Here is my contribution to the 78 Tarot Nautical! Go here to see all the amazing work by all 80 artists, including Amy Brown and Larry Elmore!!!! www.seventy-eight-tarot.com/
The 10 of cups is described as the happy family card where you can finally take a moment to relax and savor all the rewards your hard work has sown. It usually has a couple with two children playing nearby, representing a happy harmonious family life. There is a comfortable house in the back ground with a flourishing garden and a river running past to show abundance. A rainbow arches over the scene with ten cups in it to symbolize divine blessings.
I have used two leafy sea dragons to represent the happy couple and two eggs take the place of the children. A sunken treasure ship becomes the home in the background with its abundant kelp forest around it. A lively run of Blue Fin Tuna take the place of a river. The dragon on top arches gracefully over the scene while the streaming light from above glints off the scales in a rainbow of colors. I have scattered the 10 cups around the nesting area to represent the wealth of a happy home.
I purposefully left the gender of the dragons ambiguous. Traditionally the mothers are the ones shown nesting and caring for the young, but in the case of sea horses/dragons, the males are the ones responsible for rearing the offspring. This way it’s up to the observer to fill the roles as they want. It was my husbands idea to use koi fish coloring for the dragons and I am so glad he suggested it. Koi are associated with harmony and blessings and that just speaks to what the 10 of Cups is all about. The dragons placement even hints at an eternity symbol for unending familial love. All of the cups are upright or supported at upright angles so that they can catch and hold all of the blessings that a happy home brings. The surrounding coral reef and it’s inhabitants are peaceful and going about their day.
The reverse of the card shows disharmony and discord in the home. When you flip this image the dragons seem off kilter. The eggs are no longer being lovingly nestled, they are being clung to as they are in danger of falling. The ship is no longer just sunk, it is capsized and all of the fish are now “belly up”. The golden cups are overturned and spilling their blessings out into the ocean.