The King of Cups is a card of emotional balance. Something that's often hard to find within ourselves.
John Bradshaw once said that 95% of the population is dysfunctional and co-dependent in some way, and the other 5% are in denial.
I remember back in the 80s when I first heard about ACOA Adult Children of Alcoholics and the given description of the behavioral personality characteristics displayed by those who grow up in alcoholic homes. It very accurately described me to a tee and that was just the beginning of my own personal recovery journey.
I was relieved to learn why it was I'd felt so emotionally imbalanced all my life, and to know I wasn't alone in what I thought was my weirdness. It has hard for me to remember there ever being a time I didn't feel this way, that I didn't belong or that happiness was for everybody else, but it eluded me.
What an incredible relief it was to finally begin to understand why I behaved the way I did, to appreciate, accept and eventually come to love the person I am.
The King of Cups embodies the mythic figure Orpheus the singer. He represents for me the kind of father that most of us envision as being ideal.. He is both priest and healer who seeks to form relationships with others and yet his relationship with himself is lacking in that he doesn't seem to know how to make himself happy. The King of Cups is the image of the Wounded Healer and he is far from perfect.
None of us grow up with an ideal father though it is often easy for us to put them on a pedestal and see them as perfect, even in the face of abuse, neglect or abandonment in some way.
Forgiveness and acceptance of our fathers as they truly are, comes when we do this not for them, but for ourselves. Then we can begin to love them not in spite of who they are, but because of who they are.