Morris Graves explained in a 1952 letter the symbolic possibilities of the chalice, calyx or cup:
As calyx: contains the flower, the potential of essential experience and renewal, and of growth.
As cup: (karmic cup) the contents of which, either pain or Spirit, traditionally is unalterable and/or cannot ultimately be rejected.
A more recent series of chalices has been used with the more individual personal meaning:
Chalice with no empty space, i.e., the cup that holds nothing.
Chalice with inturning lip, i.e., the cup that holds something back.
Chalice with division or with partition in the empty space, i.e., the cup that holds neither one opposite nor the other but both simultaneously.
Chalice on a distorted, bent, or tilted stem, i.e., the cup’s content willfully or consciously wasted.
Chalice shattered into pieces, i.e., the cup as a symbol of the negative effort to recapture the belief of Duality.
Chalice articulated out of the stuff which apparently surrounds it, i.e., the symbolizing of unity—or of the phenomenal being the illusory projection of consciousness, etc. etc., etc.