Tarot for the Modern Reader
Ten of Cups


Image of The Ten of Cups cardIn the Ten, we have reached the end of the Suit, and the true fulfillment of all of the energies within. This is the culmination of everything you have experienced along the way. In the suit of Cups, it may have felt like a bit of an emotional roller coaster. But you have finally arrived.
In this card, we see the happiness that was foreshadowed in the Six, however now we have learned several more lessons along the way about choices, the ability to walk away, and self-love. As we arrive at the Ten, we are ready and able to truly love with an open, secure and generous heart. This is not fear-based love. We know that our loved one exhibits the true meaning of partnership, kindness and love. There is deep emotional fulfillment and happiness here.
The Ten of Cups also carries the meaning of family harmony and is regarded as the home and family card as such. In this card, we see a man, woman and two small children playing happily, as the couple, whose arms are raised in a grand and joyous gesture, stand together looking at a beautiful rainbow filled with all ten of the beautiful, upright, golden shiny cups.
The rainbow itself is a symbol of joy and happiness and also a symbol of protection. The man and woman are genuinely happy together here with their family. The implication is that this is a warm and loving place for relationships. Family members are happy, and feel safe and loved. There is no fighting, no underlying tension. This card is about strong family bonds, meaning a solid marriage with two partners on the same page, happy children, maybe you are even creating bridges with extended family members, or having a family reunion. This card is not about the family name, property or legacy; those things are represented by the Ten of Pentacles, it is about the warmth and solidity of the bond between the actual members of your family.
This card symbolizes pure happiness and joy in the context of all relationships. Within the family, there is great love, joy and harmony. The family unit is happy and content. In regard to a friendship, it says the same, there is genuine happiness and good feelings between the friends. In love relationships it implies a general well-being and sense of deep fulfillment, and can indicate taking things along their natural course of action. A committed couple may decide to get married. A couple may also decide that this is the right time to add to their personal happiness by creating, or expanding their family.
Because this is a number ten card, the matter has reached fruition, the cycle is ending and another is beginning. In this instance, it is a positive, happy outcome. This card also foretells of good luck and is a good omen to receive in any spread, as it is simply a very positive card. Change is in the air as the cycle begins again, but you can be sure that the change will be positive, and welcome.You may meet the partner of your dreams, take an existing relationship to a new level, or simply reach a desired goal that has been on your heart and in your dreams.
Cups, being about our emotions and what is in our hearts, also rules our values, and things and people that we value. In matters outside of family and relationships, this card indicates that you may reach your goals rather quickly and find that your search for fulfillment is marked with success. In any of your pursuits or situation at hand, this card should herald that a very positive, long lasting happy outcome is called for. This card shows that you have worked hard for the reward that you are finally receiving, that it was well earned, deserved and should be enjoyed.
On the same note, it is also indicative of enjoyment and relaxation. As the final card in the suit, you have reached a point where you are able to simply sit back, put your feet up and enjoy the rewards you have now earned. If you are traveling or taking a vacation, this card says it is well-deserved, and you will have a very peaceful and relaxing time with those you love.

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Ten of Cups Reversed

Image of The Ten of Cups card reversedThe Ten of Cups reversed is about disharmony. The happiness promised, and so desperately desired, is being blocked, or otherwise inaccessible at the moment. There are so many ways this manifests.
This is in general, miscommunication or misunderstandings between members leading to problems, arguments, hurt feelings, feeling manipulated or used, treated unfairly, false promises, or just empty promises that fall through.
Maybe one person is rarely home, putting more time and effort into work and other outlets, and not putting in the time with the family to continue to build good relationships. This could indicate separation between partners, or between yourself and extended family. There could be a significant amount of discord in your family. You know what you want for your family or relationship, yet that brass ring is just out of reach. There could be fighting, tension, or people not considering others.
This is point number one, remember the importance of treating others the way that you would like to be treated as well. All change begins within. If you are not happy about the bonds and relations between members of your family, self included, what is the first thing that you could do differently to move towards repair?
This card reversed implies that the positive energies are there and present, they are just being denied, or unable to be accessed at the moment. Maybe there has been a lot of stress or tension and the members of the family are not handling these things well and are taking frustrations out on each other, instead of coming together as a team and facing the issue to be dealt with together. It is easy to complain about how our partner is treating us in way we don't like, and to also not behave so well ourselves, because of it. That is human nature. It is SO important to treat the other as we would want to be treated. If we were able to make our partner feel loved and special, it would open a door for them to do the same for us.
It could be that you feel let down by family members that you hoped would stand by your side, or "have your back", simply because, or especially because, they are family. This can hurt, but the challenge of this card is to rise above in the face of adversity. Remember, as a Cups card, it is about the emotional aspect of the family, not the logistics. Maybe one member of the family is behaving in a way that is not conducive to building family bonds and relations, the goal of the upright card is to be a happy contented member of a family. There is little room for selfishness in the full manifestation of this card, so when it is reversed, check your behavior, and make sure that you aren't sacrificing the good of the family for the good of the self. It is perfectly okay, and even important, to love yourself and take care of yourself, so long as you aren't hurting others whom you do care about, and care about you, in the process.
Another facet of the reversed ten is indeed the concept of self-love. It is almost impossible to love another when we don't truly love ourselves, yet this is something that many people attempt to do every day. There is a mistaken belief that only when another person truly loves us, will we be whole. The truth is that you are already a whole, lovable being, and when you truly recognize this in yourself, you make yourself open and available for others to love you as well.
If you redirect your attention back to the upright Nine of Cups, you see that it is important to take a look at your values, what you have earned, what makes you feel good, satisfied, and deserving of rewards and honors. When you begin to treat yourself well, value yourself and what you have to offer, you move closer to being a great member of a family, or a team as well. Like all chains are only as strong as the weakest link, a family unit or bond is only as happy and secure as each of its members.
In order to find the success promised in this card, and to reach the full potential of this emotional suit, you must ultimately learn to balance personal wants, needs and desires with that of the whole. In order to have true fulfillment, you must be able to look within at what makes you happy as an individual, love yourself, and know what and who, it is that you truly value, pursue those things, and let go of the rest. From there you must be able to integrate that into the good of the family, and treat those in your family as if they are your most cherished possessions, because when our time comes, it is not the jobs we left unfinished, or the work we didn't get to do that fill us with regret, it is the relationships we didn't make the time to build, nourish or fully enjoy, while we were pursuing other things. When our relationships at home are suffering, it is hard to find true happiness or fulfillment in other areas of our lives as well, at least for any real amount of time.

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      I'm Liza, professional Tarot reader, writer and mentor, and this is Tarot Liza. Everyday we're working to bring our mission of delivering more value and Tarot education to the Modern Reader to life! Welcome! Read more...