The element that represents this suit is “Water” which is also the element of the Svadishthana (navel) chakra. The nature of water varies; it flows like a gentle stream, a calm, deep water body or even a tidal wave; just like our emotions.
The appearance of this suit in a reading represents one’s feelings, emotions, psychic abilities (in some), and intuition. It also is used to get a reading into one’s day to day life. It also helps to identify one’s relationships, love affairs, and how one reacts to various situations and people. It is mostly emotions over logical thoughts. The nature of this suit is passive and in a regular deck of playing cards it corresponds to the Hearts.
The strengths of this suit: Creative, intuition, compassion, romantic, empathy, caring, relationships, talented in arts, healing, cleansing, adaptable, spiritual.
The weaknesses of this suit: Neglectful, living in a world of fantasy, uncaring, lack of empathy, disturbed relationships, selfish, pessimistic.
This is the general gist of the nature of this suit. Now, let’s see what each card stands for and also what it would mean if the draw were ‘reversed’ in a reading.
ACE OF CUPS
Upright – Stands for knowing oneself, new outlooks, an indication of a phase of entering into new commitments, spiritual pursuit, new jobs or new phases in career, for some it might mean enhanced psychic ability, a safety net of love and protection, balance, good fortune, a phase where some kind of blessing takes place, new romance or beginnings of a new friendship, divine intervention, ability to face crisis without fear, overall a rich and complex card.
Reversed – Bitterness, disenchanted with love, infatuations, delusions, feeling of being unloved, feeling of abandonment, waste of talent, tries and seeks sympathy, represents time to step back and chill, tendency to be impulsive, indicates time to acknowledge one’s feelings, probability of being manipulated by others, in some cases it means that the Universe is drawing your attention to things you have ignored or overlooked or even missed.
Insight – See that romantic emotions should not subsume reality. In fact there is no reason one should complain if this card turns up.
TWO OF CUPS
Upright – It indicates the union of love and creativity, great imaginative powers, excellent time for partnerships, strongly indicates the presence of love and romance, strong attractions, integration of the masculine and feminine sides of persona, resolution of conflicts, indicates true and lasting love, engagements, and weddings.
Reversed – Indicates unreal romantic notions, unreciprocated feelings, separations, beginning of the end of stagnant relationships, sudden glitches in the development of contracts or agreements, disruption in spiritual path, illicit love affairs, strained relationships, possibility of taken advantage of, one might need to pay close attention to one’s gut instincts.
Insight – Has someone special or too good to be true entered your life? Is everything going too well that you need to be cautious or find a reason to worry? If there are multiple emotional bonding, where is all of that taking you?
THREE OF CUPS
Upright – Abundance, domestic happiness, group efforts turn out to be fruitful, new beginnings or new plans, this card stands for friendship more than love, success in difficult tasks, spiritual change, celebrations, good news especially in financial matters, possibility of promotion or getting a new job if one has been searching, heightened creativity, endless possibilities.
Reversed – Confusion, laziness, shallow attitude towards life, flirtations, procrastination in important matters, self-indulgence, boastfulness, abdicating personal responsibilities, being easily distracted by outside influences, temptation to withdraw into a shell.
Insight – Are you feeling lonely in a crowd? Are you wasting valuable time away in frivolity?
FOUR OF CUPS
Upright – Concerns about oneself takes centre stage, great creativity can be achieved if one gets his head screwed on right, impulsive actions regarding matters of heart, ability to tap into inner wisdom, high levels of self-awareness, in some cases an early warning of imminent breakdown, opportunities present themselves but one could tend to be blind towards them, one might need to step back and recharge the batteries, a feeling of ‘grass is greener on the other side’, tends to indicate that one might not be honest in spiritual matters.
Reversed – Spiritual disconnect, disrupted relationship with oneself, tendency to turn to alcohol or drinking problems, severe depression, inability to see things present right in front of you, lack of initiative, lethargy, self-doubt, unhappiness and inability to express the same, might seek solitude, solitude might help one focus on the task at hand, in some cases (depending on the position of the card) obstacles blocking your path is about to be removed, in rare cases one might be able to differentiate between gut feelings and genuine psychic impressions.
Insight – Do not let depression overwhelm you. What is the higher purpose at this stage?
