by Arthur Edward Waite, originally published 1910.
The waters are beneath, and thereon are water-lilies; the hand issues from the cloud, holding in its palm the cup, from which four streams are pouring; a dove, bearing in its bill a cross-marked Host, descends to place the Wafer in the Cup; the dew of water is falling on all sides. It is an intimation of that which may lie behind the Lesser Arcana.
House of the true heart, joy, content, abode, nourishment, abundance, fertility; Holy Table, felicity hereof.
House of the false heart, mutation, instability, revolution.
by S. L. MacGregor Mathers, originally published 1888.
Feasting, Banquet, Good Cheer.
Change, Novelty, Metamorphosis, Inconstancy.
by A. E. Thierens, originally published 1930.
Meanings: Table, first as the symbol of the bearer of food, alimentation, etc., then also as ‘table of the law’; catalogue, tabulation; the Holy Table. Meal, feast, gala, and invitation for the same. Hotel, restaurant, etc. Picture, painting, image, description. Production, fertility, abundance. Stability, fixity, constancy, etc.
Mutation, change, transmutation, inconstancy, etc. Buying and selling. Metamorphosis, reversal, revolution, translation, interpretation.
The Cups, representing the element of Water, Jovian and lunar by nature, start their cycle on the Ninth house, the house of Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, the lawgiver.
The element Water has its two polar effects in the soul, so we need not look for particular ‘weak cases’ to demonstrate a more or less benefic and malific effect at the same time.
The house of Sagittarius, however, does not bring much evil to the soul and is generally uplifting, inviting, pushing towards progress and development, journeying and hospitable reception of strangers.
There is little or no stability or fixity in it, but on the contrary always a good deal of ‘mutation’; also the magic power of the true transmutation.
Further we find a tendency to teach, to translate, guide, interpret.
It may, too, lead to extravagance as regards dissipation or at least spending.
There is sanction or even holiness in it, inspiration, idealism.
The latter, of course, may lead to more or less well-directed actions.
Sanction, permission, inspiration, idealism, enthusiasm, blessing.
May denote a leader, teacher, guide or any influence of this nature.
Legislation, direction, instruction; hospitality and sympathetic reception.
Driving, hunting, travelling; planning for the future.
Invitation, convocation, appeal.
Mutation and transmutation.
Translation and interpretation.