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Why Is A Fish Seen Only In The Cups Court Card?


Why Is A Fish Seen Only In The Cups Court Card?

To read a tarot card effectively, one needs to understand the meaning of the symbols used in the cards since tarot, after all, is a symbolic oracle. There will be some or the other symbol that will attract your attention in every card. When I had initially started learning the tarot, I would be amused at the Page of Cups looking at the fish in the cup he is holding! 

He seemed to be sharing a good rapport with the fish and totally engrossed in a conversation…….with it! A fish, if you please! To me, the fish seemed to be admonishing the Page while giving him some advice.

Later, I realised that the fish only appeared in the Cups Court Cards - in the Page of Cups, Knight of Cups, Queen of Cups and King of Cups. And why only here? That is because a fish lives in water and water is a symbol of emotion and the subconscious. It can be unpredictable and brew up a storm. Like our emotions, it can fluctuate - sometimes calm, sometimes raging, sometimes passionate, sometimes indifferent.

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The Suit of Cups is all about the emotional area of your life, about your feelings and how you connect with the others and to the world.

The fish symbol too, denotes emotion, intuition and creativity. Since the fish shows prolific abundance, not bothering to harness its passion, we need to understand the need to keep our emotions in check.

The Page of Cups, stands on a clear, sandy beach with a wavy sea behind him. The choppy sea suggests he does not have his feelings under control. He is kind and loving as he imagines the fish to be his centre of universe. He is emotionally obsessed and pre-occupied with the fish - exactly like one would be in puppy-love. Since the fish suddenly seems to have popped out of the Cup, it also suggests that the querent could get a sudden inspiration for something creative.

The Knight of Cups, in the Rider Waite card, is wearing a cloak which has images of fish on it. With so many images of fish, it is but expected that the card depicts a person who is sensitive, emotional, a loving and caring die-hard romantic! It is a positive card for showing creativity and spirituality in a person. Unlike the Knight of Swords, this Knight is not rushing into something - but on the negative side, he can get overly sensitive and emotional……yes; thanks to the Cup, the fishes and the flowing water! 

I discovered the fish with a little difficulty in the Queen of Cups card, till I noticed one of the undines (Water spirit) carved on her throne, holding it. As a person, the Cup, the fish and the water around the queen ensure she thinks with her heart. Being a mature person, she is not ruled by fantasies and emotions.

A fish is seen leaping out of the choppy waters surrounding the King of Cups. This gentle, intuitive and kindly person uses balance between emotion and logic. He is an excellent mediator and I love a reading in which he appears, when a querent is confused about his situation in life. This is the man he needs to turn to, to sort out his problem.



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