A Simple Matter: The Four of Cups


I think that after the elaborate piece that was the Magician, I needed to go in the complete opposite direction and do something super-simple. And so I present the Four of Cups. Nothing especially complicated, just an old wooden cutting board colored with secondhand chestnut wood stain, and a quartet of deer rib bones that I found in the woods years ago. Most of my time was spent waiting for the stain to dry; since it was a bit older and thicker it took longer to stop being tacky and leave stains all over my fingertips.

But I still love it. I absolutely adore old wood cutting boards for this project. All the cuts and slices and gouges in the wood are more pronounced when I add stain, as though much of my work has been done for my by an anonymous cook years before. And with this piece I wanted that wear and tear to show through. The white bones accentuate it even more, though they have their own wear marks and stains.

I really love the symbolism of this card. I’m an introvert, and I consider it my “hey, I need some ME time, dammit!” card. Sure, in the original RWS deck the guy sitting and contemplating things might look like he’s missing out on getting a fourth cup. But I figure he’s thinking to himself “For the love of God would you stop thrusting chalices at me, you damned disembodied mitt? Go wave a sword at the next guy who’s about to get a great real estate deal and let me get some peace and quiet already!” So I tend to see this card, upright, as a positive thing, and only when it’s reversed do I start worrying that maybe I need to get outside a bit more.

2 thoughts on “A Simple Matter: The Four of Cups

  1. Sam says:

    I must say that I absolutely love how this deck is coming along. All the assemblages have spoke to me and I wish there was a way to preorder a deck now, even though you have a ways to go. 🙂
    I saw the post about the gathering in Portland…if I weren’t a broke, starving artist/teacher, I would be out there in a heartbeat! I recommend that anyone who can make it, do make it- Lupa is a fantastic artist and a very magickal, insightful individual!
    One last thing: Lupa, do you plan on having this deck being one that will include reverse meanings?
    Keep up the awesome work!!
    Brightest Blessings from a fellow Skin Dancer,
    Sam )O(

    • lupa says:

      Hey, thank you so much for the kind support! You can be there in spirit, at least, if you like!

      And yes, the book will include reverse interpretations of the cards (though keep in mind the book will mainly be my thoughts on the cards, and not holy writ forever and ever amen.)

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