolise the Queens fecundity.  They are symbols, too, of dedication to the life of the spirit.

Moon: A feminine symbol of reflection, the subconscious psyche, emotions, intuitions and illusions. Universally, it represents times rhythms embodying phases symbolising birth, growth, pregnant fullness, withering, dying, and rebirth.  Since it controls the tides, it is a water symbol, connected to the Queens elemental world. In astrology, it is a symbol of the soul, the inner person.

Water-filled Chalice: represents the womb in which relationships, feelings, imagination and intuition grow into fulfilment.  It is a vessel of transmutation, in which the persona is transformed into the Self. The five streams represent humanity.  The water provides the Queen with a mirror through which she can skry out the secrets of the personal and collective unconscious, of hopes and dreams.

Crown: Made of silver moon metal, linking it to the Queens home realm.  A five pointed star fish sits on her brow representing her role in reigning over human emotions and relationships.  Crowns represent mastery, attainment, power and royal authority.

Throne: Symbol of royal power.  Its scallop shell back hints at luck symbolism.  Wandering monks and mendicants on pilgrimage carried such shells.  This, Queen moves.  Her life is a pilgrimage of the soul, of the cycles of life, of the maiden, mother, crone.

Undines: Water spirits - the Queens handmaidens.

Stones, rocks, sea weed and shells underwater: These represent hidden obstacles and/or things of beauty the unknown - from free-floating anxiety to hidden treasures.

Card Meaning

Upright: The nurturing powerful mother; receptive, loving, intuitive, sensitive, compassionate, empathy, pregnancy.   Reversed:  The destructive mother, self-deception, being lost in illusion, emotionally cold and insensitive.

Artistic Media

Mixed media: acrylic paints, pastel, crushed rock, stones, seed pods, shells, pot pourri, Indian silver anklet, dried star fish on canvas.

Artist's Bio

mythos (Shirley Jackson) has worked her way through many incarnations in this life.  Currently she is a wannabe tarot deck creator.

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