The Two of Cups at a Table for One
For the May Day blog hop, wrangler Raine Shakti proposed the topic “self love,” inviting us to explore how we can love ourselves better. As I contemplated the topic, the idea came to me of a Two of Cups with only one character. How can we reimagine the card of love, connection, and partnership not as outward directed, but by looking within for our own other half? If you’re single and keep drawing the Two of Cups, or if you are bored with couples holding hands, or — paired up or not — you simply need more “me time,” this is a great time for reflecting on love.
In this post, first I show you how to translate Venus in your chart into a three card tarot spread. This will help you understand how and why and who you love! Then I explore some Venus transits for the month of May, offering suggestions for how you can use these celestial energies to love yourself better. For each transit, I share a Two of Cups tarot card — most with one central character — to illustrate the theme and inspire you in ways to love yourself better.
Venus of Cancer Reflecting the Two of Cups
Astrology matches the tarot’s Two of Cups with the first third of the sign of Cancer. Venus, the goddess of love, rules this ten degree section (“decan”) of that sign. Interestingly, Venus moves into her decan of rulership this week, and will stay in that portion of the sign from May 7 through May 16, 2023. She’ll continue through the rest of Cancer over the following weeks, finally moving into Leo on June 5.
Venus is the planet of love. Her placement in your chart helps you understand who you love, what you love, and how you love. She shows you what you find beautiful, your personal aesthetic, and what’s pleasurable to you. Venus is about connection. But that’s a broad term and doesn’t necessarily mean being linked (or chained!) to others. Connection ultimately is about what makes you feel in alignment and agreement. A love-filled experience starts with giving yourself more of what resonates with you. And kick the bad vibes to the curb!
Your Astrological Chart Reflecting What You Love
What does your astrological chart say about what you love and how you can find what resonates best with you? If you’d like to find out, start by pulling your chart using an online service (like Astrodienst, Alabe, or Astro-Seek) or through an astrology app. Find Venus, and take note of what sign and house she is in. To translate that into the imagery of tarot, use the table below to create your three-card Venus spread based on your chart.
Card 1: Venus, or Love, Pleasure, and Connection
To work with Venus, choose the Empress card. This is Card 1 of your “Venus in My Chart Spread.” It represents all things Venus, including your experience of love, pleasure, connection, and beauty.
Card 2: Sign, or Venus’s Personality
Look at your chart and determine what sign Venus is in. For the second card, select the court card that matches that sign. The sign tells you how Venus acts and what her personality is like for you personally. For instance, if Venus is in Aries, she acts like the Queen of Wands. If she’s in Taurus, for you she’ll exemplify the King of Pentacles, etc.
Card 3: House, or The Area of Life Venus Is Most Interested In
For the third card, take note of what house Venus is in. The houses are the pie slices on the chart. They start on the left, with the first one being on the left and in the lower half of the chart. The houses are counted counter-clockwise. They are numbered in charts pulled from Astrodienst and Astro-Seek (and most places). Mysteriously, they are not numbered in the charts from Alabe.
The houses describe the different areas of life. For instance, the first house is about the self. The card is the Emperor. So if you have Venus in the first house, she is primarily interested in self-expression. The second house is the life area of money and possessions. The tarot card is the Hierophant. If you have Venus in the second house, her dearest interest is in the pleasure and value of resources. And so on. If you don’t know the astrology, just stick to the tarot cards for now, or refer to the links below for more info.
More Help Understanding Your Chart
If you’d like a quick list of keywords for the planets, signs, and houses, please consult this post, “Shouldering Your Angel and Your Devil” (scroll down about halfway to find the keywords).
You can also find my free guide to learning astrology, Learn Astrology With Only 17 Symbols: The Easiest Way to Learn Astrology!
Or, book an appointment if you’d like to go in-depth with your chart.
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What Venus is Reflecting This May
Venus will pass through the sign of Cancer from May 7 through June 5, 2023. In fact, during the month of May, she’ll have some lovely aspects, or connections with other planets. The following dates provide great opportunities this month to practice loving yourself better.
May 4: Love Your Leadership (Even When You’re Lowly)!
Venus and Jupiter. Jupiter is the magistrate, priest, or teacher. He is a wise and benevolent adjudicator. Jupiter is a strong leader, always willing to take charge, but at the same time perpetually in service to a higher power, whether he’s counselor to the king, bridge to the Divine, or in service to the philosophies that guide and instruct. You’ll love your leadership best when you realize it doesn’t mean being the top of the heap. Leadership is more like a crossing guard safely helping others get from where they are to where they’re going. Jupiter is in the section of Aries that Venus rules, so he is received by her, reinforcing the Venusian vibe. (Venus in Gemini sextile to Jupiter in Aries at 27 degrees with reception.)
