"A winged kingly figure with a winged crown, seated in a chariot drawn by an eagle. On the wheel is the symbol of a scorpion. The eagle is borne as a crest upon his crown, cuirass and buskins. General attire like King (Prince) of Wands. Beneath his chariot is the calm and stagnant water of a lake. His scale armour resembles feathers more than scales. He holds in one hand a lotus, and the other a cup, charged with the sigil of his scale. A serpent issues from the cup, and has its head tending down to the waters of the lake.
"He is subtle, violent, crafty and artistic. A fierce nature with calm exterior. Powerful for good or evil, but more attracted by the evil, if allied with apparent Power or Wisdom. If ill-dignified he is intensely evil and merciless. He rules from 20 degrees of Libra to 20 degrees Scorpio.
"Air of Water. Prince and Emperor of Nymphs and Undines."
Tetragrammaton in the element of Water. He symbolizes an energy which is volatile and changeable. Steam, formed from the marriage of Fire and Water is the Force indicated here. The faculty of the mind and intellect are attributed to the element of Air, and thus the Prince of Cups alludes to the mental creativity inherent in the subconscious which is represented by the element of Water.
The Prince of Cups is more warlike than his brother the Prince of Wands, but he is also more mysterious. He is erratic, a catalyst for energies which are both sublime and destructive. He can be felt as a cool morning mist, or as a corrosive hot gas. His characteristics are secrecy, artistry and subtlety ... a calm exterior which disguises great intensity; like a quiet pool of water which covers quicksand. The lesson learned from the Prince is that the placid waters may contain destructive energies.
The Prince is seated in a chariot pulled by an enormous white eagle, the Kerubic emblem of Water. The eagle also refers to the highest, most pure form of water as opposed to the scorpion which signifies the waters of putrefaction. The serpent, issuing from his cup is another symbol of Scorpio, water energy in transition. Therefore the Prince of Cups partakes of much of the same symbolism as the Death card, which gives him tremendous energy and transforming powers... he is much stronger and enduring than the other Royal Cup cards. In his left hand he holds the lotus, the sacred flower of the waters, while fish leap up from the sea at his passing. The background color is green, formed from the mixture of yellow and blue, the colors of (Vav) Air and elemental Water.
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