ALTERNATE NAMES: Grail Maiden--Earth of Water, Imaginative Daughter of Love <Matthews>; Princess of the Waters, Lotus of the Palace of the Floods, Princess and Empress of the Nymphs or Undines <Crowley>

RW DESCRIPTION: A young person stands before the sea, left hand resting on jutting left hip, right hand holding a cup. The Page's attention is focused on a blue fish poking out of the top of the cup.
FIRST THING THAT STRUCK ME: Fish out of water.

UPRIGHT MEANINGS: Fair young man, one impelled to render service and with whom the Querent will be connected; a studious youth; news, message; application, reflection, meditation; also these things directed to business. Good augury; also a young man who is unfortunate in love. <A.E. Waite> Emotional freedom and expression, following one's heart, openness, impulsiveness, distraction, childlike wonderment, artistic inspiration, guidance from dreams and visions, still small voice, intuition, developing psychic talents, contemplation, stream of consciousness. Puppy love, attraction, affection, developing emotional tie, bonding, experiencing "fellow feeling," understanding, sympathy, jealousy conquered, turning the other cheek, forgiveness. A thoughtful gesture or act of kindness, service to others, loyalty, a good and faithful friend, a trustworthy and conscientious worker.
ALSO: A child. Birth of a child, esp. a first and/or only child. Feeling out of place--like a newborn, or a fish out of water. A person who practices their religion with humility, openness and tolerance. A new clarity in communication in a relationship. An insight which leads to an improvement in a relationship. New opportunities or methods. A youth event (e.g. church youth group meeting). A dream or creative, inspirational news. A deep, intuitive understanding of earth and water energies. <Tracey Hoover>
UPRIGHT TRAITS: Emotional, young-at-heart, unsophisticated, imaginative, expressive, artistic, dreamy, sensitive, reflective, meditative, pensive, thoughtful. Sentimental, romantic, gentle, gracious, tender, sweet, kind, loving, caring, sympathetic, interested in other people's feelings. Willing to please, deeply loyal, dependent but helpful. A young man or girl with light brown hair and hazel eyes. <Eden Gray> A magical being, one who sees via the lens of insight; a healer, especially of the emotions. <Tracey Hoover>

REVERSED MEANINGS: Taste, inclination, attachment, seduction, deception, artifice. Obstacles of all kinds. <A.E. Waite> Distraction, lack of focus, inability to ignore impulses. Emotional restraint or excess, mood swings, bipolar disorder, deviation, fretfulness, susceptibility, morbidity, inaction. A lazy kid. Ugly preconceptions, unpleasant news.
REVERSED TRAITS: Easily hurt. Prone to tears, needs to develop a tough veneer to survive, wishy-washy, dependent, embellishes and fabricates stories and gossip. <Susan Hansson> A flatterer, selfish, spoiled, indolent, addictive, reclusive, insecure, destructive.

BIBLICAL: John the Evangelist; baby Moses in his reed basket, floating on the Nile, trusting that Pharoah's daughter will soon take him from the water.

Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord [which] thou lettest down?
Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?
Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft [words] unto thee?
Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever?
Wilt thou play with him as [with] a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?
Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? <Job 41:1-6>

MYTHOLOGICAL: Sailors under the sirens' spell.
ASTROLOGICAL: Some say Pisces.

ANIMAL; INSECT: fish, flounder; bee
HERBS/PLANTS: Anything that gives you a buzz.
FLOWERS: Daisies and other wildflowers hand-picked and gifted by one who loves you.
LANDSCAPE/LOCATION: Marseille or Riviera
TIME/SEASON: Spring morning.
SCENTS: Rain fresh.

MUSIC: "What happened to the dream of a woman president? She's dancing in a video, next to 50 Cent." <Pink>
FICTIONAL CHARACTER: Paul Atreides in the first Dune book, before leaving Caladan. Especially when Gurney tells him: "Mood is a thing for love play and cattle!"
PUBLIC PEOPLE: Julia Butterfly Hill
OCCUPATIONS: Children's entertainer, clown, artist, performer, child care assistant/intern, humanitarian, service industry (waitperson), fisherperson.
QUOTES FROM OTHER SOURCES: Love All Serve All <Hard Rock Cafe motto> "To be a healthy person, you have to be sympathetic to the child you once were and maintain the continuity between you as a child and you as an adult." <Maruice Sendak>

SITUATIONS IN MY LIFE: My husband and I hosted a wedding party in Switzerland for those who couldn't make it to our wedding in Florida. We were there from 10 a.m. Sat. to 6 a.m. Sun. All we could think about was getting in bed. I came into the apartment, plopped down on the bed . . . and nearly broke my butt! Someone had removed the spring and mattress, and replaced it with (very hard) compressed bales of hay. The person responsible was my first (now former) friend in my new country. It was one of the few times in my life I've ever been *really* angry. Everyone - even my own mom - told me I was wrong. "It's tradition." I felt like my thoughts and feelings were so out of place, and that whole experience demonstrates some of the feelings I associate with the Page of Cups.

