In the Minor Arcana of the Tarot, the Suit of Cups symbolizes emotion and inspiration in a tarot reading. Cards from the Suit of Cups offer details about personal relationships, creative projects, and love. It from the Suit of Cups that everything begins: think of the Holy Grail whose magical contents nurture spirit and flesh, or a woman's womb whose fertile waters bring new life into the world. Without the willingness to be emotionally moved and inspired to take action, little of importance can come into being.
Here are definitions for each card in the Suit of Cups.
Meanings: Great emotional satisfaction. Beginning of a new important relationship. Receptivity to creative inspiration. Reversed: Emotional disappointment. Creative blockages.
Meanings: Integration of masculine and feminine aspects within oneself. An attraction that may become a serious relationship. Harmony. Love. Enchantment. Reversed: Blinded by infatuation. Disillusionment within a love relationship or close friendship. Overindulging in sensuality.
Meanings: A celebration involving women. Possibly a wedding feast. Peace between family generations. A reason to celebrate. Reversed: Overindulgence. Too much celebration—time to get to work!
Meanings: Too much of a good thing. Taking something for granted—love, talents, beauty. Discontent or boredom. Overindulgence. Reversed: Acceptance of the situation, though discontent is still present. A passing phase.
Meanings: Disappointment with intimate relationships, disillusionment, sadness. Concentrating on problems instead of assets. Desire to move on. Reversed: A growing awareness that relationships are what you make of them.
Meanings: Harmonious home. Children and childhood memories. Longing for the sweetness and innocence of the past. Reversed: Need to incorporate the past—and perhaps painful memories—into the present.
Meanings: Overindulging in thoughts of what the future may bring. Daydreams. Time to wake up and rejoin the world! Reversed: Allowing fantasies to influence how you view life—more objectivity is needed. Projecting onto others.
Meanings: Time to move on. Need for more substance in life—whether that be more satisfying relationships, a more authentic way of life. Leavetakings. Reversed: Lingering too long in a difficult or superficial situation. Uncertainty about a relationship, to stay or leave.
Meanings: Satisfaction. Contentment. Some consider this card the wish card, meaning a wish will be granted if it appears in a spread. Reversed: Delay in the granting of your wishes. Complacency. Taking a relationship for granted.
Meanings: Happy family life. Emotional satisfaction and endurance in love relationships. Great happiness. Reversed: An inability to experience joy. Dissatisfaction, though uncertain why—everything looks perfect on the surface.
Meanings: An invitation or offer. Young children who, with their gentleness, allow one to experience innocence anew. Reversed: Disillusionment with a relationship that promised more substance. Fickleness of affection. Unreliable messages.
Meanings: Artistic inspiration and receptivity. Movement in these areas of life. Grace. An offer of love. Reversed: The need to be more receptive to inspiration and love. Overindulgence in fantasies.
Meanings: Mastery of all the suit of cups represents—art, beauty, intimacy, love. The ability to express love, to nurture others. An older woman who inspires others to live harmoniously. Reversed: Overwhelmed by emotions that need sorting. Need to take control of these feelings.
Meanings: Ability to live up to one's ideals. Combining artistic integrity with the needs of the marketplace. Someone who symbolizes these forces. Reversed: Desire to have control over one's creativity. Need to stop dreaming and get to work.
So that's the Suit of Cups! Ready to learn about the Suit of Wands?
The Learn Tarot online course was adapted by permission from The Goddess Tarot Workbook by Kris Waldherr, published by US Games Systems, © 2000, all rights reserved. (The Goddess Tarot is available as an app here.) Permission is granted to print out this lesson for personal use only. Sharing or selling this content in any form is strictly forbidden by law.