New Moon in Gemini: Four of Cups
happy new moon, everyone! I went MIA this past month (blame it on the scorpio full moon… and final papers) but am now back for this new moon cycle, eager to see what’s in store. I am writing to you from a super-sunny backyard, where I’m taking care of an elderly cat and three hens. It’s fully summer, and the sun feels extremely restorative.
Which is good— because the restorative, warm nature of the sun may be a necessary energy for the card I pulled for this moon: the Four of Cups. This is a nuanced, complicated card; it’s not one of the cards that can be summed up in one word or even one sentence. The Four of Cups signifies contemplation; we see a figure seated below a tree, alone, withdrawn and pensive. Something needs to be mulled over; a decision needs to be made, or some issue needs to be internally processed.
In the Rider-Waite-Smith version of this image, we see a figure contemplating three cups: three different paths, three choices. Whatever the dilemma is, it’s emotional; cups represent emotions. What the figure doesn’t see is the cloud behind him, holding out a fourth cup. There is another option, another way, that the universe is making available. All it takes is to turn around and see it.
Whatever the main dilemma or issue you’re wrestling with right now, there is a way to look at it that you haven’t considered. There is an invitation to see it a new way, to deal with it in a new way. We get so habituated to processing things in a certain way that we can forget to forge brand new neural and emotional pathways. But the universe is clearly extending an invitation to engage with your life in a brand new way. A new paradigm; a new pattern. Practice expanding your perspective by getting out of old habits, and doing even mundane things differently. Try a different morning routine. Take in a different kind of content. Go against your old habits, just to see what will happen. Doing things in a new way might bring about the necessary new perspective, to see the universe’s invitation for you.
Another message of this card is to accept and make peace with the phase of contemplation. Being in a limbo state can suck— the uncertainty can feel extremely uncomfortable. I certainly know— I’m currently in a phase of considering a huge decision that will uproot my life one way or another. I just want to know what to do. But I don’t yet. And the first step of making the decision is making peace with the not-knowing. Dilemmas are a messy process— I mean, that’s why they’re dilemmas. If they were easy, you’d make the decision fast. So periods of contemplation are necessary, even when they’re uncomfortable.
Prioritize contemplation during this waxing moon— try to build it into your day, even for five minutes. I’ve been practicing existing in silence, instead of turning on a podcast or music every time I’m doing a chore or errand. It makes me feel more spacious and peaceful, when I’m not taking in new information in every spare moment. However you like to contemplate or find stillness/quiet, prioritize that this month. Do you have a favorite outdoor spot you just like to go and sit? (Maybe at the root of a tree, like in the card?) What about taking walks, with no headphones in? Or driving somewhere without music on the radio? Even if it’s uncomfortable, try making space for this contemplative way of being during these next two weeks. It’s aligned with the energy of the Four of Cups— it’ll help with whatever dilemma or issue is occurring in your life right now.
One of the overall messages of this card is that it’s okay to take a break from the hustle and bustle. As long as it doesn’t last forever, it’s alright to be in a more solitary, less active phase of life. For the past several months I’ve certainly been more inward-focused and less social than usual. I think it was a necessary phase, for me to get clear on some stuff about my own path. I do want to re-enter the hustle and bustle soon, but it hasn’t been time yet, and that’s ok. One of the greatest lessons of tarot is that no phase lasts forever. Each card—each life experience— has its time and its place, and then each gives way to the next. It’s necessary to move through the Four of Cups to get to the rest of the Cups cards, the rest of the journey.
We can’t move onto the next phase until we’ve fully engaged with the current one, though. So if you’re ready to move on, to be done contemplating, to take action, to stand up from under the tree, then you’ll need to engage fully with whatever dilemma/choice/issue’s been on your mind. To do this, again, fully lean into the contemplation. Take as much time alone as you need. Prioritize silence. And shake up your routine, to widen your perspective so you can see the universe’s gift, the new opportunity it’s trying to give you.
I think we can move on from this card only once we see that fourth cup, that new opportunity, that gift we didn’t initially see. Can you list the potential gifts of the situation you’re in— even if it’s hard? Whatever challenge you’re currently facing, what potential benefits does it offer? What are the hidden gifts? Try making a list. In doing so, you’re actively looking for that fourth cup: that previously-unseen gift from the universe.
Gemini is a multi-faceted sign; its very nature is the ability to see something in more than one way, to hold multiple perspectives at once. That’s the challenge this moon cycle: expanding our perspective so we can see our current situation in a new way. Avoid harsh judgements or absolute certainties; nothing is just one way. Can you hold multiple truths? As F. Scott Fitzgerald said: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” Even though it’s uncomfortable, can you hold multiple sides of your situation— its inherent paradox? This ability is a sign of wisdom, of evolution, of growth.
Fours are a very stable number; they’re the legs of a table or chair; a strong foundation on which to build. So feel solid and secure even in this contemplative phase, even in this perspective shifting. It’s a safe place to be. There’s no need to rush through it. Just rest your back against the metaphorical tree and enjoy the view.