The Suit of Cups represents human emotions, expressed by the element of water, and symbolized by the cup or chalice. The Fool’s journey through this suit begins with the “discovery of emotion” in the Ace of Cups and concludes with the emotional maturity and responsibility represented by the Queen and King of Cups.
The Cups Cards in a Reading
When a card from the suit of Cups appears in a reading, it directs the querent and reader to address an emotional concern or issue. Like all human experience, there are positive and negative moments. These cards address the positive and negative emotional archetypes we all pass through at some time or another in our life journey.
Cups Tarot Cards and Astrology
The court cards in each suit represent the element and three of the signs. The Page of Cups represents the element of water, and the unfocused, but powerful energy of human emotion. The figure in the card is often depicted as an adolescent, and rightly so, since adolescence is filled with a strong energy that is “all over the place”.
The Knight of Cups represents Pisces, which is the mutable water sign of the Zodiac. Imaginative Adaptable Water energy fuels Pisces’ Primary Drive. Their Life Path energy operates best connecting with others emotionally; they must learn toughness to manifest their best results.
The Queen of Cups represents Scorpio, which is the fixed water sign of the Zodiac. Intense Persistent Water energy fuels Scorpio’s Primary Drive. Their Life Path energy operates best when bringing or experiencing transformation; they must learn “playfulness or lightness of heart” to manifest their best results.
The King of Cups represents Cancer, which is the cardinal water sign of the Zodiac. Nurturing Active Water energy fuels their Primary Drive. Their Life Path energy operates best when they care-take themselves and others properly; they must learn “emotional balance” to manifest their best results.
The Suit of Cups Tarot Card Meanings
Ace of Cups
The Ace of Cups encourages us to be open and vulnerable. When it appears in a reading, you need to let yourself feel, whether the feeling is love or anger, happiness or resentment. This card asks you to pay attention to your feelings regarding the issue of the reading.
Two of Cups
When the Two of Cups comes up in a tarot reading, you need to think about the person or people you connect with easily and joyfully. It can represent romantic love, but also the love of friendship. The card embodies that first brush of emotional attraction that can bloom into something powerful and long-lasting.
Three of Cups
The Three of Cups represents celebration. When it appears in a reading, you need to think about the people or situations that need celebrating in your life. Raise your cup up high, with friends, and share your joy!
Four of Cups
The Four of Cups, represents contemplation. In the traditional image, a figure rests outdoors and meditates on his feelings. A divine hand delivers the fourth cup, a new emotional development or challenge that is possible because of the “stability” of the three cups lined up in front of the figure.
Five of Cups
The keyword for the Five of Cups is disappointment. However, there is also unseen hope and the positive emotions that can eventually emerge after we have processed a loss or disappointment.
Six of Cups
The Six of Cups represents nostalgia, especially happy memories from childhood, when we easily shared our feelings with other children, and those feelings were easily returned. In a reading, the card appears to encourage us to pull forward our positive emotions to help us through a current situation in a positive way.
Seven of Cups
The Seven of Cups represents the motivations for our choices in life. Each cup contains a different energy or symbol. This card appears to make us think about “why” we make our choices.
Eight of Cups
The key phrase for the Eight of Cups is “letting go”. A relationship that once meant something important is now empty, and it is time to move on.
Nine of Cups
The Nine of Cups represents personal fulfillment and individual satisfaction. We get to experience this archetype when we have moments where “life comes together” and we know we are enjoying a peak moment of emotional grace.
Ten of Cups
When the Ten of Cups appears in a reading, you want to address joy and fulfillment with a partner. In this card we see a happy family enjoying a day out, under a beautiful blue sky with a rainbow in front of them.
Page of Cups
The Page of Cups is the card of pure emotion. Feelings are strong, but uncontained and unfocused. This card appears to let us know we need to be careful with our feelings, they may cause us a lot of trouble because they are very strong, but not always wise.
Knight of Cups
The Knight of Cups is the card for romantic love, the pursuit of romance specifically. When this card appears in a reading, especially one that does not involve romance, it, alternatively, means pursuing your passion.
Queen of Cups
The keyword for the Queen of Cups is conviction. She represents mature love and emotions, the ones we need to make a relationship last or a career endure. She wants us to understand the power of emotions. When they are harnessed properly, anything can be accomplished.
King of Cups
The keyword for the King of Cups is responsibility. He is the archetype of the compassionate, but firm provider. When this card appears in a reading, you need to pay attention to your duty and be sure you fulfill it admirably.