Queering up the Ten of Cups

At last – a Ten of Cups that truly illustrates how I feel about this card.

In Charissa Drengsen’s Steampunk Tarot, this card depicts the circus that is life, and the sense of fullfillment that the Ten of Cups is supposed to represent.

Ten of Pentacles, from the Steampunk Tarot by Charissa Drengsen

I’ve banged on before about how traditional imagery in this card tends towards a heteronormative view of emotional contentment – usually depicting a straight couple, their perfect home and happy kids. For those of us who don’t find this particularly exciting, the card can be alienating or off-putting.

Here, though, a woman sits among a gang of curious, eccentric-looking friends. She’s found her emotional home among a community – this may include lover/s, it may include children – that’s not important. What makes it work is the ‘Welcome Home’ banner that hangs above the scene. She is home. She is happy, she is safe. She loves and is loved. She has the support and warmth of the people she cares about and, regardless of what others may make of this happy little freak show, that’s all that matters.

Like this post? Please share it!


  1. Chloe says:

    Totally with you on this card, it expresses so much better the idea of family contentment, no matter how crazy the family. The other is just too sacharine! Even “normal” families are never all sunshine and light, and emotional contentment comes in many forms.

    • Little Red says:

      Thanks Chloe! I guess there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ family – even those which look super normal from the outside have their oddities, their black sheep, their crazy times. I think this card is about how true love wins out no matter what.
      So…how are you, speaking of family? Very belated congratulations to you! I’ve missed your blog but am reading daily again now 🙂

  2. A. says:

    I know this is an old post, but I’m wondering if you’ve ever seen the Ten of Cups from the Light Grey Tarot before? I know you’ve talked about and interviewed the artist, Trung Nguyen, about other work, but just in case….


    I really like that card. I love to see decks with the ‘make your own happiness and community’ interpretations, which are great and welcoming, but for variety, it’s neat to see one with the classic, traditional connotations of domestic love and family and the cute little shared house that can still be queer.

Comments are closed.