Tarot Card Meanings – The Cups
The Cups represent relationships, emotions and love.
Ace of Cups
Contentment. Abundance. Fertility. As the Aces represent new beginnings, and the Cups represent love, emotion and family, it is not surprising that the Ace of Cups suggests the start of new relationships, or perhaps family relations growing closer. This card also sometimes portends marriage or childbirth. Traditionally, feasting, opulence, good news, birth, kindness, love.
The opposite of upright for the most part. Relationships in decline. Possibly pretense of affection for underhanded reasons. A hoped for relationship fails to gel, perhaps because it is one sided. When looking at health issues, be wary of digestive or reproductive disorders. Traditionally, erosion, instability, sterility, falseness.
Two of Cups
Love, friendship, harmony, union. Relations between the sexes. Sincere and mutual affection. A card of balanced and equal relationships. Possibly a card of engagement and marriage. For established relationships, it may mean a reconciliation is coming or has occurred. Traditionally, love, attraction, passion, kindness, betrothal, partnership.
The opposite. Relationship problems. Disappointment. Disinterest. Disharmony. Imbalance. Perhaps divorce is on the horizon. Lust without love. Infidelity is possible. Traditionally, jealousy, conflict, separation, illusion.
Successful conclusion of the matter. Perfection. Happiness. Fulfillment. Joining with friends and family to celebrate the good times. Traditionally, merriment, victory, fruitfulness, achievement, abundance.
Not so much opposite as feeling the consequences. A hangover from all the celebration. The results of overindulgence. Possibly growing weary of the party scene. Traditionally, excess, overabundance, conclusion, accidents.
Four of Cups
Boredom. Blessings taken for granted. Daydreams of something newer and more exciting. Perhaps a warning to either appreciate what there is, or move on. Care should also be taken to avoid escapism through alcohol or drugs. Face the situation at hand and deal with it.
Taking actions to alleviate the boredom or pursue the daydream. Moving on. If good things unappreciated are being left behind, this might not represent a favorable result. If the past situation was unsatisfying or unhappy, moving on may be the best choice.
Five of Cups
A card of loss, but the loss is not total. Three cups are empty, but two are still full. What remains deserves appreciation. The Five of Cups suggests that it may be time to move on from mourning or self pity. It is a lesson on resiliency. Traditionally, quarrels, separation, sacrifice, regret. There is also a possibility of inheritance.
Two different outcomes may be suggested by the reversed Five of Cups. Traditionally, the subject moves on from mourning and renews connections with family and friends. The opposite interpretation is that inverted, the remaining cups are emptied and nothing is left. Perhaps ultimately, this card represents self-determination. Eventually, inability to move forward after a loss will result in further loss and deterioration of other relationships.
Six of Cups
Nostalgia. Tender moments from childhood, remembered. Trust, security and forgiveness. Memories of happy times and simple pleasures may influence present actions. Perhaps it is time to make up with a loved one after a disagreement. Perhaps the subject is courting or being courted. A face from the past may return. Traditionally, antiquity, memories, aging, longing for the past.
Struggling to break free of old emotional bonds. Rejecting past trauma. Moving on from bitter memories. Focusing on the present and the future. Disillusionment. While the Six of Cups reversed is often described in contemporary interpretations to mean difficulty letting go of the past, traditionally the meanings were more optimistic: regeneration, better times, renewal, future prospects. Perhaps in either aspect, a lesson to treasure the special memories, but avoid becoming their prisoner.
Seven of Cups
Temptations. Choices, perhaps shrouded by deception. Once chosen, the cup may not hold what was expected. Patience and care are advised. Think well and consider what is right before choosing.
Avoidance. Disinterest. Insecurity. Lack of motivation. None of the cups look tempting. This card warns of loss of hope. Help may be needed.
Eight of Cups
Take a hard look at current situations. Decide whether things are worth continuing. Changes of employment, residence, relationship or lifestyle may result. Walking away from that which is not in one’s best interests. Leaving the comfort zone behind and risking the unfamiliar to achieve greater things.
The risk fails. Greater things are not achieved. Return to that which was not worth continuing. Inability to escape from the unsatisfying or unproductive situation, and now things seem worse.
Nine of Cups
A card of joy. Wishes and hopes come true. The answer to the question is positive. Things are going the way they should. Creativity and achievement are at a high. Be sure to enjoy the moment.
Your wish will not come true. Things are not going the way they should. A card of frustration and difficulty.
Ten of Cups
Love. Fulfillment. Happiness. Harmony. Closeness of the family. Popularity and acceptance. The Ten of Cups represents the pinnacle of emotional well-being. Traditionally, community, esteem, reputation, contentment.
Alienation. Unhappiness at home. Disappointment in the community. Overwhelmed by family demands. Separation anxiety. The reversed card is pretty well the opposite of the upright. It suggests relationship problems, children going away to college, possibly waning friendships. Traditionally, insult, irritation, pettiness, anger, sorrow.
Page of Cups
A message regarding love or relationship. Possibly news of an engagement or pregnancy. The Pages commonly represent children. The Page, or Princess, of Cups is the affectionate, sensitive, loving, but vulnerable child. When the subject is an adult, this card may suggest that they are feeling some of that sensitivity and vulnerability. If the subject is a child, as with any child they will achieve and develop best in a supportive, nurturing environment. But this child may need a little bit of extra recognition and appreciation. With it, they can achieve great things. Traditionally, helpful, innocent, loyal, studious.
Bad news about love or relationship. Oversensitivity. Overcompensation. Needy of reassurance. Possibly prone to use sexuality and seduction to attract or retain friendships. It may also represent a person who has been hurt in the past and is withdrawn as a result. When the subject is a child, it may suggest imaginary worlds and imaginary friends. Traditionally, weakness, heartache, adoration, supplication.
Knight of Cups
A gentle, caring lover and friend. Sensitive and affectionate. A writer of poems and songs. Thoughtful. Chivalrous. Creative and artistic. Prone to be a dreamer. The Knight of Cups may suggest a proposal is coming. If the context is personal, perhaps it is a good time to focus on artistic and creative endeavors. As with all Knights, a harbinger of travel. In this case, the travel is over water. Perhaps a cruise or a river rafting trip. Traditionally, seduction, charm, proposal, attraction, union.
Repressed or hidden homosexuality is possible. Fear of commitment. Moodiness. Cynicism. Withdrawal. Insecurity. A musician who doesn’t show up for his concert. Evasive. Unhappy. Impossible to please. Beware of travel over water. Traditionally, cheating, trickery, treachery, slander.
Queen of Cups
A mother figure. A good woman. Loving and giving. A nurturer and healer. Romantic, artistic and creative. Often psychic or intuitive. Excels as a muse, helping others realize their talents.
Excessively needy or clingy. Manipulative. A person who projects nurturing and care, but with hidden motives of control. A sensitive person who could possibly fall victim to addictions or depression.
King of Cups
The King of Cups is a good and decent man who cares deeply about others. He may be an artist, pastor, pediatrician, perhaps a teacher. He treasures his family and gives his all for their welfare and happiness. His weakness could be that he is too forgiving or soft-hearted with family members. He will not be soft-hearted or weak if they are threatened, however. Participation in community improvement or charitable organizations is possible. Traditionally, fairness, honesty, integrity, consideration, support.
Oversensitivity may result in emotional withdrawal due to feeling underappreciated. Possibly prone to escapism through alcohol or substance abuse. Also, this individual may use the loyalty and affection of others against them, perhaps coercing an abused child to keep their abuse secret, perhaps developing a friendship to swindle the supposed friend. Traditionally, dishonorable, double-dealing, injustice, vice, scandal, corruption.