Loving the Potential???? - 9 of Cups, Reversed
(c) Atham-Z 2005
"Love asks something of the future."
Albert Camus, The Outsider
When I read the Tarot and see the Nine of Cups in a reverse
position, that to me is a clear indication that the person I am
reading for loves the potential they see in someone else. As with
most Tarot cards, the reversed positioning is indicative of trouble,
and in this case my heart goes out to my client over the futility,
frustration and waste of his or her love and energy.
Many people embody great potential, but sadly, only a few live
up to other people's conceptions of who and what they can be and
achieve. This does not result from circumstances, or bad luck, but
from their own choices. Often along with this "missing out", goes
hand in hand the element of choosing the easier or faster way to
what they think they want for themselves. Instant gratification is
simply not as rewarding as something that is nurtured, worked at
and guarded as it is developed and achieved.
When you find that you have "feelings for" someone who simply
doesn't seem able to meet your expectations, that does not mean
that your expectations are wrong, and it doesn't mean that the other
person can't change. What it does mean is that you have "feelings
for" what you know the person can do or how you know they
could choose to respond to you. But your feelings are for a fantasy,
not the reality of what that person is choosing to make of themselves
and their life at this time.
It is foolhardy to work to change yourself merely to try to elicit
better or different responses from another. It is also foolhardy to
step back and wait for some other person to decide to change. You
are in charge of only you in this lifetime, and that wonderful(?)
person that you care about (but who may be treating you
abominably) is in charge of only their own life. You control your
own actions and responses, and nothing under the sun besides that
other person's own choice will cause them to change, let alone in
the direction you are hoping for.
As Camus says, love does expect something from the future. It
expects the act of loving to be welcome and rewarding, now and
for many years to come. It also expects some reciprocal
encouragement for the continuation of your love. Inherent in all
this is interpersonal respect, consideration, reliability and
Too many times when I read this reversed card for a client, the
person needs love from the object of their affections so desperately
that they become vulnerable to being used by that special other.
Being used, is not a component of love. So please don't set
yourself up for weeks, months or years of being exploited, by
falling for or giving love generously to someone whose actions
don't match their potential. It is very dangerous to offer someone,
who is not living up to their potential, control of your life as well
as their own. Such offers always lead to years of torment and
To conclude, the Nine of Cups Tarot card in the upright position prophecies
joy, security, satisfaction, wealth and love. In the
reverse, it denotes grasping for the illusion or mistaken possibility
of such stability.
For your own well being, love the reality, not the potential.