Eight of Cups

The courage to walk away

This is another ‘moving on’ card. It’s about making the difficult, sad, and ultimately wise choice to leave something behind, and forge a new path.

The Eight of Cups is a brave goodbye. We have all experienced moments in our lives when we realise things just aren’t working as they are, and that they can’t be mended. We have put in care and energy and love, we have worked hard – but it’s time to stop trying.

It’s the kindest of breakups – the setting free of friends or lovers so they may walk their own paths. The letting go of ties that bind because things have changed. There’s so much acceptance and respect here. The Eight of Cups honours goodbyes, honours the strength and wisdom in doing them well.

This is very much an act of self-respect. We must love ourselves enough to set ourselves free from the things that hold us back or hurt us. We have to learn to let go of what doesn’t serve us, and allow others to do the same. Thus, the Eight of Cups is imbued with a sense of generosity, the putting aside of the needy ego to allow healing to take place.

In a reading…

It’s time to go. If you’re not already on your way, then this card asks you to accept what isn’t working in your life – especially those things into which you’ve poured a lot of energy. Look at what is not sustainable, what is not feeling okay, and give yourself permission to let it go.

Do this with love and respect. Honour the time you have put into this part of your life, think of what was good about it. You can take those good things with you, they are a part of you. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you have made, forgive others where needed.

It may feel right to mark this turning point with a ritual of some kind. A fire, burning old letters, an altar to the future, a divorce party: feel your way through to a ceremony that works for you.

And remember that, though this is about the goodbye, it’s also about what lies ahead. The road may be long, it will be a healing journey and it may be hard, and it’s time to take those first steps. Take with you only what you need, and leave the rest behind.