Queen of Cups Tarot Card

As a reminder, the suit of cups is driven by feminine energy and channels the power of emotions and feelings in every shape and form. Scholars and academics have connected the suit of cups to the classical element of water, and most of the cards from that suit embody the symbolic attributes of this element, one way or another.

Keywords associated with the Queen of Cups Card

Upright: nurturing, calm, extremely perceptive, intuitive, and caring

Reversed: easily hurt, touchy, and passive aggressive

Traditional Representation and Description of the Queen of Cups Card

Queen of cups Rider Waite tarot
Source: Wikimedia

Beautiful, fair, dreamy woman (as one who sees visions in a cup). Divinatory Meanings: Good, fair woman, honest, devoted, who will do service to the Querent. Loving intelligence, and hence the gift of vision, success, happiness, pleasure, also wisdom, virtue. Reversed: The accounts vary; good woman, otherwise, distinguished woman but one not to be trusted, perverse woman, vice, dishonor, depravity. (Rider Waite Booklet)

Modern Representations of the Queen of Cups Card

The soul of the four court cards in the suit of Cups, the Queen of Cups is a compassionate, confident woman that will just as easily play the role of friend, lover, and mother. The element of water flows freely within her, gifting her with great intuition, especially when feelings are involved. Even though she is often introvert at her core, her incredible awareness of other people’s feelings lets her know when to act and when to stay on the bench.

A perfect partner and companion in marriage, she will go out of her way to make any big commitment in love work as much as possible, but this dedication to feelings and emotions might turn into an obsession if left unchecked and kept away from other human interactions.

Queen of Cups Mythic Tarot

The Mythic Tarot (1986/2008)

Mother of Cups Haindl Tarot

The Haindl Tarot (1990)

South of Water Receptivity Osho Zen Tarot

Osho Zen Tarot (1995)

Queen of Cups Law of Attraction Tarot

Law of Attraction Tarot (2011)

Queen of Cups Spellcaster Tarot

Spellcaster Tarot (2016)

Queen of Cups Ostara Tarot

Ostara Tarot (2017)

Upright Meaning of the Queen of Cups Card

The Queen of Cups in the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck is an adult woman with fair hair and a crown sitting on an elaborate throne and holding an extremely detailed chalice in both hands. Her throne seems to be located on a small island, next to the shore, and there is water all around her.

Her gaze is focused on her chalice, and some early scholars of the RWS minor arcana decks usually described her face as austere and stern. Interestingly, this rather contradicted the initial description provided by Waite who saw her as beautiful and dreamy, so many, if not most, modern decks and RWS derivatives have since given her a more friendly and calm facial expression.

Like all other queens, the Queen of Cups is meant to represent the soul of the suit of Cups, under the influence of the element of water. As such, she incarnates the deepest of feelings, sharpening her perceptions of subtle details that consequently make her very intuitive and instinctive. She sees both superficial and deeply hidden details as if she could stare directly at your soul.

Able to easily understand other people and see beyond the masks of deceit they sometimes wear, the Queen of Cups is the perfect confidant, listening without judging, and providing wise and relevant advice that considers the very character and core values of the person she is talking to.

Her ability to detect and understand the emotions and feelings that other people are experiencing have honed her perceptions so much that she could become a psychic, and she loves to process her excessive emotions through her appreciation of art.

In a Question about Love and Relationship

In a love-driven reading, the Queen of Cups represents a fair-headed woman, introverted but caring. In a relationship, she will navigate her own emotions and those of her companion, making her an extremely receptive woman, and an almost perfect spouse.

The Queen of Cups is extremely compassionate and will readily offer all her time and energy to comfort someone in emotional distress. Her intuition lets her understand her partner’s needs and expectations sometimes even better than they do.

In a Question about Career and Work

Career encompasses school and education if that is your current stage; work that is necessary, but not what you would consider a career path; and your actual career path.  Regardless of your current stage of development, the Queen of Cups represents the conviction to do what you love.

If you are a student and this is your card, then you need to stick with your passion through “thick and thin”.  Even if you get a “bad” instructor or a “bad” class, stick with your path of study.  It will never be only rainbows and unicorns, but sometimes thorns and wolverines.  Persist.

If you are doing work that is necessary, but not a career, then you do want to make sure you are committed to the job and the “job” is committed to you.  If you are going to weather the storms of difficulty at work, then the rewards should, ultimately, be greater in some way.

If you are in your career, then the Queen of Cups represents the emotional fortitude needed to make your career a life-long endeavor.  You know, in your heart, this is what you are meant to do, and who you are meant to be, in the world, publicly.  Live your convictions regarding your career. 

Reversed Meaning of the Queen of Cups Card

Emotions are constantly flooding the Queen of Cups, so she has to find ways to protect herself against this unending assault of her senses. This is why she tends to sometimes become withdrawn; it is a way to shut herself from the world for a little while, and “recharge” her emotional fortitude.

From the outside, this could be mistaken as a need for self-love, an egotistic person. While this is generally not the case, she nonetheless needs her own quiet time and will not hesitate to be rude if people get in her way.

In a Question about Love and Relationship

Reversed, this card indicates that you are holding on out of habit, not value.  You think lasting a long time will somehow convert unhappiness into happiness, and it will not.  Your “staying no matter what” is the problem, not the solution.

In a Question about Career and Work

When this card appears reversed in a question about school, work, or career, then you need to realize that you are probably being used.  You may be the grad student whose work gets appropriated by the professor for his or her benefit, but not yours.  A boss takes credit for your achievements.  Your industry is dying, but you will not adapt, so your work will also die.

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