Suit of Cups Tarot
Suit Name: Cups, Chalices
Element: Water 💧
Moon Phase: Waning Gibbous 🌖
Season: Spring 🌱
Time interval: Week
Main card: Queen 🂽
The suit of Cups is a mysterious group of cards in the Tarot system, responsible for sensory experiences. The energy of these Arcanas can be compared with the waters of the mysterious island of Avalon, where, according to legend, King Arthur rests. The lord searched for the Holy Grail all his life and found peace in the "land of bliss" together with his second wife, Guinevere. It is curious that in a pair of King and Queen of Chalices, an analogy is drawn with a couple from Celtic legends. The hero looks at his lady, in whose hands there is a certain sacred cup, similar to the Grail. No wonder this scene is depicted on the cards in the Water group. This is a kind of indication of the sanctity of love – the beginning and end of all searches.
Symbolism and Key Ideas of the Cups in Tarot
If you look at all the Tarot cards of the suit of Cups, you can notice repeating elements. In the Rider-Waite deck, these are bowls, water, fish. Some symbols are found on the clothes of heroes, or in the decoration of the throne on the court Arcana. Reservoirs are visible in the background on almost all cards of the group. There are blue elements everywhere. The sky is clear, without clouds. Some Arcana have clouds that look more like fog or steam. The bowls are bright yellow, round, on a stable leg with four sides. On most of the Arcana there are positive symbols – a dove, white lilies, caduceus, images of houses.
All details of the cards of the suit of Cups reflect the sensual side of life – love, inspiration, feeling. On different Arcana, the intensity of emotions changes, but not the essence itself. So, love experiences go the whole way, starting from the Ace and ending with the King. The suit of Cups is patronized by three planets – the Moon, Neptune, Pluto. There is a correspondence with the signs of the zodiac – Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. The suit of Water symbolizes spring. In terms of the time interval, it predicts events during the week. Also denotes a waning moon. The most important card is the Queen. It most fully reflects the nature of the element.
Meaning of the suit of Cups in spreads
In spreads on any topic and area of life, the suit of Cups denotes feelings and emotions. These are the events that resonate in the soul of the querent. Often this includes communication ties between people – love, friendship, family relationships. Everywhere, humanity is at the forefront. Also, the suit of Chalices represents the state of the flow. These are events that happen easily and non-violently. Even the Four or Five of Water, denoting a certain crisis, is not as cardinal as the same numerical cards of the suit of Swords. The energy inherent in the Cups adds smoothness, slowness and plasticity to the space of options.
The suit of Water in any spread gives hope for the best. Cups cards are not categorical – the situation can be corrected, and unpleasant moments can be experienced with minimal losses. If we take into account the theory that a person is the God of his life, then the following turns out: all the cards that have fallen out are only a reflection of the consciousness of the questioner. So, if the Arcana of the suit of Cups predominates in fortune-telling, then this is a direct indication of the softness, sensitivity and sincerity of the querent himself. All events are attracted after these qualities, like moths flying to the flame of a candle. Life speaks to a fortuneteller in the language of feelings and sensations in order to reach out to his heart. Reversed cards do not carry fatality, unlike the same suit of Swords.
Love and Relationships
In a love spread, the meaning of the Cups will automatically equate to the presence of sincere sympathy. The very fact that the cards of the suit of Chalices fell out indicates the querent’s readiness to let love into his life. It can be mutual or undivided, but it doesn’t matter. The most important thing here is that the heart of the questioner is open, able to feel, to pass through itself. It is very difficult for a built personality to maintain a childish impartiality. However, fate can again and again send people who carry this quality in themselves.
Sometimes Cups in the Tarot spread for relationships symbolize the presence of feelings not in the querent himself, but in his partner. But this situation still affects the questioner. If this were not so, then the Arcana of Swords would fall out, symbolizing emotional closeness. Nevertheless, a person can change under the influence of a person in love with him. Changes will manifest themselves in behavior, rethinking one’s life and adjusting landmarks. This is an experience that should also be lived.
Career and Finance
In the field of work, the suit of Cups denotes the conjugation of dreams, inspiration with the type of activity. So, the chosen profession can fully satisfy the internal request of the querent. In his work, a person will find self-realization. The Chalices also show relationships in the team. Sometimes it will be just comfortable communication with colleagues, and in some cases, an office romance. Also, the Arcana of Water falls out as a significator of the workplace, showing organizations in the field of beauty, art, as well as children’s institutions.
In the context of finance, Water cards do not directly refer to money. Rather, they represent contentment or dissatisfaction with their position, i.e. the attitude of the querent to the current situation. Also, the suit of Cups shows ease of handling money, financial dependence on a partner or family, as well as general disinterest in material wealth. Often, cards of this element fall on people who are spiritually oriented. They live in their own coordinate system, far from worldly problems.
Health and Spirit
In terms of health, the suit of Cups symbolizes fairly good immunity. If there are diseases, they are not fatal. Full or partial recovery, improvement of health is possible. If we draw parallels with the human body, then the Arcana of Water denotes all fluids in the body. They may be in balance or imbalance, depending on the position of the card. Lymphatic, urinary, endocrine, circulatory systems – all this is shown by the Tarot Chalices.
