Knight of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Knight of Cups

Keywords for the Knight of Cups 

ROMANTICDREAMY
CHIVALROUSUNREALISTIC
POETICMOODY
IDEALISTICOVERDRAMATIC
QUIXOTICUNSTABLE

In the image on the card, we see what appears to be an arid landscape in the background. It appears to be high noon–the sun lights up the landscape, and amidst these intense solar rays one can almost [taste/feel] the dryness in the hot air.

A single quiet stream flows through the parched earth of this scene, snaking gently across the dry earth of the arid landscape. 

In the midst of this, we see a Knight on his horse. This horse bears a striking resemblance to the one pictured on Key 13, the red-eyed white horse ridden by Death himself.

He wears a tunic over his armor, decorated with images of red swimming in a blue sea. They are the only fish in sight on this card, in contrast to what we see with either the Page, Queen or King.

This speaks to the fact that the emotional energy of this Knight is not generative or creative. For as many beautifully inspired ideas as he may have, they tend to remain idealistic dreams unmanifest in actual reality.

Interpretation of the Knight of Cups in a Reading

Like all of the court cards, this can represent someone in our outer environment that shows the same qualities and characteristics of the Knight of Cups. Alternatively, in some instances it can also refer to how we ourselves are showing up in a given situation.

Either way, this court card will indicate a person who has a very idealistic, romanticized view of life. He is a dreamer, caught up in his fantasies and visions of an ideal love or ideal world. 

On the positive side, this Knight has a romantic and inspired sensibility, possessing the soul of an artist and the heart of a poet. His emotional depth and spiritual sensitivity are unequaled. 

When he loves, he holds nothing back. He is all in without reservations. He is someone who is proud to wear his heart on his sleeve.

On the negative side, this Knight can be a bit of a fanatic. He may be so enamored with his ideals that he may be willing to take dangerous actions to defend them–no matter how ungrounded or ill-conceived these may be.

His capacity for strong feelings also predisposes him to emotional volatility and extreme mood swings. As a result, he is not someone we can consider reliable, and we are not always sure we can count on him.

Ten of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

10 of Cups

Keywords for the Ten of Cups

JOYSERENITY
CONTENTMENTEMOTIONAL FULFILLMENT
LOVEFAMILY
INTIMACYMARITAL BLISS
AFFECTIONA HAPPY FAMILY

It is a beautiful, bright spring morning—the birds are chirping, the dew is still fresh on the grass, and the sun is shining down gently on the new life stirring in all corners of this verdant landscape. 

High overhead, we see a stunning, vibrantly iridescent rainbow stretching itself wide across the sky. This rainbow seems to glimmer and glow with the gold of the 10 cups contained within the bands of vibrant color on display in the clear blue sky.

This rainbow stands suspended over the rolling green hills, the gently meandering creek, and the cozy, comfortable cottage that is home to the happy family we see here in this card.

We see a husband and wife embrace each other while they raise their hands to the air in an expression of joyous celebration. 

To the right of this happy pair, we see their son and their daughter have taken each other by the hand, and are happily dancing around in a circle, unable to contain the happiness and joy they feel together on this beautiful spring day. 

Interpretation of the 10 of Cups 

When the 10 of Cups comes up in a reading, it often can signal a deep sense of emotional satisfaction and joy. 

This card reflects being in a loving and supportive environment, where one’s emotional needs for connection and closeness with others are easily met. 

The 10 of Cups also speaks to a deeply felt sense of both inner and outer harmony. When this card appears, it can indicate a feeling of serenity in one’s home life and closest relationships.

This card may signal an appreciation of the simple joys of a peaceful and simple life, one where harmonious relations are cultivated and valued, not only between individual people, but also in relationship to the earth and the natural world of which we are a part. 

The 10 of Cups often speaks to the quiet moments of intimacy and connection we experience with our loved ones. It is rooted in qualities of honesty, emotional openness, and a sincere recognition of the underlying value, autonomy and worth of those we care about and are closest to.

When this card comes up in a reading, it is often asking us to remember that happiness and joy is not just about what we have, but about who we choose to share it with. 

