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.
Queen of Cups card: Traditional meanings
The soul of the four court cards in the suit of Cups, the Queen of Cups is a compassionate confident 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 let 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.
Upright: A fair-headed woman, calm, extremely perceptive, intuitive, and caring.
Reversed: Easily hurt, touchy, and almost symbiotic in love.
Upright 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 enough, 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 takes into account 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.
Reversed 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.
Queen of Cups and love
In a love-driven reading, the Queen of Cups represents a fair-headed woman, introvert 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.