PERSONAL THOUGHTS: My key phrase for this card is "fish out of water." To me, this means:

The "fish out of water" also reminds me in many ways of a baby coming into the world. Many people I know associate this card with their own young children. S/He has perfect innocence and trust. (What choice?) But can't innocence be dangerous? Air is deadly to a fish. : P
The Page is romantic, a poet even. But have you ever cried over a movie? What exactly is "the earth of water"? Could it be the salt of our tears? How are the waters of emotion affected by the tides of life? Could our trusty Page ever get moody, or even manic depressive? Remember the new emotions of the teenage years?
It's hard for me to relate to that "perfect innocence," having lost mine so long ago . . .

THIS CARD/PERSON IN MY LIFE: photo of the Page of Cups in my life; Pinky Page of Cups
INDIVIDUAL SYMBOLS - some associations and ideas:
fish - Pisces, Christ (and all the N.T. analogies), brain food; "ideas surging up from the deep subconscious to find expression on the earthly plane"--Hansson
water - emotions; primal ocean as source of all life, waves and tides
turtle - "slow and steady"; retreating into or coming out of a shell; fertility, but especially long life
*Some Native American cultures put a turtle shell or image of a turtle on a baby's crib, for long life. It should be a gift from someone other than the parents.
flowers - I think the flowers on the RW page's tunic relate to the lotus/lilies in the other decks. Purity of soul.
dove/bird - holy ghost, peace, grace, soul/spirit
hat - meditation
feather - contemplation
Not really a Tarot source, but I always find interesting associations in the book "Mary Summer Rain on Dreams." She says that turtles symbolize fear of facing responsibility or reality. All the other symbols, she relates to spirit:
fish - spiritual companionship
water - reflects spiritual aspects
lotus - spiritual sacredness
water lily - spiritual beauty
swan - beautiful and grace-filled spiritual nature; inherent spiritual essence and resulting gifts.

FAVORITE REPRESENTATION: The Thoth Princess of Cups, for her graciousness; the Healing Tarot Daughter of Cups, for her carefree attitude.

ANCESTRAL PATH Princess of Cups, by Julie Cuccia-Watts
Morgana in the woods collects pennyroyal in her cup. The full moon shines over the lake behind her.
My mental shorthand for this card is "Goddess of Outcasts." Marie-de-la-Mer; Lady of the Lake.
Why is she alone in the woods when there's that great party going on at Camelot? Why is she not included in the love feast going on between the other court card characters? To me, Morgana always seemed like the odd one out, especially when grouped with Arthur, Gwenhwyfar and Lancelot. She has other concerns; her own interests.
When this card comes up in a reading, it indicates a time when my emotional needs are met by being alone. No more outside demands, no more buzz of voices, when I can hear my *own* voice. Earth of Water--emotional grounding.
HALLOWEEN TAROT Page of Ghosts, by Kipling West
My, oh, my. Lookee here, it's the friendly ghost!
This is kind of a weird coincidence, as I just uploaded this picture to my web site yesterday (or was it the day before). The similarities jumped right out at me: Both are draped with tattered white sheets, both have a separate piece for a mask, both images have two matching "ghost" faces, and all four of them are smiling. I know my daughter didn't have a fish in her bucket, though.
HALLOWEEN TAROT Page of Ghosts, by Kipling West
Similar to the Rider Waite Page of Cups, the Halloween Tarot Page of Ghosts stands by the water gazing at a fish in a cup. The Page wears a ghost costume, but has removed hir hood to get a better look. Behind hir, a ghost floats and also looks at the cup, smiling. The black cat prances by, looking up, and a sealed letter lies seemingly forgotten on the ground.
What strikes me most about this card is how *distracting* that fish is! There's been a lot written about the fish--about how it represents something coming up from the subconsciousness, etc. Yes, such things can distract one from mundane life. But the Page lives for the distractions, not for the mundane. And this is what makes the Page an "outcast," in that s/he's more interested following hir own inner promptings than in what others are doing or saying. The Page has left off the excitement (and profit) of the holiday, preferring a moment of emotional calm. Rather like watching fish in an aquarium (very therapeutic) or, as my Dad used to say, "contemplating your navel." S/he should be out trick or treating, or delivering this letter, but no! S/he has to stop an ogle this fish. Well, I would too.
S/he really doesn't want to hear, "It's just not done," or "There are more important things you should be doing." By whose standards? Who says you can't climb trees at 40? Who says making dinner can't wait til you're done building the sand castle? (Answer: parents and husbands.) The Page focuses on what catches hir attention at the time--usually something fun, unusual or interesting. If everything had to be "productive" by mundane standards, who would waste time with Tarot cards???
If the card comes up with respect to a child (esp. my own), it usually indicates a more aggravating time (for me, not for her). The Page is not getting the message (the letter lays on the ground) and you can talk until you're "blue in the face," but all hir attention is somewhere else right now. It is hardly possible to get past this obstacle by hollering from on high. One must come to the Page's level and make sure you have eye contact before you even start. Otherwise, you are just wasting your breath.

The Voice earth

Wild Child

The Vision water

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This page contains excerpts from my original contributions to an online Tarot discussion. The Comparative Tarot list is made possible by Teresa Michelsen and Yahoo! groups.
Images: Edward Burne-Jones, "The Depths of the Sea"; Florence Harrison, "The Grail Maiden"
Page of Cups IMHO page created March 31, 2006