One way to fine tune your understanding of the cards and to add precision to your readings is to compare cards with similar themes. Looking at the similarities and differences will deepen your interpretations.
For example, the 2 of Cups and the 10 of Cups (pictured below, from the Llewellyn Tarot by Anna-Marie Ferguson) both focus on love between two people. In these images, both the couples are embracing. Both have that wonderful â€śand they lived happily ever afterâ€ť feeling to them. But they are also different in that one is the beginning of a love relationship and the other is a love that is still fresh but has the quality of longevity.
First, letâ€™s consider the numbering. The 2 indicates a love at the beginning of its cycle. The 10, of course, suggests a culmination.
The focus in the composition also underlines this. In the 2, the couple are the center of attention. The energy (indicated by the winged lion and caduceus) is flowing from above directly to them. In the 10, the couple is off to the side, still prominent, but the energy of their love (nicely represented here by the rainbow) flows from them into the world. The result of the energy flow in the 2 is a blessing and blossoming of the union, shown here by flowers. The result in the 10 is a flowing outward and growth, as shown by the home, children, and river. Their love has expanded and its gift is no longer benefiting them alone, but the outside world as well.