Five of Cups Tarot Card
Card Name: Five of Cups, 5 of Chalices
Category: Minor Arcana, Suit of Cups
Keywords: Disappointment, Confusion
Active element: Water 💧
The Five of Cups is one of the most mysterious Water cards in the Tarot deck. Along with the Eight of Chalices, it is very mysterious and contains hidden meanings that are not noticeable at first glance. Definitely, this is a heavy Arcana of emotional suffering. But at the same time, the negative potential of the card simultaneously carries a relief from the load. The expression that the darkest time is before dawn fits here. Five of the Cups suit gives a glimmer of hope. First, submerging in the murky waters of the unconscious, in order to then give a halo of purity and awareness. The two sides of the same medal joined in a single Arcana. And its two positions – upright and reversed, complement the general picture of fortune-telling with unique shades.
Symbolism and Key Ideas of the Five of Cups
On the Five of Cups card, the central place is occupied by a human figure in a long black cloak. The head is not covered, the hair is cut short or pulled back, it is black with gray hair. On his feet are yellow high-toed boots. The viewer only has to guess who is in front of him – a man or a woman. There are no specific bindings to a particular gender. The figure is half-sided, its gaze is directed downward. There are three overturned bowls on the ground. A red liquid flows out of them. A puddle of water is visible next to one of the goblets. At the same time, there are two more bowls behind the person. Whether they are full or empty cannot be seen.
The river bank serves as a landscape. In the background you can see a river, a green meadow and the outline of a building surrounded by trees. The two coasts are connected by a semicircular stone bridge. The sky is gray. There are no clouds, but also there are no rays of the bright sun. The image on the Arcana Five of Cups evokes melancholy. It, like a Rorschach stain, raises all hidden experiences to the surface. Like a lonely person on the card, a fortuneteller can himself sink into a longing for the past. And now the pleasant landscape is left behind, and the bridge cannot return to the familiar world. Two times not to enter the same river. This is well known to the traveler, and therefore he does nothing.
Meaning of the Upright Five of Cups Card
- Forced care, leaving relationships or work behind.
- Parting, strong resentment, rejection from society, group.
- Difficult period of life, lesson; withdrawal, mourning losses.
- An unhealed wound, recent painful event or injury.
The Minor Arcana Five of Cups in an upright position means an imminent crisis in any area of life. That which yesterday rejoiced and inspired, today turns over as another chapter of life. The path is endless, so the questioner will have to go further. But before he continues on the journey, he needs to say goodbye to the past. Sadness, longing and tears pass along this card. To get ahead is worth living through the present moment. May it bring the bitterness of loss, take away something important. But at the same time, judging by the remaining two bowls behind the man in the mantle, not everything is so fatal. Ahead is a new stage of life, which will still bring happiness.
All Fives in the Tarot deck represent a transitional stage. The bridge depicted on the Arcana denotes a departure from the past and movement towards the future. And between these two dimensions is the river of time, slowly carrying away all the sorrows and joys. Everything flows and changes, and even problems that seem insoluble at first glance will eventually be forgotten. Therefore, the Five of Cups gives hope. The crisis will end sooner or later, there is a renewal of feelings ahead. For now, let the person look in the direction from which he left not so long ago. But he will have to turn around and walk away. Nothing is over yet, you have to move and believe in the best.
Love and Relationships (Upright)
- Heart wound, abandonment, rejection by a partner.
- Unrealized expectations, discord, ignorance.
- Closure from relationships, divorce proceedings.
- Widowhood, attachment to the past, fear of loss.
For love spreads, 5 of Water is one of the most painful cards. This Arcana marks a difficult period in a relationship. The connection is close to its logical conclusion, or it is undergoing major changes. The meaning of the Five of Cups is similar to the Six of Swords. But, unlike the suit of Air, this card of Chalices leaves a chance to fix everything. With the current partner or with a new one – it will depend on the positions dropped by a number. In general, this spread shows feelings and resentment towards a partner. Someone in a pair receives less emotion, remains, as if on the sidelines.
