Cancer III: Ennui Suffused


If there’s one card in tarot that I likely most resonate with most of the time, it’s the IV of Cups. In fact, it’s frequently my significator, even coming up randomly in friend’s readings to indicate me. It’s not just because my Sun, MC and Mercury are in Pisces and Cancer is my ascendant, it’s also because I’m generally internally focused and sometimes oblivious to the important things going on around me.

Like a lot of Smith’s artwork in the minors there’s a lot going on in this card which isn’t readily available on first glance. What is motivating the figure under the tree? Are they intentionally ambivalent to the gift being offered or are they just oblivious? Maybe they are napping when they should be paying attention. Or maybe they are just fed up with whatever is in the cups.

One of the phrases that I often associate with this card is “embarrassment of riches”. In German, there isn’t really a direct translation of the english word “abundance” so the German word Überfluss is generally used. Überfluss has a mostly negative connotation though, as the meaning is more about what happens when the water overflows the river banks (unfortunately apt for current affairs) than it is a reference to a positive feeling of having a surplus. In German, a surplus is never really a good thing. I tend to agree.

Cancer III All

For Cancer III we have the Moon in Cancer, which is just a whole lot of lunar. Looking at the associated majors, you can really see those lunar influences all over the place. Check out the charioteer’s pauldrons.