A figure walks away from the viewer, back turned against the eight cups standing in the foreground. Some are upright, some have fallen, but all are ignored by the subject as they walk off into the distance.
The Eight of Cups is a melancholy card; it’s that moment when the growth you’ve been really wanting to not have takes root, and you move on from your old ways of being. Or that moment when you finally overcome a struggle, only to realize that your destination is not the laurels of victory, but the road ahead. It’s not necessarily nostalgia, because you realize you could not have stayed where you were; you likely don’t even really want to have stayed there. But it was good, or at least familiar, while it lasted, and that mountain ahead is a little forbidding, even if the trail is clear and the call to climb is strong.
This was another card where I knew exactly what I wanted to show, and how I wanted to show it, and fortunately for me, the universe conspired to give us a lovely sunset with just the lighting I wanted. We shot these at Crab Cove, on Alameda- I was a little worried at first that it would be too similar to the Two of Blades, what with it being a woman on an Alameda beach looking out to sea, but it worked out fine- the lighting and posing are very different, and the tide was out, so we had all this lovely sea cabbage to wade through (thankfully not nearly as disgusting to step on as it looked).
I’m very pleased with these cards- Stephanie is always fond of the suit of cups because they’re pretty, and I’m always saying that I value “interesting” over “pretty”, but the Eight, like the Seven, I think hits that balance of being lovely, while also being an interesting and engaging image. It also was one of those cards that came at kind of just the right time for both of us- we were moving on physically (we both moved house within six weeks of each other) and on some personal levels too. To bigger and better things, always, but not without a little sad fondness for what was before.
You can see Stephanie’s take on this shoot here, and the full Flickr gallery here.
2 thoughts on “Eight of Cups”
I also think it’s somewhat fitting that I finally wore this blue dress. I bought it on sale in college, and it’s been hanging in my closet ever since because I am convinced I will have the opportunity to wear it sometime. I just don’t know when.
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