Keywords for the Two of Cups
In the image on the card, we see a bright blue day in the countryside. The sun is shining down on green fields bursting with life. Nestled comfortably amongst a cluster of trees is a charming red roofed house which exudes the promises of comfort and simple joys.
In front of us stand a woman and a man. On our left, the woman is dressed in light blue and white robes, reminiscent of the High Priestess’s elegant attire. The man on the right wears bright yellow tunic and stockings, which clearly indicates a connection to the Fool of the Major Arcana.
The pair stand facing each other, each holding a cup out in front of them. The woman holds her cup out in offering with an earnest and sincere gesture that indicates serious intent.
However, the man takes a different posture: with his right hand, he reaches out to grab the woman’s cup, while in his left he holds his own cup slightly back and out of reach, with more eagerness to take and reservation to give than we see in his partner.
The couple both wear wreath crowns upon their heads: a crown of laurel for the woman, and a crown of roses on the man. Interestingly, this reverses the typical attributions made of desire/the body to women, and truth/the mind with men which we normally see in the tarot.
A strange figure hovers up above these two cups: it has the head of a lion and the wings of an eagle. The lion refers to the libido, or life-force energy, which is activated and engaged in romantic love and sexual union. The wings show us how this “lower” physical nature can be sublimated into the spiritual.
Here, Eros is the link which binds us not only to each other, but which also can connect us with the divine.
Vinculum quippe vinculorum amor est / Love is the bond of bonds”Giordano Bruno
Below the winged lion we see two snakes which wind their way around a staff, known as the caduceus. This powerful symbol for healing connects both of the cups together and to the winged lion above them, as well.
This refers to the potential for healing and transformation that occurs when we allow ourselves to connect to each other and to the sacred which lies behind all of manifestation.
2 of Cups Interpretation
When this card appears in a reading, it can often signal the beginning of a new romance or even friendship. It may refer to our capacity for emotional connection, intimacy, and romance.
The 2 of Cups also shows the magic that can occur when we are in love, and are willing to join with another soul in a spirit of true openness and vulnerability. When this occurs what results is often more than the sum of its parts. What is created is something new beyond the original two which have come together in union.
When the Two of Cups appears in a reading, it often indicates the promises of happiness in love, relationships, and romance. It is considered a highly auspicious indicator for anything to do with matters of the heart.
Eros, presiding over all spiritual activities, is what ensures the collaboration of the sectors of the universe, from the stars to the humblest blade of grass. Love is the name given to the power that ensures the continuity of the uninterrupted chain of beings; pneuma is the name given to the common and unique substance that places these beings in mutual relationship. Because of Eros, and through it, all of nature is turned into a great sorceress.”–Ioan P. Culianu, Eros and Magic in the Renaissance