General Book of the Tarot, by A. E. Thierens, , at sacred-texts.com
TRADITION: "The higher graces of the imagination" (W.). Arrival, approach, advances, proposition, demeanour, invitation, incitement, reception, comparison. Reversed: Trickery, fraud, duplicity, subtlety, swindle, artifice.
THEORY: The Water of the soul on the Twelfth and on the Eighth house. The double influence of water makes the emotions and feelings prominent, relates to the imagination, to deeper experiences and strong reactions of the soul, processes of psychic life, which may end in wonderful success or in less desirable phenomena. It is sure to indicate much relating to the subways of human life and the human soul. This is not always favourable or pleasant, of course, but is in almost every instance intensive, though the cups never go to anything like hatred or crime or real malice. Their weakness is in being unreliable or incalculable with regard to things of the exact world or matter. So in the worst cases this card may indicate everything connected with swindling from sheer mental instability. But it may also be, that the term 'swindler' (charlatan) is wrongly given to people who are standing apart from the common herd and are more or less occultists. The "higher graces of the imagination."
There may be certainly a considerable degree of
falsehood expressed by this card: false interpretation, misjudgment, tendencious or fantastic narratives, exaggerated complaints, imaginary wrongs, pathos and what the world calls miscarriage. On account of the eighth house all this may be connected with sex-questions or intimate and private affairs. The card may express indiscretion committed and slanderous reports, secretly promulgated. It has to do with secrets and the divulgation of secrets. But there may be also a higher sway in the emotional realm: devotion, sacrifice, charity.
CONCLUSION--(On account of the twelfth house): A stranger, sailor or naval officer, man coming from far away. It makes one forget troubles, perhaps intoxicates. Wine or strong liquors. Merchants of same. Narcotics. Imagination, vision, dreams, poetic turn of mind. Occultism. Devotion, sacrifice, charity. (On account of the eighth house): Strong sexual tendencies, but the power to master them, and extract from them the element of happiness and health: transmutation of inner forces. The latter may also be translated as: changing his aspect of life wholly: going from one state of life into a quite different sort of existence. In some cases: falsehood, venomous reports, slander, blackmail, trickery, fraud, subtlety, swindling, artifice. The evil influences may cause the reasons for the said change of life, which in itself may well prove benefic after all. There is much occultism in this card; this Knight may be unknown or anonymous but a very important messenger (to the soul?) At its best he is Saint George, killing the dragon, the Rosicrucian brother.