I used to hate receiving court cards, as many do, but these days, I quite enjoy them. This may have something to do with a shift in perspective after reading a book about them by Kate Warwick-Smith and from things said by Christiana Gaudet in her online videos. Both tarot authors made me look at the courts in a different way than I have before, therefore making reading them that bit more enjoyable.
Warwick-Smith looks at the courts in four different aspects - as a supporter, a detractor, a resource, and a challenge. She talks a lot about the different worlds on the kabbalistic Tree of Life in her book, but these four areas are her focus. The supporter and detractor are people external to us, who can help or hinder, where as the resource and challenge are things we can be more personally responsible for. In the case of the Knight of Cups, as a supporter he is ‘the lover’ and as a detractor he is subtitled ‘the possessor’. My challenge with this card would be ‘rejection’ and my resource, ‘desire’.
The Lover (or Knight of Cups) is sometimes someone we have a romantic involvement with (even if only one-sided), but he can also be an abstract ideal or goal. Be it a romantic invitation or the desire to move mountains though passion and exuberance, his love is intense and usually full-on. As a detractor (when reversed or surrounded by less-cooperative cards), he can be self-serving and possessive, and in constant need of reassurance.
I met a guy from an online dating site in London many years ago. I think we had both initially hoped for a romantic attraction and potential, but from the moment we met in a packed Soho bar, we knew we’d only ever be friends. Even though good-looking and bubbly, I didn’t find him attractive in that way; besides, he’d just come out of a relationship with a guy and was still very obviously infatuated with him. I say infatuated, because for our one year friendship, he talked about little else. At first, I thought the guy he’d split with must have been a real jerk (and to an extent, he kind of was), but I slowly realised (after my new mate’s other friends began to disappear from his life, one after another) that I couldn’t dump all of the responsibility on the ex. My new friend was obsessive and needed constant emotional reassurance around every single move he made. He’d message me about his love-life (about the ex or new prospective partners) all the time and not really pay attention to my responses when I told him I how I felt. If he was like this with me, as just a friend, I could kind of see why his relationship with the ex had failed. He consistently trailed around after him, online and off, and eventually (like his other mates before me), I opted out gracefully and haven’t spoken to him since.
This guy was like the ‘lover’ (supporter) in many ways because he had so much love to give; so much so that it was bursting out of him uncontrollably. It wasn’t only his ex who he aimed it at, and with each and every new partner, his neediness killed all hope of a successful relationship. He quickly became the possessor (detractor), smothering and overwhelming his prey. My advice (which he consistently sought) did little to help; I even took him to a lecture about relationships at The Kabbalah Centre, which went in one ear and out of the other. The only thing I had any chance of remedying was our friendship, which was hopelessly out of balance, by ending it. Even though not my own romantic lover, he was smothering our relationship with only his needs. I tried to explain how I felt before dumping him, but he wasn’t open to hearing any more than the calling of his own heart. Even though I don’t see myself in the same way as this friend from the past, emotional possessiveness and being a needy baby is something we should all keep a check on in our relationships. This could easily be my message for today, even if on a less-extreme level.
Easter Sunday is dreary and rainy. I’m hoping we’ll finish our long weekend with something nice tomorrow, so today will probably be spent here. As an abstract ideal, today’s card might be a little preparation for more decoupaging and some craft. My boyfriend has some things to do for our mate’s wedding and I bought some new shoes and a handbag which need to be decorated for a forthcoming photoshoot.
Illustration from The Radiant Rider Waite, based on the drawings of Pamela Colman Smith and redrawn by Virginijus Poshkus