Cups representing the emotional life, here in the Eight of Cups we see the descent of Persephone (Psyche) which is dreaded and dark, but one that is taken by many of us at some point in our lives. Persephone is descending down the stairwell of the underworld. Despairing in the knowledge she may never return, as it is the last task Aphrodite has given her, which is death. She has voluntarily given up hope in achieving her goal of relationship. She must let go, as she can do nothing else, but submit to the will of the divine, the great goddess of love Aphrodite. Persephone goes empty handed into the unknown.
This is The Heroine's Journey.
The descent to the underworld or the unconscious, is a time when everything is about to change whether we know it or not.
We don't like the change and want to refuse or deny the changes, being fearful, insecure, and perhaps feeling a sense of obligation, or any range of reasons why we cannot let go of our current circumstances.
Once circumstances are accepted, suddenly help or spiritual guidance appears and is then provided.
Finally crossing the first threshold to the new adventure, filled with unknown dangers, limits and rules, it is at this time there is an overwhelming sense of hopelessness, and this the lowest point in the journey, despairing as there is no one to help us.
It is like being in the belly of the whale, separated from ourselves and the world as we know it. But it is now where we begin to embark on the metamorphosis, dying to the old self, and are transforming into the new self, with a willingness to transform.
At this point, there are an initiation of sorts including many tests, trials and ordeals to undergo, in order for the transformation to begin.
After facing these challenges, we can return transformed, experienced, with a deeper understanding of unconditional love, the balance between the material and spiritual world, comfortable and competent with the inner and outer world. Being unified within ourselves, we need to integrate the wisdom imparted to us through our journey, and figure out how to share our experience strength and hope with others.
The mastery that is achieved from this journey leads to freedom of death, and in turn, gives us the freedom to live.