Ten of Cups / Zehn der Schwerter
„fulfilment, but choices to be made“
Symbols: alignment with the own path, decisions ahead, experiencing and leaving paradise
Expression: Malkuth through Briah
This card is fulfilment in near perfection. The famous tree of knowledge looms aloft, entirely draped with it’s forbidden but luscious fruits.
A paradisiac and almost satisfactory state one might say, a timeless illusion indeed, but nothing can last forever.
True, these fruits won’t rot – as unearthly as they are. Real change won’t come along from the outside, but must happen from within. There’s no hurry though. The cups are still flowing with gold and plenitude. But as we all know, paradise was lost and it will be again.
There are three protagonists in this biblical „cast out of (or liberated from) heaven“ story. The serpent, who already possesses the knowledge and wants to share it, eve who actively decides to do something, she doesn’t know the outcome of and adam who is passively dragged into this life changing events. Three archetypes which react differently to this situation.
The serpent which sits in the treetop is the original tempter. The open pentagram is attributed to venus, the morningstar, which one may encounter when facing this path ahead. This serpent can offer many things and can’t be avoided at this point. At least it is not intrusive by nature. One may walk up to the tree to face it. It won’t follow, if one just decides to turn away. „Free will“ is the phrase it respects most, it is only a devil to those who avoid it completely and regard is at the foe that brings change.
Eve may does not know what is coming, but she acts in a proactive way. At least she stays responsible for her decisions. Only adam, in his victim role won’t choose on his own. Depending on which archetype one may be attributed on this path, the outcome will be the same as we all know.
On the bottom of the card, one can recognize the available fruits of the earth. They also grant knowledge and lead to wisdom, exactly like in the story. As above, so below, these fruits are forbidden and may not present themselves in such an appealing way. The pattern which is arranged around them is a hint about a changing frequency which corresponds to a higher state of awareness. The tree of life leads through it’s roots to a growing feeling of purpose. This can be a card of visions, changing states of consciousness or flashes of inspiration. After all, there is no way to avoid the fruits, even if they are not as obviously exhibited. One may eat and deal with the consequences and wonders of knowledge. Be sure that the fall from paradise is a comparable symbol to the fall of the veils. Life will get more complex from now on, because of the growing responsibility. „Whatever comes next, it’s worth it“, as the serpent may have had said. Life will change from an illusionary state of comfort to a more interesting path ahead, that’s for sure. The next steps won’t be easy, but they are the best part of the experience of life to say the least.
Choosing this path is inevitable, better to face it in a proactive way like eve did, then to stumble on it by accident. Even better would be to face the path ahead together, as a couple or as a group – after all, „love is the law“ which transcends everything.