The psyche according to these cards is sensitive and impressionable. All events and experienced emotions leave a certain imprint on a person. In the future, this will affect behavior, worldview and the nervous system. The suit of Cups suggests that the querent’s consciousness is like a sponge that absorbs any information. A person has not yet learned to “filter” sensations – but takes absolutely everything at face value. This condition is inherent in children and adolescents, but sometimes it can be seen in adults who have not faced serious problems and crises in their lives.
Situations and Questions
According to Indian beliefs, the universe consists of five primary elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether. These forming forces, mixing with each other, create any state of matter. The suit of Cups in Ayurveda is associated with the element Apas. Further, this energy can acquire the quality of Kapha (earth) or Pitta (fire). These are two sides of the same coin. So, water can be cold and cloudy (inverted position of the card), or warm and clean (upright). Based on this interpretation, an analogy is drawn with any feelings and situations.
The suit of Cups asks two main questions: "How do I feel?" and “Can I love?”. The Arcana of the Water element reveals life from the position of the heart. To understand them, one can practice Sufi whirling or Osho’s Beyond Dimensions meditation. These methods are designed to open the heart chakra and learn to feel your body, soul, consciousness, and then another person. The group of Chalices most fully reflects the philosophy of pacifism, peacemaking, philanthropy.
What kind of people do Cups represent?
As a significator, the Chalices fall on kind and sensitive people. Even the Three of Water, with its seemingly idleness and frivolity, does not directly speak of a bad character. A person knows how to love, enjoy life. The extent to which he is ready to share his energy depends on internal study, spiritual growth. But, in general, the suit of Cups always shows a tendency to manifest itself in art, the search for a higher meaning of being. The Chalices represent eternal children – individuals who do not lose their spontaneity and faith in the best at any age. Even if something difficult happens, as on the Five, the querent will still cope with his pain and not become embittered.
Also, the suit of Cups often falls on those people who are in a state of love. The Queen and the King denote a newlywed couple or a girl and a guy in a relationship. The Page shows a complaisant and polite teenager, a child. Six indicates the presence of children, grandchildren. All cards of Chalices are united by the lightness and appeasement inherent in the character of the person in question. Also, the Arcana of Water is shown by groups leading non-commercial activities – giving free performances, concerts. In addition, this also includes psychologists, confessors, people with superpowers.
Meaning of the cards of the suit of Cups
The general description – smoothness, sensitivity and sublimity, is inherent in the entire group of cards of the suit of Cups. However, the numerical value will add a touch of individuality, will show in what context the energy of Water is revealed. This is a kind of gradation of the intensity of the flow of information – from Ace to King. If the One is a stream, then the fourteenth card is a real ocean. Until a drop of water reaches the desired home, it will go the whole way. You can compare this with a spiritual journey, the purpose of which is to know your heart, connect with it, and therefore with all life in this world. The suit of Cups symbolizes Albedo – a stage in alchemy when you need to cleanse and prepare for further growth.
The Ace of Chalices denotes nascent feelings, the beginning of love, sympathy. These emotions can be shown to a new partner, parents or children. The subject is not as important as the source that bestows valuable energy. On this wave, there is a desire to create, inspiration and a state of inspiration come. The inverted position of the Ace of the suit of Cups, on the contrary, speaks of unfulfilled hopes and unfulfilled dreams. But they still live in the heart of the querent, fueling dreams of the best. This also includes unrequited feelings, embarrassment to show their tenderness, care, affection. Also, the inverted One of Water shows a lack of energy, fatigue.
The Two of Cups is a symbol of true mutual love. The card represents all love unions, as well as balance, harmony in any area of life. A person manages to combine both male and female qualities in himself, to be a full-fledged personality. Based on this inner fullness, he can share love with a partner. The inverted Two of the suit of Cups does not directly speak of a split, an exit from a relationship. Rather, it is the connection that leads to degradation and has no future. In such a union, everyone clings to each other, afraid to know himself as an independent person. As a result, love shows only the worst traits in partners. Also, sometimes the opposite position of the card shows secret connections.
The Three of Chalices symbolizes celebration, fun and universal joy. This is the Arcana of carelessness, lightness. It’s time to relax and not think about anything. Superficial relationships, friendships, holiday romances pass through this card. All promises can be forgotten after the music ends. In a positive context, the Three of the suit of Cups speaks of a person’s ability to experience joy, cheer themselves up and others. An inverted card exacerbates the negative meaning. Now it denotes excessive idleness, frivolity, addiction to alcohol, a riotous lifestyle. You cannot rely on a person, he is not ready for any kind of responsibility.
The Four of Cups shows some pause in relationships, a lull, a stage of rethinking feelings. The querent is trying to understand what exactly he feels and in which direction he should move. Such scrupulousness can lead to subsequent serious decisions – leaving or, conversely, rapprochement at a qualitatively different level. The Four of the suit of Cups in an inverted position slows down the flow of energy. Now the card shows an indecisive, doubting person who cannot make a decision for a long time. Also, according to the position of the Arcana, there are situations in which the querent is forced to seek a response from someone, constantly demonstrating his best qualities.
