Symbiosis: the two of cups

two of cups, rider waite tarot

When I see the two of cups I often think of spirituality, and the experience of integrating it into or combining it with the rest of an often very secular-seeming life. Most of us in Western culture lead very secular lives, pivoting on the rational and the practical. Religion is increasingly eschewed, especially here in North-Eastern Europe. Despite a common tendency for people to half-heartedly hold onto the (here in Ireland usually Catholic) religion with which they were raised, or to profess a certain level of “spiritual” belief, the culture in which I have grown up and matured is hugely secular.

As a result, the spiritual and the secular have often seemed at odds in my life. My spirituality started out and in many ways still is very secretive and private, and it felt as though it jarred hugely with the rest of my life and my personality. This jarring feeling was what caused me to swing wildly back and forth between my interest in Paganism and witchcraft and theism, and a staunch materialistic hard atheism. My discovery of pantheism and naturalistic Paganism helped to ease this jarring, but it remained a mainstay in my life for many years.

I still somewhat see my spirituality as my shadow, or a part of my shadow self. It feels sometimes like an outpouring of everything I have been rejecting as I mature – irrationality, reverence, magic, possibility. I become, in ritual, a version of myself that nobody else ever sees, something that is quite opposite to much of what I feel makes me myself. Through ritual and reverence, I reach out a hand to that part of me that revels in mysticism and the unknown, that thrills at the thought of dark mysteries. I experience the dark joy of life.

In recent months, perhaps since I began to talk to my boyfriend about my spirituality, the strange dichotomy has somewhat lessened, and I feel more and more that the spiritual can be a part of my day-to-day mundane life. Incorporating things like meditation, daily practice and tarot into my spirituality has helped this symbiosis occur. I have reached a point where I can feel spiritual or connected to the universe as I go to work, as I do the grocery shopping, as I buy new clothes or make-up.

When I look at the two of cups in tarot, I see the change that has happened in me. I see the meeting of two very different parts of my personality, and the eventual acceptance and embracing of that spiritual part of myself into the whole. It’s a difficult thing to pin-point, and I think there are myriad reasons for why this symbiosis is finally happening for me. Self-acceptance and letting go of fear have had a lot to do with it.

The ceremonial tones of the exchange that is depicted in the card seems representative of this change. My full embracing of my spirituality into my life has felt in some ways like a formal decision, like an acknowledgement. The caduceus in the image makes me think of transformation, creation, and spiritual awakening. In allowing the spiritual and the seculr aspects of my life to fully intertwine, I have entered into a new stage in my life. I feel it is allowing me to grow and become stronger both spiritually and in the rest of my life. It is, perhaps, a step towards engaging with and embracing my shadow. I am at the beginning of a journey into the depths.

 

tarot card image © US Games

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