Eight of Cups: Success Abandoned

Tarot Stories
2 min readDec 20, 2020


This card is so relevant to these next two weeks as we spend time reflecting on what matters the most during the holiday season, and preparing to make resolutions for the new year. Yet, this entire year has been a reflection of sorts and its hard to plan for a year that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be too different and with no idea what’s going to happen next.

While talk of the vaccine has certainly been uplifting we know for the next five months at the very least, nothing is really going to change. So do we continue to put our lives on hold as we wait for that future date and forget to live (as I have been doing since March), or do we actually adapt and spend the next five months living in the present with adjusted goals? Life is short.

Eight of Cups from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

What you see: A man with a walking stick navigates the rocks alongside a river, with mountains in the distance. His back is turned to the eight cups stacked in the foreground, and the crescent and full moon shines down.

What it means: The man is walking away from some opportunity under the cloak of night, implying he is escaping or wants to be unseen. The river that flows alongside signifies the heavy emotions involved and the mountains represent challenges in his future.

The story: The Eight of Cups represents abandonment or escapism; letting go of certain ideals or goals and embracing a new journey.

Reversed meaning: Reversed, the card signifies accepting less or settling; continuing to pursue something because of fear of change.

Reflection: Initially the card seemed like a negative one to me — cowardice in turning away, but on greater reflection I think the card represents a real difficult but necessary course of action. It shows someone making the decision to follow a higher purpose despite the challenges this will bring.

My research sources:
A Complete Guide to the Tarot, Eden Gray, 1970
Tarot Card Meanings, Biddy Tarot
Card Meanings, Labyrinthos
Root Lock Radio: A Tarot Podcast



Tarot Stories

A Canadian marketing strategist learning storytelling through the Tarot, and maybe finding the meaning of life along the way.