The Two of Cups from the Chinese Tarot
The tarot card I chose is the Two of Cups from the Chinese Tarot. In this image, a holy man seated on a boulder lifts an offering bowl to the full moon behind and slightly above him. A second bowl sits on a larger boulder next to him, while graceful bamboo sways in the background. This is a profound image of deep spiritual connection. His oblation is lifted up to that which is greater than him. The Moon guides him both externally with its light above as well as internally via his intuition.
May 12: Love Your Eloquence (Lilting or Lame)!
Mercury will be the point of a bisextile between Venus and Saturn. If Venus is love, Mercury is communication, and Saturn is commitment, then this arrangement of planets is all about love letters that last.
Just yesterday Hal was reading me an article about how T. S. Eliot wrote decades’ worth of love letters to a lifelong paramour. Regarding the primary period of this correspondence, he later remembered that he “liked to think that [his] letters to her would be preserved and made public after [they] were dead – fifty years after.” Despite his fears that the letters would be published early, the correspondence was indeed kept private until the requested time. With two actual wives involved and his own fickleness, it was quite the drama! You can read his side of the story in this letter he wrote to be released with the collection. To love yourself better, avoid placing unrealistic expectations on others. Instead, write a letter to the thing you most like about yourself, or the aspect of yourself you’ve appreciated the longest.
Interestingly, all three of these planets — Venus, Saturn, and Mercury — will be in decans they rule, giving each an extra dollop of self sufficiency. (Venus in Cancer trine Saturn in Pisces, sextile to Mercury in Taurus, all at 6 degrees.)
The Two of Chalices from the Universal Fantasy Tarot
This card shows two people, but I love the fact that they are actually reflections in a mirror. The knight in armor looks into the mirror seeing the long-haired beauty in a form-fitting, off-the-shoulder blue gown. This illustration is about so much more than partnering! One personality is the reflection of the other. The symbolism of armor vs bareness, red versus blue, and tied back hair versus loose tresses suggest the contrast of obligation with freedom, presence with absence, and protection against vulnerability. How can you give yourself freedom by fulfilling your obligations? Can you be more present for yourself and your own needs? How can you protect yourself better when you need to? When can you be vulnerable when you want to? When you love yourself, you love the one who understands you the best and who will love you the longest.
On the other hand, avoid Eliot’s mistake of projecting your ideal onto an absent person. This is so often the source of heartache!
May 23: Love Your Lunacy!
Venus and the Moon will meet in Cancer. Luna represents your emotions, your inner workings, your selfish fickleness, and your selfless communion with All-That-Is. She cares and nurtures others or runs wild by herself. She sighs or sings, hides or hugs, dozes or dances when she feels like it. The Moon is your private self, the part of you that only you really know, and that you only share — when you’re willing — with those who are the very closest to you. Love what’s crazy unique about you, the part of you that you love even when no one else gets it. (Waxing crescent Moon conjunct Venus in Cancer at 17 degrees.)
The Two of Water from the Gaian Tarot
In this image, a woman with gray hair tilts her head back and smiles while a large, white fluffy dog embraces her. She is draped in a flowy blue off-the-shoulder gown. The dog rests paws gently on her bare shoulders and she wraps her arms around the furry body. A waterfall cascades down behind trees in the background. She has a faded tattoo on her chest of a star shape surrounded by triangular rays. More than the other examples, this card most clearly shows a strong and loving connection between two beings, but of course they don’t have to both be human!
May 26: Love Your Liberation!
Venus sextile Uranus in Taurus. The last aspect Venus makes in May is a friendly sextile to Uranus. Uranus is the planet of the unexpected, of revolution, innovation, and technology. Whereas Venus started May off with a sextile to Jupiter, the easy-going planet of luck and generosity, she ends the month relating to the planet who wants to break down the stereotypes and surprise you. What a great metaphor for our theme! Even as we have been rethinking relationships, Uranus will invite Venus to turn the typical on its ear and shake things up. The key to loving yourself is loving what’s completely unique about you. Venus and Uranus will help you discover what’s rare, weird, and unrivaled about you! (Venus in Cancer sextile Uranus in Taurus, 19 degrees.)
Love, The Two of Cups from the Haindl Tarot
A gray bird (a dove? a peahen?) with long, pointy beak tilts her head down and looks up out of sparkling, curious eyes. Her slightly stylized, curving wing wraps around the front of her body, and there is a ghostly oval shape in her belly. This ovoid shape is surrounded by what looks like a peacock’s tail, or possibly nebula-like clouds and points of light. Two golden chalices crowned with glinting stars flank this curiosity. Although this internal object could be an egg, the symbolism is so much greater than that. The cosmic colors with clouds and light suggest a stellar nursery. More than simply a brooding hen, this bird seems able to gestate a universe. What astonishing thing is growing within you? What will your inner love develop into? If you could give birth to a universe unique to you, what would it look like?
Connect and Connect Again
Thanks for stopping here on the tarot blog hop! Use the links at the top or bottom of this post to jump forward to see what the next blogger has to say about loving yourself. But before you go, please let me know your favorite Two of Cups tarot card! Do you have a favorite Two of Cups with only one person? I’d love to hear about it!