Ace of Cups

Ace of Cups from Anecdotes Tarot: A city in a forest in a giant cup

There is a rusty light on the pines tonight;
sun pouring wine, lord, or marrow, into the
bones of the birches, and the spires of the churches, jutting out from the shadows

Joanna Newsom, “Emily” (Ys, 2006)

Image Description

A gold sun rises over a gigantic red and gold cup that holds forest of green and gold pine trees and white birch trees beneath gray mountains. A church steeple, two smokestacks, and a crenelated rise out of the forest. A river flows through the middle and over the rim of the cup down into an ocean at the base of the cup. A yoke and an ax are drawn on two side panels of the cup.


In this card, we see a city from afar, rising up from the sea. It is cradled in a surrounding forest by a monumental cup. The church spire is prominent, and the sun rising above the cup resembles the host in the Christian sacrament of the Eucharist. The album contains some religious references, and the legend of Ys is itself colored by a Catholic society. Furthermore, in tarot the suit of Cups has almost always been linked to the clergy and religion. As a result, such imagery recurs throughout the suit.

This card links to the Ten of Cups, which shows the city submerged.