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 gentleness.

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 depression.

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.


This page was created March 31, 2005.