Today’s card is the Four of Water (Cups), also known as Decadence. In the Shapeshifter Tarot, as in other traditional decks, the Element of Water represents the emotions and matters of the heart, love in all its forms, friendship and compassion, gentle healing, and all matters concerning blood, the circulatory system, and menstrual flow. Water also represents bodies of water, all underwater creatures and amphibious creatures, ships and travel by sea, beaches, seashells, and seaweed. It comes sometimes in waves and storms, crashing into us with force and overwhelming us if we let it. It is also where the Moon resides, whose power affects the tidal flow of the Earth itself.
The keywords for this card are Deterioration, Dissatisfaction, and Decline. In this scene, two large sea lions, symbol of alertness to change and danger, are sunning on the beach; neither of them notice the impending danger of the sea serpent that is swooping in on them from behind. These sea lions have become satiated with material pleasures. They are lulled in to a false sense of security and denial that has allowed them to become complacent, satisfied with the mere material and sensual rewards of the physical without diving into the deeper spiritual mysteries. By making this choice, the seeker leaves themselves vulnerable to the emotionally charged situations that arise to cause serious upsets and setbacks.
This sea serpent, a water dragon, is winding its way out of the gleaming sun, representing the creative, yet destructive, power of prime matter. This dragon of emotion (Water) forewarns of impending problems. Human faces. sleeping in oblivion as part of the great stone wall on the left of this scene, represent primordial power and a shut down of the psychic and intuitive senses due to a complete absorption of the physical pleasures and possessions. Complete absorption in these hedonistic habits will cause the seeker to stop listening to their inner voice altogether and miss the warnings of impending negative events, complications, and dangers.
This card is a real and urgent warning! Pay attention for a period of false security, either currently or in the near future. Without changes in your lifestyle and outlook, you could be headed for a huge letdown with prolonged periods of negative energy and action. Set some limits or you will wind up in a position of strong disappointment and failures.
May your heart be called to prioritize your decadence against your dreams for a better tomorrow!