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. 

Eight of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

8 of Cups

Keywords for the Eight of Cups 

CHANGESWALKING AWAY
MOVING ONSEEKING FULFILLMENT
TRANSFORMATIONLEAVING THE PAST BEHIND
FOLLOWING OUR HEARTSTRUSTING OUR INTUITION
MEETING OUR DESTINYFAITH IN THE FUTURE

In the image on this card, we see a darkened sky, at the moment when the moon moves to cover up the sun in a solar eclipse.

Underneath this portentous planetary conjunction, we see a rocky coastline, where rocky green cliffs meet shallow, watery tide pools beneath.

It is the moon which pulls on these tides, stirring the waters of the earth and the blood of our bodies; sometimes, it prompts sudden changes of heart and then the inevitable movement toward newly envisioned desires that call out to us to be embodied more fully. 

Directly before us stand eight cups standing stacked neatly in two rows. In the space left by a gap in the top row we catch sight of a figure wearing a striking crimson cloak and boots. In tarot, the color red typically stands for the power of our desires, feelings and emotions. 

We see that this person has turned away from us, setting out with the intention to find a more satisfying life for herself. It is likely due less to any logical reasoning than a deep seated desire which spurs her to action.

Interpretation of the 8 of Cups in a Reading

When the 8 of Cups shows up in a tarot reading, it often refers to a situation where we have chosen to leave behind something which still gives us some measure of satisfaction and joy, in order to seek out something better or more fulfilling. 

It is interesting to note that, in contrast to the 5 of Cups we saw earlier, all of the cups in this card still remain standing. Nothing here has been lost, and on some level, there still remains a considerable amount of potential for happiness here.

As a result, the 8 of Cups can often mean leaving behind the known, and embarking on a journey of self-discovery to find what is more fully aligned with the true desires of your heart. 

In addition, the eclipse of the sun we see in this card can guide us to seeing some of the deeper meanings at play. The Sun represents the solar mode of conscious, rational awareness. In turn, it is being covered by the Moon, which represents the lunar mode of subconscious, emotional awareness. 

This indicates that we are being prompted to trust our “gut feelings,” and allow our intuition to be our guide into what could be a more promising future for ourselves. 

As a result, the Eight of Cups in a reading can mean disregarding our typical left-brained rationalizations which tend to encourage us to follow the more conventional path, the part which expects us to fall in line with what society expects of us as the only “reasonable” choice.

 Instead, this card asks us to take a chance and follow the promptings of our hearts instead.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you truly love. It will not lead you astray.”

Rumi

Seven of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Seven of Cups

FANTASYREVERIE
ILLUSIONVISION
IMAGINATIONIDEALS
DREAMSUNGROUNDED
WISHFUL THINKINGDELUSIONAL

In the image on this card, we see the dark figure of a man illuminated from behind. He is lost in thought, caught in a reverie as he ponders the various virtues of each offering displayed before him. 

From a nebulous gray cloud of fog we see seven cups suspended in mid-air. The man struggles to focus; instead, his gaze flits from one shimmering golden cup to another, and then to the next. Each is utterly captivating, alluring and enticing in its own unique way. 

Which of these would he most desire to have for himself? 

There’s the tall, elegant and imposing castle which rises up from the first cup on the left—the perfect residence, more than enough luxury for him to enjoy, plenty there to inspire his neighbors to envy, to assure himself of prominence in the area in which he lives

Or perhaps the glittering mountain of jewels, overflowing, exceeding the bounds of this next cup—more wealth than he would know what to do with! He pictures luxury without end, he dreams of the power to purchase whatever his heart may desire.

But suddenly, a mysterious, charming figure catches his eye—he feels the magnetic pull of desire and of lust inspired by this most beautiful of all women, Helen of Troy. To spend a night with this most gorgeous of all queens seems to promise pleasure beyond compare…

Now his eyes are drawn away again, this time by a laurel wreath. This leafy crown could bestow upon him the recognition and respect he has always felt he should command among men. He has dreamed of this often: of distinction, privilege, honor, and above all, power. The capacity to command his fellow man, to be esteemed above others, to influence, and to  sway the minds of masses–all of this could be within his grasp, could it not?

His eyes move back and forth from one cup to the next. Which shall be his? What is worthy of his attention? Which desire calls out most loudly to him, demanding to be fulfilled?

The man seems unable to pull himself out of his fantasies. He continues to dream, lost in thought, unable to move or take any action. Instead, he remains, enchanted by his visions, lost in a reverie too charming to let go of…

Interpretation of the Seven of Cups

When the 7 of Cups appears in a tarot reading, it can indicate that we may be caught up in fantasies or illusions. We may be spending our time lost in thought, preferring to daydream about all the various possibilities which drift like clouds before us in idle minds. 

