The suit of cups tarot represent emotions and each card tells a story. Also known as Goblets, Chalices, and Hearts, their meanings hold pleasure, fulfilment, happiness, and joy. This suit represents the humane person in each of us. You can use these explanations as a guide to build your own story lines in your own readings.
These interpretations are based on the Rider Waite Tarot but also include relevant comments from other packs and commentators. You will note that I almost always work on the positive of the card. The subject for whom the reading is being made will benefit more from being given positives tempered with warnings, than being given a serve of doom and gloom.
The Ace of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - Five streams of water spring from a cup and pour into a pool with waterlilies. The cup is supported by a hand emerging from a cloud and a white dove is placing a wafer in the cup.
Meaning - Great abundance. Fulfillment, happiness, perfection, joy. Favorable outlook.
Reverse - Change, alteration, instability, unrequited love, greed.
Raise your cup and drink to your success. This card is one of the better omens for success in the pack. One is well on their way. The reverse warning is to not to become carried away by the trappings of success, to keep ones eye on the desired outcome.
The Two of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - A young man and young woman each hold a cup as they look into each other’s eyes. Above them there is a Caduceus (two serpents entwining a rod), and a lion’s head with spiritual wings.
Meaning – Love, friendship, beginning of renewed passion, union, partnership, marriage.
Reverse - unsatisfactory love, troubled relationship. Separation, divorce.
This card is very much as it appears. A friendship/love situation. I have seen conception and pregnancy in this card on a number of occasions. If the subject is experiencing problems, their problems are not as serious as they imagine.
The Three of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - Three maidens in a garden each hold their cup aloft is if in salute or celebration.
Meaning - Resolution of a problem. Conclusion, satisfactory result. This is a card of mastery of situations.
Reverse - Excess, overabundance, pettiness, lack of appreciation.
This card foretells celebrations, so success is in the air. The usual warning is not to overdo things and get others off side.
The Four of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - A young man seated under a tree contemplates three cups in front of him, whilst a fourth cup held by a hand emerges from a cloud.
Meaning - Weariness, stagnation. Not moving forward.
Reverse - New possibilities. New relationship. New approaches to old problems.
I often 'see' a combination of both meanings in this card. A new approach is called for with the fourth cup providing new answers or opportunities.
The Five of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - A figure with head bowed stands by three spilled cups . Behind him are two full cups and in the distance is a castle across a stream.
Meaning - Partial loss. Regret. Incomplete union or partnership.
Reverse - Hopeful outlook. Favorable expectations. New alliances.
A stroke of bad luck which is tempered by a stroke of good luck. This is a reminder to keep the larger picture in mind. Lose some, win some. Don't become fixated on the negatives. Good things are happening too. Things are never as bad as they first appear. Get over it!
The Six of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - Two children play with cups filled with flowers.
Meaning - Memories, Past influences, nostalgia. Things that have vanished. Longing.
Reverse - The future. Opportunity ahead. Coming events.
You may encounter someone from your past. Indicates nostalgia. Let this be a sign of how far you have come. Don't let your future be a reflection of your past.
The Seven of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - strange visions arise from seven cups in the clouds before a figure.
Meaning - Fantasy, unrealistic attitudes. Imagination, daydreams, wishful thinking.
Reverse - Desire, determination. Strong willpower. A goal nearly attained.
The subject can't make up their mind. Too many possibilities. Don't be pressured. After all, choosing not to decide is still a decision.
The Eight of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - Eight neatly stacked cups are in the foreground. A figure is observed fleeing from the scene. A lake or stream is in the background and the crescent moon is above.
Meaning - Abandonment of previous plans. Disappointment, shyness.
Reverse - Happiness. Effort maintained until success is attained. Festivity.
If the subject is wrestling with problems it is time to find something new. Travel may be indicated. When reversed, success is to be enjoyed, but take time to look around.
The Nine of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - A robust man sits before nine cups on a shelf behind him.
Meaning - Success. material attainment. Abundance, good health, happiness.
Reverse - Mistakes, material loss. Misplaced truth. Opposition, dispute.
It is now time to celebrate your successes. Remember to share your good fortune with others.
The Ten of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - A young couple embrace while two children frolic nearby. The mas arm is raised towards a rainbow containing ten cups.
Meaning - Home. happiness. Joy. Family life. Contentment. Attainment of hearts desires.
Reverse - Loss of friendship. Family quarrel. Opposition. Difference of opinion.
Congratulations! The subject is finding their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Not just material, but in all matters.
The Page of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - The page holds in his right hand a large cup from which appears a fish.
Meaning - A studious and intent person will appear. He is loyal and willing to help. A trustworthy worker.
Reverse - Temporary distraction. Obstacles.
A thoughtful young person who is willing to help. Can also signify the birth of a child or a new idea.
The Knight of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - A knight rides across the card holding a large cup in his right hand.
Meaning - An invitation or opportunity shall soon arise.
Reverse - A person capable of swindling. Deception, fraud.
This the classical knight in shining armor. He is the bearer of important messages.
The Queen of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - The crowned Queen of cups holds a great cup in her two hands as she sits on her throne at the water’s edge.
Meaning - This is a warm-hearted and fair person. A good friend and mother. The gift of vision.
Reverse - Dishonor. Possible immorality. Unreliability.
Can signify romantic developments. Learning psychic powers, intuitive insights. The growth of a family.
The King of Cups Tarot Card Meaning:
Symbols - The crowned King of cups holds a great cup in his right hand and a scepter of authority and knowledge in his left hand. His throne is set upon the sea and in the background are a ship and a dolphin.
Meaning - A fair man of business, law or divinity. A learned person, considerate, kind, reliable and generous.
Reverse - A selfish deceitful person. Can indicate considerable loss.
In relationships the card can indicate a proposal or motivation. Maturity and motivation. Determination with wisdom.