A expansive body of water with lily pads floating upon it. In the sky, a hand bathed in a halo of white light extends from the clouds holding a golden goblet overflowing with water. Five streams of water pour out of the goblet, and 26 drops of water cascade down to the lake. Overhead, a white dove descends with a communion wafer in its beak.
As the right hand of God bore us the Ace of Wands, thus the left hand of God offers us the Holy Grail, the vessel by which the sacrament of communion with the Divine is consummated, restoring the parched land with life-giving waters. It is symbolized most overtly by the wafer bearing the sign of the cross and the white dove of peace that offers it, and more obliquely by the water that rains out of it. The five rivulets of water correspond to the five senses of man; and recalling our previous review of gematria, the 26 water drops correspond to the numerical value of the four-lettered name of God, YHVH (10 + 5 + 6 + 5). Thus God pours Himself unto our world in full measure at the same time that He fills each of our senses with love and light. No wonder the lake is so fertile with lily pads!
In order to receive these blessings, however, we must make ourselves receptive to them, and this is why—recalling our survey of The Hanged Man, symbolized here by the upside-down letter Mem on the goblet—we must be willing to surrender ourselves to love in its totality. Until we do this, we cannot give love in its totality. This is the lesson that the suit of Cups would teach us, and with the Ace, it commences now.
Meanings of this card in a reading can include: The first emanation, the spirit of God in man, “union with God” (Crowley), fertility, healing, joy everlasting, the dawn of romance, and all similar felicities; but also separation from God, the ego ascendant, emotional repression or blockage. Like all Aces, this is a powerful card because it denotes the element in its original undifferentiated state, and because it proclaims the beginning of a new aeon or life cycle. For us, it reminds us that whenever we choose to love, we not only experience a union of souls here on earth but as reunion with the Creator in the heavens. In our lexicon, it’s win-win.