Card Meanings,  Cups,  Sacred Circle

Journey Into: 4 of Cups

Written by: Emma Sunerton-Burl

Continuing her series, Emma Sunerton-Burl looks into the cards of The Sacred Circle Tarot, by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason, published by Llewellyn:

As I look at the card I see the cornflowers first – they are lovely, and then notice the chamomile beneath then and am reminded of the peace that comes from chamomile tea and how soothing the oil is for inflammations. I can see why this card represents resolution.

I walk into the card.

It is a warm sunny day, I feel too close to the cups so I ask for space and the card stretches out in front of me giving it greater depth. I feel the grass beneath my bare feet – the earth feels warm and solid.
I see birds flying in the sky though I think there were none on the card – they are like martins, or perhaps swallows, I ask them for their message:

“We are house martins,” They say, “and we are enjoying ourselves. We like warmth and diving and soaring. We like our homes secure and sheltered too, then we come out to play. We represent family and the need for a secure base and once that is there being very free and joyful. We like the creativity of building our own places too, we sculpture our homes with mud and make them exactly how we need them to be and can adapt and adjust them as we feel we need. We are builders in this sense, but also creative.”

“So in this card you are representing the need for playfulness once all the family security needs are taken care of, that creativity is an important energy too – and the creativity to make what you need rather than just making for beauty.” I paraphrase.

“Yes that’s right, we love all aspects of our life too. We are about joy in the fullest sense of the word.”

“Thank you” I say and look around. My attention is drawn to the golden cups.

“What are you about?” I ask.

“We are the strength of love in a family or group of friends. We allow ourselves to be supports, and to support. Trust and harmony is here. All conflicts and misunderstandings are worked out through our mutual desire to show love, even if there are differences of opinion or position. Love conquers all, and we accept each other as we are. Drink of us as you will find yourself increased with the ability to love others as they are and to accept yourself as you are within a group. No longer projecting onto others what you would not like to see of yourself, you are able to accept your own faults and thereby accept others with theirs.”

“We also are the family – the first child; from the love of 2 come the 3, no longer needing to be exclusive in love the couple decides to bring a third into the world and share their love with their child. It is a big transition, we symbolise the time is right though, and harmony can reign in the family unit.”

I see the ears of corn in the foreground and see them waving in the breeze.

“We are the harmony; the harvest of the work you have done in your relationship that you can now include others in your emotional ground. You have overcome your differences and understood both who you are yourself and who the other is; success is yours. Well done in your growth!”

“Thank you” I say.

I see the blue cornflowers around the cups and ask them for their message.

“We are the desire to communicate and be open about all things. We will help you say whatever your truth is and as you do so then you are sharing at the deepest level and love can work through you. We also symbolise the eyes, and we will cleanse your sight – that you see the truth of your self through another and know and love what you see. Removing the veils of projection and allowing the present reality to shine through.”

“In a reading we may suggest that your eyes need attention, your view on the world and perhaps check you have slept well enough or that you need to see someone about your sight. Internally what are you not seeing? Or what are you seeing that is not really there? Ask yourself these things.”

“Thank you all” I say, “I like your messages. Do you have something for me personally at this time?”

“All is well do not fear – your family is doing well, your son will not be damaged by your occasional mistakes – use the cornflower image to help you recognise he is not your history when he talks to you and when you talk to him. You will find it easier than you imagine.”

“Thank you” I say, “I will use this – it is very helpful.”

I walk beyond the cups in to the corn field and can smell the ripened wheat as the sun bakes it I see a mouse scuttle past. I call to it.

“Do you have a message?”

“I am just a small thing. I live amongst the success of the wheat here. I am protected by it. Do not fear success for it too can be a protection if you feel vulnerable. Allow yourself to embrace the successful harvest that you deserve, fear it not, for it will not bring the damage to you that you fear. It will bring goodness and joy for you – you have worked hard and now it the time for harvest.”

“Thank you I do feel very small and fear being overwhelmed by success so avoid it to some extent. Can you tell me how to now embrace it? is there anything I need to do?”

“As you drop your fears the actions will become apparent and easily taken. Your path will show you the opportunities you need. See yourself as successful and able to handle any situation, even the one of ‘too much’. As you see yourself in command of your life, despite success, then you will allow it to you more and more.”

“Thank you little wise one, this is of great use for me.”

I look back and the cups are still there, it is almost like I expected them to have gone as I wasn’t looking at them, I think this is part of my fear too; if I take my eye off the ball for a moment all will disappear. I understand it is not the case now and that I really do need to continue living my joy, and worry less, to bring the success to me.

I walk back to the cups and drink of the top one. I allow the energy of love and joy to fill me and feel as I focus on this then this is what I share with all; this is all I need to focus on in essence. I feel filled with Light, I feel fears being swept away with the cleansing power of the Light. I feel I have renewed trust and faith.

“Thank you all so much.” I say. “I have got a lot from this journey and will return when I need to.”

As I leave the card I find myself in a garden and my guide is there, I ask my guide if there is anything else I need to know – he reminds me of the cornflower image and I ask about whether I share all of this journey – he says I can trust enough to be all of me and yes it will serve me to do so – so I will.


Emma welcomes any comments on this article or the visualisations you do following this method. Email her on

Emma works as an intuitive psychic tarot reader and runs one to one online training courses on reading with the Thoth tarot deck using a unique blend of intuition and psychological techniques. This has now been extended to working intuitively with RWS style decks too. She also mentors other professional and non-professional tarot readers. She offers visualisation MP3 downloads for intuition development, tarot readings F2F, telephone or distance, and healing – see her website for details: 

Emma has a Bsc in Psychology and is a trained counsellor, counselling supervisor and trainer. She integrates this experience in her Tarot work, and in her self-written training courses for personal development, Tarot, and Tarot mentoring.

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