TEN OF CUPS: REVERSED
DAILY TAROT: 05/12/19
Diane's Marriage To Mr. Peanutbutter Is The Antithesis of Paradise
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The Ten of Cups is our fairytale ending. It does not necessarily point to financial success, but rather a fulfillment of the heart through self-actualization, uplifting relationships with others, and happiness in the home. More than a cliché, shallow ending, it speaks to fulfillment in a way that assures us this ending is well-deserved. We battled demons and sailed across stormy waters to arrive here, and we have permission to experience wave after wave of unfiltered joy. It’s that serene moment when we wake up one morning wrapped in our deluxe, silk linen sheets and realize we’ve got our white picket fence, home by the lake, and a spacious, green backyard for the Golden Lab to run around in.
Or, if you’re Diane Nguyen from Netflix's BoJack Horseman, you're literally married to a Golden Lab named Mr. Peanutbutter. Of course he’s her prince, he’s named after the most beloved nut spread to complement sliced bread since sliced bread. Which is great, until you discover you’re deathly allergic to peanuts. It turns out this wasn’t her fairytale ending (spoiler alerts incoming).
In Episode 12 of Season 4, titled, ‘What Time Is It Right Now’, Mr. Peanutbutter builds Diane a ‘Belle’ library. Diane is not impressed by this grand gesture, in fact, she’s heartbroken, because she can no longer ignore that her marriage to Mr. Peanutbutter doesn’t align with who she is. Unlike the Ten of Cups, Mr. Peanutbutter is the shallow, cliché fairytale ending — he’s superficial in his over-the-top displays of love that he glibly believes are good; and though they may be rooted in niceness, they’re not necessarily good. Because Diane has told Mr. Peanutbutter that she doesn’t like grand gestures. She actually doesn’t like a lot of the things he likes, but he never seems to listen and fully internalize what she tells him. And so, at the end of this episode we arrive at some pretty gut-wrenching dialogue between the two where Diane sums up the contradictory elements of their marriage, “It's messy, and at first glance it doesn't seem to make sense, and it's hard to figure out. But sometimes, if you squint at it just right, everything lines up and it's the most perfect, beautiful, amazing thing. ...But I’m so tired of squinting.”
Diane's marriage is far from epitomizing the Ten of Cups. It's more like the Ten of Cups reversed. The Ten of Cups reversed suggests that the once idealized reality we were living in has faded. The fog surrounding Diane’s Hollywood mansion dissipates and reveals what is really just an old, derelict apartment building. This card tells of a domestic romance that has turned rotten, and a heart and spirit that feel completely out of tune with the mind. But Diane’s unhappy home life also points to the larger issue of an absence of harmony and balance within herself.
In Season 5 of the show, Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter finally get a divorce, and in the second episode of the season, ‘The Dog Days Are Over’, Diane impulsively flies to Vietnam, mirroring the disingenuous millennial trend of flying somewhere overseas to ‘find yourself’. She begins the episode narrating her journey in a forced upbeat, optimistic tone that gradually wears off as epiphany after epiphany strikes her. Issues with her identity come to the forefront of her consciousness and she realizes that instead of feeling more in tune with her Vietnamese roots, she feels foreign and disconnected from both her immediate surroundings and herself.
At the heart of the Ten of Cups reversed is a disconnect or misalignment. Yes, things have turned sour in the home, perhaps there was a fight or an anger-fuelled outbreak that flipped everything upside down, but these are merely symptoms of the root of the issue. The Ten of Cups reversed is telling us that above all the noise is a discord with the self. Diane somewhat got it right when she divorced Mr. Peanutbutter and flew to Vietnam — she began prioritizing herself. But the answer to her problems is not in a hasty trip to an exotic land that we believe holds all the answers. There is much inner work to be done here, and it will take a messy yet realistic character arc, much like the one we see being developed in Diane, to flip this card right side up.