There it was again. The 8 of Cups. And I was not happy to see it.

I have a weird history with that card.  When I first started learning tarot, I thought it was a rather gentle card that suggested leaving behind worldly success for something more meaningful.  How poetic, right?

But in my own personal readings, this card has taken on a different tone.  It’s become a warning bell especially when it comes to friendships.

Let me explain.  Years ago, I was friends with a very snarky woman.  She was great fun and I enjoyed her acidic wit and sharp mind.  We bonded over mystical subjects, good food and long talks about life.  I even helped her launch a business.

One day, I decided to do a reading on the relationship.  Oddly, the 8 of Cups came up.  Hmmm….was I going to walk away?  Or did that suggest the relationship would take on a more spiritual vibration?  (I envisioned us like wizened old monks traveling the world and seeking wisdom.)  I preferred the second option, so I put those cards away and continued on, business as usual.

And then she betrayed me.  I won’t go into the details but it was the most painful ending to a friendship I had ever experienced.  It took me months to “get over it”.  But eventually, I did.  I simply moved on.

Flash forward many years later.  I meet a new friend.  We hit it off immediately and quickly form a bond over food and other common interests.  I’m thrilled and full of anticipation.

I lay out the cards to see if there is a future. And that damn 8 of Cups shows up.  My heart sinks. Once again, I try to see a positive spin here.   But there is a 7 of Swords for good measure.  I shove the cards into a dark drawer and put on my happy face.

And then I learn a repeat lesson.  Not as brutal but still an element of betrayal. Although this time, I am not so shocked.  I even try to salvage things by explaining how I feel.  Except this person doesn’t listen and just gets uncomfortable with my emotional reaction.  So I walk away, brush my shoulders off and let it go.  It took no time this time to “get over it”.   I was forewarned by the 8 of Cups so I knew this could be a possible outcome.

Last year, I made another acquaintance.  I am a naturally friendly person but I am wary of this one.  Perhaps because I can smell the potential for bullshit this time.  Things quickly take a turn in a very odd and icky direction.

So I pull out the cards.  And guess who shows up?  Yup, the 8 of Cups.  I walk away, brush my shoulders off and don’t look back.  And although I am not happy with the situation, I know I am safe.  I heeded the warning even more carefully than ever.  I am bruised but not hurt.  This time, I move on immediately.

For me, the 8 of Cups has become sort of an alarm when it turns up in any sort of friendship query.  I no longer attempt to see a rosy picture.  I have learned that for me, it is a sign to run as far away as possible.  It says: get out while the getting is good.  Turn your back and never cross that path again. This person is not safe.

I find it intriguing when certain cards become personal “omens” or warnings.  Over the years, I have had other cards that have tried to serve as an alert.  Sometimes it is obvious like The Tower.  But other times not so much (3 of Wands reversed can indicate a need to put distance in a relationship).

Every card has the potential to serve as a sign for potential good or ill to come.  Whether or not you heed the “warning” is all up to you.



© Theresa Reed | The Tarot Lady




Have any cards become your personal “four alarm warning” cards?  I’d love to hear your stories in the comment section below:




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