Walking away from a life that isn't fulfilling you is a bold, brave move to make and plenty of people spend years simply suffering in silence rather than making that break. Moving towards new ground is the central theme of the Eight of Cups. It addresses the essential nature of new direction and asks us to consider what to take with us and what to leave behind. This card addresses the deepest parts of us - the parts that dwell beneath our surface personalities and deal with what we truly want and with the quest we're on to feel contentment and profound satisfaction with the lives we're living. It illustrates someone who's walking away from a life that was lived on other people's terms or with the wrong goal in mind, and as they move towards a life that will speak to them on a deeper level, certain parts of their persona will be shed, debris will be cleared away and important questions about the nature of the self will beg an answer.
The important thing to remember about the Eight of Cups is that sometimes it will be a card of empowerment for your path, but sometimes it highlights an unwillingness to let go, a fear of the unknown or a sense of guilt which arrives as the result of putting yourself first and seeking what you need, rather than dutifully fulfilling your expectations. When this card appears in readings, I sometimes feel that it's time to reassure the querent that they're doing everything they possibly can to put right what is wrong, but ultimately they know they need to be somewhere else. The Eight of Cups can, at times, speak of an unbelievable degree of change and an inner evolution for the querent, and this is never easy. A sense of loneliness can sometimes be inherent here and it's important to help a querent understand that having to be strong and honest about what's wrong and what needs to put right will entail a measure of loneliness but that this will pass as the transition comes to an end and the new life begins.
This card is concerned with profound meaning and deep realisation. Sometimes when it shows up in a spread I look at it and think, 'It's time.' Time to hold your head up and walk away, time to accept who you really are and time to dare to make your life your own.