Nine of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

9 of Cups

Keywords for the Nine of Cups 

CONTENTMENTABUNDANCE
SATISFACTIONENJOYMENT
LUXURYOVERINDULGENCE
GOOD FORTUNEOSTENTATION
WISHES FULFILLEDEXCESS

In the image on the card, we see a plump man sitting contentedly on a stone bench. He sits with legs spread wide, clearly relaxed and at ease here. With his hands comfortably folded across his chest, he seems to lean backwards with a leisurely attitude of contentment, comfort and satisfaction.

Behind him stands a high banquet table covered in rich blue cloth. Upon this table are nine cups, each of them filled with one of the delicious beverages which have been prepared as part of the celebratory feast that the man is about to enjoy with his friends and loved ones. 

The man in question appears to be as happy as could be. Everything is ready, the party is about to begin, and he is ready to relax and have fun. 

He welcomes this abundant banquet as a well-deserved reward for all of the effort he has put in. He knows without a doubt that he deserves all the good fun which is soon to come.

Interpretation of the 9 of Cups 

When the 9 of Cups comes up in a tarot reading, it usually portends good news. Known by many as the “wish” card, it will often indicate desire fulfilled or some hope realized. 

Many times, this card relates to a situation in which we have the opportunity to enjoy the finer things in life. It can mean feeling secure in your resources, being surrounded by abundance, as well as also potentially having access to certain luxuries.

It refers quite often to the enjoyment and appreciation of sensual pleasures: this can be savoring a delicious meal with friends and family, eating delicious food, drinking fine wine, enjoying the sensation of sumptuous velvet fabric on one’s skin, and in general partaking of the many pleasures life has to offer.

Additionally, the 9 of Cups can signal a feeling of deep satisfaction and contentment, which extends not only to our material possessions, but even to our sense of self, as well. 

Looking again at the image on the card, we can see the deep confidence, self-assurance and satisfaction that seem to exude from the man at the center. 

At times, this may well indicate a healthy sense of self-esteem and pride in oneself and one’s abilities. However, in some contexts this may manifest itself in a more negative way and be expressed as a sense of superiority or grandiosity. 

Although the Nine of Cups is typically a sign of good fortune and celebration, there are also some less positive manifestations which we may need to watch out for. 

When this card appears, we will likely have the opportunity to indulge and enjoy life, but we should take care not to overindulge or to be extravagant or wasteful, as this card can at times be accompanied by a certain reckless extravagance that we may come to regret after the party is over. 

Six of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Six of Cups 

INNOCENCENOSTALGIA
SINCERITYCHILDHOOD
GOOD INTENTIONSYOUTH
PURE OF HEARTGENUINE AFFECTION
SIMPLICITYAPPRECIATION

In the image on this card, we see four cups standing in a row in front of us. The remaining two cups are set at different points in the card, effectively dividing the scene in two halves with important different meanings. 

On the right side of the card we see a boy who holds out a golden cup with a white lily inside of it to a very young girl, likely his sister. The two children, standing on the bare, uncultivated earth in front of a warm and welcoming cottage behind them. 

They are dressed in bright colors, vivid reds and blue and yellows, all intense primary hues which indicate the uncomplicated purity and vitality of the emotions they so freely express. 

The last and final sixth cup has been set upon a short pedestal which marks the dividing line between the two halves of the card, as well as the two main parts of our lives, childhood and adulthood. Underneath this cup we see a shield marked with an “X”, as if to warn us: once we cross this line, there is no turning back. 

Interpretation for the 6 of Cups in a Reading

When the 6 of Cups appears in a reading, it often speaks to the pure and uncomplicated feelings and emotions we experienced as children. It reminds us of the innocence we once possessed, before life imposed greater demands and expectations upon us as adults.

Beyond that, it takes us back to a time before we had known the pain of a broken heart, to a time when we were still unscarred by betrayals or disappointments we experienced as we reached maturity. 

