Remember that old meme “Happiness is…” from the Peanuts? A quick snoop(y) around Google and you can find dozens of Happiness is… memes, along with the tidbit that the song “Happiness” (that seems to have spawned the whole “Happiness is….” thing) comes from 1967’s You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown musical. Happiness is… has been around a while.
The ellipsis is the part that connects the meme to today’s card. Sure, this card is all happy, sunny, positive, hopeful, optimistic and all of that jazz. But at what point does it tip over into toxic positivity? What do you do if you pull this card when things are terrible and the last thing you need is a bunch of shallow platitudes and superficial think-positive happy talk?
The first thing to do is take it easy on yourself. You are not wrong. “Positive” isn’t always right. Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns all of the time. The very first of Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths is the truth of suffering. It exists. Shit happens. Rather than drown said shit in denial, minimization, avoidance, platitudes or thoughts & prayers, it seems better to honestly acknowledge these so-called negative emotions than to sweep then under the proverbial rug. If you acknowledge them, then maybe you won’t inadvertently take them out on other people. The sunlight of honest acknowledgement is the best disinfectant. Sometimes a short wallow in what we are really feeling is the best way to deal with those emotions and move on.
That is the beauty of the Tarot deck as a whole. It covers a wide range of human emotions and experiences from the idyllic ten of Cups all the way through the Devil and Death cards and then some.
That’s the beauty of each card. In each one, there is a little seed, a little glimmer of its opposite. Some readers prefer to only consider that seed when the card presents as reversed (upside down relative to the person doing the reading.) I think that seed of the opposite is worth considering all of the time, and would rather leave reversals to be a clue to slowed, challenged or blocked energies.
That’s the beauty of the ellipsis in the “Happiness is….” meme. The definition of happiness is 100% up to you. Happiness may be a warm puppy, an ice cream sundae, or good friends. Happiness may be black mascara and a Bauhaus album. As it harms none, do what thou will….you get to decide what makes you happy as long as you wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, don’t commit any felonies and don’t hurt anyone.
By that same token, just as you get to decide what your own happiness IS, you get to decide to BE happy. Things can suck. Shit happens. Suffering is a truth of life….and you can still decide to be happy in spite of it all.
Today’s Tarot, the Ten of Cups, happiness is….
up to you.