For lonely people, the Five of Cups promises a continuation of the current situation. The querent needs to accept his feelings and heartache. As soon as he drinks this bitter cup to the end, the necessary relief will come. A crisis is necessary for further cleansing. It is impossible to start a new relationship only because of the attachment to the past. Perhaps there is already a necessary person nearby, but the gaze of the fortuneteller is directed back, and this prevents him from taking the necessary step. The Five of Cups card does not bear negative events. Rather, it indicates inner experiences.
Career and Finance (Upright)
- Work that does not meet expectations; compulsion.
- Attachment to the past job, dismissal.
- Need; lack of monetized skills or money.
- Worries about finances, career and business.
The Five of Cups Tarot gives the career spread a negative connotation. The fortuneteller is not satisfied with the current position. He is forced to fulfill his duties, but his soul asks for another. He has to step over himself. This Arcana can also talk about bad relationships in the team. The querent has been undeservedly offended, underestimated, or framed. In the worst case, the 5 of Cups card shows that the querent has recently quit due to forced reasons. One way or another, a person takes work issues to heart. Building a career is hard.
In terms of finance, the Five of Cups means the loss of money or a good chance to earn it. The querent needs funds, but does not know where to get them. The past methods do not bring the required income. Perhaps the fortuneteller was financially dependent on his partner, parents or social benefits. And now this source is blocked. The personality has not yet figured out what to do next. While experiencing strong emotions, it is difficult to talk about a cold mind. But soon the situation will begin to change – there is a chance to improve your situation.
Health and Spirit (Upright)
- Loss of large amounts of fluid, blood donation.
- Surgical intervention, removal of an organ.
- Closure, tearfulness, melancholy, touchy character.
- Sacrifice, self-flagellation, attempts to evoke pity.
Tarot card Five of Cups in health spreads falls as a heavy Arcana. The querent is ill or is undergoing a rehabilitation period. Operations on the gallbladder, appendicitis are possible. This also includes plastic surgery – rhinoseptoplasty, liposuction. These are forced interventions that will bring joy or, at least, relief in the future. Occasionally, 5 of Chalices shows bladder incontinence or blood clotting. The Water element binds to all fluids in the body. The overturned goblets depicted on the Arcana indicate a problem with these substances.
The psyche of the Five of Cups is currently closed. The person is depressed, refuses to communicate with other people. He hides all his experiences, trying to find a way out of this situation on his own. The querent can often cry, remember the moments that hurt the heart. This behavior is due to the suffered psychological trauma. If this was not the case, then the Five of Cups says that the fortuneteller has a sensitive, touchy character. In some cases, such a demonstration of feelings is used as a manipulation of loved ones.
Situations and Questions (Upright)
- The first step into the unknown, the beginning of a great journey.
- Search for true values, their destiny and destiny.
- Leaving oneself from the past, liberation through sorrows, tears.
- Existential experiences, hardening of a strong character.
The Five of Cups logically continues the path from the Four to the Six. The card represents the need to leave something behind in order to get something more. However, being a transitional, the Arcana indicates the significance of experiences. You need to throw out your grief in time, accept reality and move forward. The crisis is a kind of growth point, a springboard for reaching a new level. On the way across this bridge, it is worth asking yourself questions: "Why am I not moving on?", "What is holding me back?" and "What is worth getting rid of?"
In terms of spirituality, the Five of Cups signifies a departure from old dogmas. The traveler has to get rid of past patterns of behavior, imposed thoughts, conditioning. Even though he has not yet completely let go of his usual life with its joys, he will still have to leave home. While this condition is perceived painfully. It seems as if there is no need to hit the road. But this is another attachment. The sage must understand that home is everywhere, wherever he goes. A person adorn a place, and not vice versa.
Meaning of the Reversed Five of Cups Tarot
- Getting stuck in the problems of the past, psychological trauma.
- Blaming others for your troubles, fear of taking responsibility.
- The position of eternal sacrifice as an excuse for their weaknesses.
- Fear of letting go of the past, isolation from everything new and better.
