In the Four of Cups from Ellen Dugan’s Witches Tarot we see a scene of wonder and frustration. This image tells a story that is likely all too familiar to many of us, if not most of us. The boy sits against the tree, his arms and legs crossed, looking rather sullen and sad. There are three cups on the ground around him and a fourth cup in the hand of a beautiful mermaid right next to him which he doesn’t even seem to notice. 

The story here for today is that sometimes in life we find ourselves in situations that we are unhappy in. Perhaps there is a certain type of trial or certain pattern of life that we feel stuck in and we feel that we just can’t catch a break. In the midst of this situation we tend to fold up and close off to possible solutions, content rather to wallow in our own despair and sadness and frustration. 

Often times we don’t even realize when we’ve done this, but it’s such a natural response that it seems appropriate. The problem with it is that when we do this we close ourselves off to the solutions that the Universe is trying to give us. One of the messages of this card is that solutions are there, but they are rarely simply given. We have to reach out and take them. This is where the mermaid and the fourth cup come in to play. The mermaid represents a dramatic break from the mundane here. She represents new magick and new journeys. She is there, ready to lead the boy into a new situation in life, yet he is so focused on the problems at hand that he doesn’t even notice her sitting there. If only he would unfold and look up, he would see the solution to his problem is right there waiting on him, but he must take action. 

When reflecting on this card consider what things in your life are causing you to fold up and close in. Are there situations or maybe even a specific situation that you just feel stuck in? Like you can’t move or gain any traction to get out? When thinking about these consider how you may be perpetuating the situation. This isn’t to say the situation is of your own making, but it’s easy to unintentionally perpetuate negative things. Look up, is there a solution that’s waiting for you to take action? Go for it! That’s what this card is telling you today! That solution may look frightening and may make you feel uncomfortable, but it’s there and it’s waiting to take you out of your rut!


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