In a reading, the 7 of Cups may mean that we are wasting our time chasing illusions. This card can serve as a warning that we are living in a false world of fantasy that is unrounded in reality and lacking in the potential for material realization. 

However, there are also positive potentials implied by the 7 of Cups, as well. This card will often appear when we have many equally desirable opportunities. It can also refer to the initial stages of planning and weighing your options before taking action. 

If we can manage to bring these dreamy energies into our conscious, rational awareness, we can then potentially use these ideals to transform the material and physical realities of our lives. The energies of the 7 of Cups can be highly potent and powerful, as long as they are grounded in reality through concrete action in the material world. 

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” 

T. E. Lawrence

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.

Five of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Five of Cups 

GRIEFEMOTIONAL PAIN
LOSSSUFFERING
SADNESSLETTING GO
DEPRESSIONFINDING THE SILVER LINING
BEREAVEMENTMOVING ON

In the image on the card, we see a man draped in a long, black cloak, his head down in an apparent gesture of grief and sadness.

Three empty cups lay on the ground in front of him, their contents spilled all over the floor at his feet. The man looks down at the floor, and there is a sense of regret here, indicating that he could possibly bear some responsibility for the losses he grieves.

However, it is important to note that there are a total of five cups pictured in this card. There are full cups standing behind the man which he has yet to notice.

As a result, this card signifies not only loss, but the hope that yet remains even after experiencing failure or defeat. This hope is also indicated by the symbol of the bridge which rises in the distance. 

This bridge links the man in his current situation to the future which is still possible for him. The house we see on the left of the card tells us that when he is ready, there is still plenty of potential happiness, satisfaction and security that he can one day come home to. 

Interpretation of the 5 of Cups in a Reading

When the 5 of Cups comes up in a tarot reading, it often means that we are facing some kind of a loss in our lives. We could be in the process of grieving what we once had, but which remains no longer.

The 5 of Cups encourages us to honor our emotions: our sadness, disappointment, and grief.

However, it also challenges us to a task that is seemingly opposite: it asks us to also recognize what it is that remains.

In the image on the card, we see that the man in the black cloak is facing forward towards the three cups which have spilled their contents on the ground. He is unable to see the two full, upright cups which still stand behind him. 

However, although they remain unseen, it is interesting to notice that they are located even closer to the man than the ones he has lost. 

This is a reminder that all too often, when we focus on what we don’t have, we miss out on the very real goodness that is available to us in ourselves, that still remains to be discovered.

This is not to say that we should gloss over our pain or our loss–there is a necessity to grieve what is gone if we are to properly move forward with our lives. It is necessary, but it is only the first step. 

Once we have worked through our pain and processed our emotions, we must have the courage to lift our heads and see all that still remains for us, if we are willing to see it. 

Four of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Four of Cups

BOREDOMDISINTEREST
APATHYREJECTION
DISSATISFACTIONBOUNDARIES
LOST IN THOUGHTDECLINING AN OFFER
INTROSPECTIONSAYING NO

In this card, we see a young man sitting by himself underneath a tree. He appears to be lost in thought, caught up in his own internal world. Perhaps he is daydreaming, indulging in idle fantasies of what he hopes could one day be. 

What seems more likely is that he is reflecting on the past, deeply focused on the moments of his life that have come before this one, and which still affect him now. In this case, the three cups laid out before him could very well stand for the emotional memories he holds within himself, which perhaps he has not yet become willing to let go of. 

This could explain why he seems so disinterested in the cup being offered to him from a floating cloud (likely from the very same hand which we saw in the Ace of Cups). This hand is attempting to offer him the gift of a new experience, one which could potentially bring a change to his circumstances, which holds the possibility for new happiness and satisfaction.

However, it seems that the youth’s attention remains focused on his internal world so much that he now rejects the present and all the gifts it offers us. 

Interpretation of the Four of Cups in a Reading

When the 4 of Cups comes up in a reading, it sometimes means that we have lost our connection with the outer world, and turned our focus inward instead. 

It can speak to being caught up in our own thoughts, and perhaps ignoring the reality that exists outside of ourselves.

The 4 of Cups can also refer to a sense of dissatisfaction with our surroundings, as well as a potential rejection of the opportunities which are currently available to us. 

This card can also indicate an inability to think creatively, to come up with new and different solutions to our problems that may be unfamiliar to what we have done in the past.

At times, the 4 of Cups in a reading can also point towards an area where we need to have stronger boundaries. 

Just as the young man in the card says “NO” to the cup being offered by the cloud, we ourselves may need to decline what is being offered to us. 

The 4 of Cups reminds us that sometimes we are better off rejecting something that is not suited to us, in order to make space for what we truly deserve. 

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.