Octopus’s Garden – Page of Cups
Abbey Road, 1969
“Octopus’s Garden” is a delightfully whimsical children’s song composed and sung by Ringo. It is one of just two songs he wrote for the Beatles and represents the final time he sang lead with the band. The song can be appreciated as a spiritual sequel to “Yellow Submarine”, featuring a nautical theme, kid-friendly lyrics and melody, and playful sound effects. Not surprisingly, years later the song appeared in children’s television shows like Sesame Street and the Muppet Show and was also made into a children’s book.
Ringo wrote “Octopus’s Garden” during a very difficult period for himself and the Beatles. Due to rising tensions within the band while recording the White Album, Ringo left the group and escaped to Sardinia. While on a boat excursion there, the captain told him about how octopuses made little gardens out of items they found along the seabed. Ringo was inspired, finding joy in this story while at the same feeling that he “just wanted to be under the sea, too”.
In a memorable scene from the Get Back documentary, George Harrison is seen providing Ringo some uncredited help in composing the song. He later said, “‘Octopus’s Garden’ is Ringo’s song. It’s only the second one he wrote, and it’s lovely. The lyrics are great…I find deep meaning in them. Because it’s like this level is a storm, and if you get deep in your consciousness, it’s very peaceful. So Ringo’s writing his cosmic songs without noticing.”
The Page of Cups is a tarot card that symbolizes going within our consciousness. As a Court card, it indicates a personality type that we all have within us. The Court’s Pages, in particular, represent youthful personality types of the element indicated by the suit. Since Cups are the suit of emotion and deal with matters of the heart, this card is that part of our personality that is innocent, tender, playful, and childlike.
Some versions of this card show a youthful figure holding a cup with a fish coming out of it. It is a whimsical image symbolic of a playful personality type. The fish also symbolizes swimming within the depths of our own consciousness. This comes naturally to children or can be for any of us when we embrace being young at heart. Receiving the Page of Cups in a reading is an invitation to embody this side of our personalities. Embracing the inner child can be very challenging for many adults but those who do rediscover the ability to play, dream, and fantasize. They also find access to the deep sense of peace that exists within us all.
For Ringo, the Page of Cups is a primary side of his overall personality. He was the most pure and lovable of the Fab Four. His escape from the Beatles was like a child running away from home while their parents are going through a period of fighting. In another memorable scene from Get Back, Ringo is shown playing with Linda Eastman’s six-year-old daughter, Heather, and allowing her to play drums with him. It’s a notable case of synchronicity that the two children appear as kindred spirits: they both are wearing almost the exact same clothing.
“Oh what joy
For every girl and boy
Knowing they’re happy
And they’re safe.”
This is song #91 of the Beatles Song Tarot Project. Click here to learn more about this magical, mystical trip through the Beatles catalogue.