The Five of Chalices is a card of crisis, care. However, sadness and longing are not fatal – the Arcana gives hope for a brighter future. Now a person is going through a difficult period. Perhaps he left the relationship, quit his favorite job. In any case, the querent is forced to leave something important behind him, almost a part of himself. Further development requires some kind of sacrifice. The inverted meaning of the Five of the suit of Cups adds a negative connotation. A person for a long time cannot decide on cardinal changes and let go of something. It brings suffering, mental anguish. However, the fear of the future overshadows all inner experiences.
The Six of Chalices is one of the main Arcana representing children in the Tarot deck. It can be your own child, grandchildren, nephews or work at school. This also includes such a concept from psychology as the “inner child”. This is the very part of the unconscious, formed in early childhood. It affects the subsequent worldview, the development of skills and the way you communicate with the world and people. Reversed, the Six of the suit of Cups suit is about being stuck in a childish pattern of behavior. Personality fails to separate from the parents, and then from the partner. Sometimes an inverted Arcana speaks of problems from the past, and also (in a negative sense) – a burden in the context of having children.
The Seven of Chalices denotes illusions, dreams and desires. The main difference from the Ace of the same suit of Cups is the variety and embodiment of energy in some specific form. In a positive sense, the card speaks of the ability to visualize, generate new ideas. A person is focused on everything non-standard, something that is not yet in the manifested world. However, in the opposite position, the Arcana shows dependence on intoxicating substances, alcohol. The personality is cut off from the real world, hiding behind its illusions. Surrounded by negative cards, the Seven of Water can talk about mental disorders, mania, delirium.
The Eight of Chalices represents the part of a person that he keeps secret. It can be relationships, feelings that no one knows about, and even a double life. Such a person is cautious, prudent. In general, the Arcana shows the unconscious part of the psyche, actions for which there is no logical explanation. This is a cycle, ending and beginning at the same time. The inverted Eight of the suit of Cups, on the contrary, denotes the pursuit of success, which will not be crowned with victory. There are significant results, but something more is closed, like a cloudy sky. As a result, there is a feeling of dissatisfaction, incompleteness. The shell opens ahead of time, not having time to give the world pearls.
The Nine of Chalices is the calling card of all womanizers. People who are in high demand not only in love terms, but also in the context of their careers pass through the Arcana. These are the lucky ones, the favorites of Fortune. They get everything easily. The card shows the state of satisfaction with life, the ability to make the right choice in favor of oneself. The inverted Nine of the suit of Cups shows selfish, jealous and possessive people. The search for pleasure turns into a nervous breakdown. Such a person should a priori be in the spotlight, no matter what it costs him. This also includes "black" PR methods, eccentricity in the red.
The Ten of Chalices symbolizes large groups of people, a commonality of views. This is a family, a work team, a group of companies. All who are under the same auspices are united by a common goal, their aspirations are directed in one direction. The card can denote parent-child relationships, as well as communication between superiors and subordinates. The inverted Ten of the suit of Cups shows groups of people united against someone or something. The interpersonal ties of the members of such a team are weakening. If this is a family, then it has only a nominal value. The working collectives keep together only out of necessity.
The Page of Water traditionally denotes the arrival of good news, good news. Information can relate to any area of life – from relationships to careers. The card also represents teenagers or children with a good character. However, for the most part, the Page of the suit of Cups shows romantic messages, the emergence of sympathy. The partner is lower in rank or age. Sometimes the card speaks of a small gift or friendly help. The inverted Arcana limits the potential of love. Nothing more than a non-committal flirtation can come from such a connection. The person of interest will remain only as a friend or immature partner, not equal.
The Knight of Chalices shows a young man who is serious about the querent. A love affair will soon develop into a cohabitation or even an official marriage. Now romance, mutual understanding and love reign in relationships. Also, the Arcana speaks of the easy achievement of goals, the ability to present oneself. The inverted Knight of the suit of Cups represents impostor syndrome or self-doubt. There will be obstacles on the way to a dream related to communication, communication with other people. All of the above applies to the questioner himself, and sometimes to his beloved person.
The Water Queen denotes a kind young girl. This is the questioner herself or a woman from the close circle of the querent. Such a lady knows how to love, sincerely empathize. If you need help, she will do everything in her power. The card also represents feminine qualities: intuition, grace, smoothness, sensitivity. In an inverted form, the Queen of the suit of Cups changes its meaning to hysteria, resentment, the state of the victim. Kindness becomes a weakness, a person can be used by others. The psyche is unstable, depression, melancholy are possible. Events unfold not in favor of the querent. No support from loved ones.
The King of Chalices personifies a young man with a gentle character. He is amorous, knows how to do beautiful things for the sake of his partner. Love for him is the force that moves the whole world. The Arcana denotes a partner or the querent himself. Events take place on the card in which it will be possible to easily realize one’s potential, get the approval of others. The inverted King of the suit of Cups changes the character to nervousness, annoyance, sacrifice. A man bothers with his feelings, ready to be on the sidelines for the sake of satisfying love addiction. Events will show someone in an ugly light. The questioning person will be faced with empty promises from a loved one.