As part of the Tarot of the Old Path motif, the man in the forefront is dressed in the colors of water, with water droplet designs on his shirt as well. Thus we know the ruling element of the Eight of Cauldrons to be water.
He is well dressed and stylish, so it is implied he is wealthy and he is holding 5 cups. leaving three on the clearly defined path behind him. He is staring straight ahead and seems to know his way is well defined.
There are a couple behind him chatting away, suggesting leaving behind past relationships and moving forward into new ones.
The Tarot of the Old Path, 8 of Cauldrons, suggests the moving forward to seek something higher in life, The joy of personal accomplishment and the seeking of something higher in life.
The Thoth Deck 8 of Cups, is Indolence:
and/or The Lord of Abandoned Success. Attributed to this card is Saturn in Pisces. The Angels of the Decan: Vabaliah and Yeshivah.
Here, Hod is in Briah, the Mental World. To reiterate, Hod is the concrete mind; However, with Saturn in Pisces the 8 of Cups, being a Water sign doesn't balance Saturn's energy well.
With Saturn in a water sign, a certain amount of introspection, manifests as disinterest with material conditions. The effect, is discontent or a decline in interest in anything. Thus, one's tendency is to abandon success.
The Thoth Deck, interpretation of the Eight of Cups, is based on the fact that Pisces, is calm and stagnant water, that is completely deadened by the heavy influences of Saturn.
We know Water, is the Element of consciousness, so what is going on within one is a deadening of interest, a complete lack of wonder.
The lotuses of enlightenment droop,for lack of sun or rain. The Sea of mind has become little stagnant pools, in poisoned soil. All the cups are old and broken, symbolizing "an old and worn out" way of thinking.The Sun of Spirit, is a pallid yellowish light barely shinning through the leaden clouds of indigo. Mind and emotions on autopilot, thought process is not conducive to expanding and liberating the Life of the person. The blood in the body is moving like molasses. This person needs stimulation!
Not my favorite card, but this dullness of mind, is often necessary to warn us that it is time to evaluate our feelings.
When the 8 of Cups is thrown during a reading: