~ Episode 40: Discovering the Wild Unknown 4 of Cups ~
Today’s card draw in the Discovering the Wild Unknown series isthe 4 of Cups.
I want to start off by providing an important notice, which will be included in all of this series. However, other things that will be included that you can skip to are:
- Card Description
- Considering the Card, where I look at how I would interpret certain imagery used
- Traditional Rider-Waite definition
I only include the latter as a comparison, to show how wandering down your own understanding of images and symbols can bring you to a similar meaning, though along a different path with different experiences. This is to help expand knowledge of the card.
I will not, however, be including the definitions from the guidebook, as that is not the point of this. Also, I don’t have rights to that material.
I started this series because I had read that people struggled with the deck purely because the definitions in the Little White Book were very Rider-Waite-based, and that there wasn’t much wisdom regarding the animals and symbolism chosen.
This series is to help you to decipher the meanings yourselves. I am by no means saying what I have to say about the cards are correct for anyone outside myself. However, I am providing my daily journal entries regarding the deck to act as a guide so that you can begin your own journey.
When I started tarot, I had no idea what to write in my journal, and thus didn’t. Instead I obsessively read and re-read the Little White Book belonging to the Spiral Tarot (which is why today I can completely quote the book). I didn’t trust myself to know the cards, even when I could recite the definitions. I was afraid to put the book down.
To this fear of lack of knowledge, Kim Krans, creator of The Wild Unknown, writes:
You do know enough. You’ve been a person on earth every day since you were born. You’ve experienced all the emotions and situations these cards depict. Quiet the naysayer…don’t let it prevent you from sitting down with a friend (or yourself) and using these cards to help talk about what’s going on in your life. It will be positive. It will be radical. You’ll find things start to reveal themselves through the cards that have been hidden away, covered with dust.pp.10-11, The Wild Unknown Guidebook
Description of the Wild Unknown 4 of Cups
The Wild Unknown 4 of Cups shows a rat sitting along the top of four Cups. Where the cups and rat are at the bottom of the card is dark, though as the focus moves to the top of the card, the blackness fades completely to white, where a black crescent moon is seen.
Traditional Card Meaning
In the traditional depiction of the 4 of Cups, there is a figure sitting under a tree and considering the four cups before them. They loook bored with what they see, yet they are focused intently on them. What they don’t see is an image similar to that in the Ace of Cups: a hand coming out of a small cloud and offering them another cup.
The message behind this is that there is something else being offered to an otherwise over-thought situation. You can take the Cup and see what the option is, and you may choose to reject it if it’s more of the same. However, the important thing is that you have another option. Divert your attention from what’s in front of you, and see what else there is.
What I derive from the Wild Unknown 4 of Cups
In the Wild Unknown 4 of Cups, the rat isn’t looking at what it’s sitting on. In fact, it’s looking to the left. The left usually corresponds to the past, or to the subconscious, and its tail curls around the cups.
I think that it’s too close to see what the cups are to be able to look into them. It’s like the rat knows that there’s something there, but can’t look at the fourth cup, that its head is right above, and see.
The tail curling around the ups, while likely to just be artistic in nature to get the whole rat in the frame, also says to me it’s somewhat holding on to the other cups. Not only is it not seeing what new options there are, but it’s holding on or at least protecting what it does have.
The moon’s light is being shielded by the rat’s body. It doesn’t reach any of the cups, but shines on the rat, as if to say for the rat to be open to the light of the moon in order to see what it’s sitting on. The moon also represents intuition and the subconscious, which is also represented by the suit of Cups.
That the rat is blocking the light shows that there is a disconnect between the cups and the moon. The suit of Cups also represents emotion, and thus, there’s a disconnect between listening to the inner self/intuition and emotion, which might be leaving the rat directionless. However, the rat could move, and so the further message is that the rat is in power of this disconnect, and can resolve it.
About the Deck
The Wild Unknown Tarot is a 2016 Harper One publication, created by Kim Krans. The deck is widely available at most bookstores who carry Tarot cards, but also on Amazon. Kim Krans always wrote The Wild Unknown Guidebook.