The reversed Five of Cups card becomes viscous. All experiences on this Arcana seem to be filled with resin. The querent looks at his pain from time to time, but really does not want to get out of the crisis. Perhaps the injury is so severe that there is no strength to deal with it yet. Or perhaps the questioner has secondary benefits from his suffering. For example, financial problems are portrayed as personal uniqueness, and chronic illness is elevated to the rank of achievement. As a result, all your own issues automatically evoke sympathy from unwitting observers. And sometimes they are completely shifted onto other people’s shoulders.
The inverted position of the Five of Cups card makes you think about personal responsibility. Everything is not as bad as it seems at first glance. Rather, the querent is used to dramatizing and thinking out non-existent details. It should be remembered that most people have had similar experiences. There is a way out, you just have to wipe your eyes from tears and make out the necessary road. The inverted 5 of Cups does not add "bad" scenery to the script. This directly indicates that the fortuneteller himself does not let go of his suffering. As long as he is in the position of the victim, he does not need to think about himself and his future. This is an advantageous position not to make any decisions.
Love and Relationships (Reversed)
- «Blinded by love», self-sacrifice, victim behavior.
- Painful attachment to past relationships, clinging.
- Searching for a partner who will get rid of all problems and sorrows.
- Karpman’s drama triangle; attracting aggressors, narcissists.
When the Five of Cups is turned upside down, the love spread becomes similar to the story of Romeo and Juliet. All dramatic relationships go through this position of the card. The couple quarrels, perhaps hates each other, but at the same time they cannot break up. This state of affairs has become commonplace. People do not want to understand their personal complexes and fears. It is easier for them to blame the other for them. Sometimes the inverted Arcana denotes only one partner – the querent or his pair. A breakup could have occurred here, but the person does not want to put up with it. By any means, a partner will seek reunification, even through humiliation or dishonest methods.
For lonely people, the Five of Cups in the opposite position predicts not the most romantic period. For the questioning person, this means the wrong approach to building relationships. The querent repels potential partners with his behavior. He becomes attached too quickly and begins to demand certain actions, sympathy. If the object of sympathy is morally healthy, then immediately instinctively wants to leave the role of the rescuer. As a result, the fortuneteller over and over again steps on the same rake and again remains alone. Nobody wants to solve other people’s problems, even a loved one. In this case, the Five of Cups reversed, says that one can rely only on immature individuals in order to change the masks of a tyrant victim with them.
Career and Finance (Reversed)
- Unemployment, justification for inaction, bad luck.
- The belittling of oneself and one’s own merits, servility.
- Psychologically difficult working conditions, pressure, ignore.
- Begging for money through trying to pressure pity.
The material sphere along the inverted Arcana Five of Cups is read as one big problem. Moreover, the position of the card gives the situation a chronic soreness. The querent cannot find a job stably, or very quickly leaves any position. He always finds a reason for this behavior. For example, bad relationships in the team, nagging of the boss, poor working conditions. In fact, his actions are due to his own immaturity. The fortuneteller or the one for whom they are guessing is not accustomed to relying only on himself. He seeks to arouse pity and thus gain protection.
If the person of interest does not possess the described character traits, it means that he was undeservedly offended. At work, underestimated or deprived of the due reward. At the same time, the Five of Cups is turned over, which means that it is systematic. The querent is used to lack of money or problems with making money. He is also afraid to leave so as not to lose a small but stable income. In any case, his mental health is not worth the effort. The money earned through this work is most often spent on entertainment in an attempt to relieve the accumulated stress.
Health and Spirit (Reversed)
- Fluid incontinence, neglected condition.
- Release of toxins into the bloodstream, rejection of nutrients.
- Clinical depression, severe trauma with consequences.
- Living in the past, being stuck in a situation that has not been experienced.
The reversed Five of Cups shows chronic diseases of the kidneys, ureter, genitals. The querent has started inflammation and all existing diseases, does not know how to alleviate the condition, or does not want to start treatment at all. Launched processes can still be stopped, they do not yet bear fatal consequences. In addition to problems with organs, this also includes a lack of hormones. This factor is fundamental for the development of depression as a clinical disease.
