Monday 16th September 2019: 2 of Cups

Of the several messages which the Two of Cups may convey, the one that speaks to me today is not so much about interpersonal relationships, but about cultivating that which you love. We often hear the phrase “follow your passion,” but what we follow has its back to us as it leads us on. Here, in the Two of Cups the couple are face to face, eye to eye, and they are sharing a convivial drink. That is to say, we should cultivate our passions, engage with them, converse and have communion with them. I think of Machiavelli who, on returning home, would change into his “garments of court and palace” and then,

I step into the ancient courts of men of antiquity, where, received kindly, I partake of food that is for me alone and for which I was born, where I am not ashamed to converse with them and ask them the reasons for their actions. And they in their full humanity answer me. For four hours I feel no tedium and forget every anguish, not afraid of poverty, not terrified by death. I lose myself in them entirely.

Machiavelli, Letter to Francesco Vettori, translated by Peter Constantine in The Essential Writings of Machiavelli

Personal Application

Today was a national holiday here in Japan and I spent the whole day in my chamber communing not so much with “men of antiquity” as with modern masters of chess in an attempt to build opening repertoires for both White and Black. In the illustration the woman is wearing a laurel wreath on her head, symbolising eloquence and victory; my hope is to play chess so that my moves “speak eloquently” and deliver victory.

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