Ace of Cups
deep feelings, intimacy, attunement, compassion and love
When you see this Ace, examine your life to see how its loving energy could work for you. This card often means that love is the essence of the situation. It may or may not be romantic love. Look for ways in which you can begin to connect with others. Do you have someone to forgive, or do you want to ask for forgiveness? Can you set aside your anger and find peace? Would you like to drop your reserve and let your feelings show? The Ace of Cups tells you that your time is coming.
This card also suggests inner attunement and spirituality. Cups are the suit of the heart, and the Ace stands for the direct knowing that comes from the heart. Trust what your feelings are telling you. Seek out ways to explore your consciousness and your connections with Spirit. Allow the power of your emotions to guide you in a new direction. Embrace the love that is the Ace of Cups.
2 of Cups
emotions - romance - attraction - lovers - union
The Two of Cups has a deeper meaning as well. Whenever two forces are drawn together, there is the potential for bonding. This card can stand for the union of any two entities - people, groups, ideas, or talents. In readings, the Two of Cups tells you to look for connections in your life, especially those that are one-on-one. Now is not the time to separate or stay apart. It is the time to join with another and work as a partnership. If you are in conflict, look for truce and the chance to forgive and be forgiven. If you are struggling with two choices or tendencies within yourself, seek to reconcile them.
Usually, the Two of Cups is welcome in a reading, but it can also sound a note of warning. The energy of Two can be very compelling. If you have ever stood next to two people in love, you know what I'm talking about. They create between themselves a world of their own that can feel exclusionary to outsiders. "Two's company; three's a crowd." Make sure that the tendency to pair off is not creating disharmony in your situation.
3 of Cups
friendship - community - teamwork - celebration
On this card, we see three women dancing together in a circle. Their arms reach out to each other to connect their feelings (Cups). In many settings, women create and nurture the social glue that bonds people together. These dancing women are a symbol of coming together in love. (Of course, these feelings do not only relate to woman.)
In readings, the Three of Cups can signify a friend or the feelings associated with friendship. This card can represent community - the network of support created when we interact with others. It can be any group in which the members feel a bond. When you see the Three of Cups, examine your attachments to the groups in your life from an emotional point of view. Consider reaching out to give or receive help. This card stands for all forms of support, including formal aid such as counselling and other social services.
The women on the Three of Cups also express joy and high spirits. Such feelings are not limited to groups, but can be especially strong there. Celebrations spontaneously arise when people feel connected, loved and secure. The Three of Cups can stand for a mood or experience that makes you feel like dancing and singing.
4 of Cups
inner self - Discontent - boredom - re-evaluation - not motivated
If you are self-absorbed, you tend to refer everything back to yourself - your own interests and desires. On this card, we see a man who is unaware of the cup being offered to him. He misses this gift because he's turned within. In readings, the Four of Cups can indicate that you are wrapped up for the moment in your own world.
In some situations, you must focus on yourself. When life is too stressful, you need to devote time and energy to yourself or you will feel swamped. The Four of Cups can represent a positive period of self-reflection and renewal. By taking the time to go within to dream, muse and reflect, you restore your emotional balance.
The Four of Cups is sometimes a sign of apathy. You don't really care much about anything. Your life seems stale and flat because you've lost interest in the activities that used to bring you pleasure. You're not motivated to make much of an effort in any direction. At such times, the Four of Cups can show that you're stuck emotionally. You need something to focus on that will so engage your mind and heart that your path down river becomes clear again. Open yourself to your surroundings. Soon you will be on your way again.
5 of Cups
loss - sorrow
In readings, the Five of Cups can alert you to the possibility of a loss and its associated emotions - sorrow, regret, denial. The loss could be great or small. It could be tangible (money, possession, relationship, work), or intangible (dream, opportunity, prospect, reputation). You may already know what this card represents, but, if not, use it as a warning to help you avoid a loss, or at least reduce its toll.
You may feel discouraged by this card, but it does have a positive side. Every loss opens new possibilities for growth because every loss initiates change. Loss hurts because it is our emotional resistance to change. No matter how much we accept intellectually that we must go with the flow, if that flow separates us from what we love, our feelings say, "No!"
6 of Cups
children - memories - child-like - innocence - forgiveness - kindness
The Six of Cups is a card of simple goodness. It encourages you to be kind, generous and forgiving.
The Six of Cups also represents innocence - a word with many shades of meaning. You can be innocent in the strictly legal sense of lack of guilt. You can be innocent of the truth - unaware of some secret. You can be lacking in deceit or corruption - innocent of ulterior motive. Finally, you can be virtuous or chaste. These are all possibilities that can apply to the Six of Cups, depending on the situation.
Notice that the two figures on the Six of Cups appear to be children. Often this card represents a baby or young child. In a larger sense, it embraces all of childhood and the feelings we associate with youth (ideally!) - being carefree, playful, secure and loved. Children are our treasure, and the sweetness of the Six of Cups is a quality to be treasured as well.
7 of Cups
choices - disorder - self indulgent - selfishness
When the Seven of Cups appears in a reading, it is important to look carefully at how disordered your situation is. Is everything too controlled and regular? Perhaps you need to let things fall apart a little. When a rigid system breaks up, there can be a tremendous release of creativity. The man on the Seven of Cups is amazed by all the options he has.
