Eight of Cups

8 of Cups from Anecdotes Tarot: spiders hanging from blooming cherry branches

Spiders’ ghosts hang, soaked and
dangling silently, from all the blooming cherry trees

Joanna Newsom, “Only Skin” (Ys, 2006)

Image Description

Red cherry tree branches covered in pink blossoms cross in the top half of the card. Below, eight red spiders hang from the branches.


Cherry blossoms, broken by the rain, are a symbol of ephemeral beauty. The blossoms, all spring and youth, contrast with the dead spiders hanging just below. This is a reminder of the hundreds of small crimes committed daily, the seemingly inconsequential creatures that die to sustain the world. The line comes with the refrain, “Be a woman.” The illusory ideal of femininity is as fragile as the blossoms, and like them is underpinned by thousands of harms. At its most negative, this card signifies a slow, but unstoppable, draining.

This card echoes the call to a sister that began in the Three of Cups.