The psychological state also becomes stable. However, this is a bad dynamic. Melancholy in an upright position, in an inverted position, turns into constant apathy. A person is not happy with anything, and past interests cause only a heavy sigh. The Five of Cups reversed is a hopeless melancholy. The querent himself denies the possibility of anything good in his life. It seems to him that everything has already passed, and ahead is a string of empty days full of memories of past happiness. The fortuneteller is tied to his personal tragedy, he cannot imagine himself without a load on his shoulders.
Situations and Questions (Reversed)
- The stage of spirituality, when you need to "die" as a person.
- Devastation, honest conversation with oneself and others.
- Binding to past events, focusing on them.
- Memories of better times, happy moments.
The reversed Five of Cups gives a stop to the process of personality formation. This is a kind of "night of the soul", the stage of nigredo. The spiritual seeker moves away from his past, but inside everything resists this. The soul is clothed in mourning. No wonder the person on the card is depicted in a black robe. This detail indicates a specific period of mourning. It must be experienced. However, the personality itself makes itself even more painful, trying to return something. This is simply not possible. Sooner or later, self-flagellation will get bored, and you will have to continue searching for yourself.
The Arcana, in the opposite position, offers to ask himself the questions: "What is the link to my past?" and "How can I free myself?" The Five of Cups in an inverted form puts the questioner before a forced choice. In fact, it is no longer there, it was made a long time ago. But it is precisely this fact that one will have to realize, take for granted and let everything go to the will of higher powers. If you do not do this, you can remember your past relationships, a high position, a flourishing business for the rest of your life. However, it all ended, flowed through the sand through our fingers, and life continues in the meantime.
Five of Cups: Combination with other Tarot Cards
Advice and Warning of the Five of Cups Card
The Five of Cups in an upright position gives advice to allow yourself to worry. No need to hold back tears, considering this a manifestation of weakness. On the contrary, letting yourself show your grief or resentment will be the most environmentally friendly option. All negative, painful feelings should be expressed so as not to turn into pathologies and mental abnormalities. An reversed Five of Cups card enhances this value. She advises giving yourself more time. Perhaps meet with people who were important in the past, have a heart-to-heart talk, show your experiences. It is essential for the querent to expose his wound. Healing will happen only through the sincere participation of loved ones and honesty with oneself.
As a warning, the Five of Cups speaks directly of imminent suffering. The situation for which the spread is made will leave pain behind. It is worth considering whether it is necessary to choose this variant of events at all. It may be better to turn away from your aspirations. If you leave in time, they will not leave a deep mark on the soul. If the card is turned upside down, then the Five of Cups warns of an incorrectly chosen path. It will not bring joy. Rather, the situation will squeeze all the strength out of the questioner, and in return will leave only bewilderment and broken dreams. Moreover, this state of affairs can last for a long time. It’s hard to get out of such a crisis on your own.
Five of Cups: Daily Card Meaning
In the context of the card of the day, a straight Five of Cups promises memories of the past. Listening to melancholic music, a chance meeting with a former friend or lover. All events of the day of interest will revolve around a shared past. However, it is important to emphasize here that there are no more common ground. The paths missed each other, and all the memories are more likely to evoke a sad smile than the revival of feelings. This also includes dealing with toxic relatives or parents. On the one hand, these people are family, and on the other, nothing else connects them with them. In the evening, melancholy may flood, the desire to be alone will come.
The reversed Five of Cups predicts an even harder day. If there was a psychological trauma, then something will remind of it. Some kind of trigger will foster negative memories. But sometimes thoughts can revolve around pleasant moments and still bring pain. On such a day, you will want to close yourself off from everyone, withdraw into yourself, how to give free rein to feelings. No need to try to cheer yourself up, distract yourself. Such a state passes only under the condition of totality. Tears must be cried out. You can go to a body-oriented therapist or practice an active meditation technique. This will help relieve tension.