Cups,  Sacred Circle

Journey into: 10 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:

I look at the card and see an abundance of harvest imagery – blackberries, apples, wheat, and hazelnuts. I am really aware this is the time of year for this as I do this visualisation. I feel in tune with its energy immediately and feel uplifted.

I walk into the card.

I feel the warm sun on my back and see the long shadows across the land knowing it is autumn, as the sun is lower in the sky. There is a smell of fresh dampness in the air and I am reminded of the beginning of school year (from my own culture and background). This smell seems the same every year and brings me the excitement of learning new things, meeting new people and the promise of a better life.

In front of me are many cups filled to the brim with harvest fruits and nuts, I ask  the cups their meaning here:

“We are the holding vessels for all the things you have achieved to this point, we are where you store all the learning, experience and knowledge from all the events of your life. We gather here as a physical acknowledgement of just how much you have gained from the work you have done; from your own inner growth; now this is reflected on the outside as abundance of all the good nourishing things you need. Take pleasure in your work well done. Allow yourself time to reap the rewards of the harvest before you move on to the new. If you always are re–sowing seeds then you are not giving yourself the appreciation of the full growth and harvest of the seeds you planted earlier. Appreciate and give thanks!”

“Thank you.” I say and continue:

“Yes I do understand your meaning. I know I often move the goal posts as I am about to achieve something so I am always striving, never arriving, you are talking about appreciating the arrival before setting your sights again.”

I am drawn to the apples and ask them if they have a specific message for me.

“We are the fruit of your country; we contain the healthy vitamins for your growth; we symbolise the start and also the end; we are knowledge attained and we are the nourishment for the new. We will help you let go of what is no longer needed; now you have achieved what is required you can let go of the aids you used to get here. Use them to start the new pathway ahead.”

“Thank you.” I say.

I look to the hazelnuts:

“Do you have a message?” I ask.

“We are the nuts of all goodness – small and powerful. We are sought by many on the land. We will be stored for later use; gather what you know and what you have gained and, though you use some of this to fuel your new start, keep some in reserve for later on – the winter of the project. Know what to keep and what to let go of – some things are meant to be used straight away and others to be saved. We are to be used and saved. In a reading you will be drawn to the one or other of us, to know what action is needed – whether to spend your reward now, or to keep for the long term; whether to use to fuel the short terms needs.”

“Thank you.” I say. I feel there is wise financial advice in this.

I look to the blackberries in the archway above me:

“What are you telling us here?” I ask.

“We are tenacious and will never give up. We are fertility and prosperity. We feed many in the world and we grow and protect ourselves; we will adapt to our environment. So too you have developed the determination to keep going no matter what, to adapt to whatever difficulties have come in front of you. You have protected yourself well and in doing all these things so we are your reward. You can claim the reward for your hard work and share it with others. Others will need to reach up to gather their nourishment, as you offer it for them.”

“We all work together to bring balance and nourishment into someone’s life. There is no conflict between us, though our special ability is different in each case. So we represent a team working together for common goals. Bringing the best forward into being. We are the results of creativity over time.”

“Thank you all.” I say. “I appreciate your gifts to me literally and symbolically.”

I walk forward to the field of wheat. “What of you?” I say.

“We will be harvested soon and can be used in so many ways as the main stay of your diet in the future. Remember to harvest all your goods – appreciate not only those things hard won and short lived, but also those everyday achievements that together amount to large rewards; the parenting of a child; the working away, day by day, at a job that feels ordinary. We are the success through the mundane and the ordinary. We provide the staple diet, the life force on an ongoing basis in the year ahead. We are also self confidence – your belief in yourself growing through what you know you have achieved this year gone past. Look back over what has happened and take stock – harvest the ordinary accomplishments – the things you would overlook. Appreciate it all.”

“Thank you, Yes I understand your message and your gift. Wonderful!”

I look to the sky and see the rainbow. It seems to lean towards me.

“I am the reminder that the storm is over that you can rest in the sun and enjoy life, you have worked hard to get where you are and you have weathered many storms. Now just notice the beauty it has produced in you; the deep down beauty of integration and self love. See how you also gleam in the sunlight, like a multifaceted diamond containing my image. Allow your rainbows to be seen and loved. Rest from work, for the time for celebration is now. All is well – enjoy this time for you deserve it. Access your inner love and beauty and celebrate all your achievements, inner and outer.”

“Thank you all.” I say. I feel there is a unified message here of appreciation and gratitude, also of celebration, nourishment and joy. I love the energy of this card and know I need to allow myself time such as this in my own life rather than rushing on to the next goal. That new start will come soon enough.

“What if you are reversed?” I ask almost knowing the answer before I finish the question.

“I am saying you are full of harvest and not noticing. There is much to be grateful for yet you strive to plant seeds. The time is not being used correctly. You plant when you should be harvesting so you struggle and find things hard going. To right this card ‘Stop’. Write a gratitude journal. Make the only new thing be the habit of being grateful for how things are in the moment. Look at your past and how far you have come. As you do this you will be rewarded by joy and renewed excitement for life. Reversed we point to an addiction to work, and a fear of letting go enough to play. Always in the future. Look to the present for the joy you seek and the past for the understanding. You will soon embrace the joyousness of this card.”

“Thank you. I do like your energy here; thank you for sharing it with me.”

I turn and leave the card. It is such an uplifting and positive card. I love the energy.


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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