The 6 of Cups tends to speak to an attitude of innocence and simplicity in our way of relating to others. The children pictured here give and receive affection and share resources with each other without any calculation or guile. They are able to enjoy the simple pleasures of each other’s company without any apprehension or expectation.

This is in stark contrast to the adult world of relationships that most of us experience during our later years. For too many, navigating relationships can feel like a war of subtle strategies between “lovers,” a game where score is fastidiously kept and every hurt is cataloged, and every slight, punished.

This guardedness and suspicion is represented here on the left of the card: here, we see a heavily armored man bear a spear as a weapon. In contrast to the children, he walked on a ground paved with heavy stones toward a tall fortress with only the narrowest of windows breaking its high walls. 

This represents how as adults, we tend to be more closed off to genuine feelings, often hiding our true emotions and suppressing our sincere affections. Unfortunately, most of us have built up defenses similar to this fortress, and will hardly let anyone get past the heavy armor we wear to protect our still tender hearts.

When the 6 of Cups appears in a reading, it sometimes asks us to take a moment to pause and reflect on where we might be similarly guarded. This card reminds us of the sweetness of life that could be available to us if we are able to let our guard down and risk vulnerability with another.

In a relationship reading, the 6 of Cards is typically a highly auspicious card for romance and connection. It indicates sincerity, good intentions, and a willingness to show up with the openness, honesty, and real vulnerability that true love requires.

Three of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Three of Cups 

FRIENDSHIPCELEBRATION
COMMUNITYHAVING FUN
CONNECTIONSHARED JOY
EMOTIONAL INTIMACYENJOYING COMPANY
COMPANIONSHIPFEELING SUPPORTED

In the image on the card, we see three dancing women dressed in elegant flowing robes. 

As they raise their cups in celebration, they toast to each other in recognition of a shared accomplishment. 

The rich autumn colors of their attire, combined with the abundant fruit of a recent harvest gathered around them, suggests a completion of a goal held in common. 

Interpretation of the 3 of Cups in a Reading

When this card comes up in a reading, it tends to signal a sense of our being connected with and cared for by others. It can also often speak to the experience of enjoying yourself and having fun with friends. 

When this card appears, it signifies a sense of well being and security that we get from spending time with people we care about. It signals being surrounded by supportive people who we know we can trust and rely on. 

The three of cups represents the drive shared emotional intimacy, as well as the pleasures of enjoying the company as a card of the suit of cups, related to the water element this card depicts the deep satisfaction of intimacy and connection we can experience with our friends, our community, and the other groups of which we are apart.

Two of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

2 of Cups

Keywords for the Two of Cups 

LOVEDESIRE
INTIMACYEROS
ROMANCEATTRACTION
CONNECTIONSHARING
RELATIONSHIPUNION

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 chain of chains”

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. 

Interpretation for the Two of Cups

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

Want more clarity on what’s really going on? Need guidance on what your next steps should be?

A tarot reading is the ideal resource for all of that and more. Let’s work together.

Ace of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Ace of Wands

Keywords for the Ace of Cups

LOVEINTUITION
INTIMACYINSPIRATION
ROMANCEEMOTIONAL SENSITIVITY
COMPASSIONPSYCHIC EXPERIENCE
KINDNESSCLAIRVOYANCE

A hand reaches out from a cloud, holding out in offering a golden chalice, recognized by some to be the Holy Grail of legend. 

From this cup the waters of life spring forth. We hear the gentle stirring of the water as it springs from this golden cup, landing with a gentle splash in the calm waters below.

We also hear the sweet chime of bells softly ringing from where they hang at the bottom of the cup’s bowl. They announce, as the ringing of bells often does, the presence of the sacred, acknowledging a time of holy importance.

We see an abundance of life blooming beneath the nurturing, life-sustaining waters of this cup as green lily pads and red lotus flowers.

Finally, above this sacred chalice, we see a dove holding a wafer. The dove has been known as a symbol of innocence, gentleness and peace since the time of Ancient Egypt and beyond.

The dove was sacred to Venus, and symbolized the power of the divine feminine, in conjunction with matters related to love and the renewal of life. Indeed, it was understood that these two concepts are inextricably linked. 

Life is renewed through love. We are sustained by the care and connection we have with one another. Furthermore, love and attraction are the driving force behind the sexual impulse from which all new life is generated. 

Later, the dove was adopted as a Christian symbol of the Holy Spirit, related to the Goddess Sophia, representing divine wisdom. It is also related to the Hebrew concept of the Shekinah, which means the divine “dwelling” or “settling place” of God. 

The dove was also an important symbol of alchemy. In the representations of the Rosarium Philosophorum, the dove is often shown acting as a mediator and messenger from spirit, one which blesses the initial union of the Solar King and the Lunar Queen at the beginning of a process which will ultimately be consummated in the Alchemical Marriage. 

As such, the dove is representative of the assistance which the alchemist (or spiritual seeker) receives as a kind of divine gift, an unearned bounty which we recognize as being the Grace of God. 

Interpretation for the Ace of Cups

When the Ace of Cups card comes up in a tarot reading, it often signals an auspicious beginning in the realm of love or friendship. 

This card may show up when we are at the beginning of a promising new romance. It speaks to a renewed sense of intimacy between people, as well as potentially in relationship to ourselves.

It can signal a boost to our self-esteem, confidence and self-love. It can also indicate a period of emotional well-being, of being in touch with deeper feelings, and being able to process and then express these emotions in healthy and appropriate ways. 

On another level, the ace of cups can also speak to the development of our intuition. It can symbolize psychic ability, as well as getting her true inner voice. 

Above all this card symbolizes a true depth of feeling, along with the possibility for deep emotional connections. This card asks us to open our hearts and surrender to the power of love that unites all things.

Ten of Wands | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Ten of Wands

HARD WORKOVERBURDENED
CHALLENGESEXHAUSTED
STRUGGLEOVERWHELM
DIFFICULTIESOPPRESSION
BURDENSCARRYING A HEAVY LOAD

In the image on the card, we see a tired looking man, dressed in drab, ill-fitting and worn work clothes. He is carrying a heavy bundle of ten wands in his arms as he struggles down the path toward town. 

Unfortunately, he seems to be struggling so intensely to carry the weight of his burden that he hardly seems aware of the destination he is heading toward. 

He has lost sight of his goals, and under the strain of his effort, seems to have forgotten where he had even hoped to arrive at the end of his journey. 

He holds his head down, pressed up uncomfortably against the load he carries. All he seems aware of now is the crushing weight of the burden he bears before him. 

Interpretation of the 10 of Wands in a Reading

When the 10 of Wands comes up in a reading, it typically means that we have taken on more than we handle. It often indicates that we feel overwhelmed by the amount of responsibility that we now have to deal with. 

It can also indicate that we may be struggling to clearly define what is ours to carry. We might find ourselves carrying burdens that are not truly ours, but more rightly belong to others.

This can lead to the “daily grind” of work and errands and tasks and projects to be completed, all of which take a toll on our mental and physical health. We might begin to feel disillusioned, apathetic, with little hope for a happy future. 

When all we can see ahead are struggles, with no room for rest and relaxation, we may well begin to despair of ever feeling the optimism and joy we had once envisioned our future with. 

As a result, this card often asks us to pause for a moment, put our burdens down for just a moment, and take a step back to re-evaluate our situation. From this place, we can take a clearer look at what it is that weighs us down.


We can then try asking ourselves: Does this responsibility truly belong to us? Do all of these things we are paying so much attention to truly still matter? 

And, if we have found them to no longer be a priority, how can we put them down and move on in a way that is ethical and fair to all involved? 

We might even ask ourselves if there is a friend we can call on who would be willing to walk beside us and share the load together.

If we can do any one of these things, we might find ourselves walking with a lighter step. With this weight now off of our shoulders, our sense of frustration and overwhelm can begin to recede into the past. 

Having achieved new clarity on the priorities that matter, we may very well find ourselves with a new sense of vitality and hope for the future and what lies ahead. 

Nine of Wands | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Nine of Wands

DETERMINATIONDEFENSIVENESS
RESOLVEREACTIVITY
GRITFEELING GUARDED
ENDURANCEUNHEALED WOUNDS
RESILIENCEHYPERVIGILANCE

In front of us we see a man who, battered and bruised, stands in front of a tall fence of wands he has built himself.

He grips a final, ninth wand tightly in front of him, on the defensive and ready to ward off any potential attack. 

Despite the defense he has created for himself, he is still wary and ill-at-ease. He gazes suspiciously behind him, unwilling to trust that he could be safe and out of harm’s way.

Interpretation of the 9 of Wands in a Reading

When the 9 of Wands appears in a reading, it typically indicates an area of our lives where we may feel insecure and doubtful, one where we have been hurt before and now have difficulty in trusting again as a result. 

The Nine of Wands can indicate an unwillingness to let our guard down. We may feel wary about others’ motivations, and could exhibit defensive or even paranoid behavior, as we assume the very worst about a person or situation in our lives.

This is especially true if we have experienced trauma or abuse in our lifetime, particularly in childhood. This card at times speaks to the hypervigilance or generalized anxiety we may have developed as a response to overwhelming situations that occurred in our pasts.

It often indicates where we may be letting our physical and psychological defense mechanisms stand in the way of greater connection, intimacy and growth. 

When the 9 of Wands comes up, it may be helpful for us to ask ourselves if we are, in reality, responding to an actual, present danger—if we are truly in danger now—or if this may in fact be a learned response based on a past situation we have now left behind.


The point of this kind of questioning is not to abandon ourselves in the places where we feel fear. Inquiring about the true nature of our patterns and defense mechanisms should instead be a gentle process of determining what our current needs truly are, and then, if our habitual patterns of response no longer feel adequate, looking for creative new ways to meet the needs of our current lived experience (rather than simply responding to the past).

It is often useful to remember that no matter how “unreasonable” a reaction to challenging circumstances may seem, our subconscious mind is typically doing the very best it can to protect us from harm. We often find that what appears to be “self-sabotaging” behavior is often a perfectly logical response rooted in a desire to protect the self, that makes sense when viewed in light of past experiences. When viewed in this light, we often find that there is no self-sabotage, only self-protection. 

The challenge comes in catching yourself in the moment, having compassion for the parts of yourself that are afraid, and then finding new, more self-appropriate ways to meet your current needs for safety and security. When we can do so, we often find that our boundaries become less rigid, letting in more of what we want, and shutting out more of what we truly do not. 

Eight of Wands| Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Eight of Wands

SWIFT ACTIONNEW DEVELOPMENTS
FORWARD MOVEMENTUNEXPECTED SURPRISES
FULL SPEED AHEADNOVEL CIRCUMSTANCES
A FRESH STARTCOMPLETION
NEW BEGINNINGSENDINGS

In the background, we see a small city which stands atop a hill. Underneath, a river flows quickly on its way to meet the sea. 

Above it all, we see eight wands caught in flight as they move across the sky. They are like arrows which have just left a firmly pulled bow. 

It is now only a matter of moments before they arrive to strike their intended target. 

The fast-moving energy of the suit of Wands is on display here: pure action, essential movement, it is the quintessence of the element of Fire. 

Interpretation of the 8 of Wands in a Reading

When we see the Eight of Wands come up in a reading, we know that the time is right to take a chance and move forward into action. The time for waiting has passed; be brave and take a leap into the future that awaits you.

The 8 of Wands can signify quick action, forward movement, rushing forward full speed ahead. 

It can also signify the appearance of an unexpected surprise, novel developments in a once-stagnant situation, and the intrusion of the unforeseen or unexpected into our lives.

Alternatively, the Eight of Wands can signify the results of such action: it can allude to the end of an era, or the last burst of effort taken to complete and close out a long standing project.

Whatever the case may be, we can trust that when the 8 of Wands appears, we cannot remain “stuck” for much longer—something is sure to push us out of our comfort zone, propelling us forward into new situations and circumstances that will ultimately change our lives in a new and exciting way.