On the other hand, if you are in a chaotic situation, some tightening may be necessary. No one is happy and productive in a crazy environment. Regularity gives structure to life. Taken to an extreme, the looseness of the Seven of Cups can lead to harmful patterns of decadence, addiction and self-indulgence.
Sometimes the laziness applies to your thoughts and dreams. It is easy to wish for something, but not so easy to make that wish come true. When you see this card, make sure that you are backing up your plans with work and effort. Tighten up your life and commit yourself to doing what it takes to reach your goals ... even if it means (sigh) cleaning house.
8 of Cups
restlessness - distraction - move on - new alternatives
The Eight of Cups stands for those moments when we realise, once and for all, that the past is gone. What was true is no longer true. The signs of change are in our face, and we must accept them. It is time to move on.
Moving on can mean a physical change such as leaving a job, location or relationship. It can also mean an inner change - releasing old patterns, especially those that have dominated our thoughts and emotions. On the Eight of Cups, we see a man leaving on a journey. He has turned away from his old feelings (cups/river) to strike out on a new path. Sometimes moving on can mean searching for a deeper truth or reality. One day we wake up and realise that we have been asleep in our own lives - living a dream that no longer satisfies.
Some changes can be wearying. Endings are not always easy. One of the signs of a readiness to leave is lack of energy. When you feel tired and dispirited, you know that something is wrong, and it's time for a new direction. Re-examine your life and your priorities. You will find where in your life you need to move on.
9 of Cups
indulgence - self-satisfaction - pleasure - the wish card
At the personal level, the Nine of Cups indicates contentment with the way things are. Notice how the man is seated confidently with his arms folded and a smile on his face. He has everything he wants and couldn't be happier about it. "See all my cups!" he seems to say. "Aren't they great?"
Sometimes it's wonderful to sit back and revel in the knowledge that all's right with the world. But a word of caution. You may be tempted to indulge yourself at the cost of someone else (like our mischievous cat!). This may feel great at the time, but sooner or later the feathers around your mouth will be discovered, and regret will set in. Pursuit of pleasure without regard to consequences is never satisfying in the long run.
In many tarot traditions, the Nine of Cups is known as the Wish Card. It shows your wish will come true. A wonderful prospect, but remember your fairy tale lessons. You must be sure you know what you really want and accept the responsibilities that go with your wish. If that is the case, then enjoy your good fortune!
10 of Cups
family - peace - contentment - joy
First, there is joy. Joy goes beyond happiness, contentment, enjoyment. It is the feeling that comes when we know at the deepest level that we are one with all that is, and it is good.
Peace is another aspect of the Ten of Cups - the serenity that comes when all elements are in harmony. There is inner peace and outer peace which are reflections of each other. When you are in harmony with yourself, you experience harmony in your environment. When you see the Ten of Cups, know that an end to hostility is possible. If there is fighting around you, it may cease. If you are at war with yourself, you may find peace.
In readings, this card often signals a time of abundant blessings. It tells you that you can reach for the fulfilment you deserve, and it will come to you. Look for ways to realise joy and create peace. You may find the key to happiness in your family. Your family is the group of people you are attached to emotionally - for better or worse! If there is trouble in your family right now, work to restore harmony. The time is right for greater closeness.
Page of Cups
The Page of Cups is Cupid bringing you opportunities for love. He delivers real chances to experience romance, deep feelings and the inner life - the wonders of the Cups suit. In readings, this Page suggest that an opening may appear that stirs your emotions, pulls at your heartstrings or brings you great joy. When you see such a chance, act on it!
The Page of Cups can also stand for a child or young-at-heart adult whose interactions with you involve emotional needs, moodiness, love, intimacy or spirituality. Sometimes the Page of Cups implies that your entire situation is suffused with the spirit of love and emotion. At such times, feel free to express and enjoy your feelings with light-hearted abandon
Knight of Cups
In readings, a Knight of Cups shows that his sensitive style is involved in the situation as an aspect of you, someone else or the atmosphere in general. You need to ask yourself, "Is this Knight's energy helping or hurting?"
If his style is evident, then balance is needed. Are your feelings appropriate or excessive? Are your daydreams unrealistic? Is someone's moodiness driving you crazy? Is your home life ruled by emotion rather than common sense? It may be time for a change.
If this Knight's energy is missing, a dose of poetry may be called for. Are you too restrained? Express your feelings. Do you always make the most practical choice? Go for the extravagant one instead. Do you avoid introspection? Take some time to look within and think about your life. Let the Knight of Cups introduce you to his world of romance and beauty.
Queen of Cups
In readings, the Queen of Cups asks you to think and feel as she does. For example: Are you aware of the emotional climate? Are you feeling loving? Do you trust your heart? Have you received an intuitive message? Have you been moved by another's pain?
This Queen can also represent a man or woman who is like her, or an atmosphere of gentle love, acceptance and respect for feelings. In a reading, she tells you that her special energy has meaning for you at this time. Let yourself be inspired by this Queen in whatever form she appears in your life.
King of Cups
In readings, the King of Cups asks you to take the kinds of actions he might take. For example: responding calmly in a crisis, using diplomacy rather than force, reaching out to help, or accepting a different point of view. This King can also represent a man or woman who acts as he does, or an atmosphere of caring, tolerance and understanding. In a reading, he tells you that his special energy has meaning for you at this time. Let yourself be inspired by this King in whatever form he appears in your life.