FIVE OF CUPS
Upright – Indicates loss which might not be a bad thing; like loss of something that has outlived its purpose, desirable end to bitter negotiations like divorce, a paradoxical situation where the present period is spiritually fertile while everything thing around you is falling apart, time to let go of anger or grudges, indicates time to let oneself grieve, feeling of loss, anger, grief, denial, frustration, brings confidence after the calamity, in the end one will reconnect with one’s feelings and intuitions.
Reversed – Shattering loss, heartbreak, unhappiness, flawed partnerships, unfaithfulness in affairs, broken relationships, chances of infidelity, regret about how life has turned out, hardening of attitude, emotional resistance to change, miscommunications, indicates that it is time to examine oneself-especially one’s emotions which could help one grow, this cards tells you to be realistic about your hopes, indicates that one must turn one’s attention to what’s left as there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Insight – What needs to be let go decisively? What is it that you are refusing to recognise and is now demanding your attention?
SIX OF CUPS
Upright – Nostalgia, honest, old friends or lovers can re-emerge, in some cases incidents of the past could provide clues for the future, indicates that one should take advice from the elders, getting back to old hobbies, best time to practice gratitude, despite nostalgia it is advisable not to get stuck in the old memory lanes, “me time” might help recharge your batteries.
Reversed – Helplessness, dependence, addictions, false and confused memories, life might seem to be a huge disappointment, tendency to be immature, unwise expenditures to re-live nostalgia, in some cases difficulties in dealing with adult realities; especially if one has had a pampered childhood, petulance, emotional upheavals which might be deeply rooted in personal history, break things that are holding you back, if life seems difficult it indicates that it is time to reach out to friends or someone wiser as you might not want to make this journey on your own.
Insight – Do you really need to cling on to the memories of your glorious past? If your childhood was your best phase, then maybe it hasn’t prepared you to face adult experiences.
SEVEN OF CUPS
Upright – Indicates choices, calls for focus which determines reality and outcomes, determined spiritual choices, turning points, in some cases enhanced psychic abilities, pay attention to dreams, conflict between heart and head, a great phase for students, ability to make right choices for the future, mystifying changes, powerful and overwhelming emotions.
Reversed – Illusions, wasting of time, delusion, one might tend to brag about spiritual development, tendency to build castles in air, eccentric, rebellious, lack of concentration, lost opportunities, whimsical behaviour, it indicates that one needs too keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.
Insight – Do not choose whatever is most pleasant or promises immediate results. It could prove false.
EIGHT OF CUPS
Upright – Beginnings of new and better phase, things might reach a natural conclusion, period of excitement about new opportunities, indicates a period where one might accomplish a difficult task, outgrowing things, a card that indicates all karmic obstacles been beaten down, commitment towards new values and maybe lifestyles, a phase where one gets rid of delusions, indication that one must salvage what is necessary and let the rest go, this phase might bring spiritual insights and a better understanding of oneself, indicates a need to withdraw from the world.
Reversed – Indicates a need to reflect on your current situation, end of the karmic card, grim inevitability, contradictions in new relations and marriage proposals, a sense of abandonment, obstacles, futile ruts, inevitable changes but not necessarily painful, emotional exhaustion, a sense of dissatisfaction.
Insight – Whatever seems to go at this time, let it go; do not cling, Seek new horizons in life.
NINE OF CUPS
Upright – This card indicates fulfilment of wishes and dreams, happiness in all aspects, stability and a sense of security, promising love, marriage, engagement etc, improved health, financial abundance, contentment, this card is normally referred to as the “wish card”, successful conclusions, symbolises gateways to new states of consciousness or stages of life, heightened perceptual awareness.
Reversed – Complacency, arrogance, tendency to take things for granted, petulance, wallowing in sensuality and sentimentality, sense of entitlement, stagnation in relationships, laziness, indifference to the plight of others, overindulgence in pleasures, taking family or close ones for granted.
Insight – Be careful what you wish for. Decide on what you really need or want.
TEN OF CUPS
Upright – Lasting success and happiness, a phase of optimism and joy, end in family feuds if any, culmination of long held plans, beginning of a healing phase, commitment in relationships, possibility of buying property or house, feeling of peace and tranquillity, contentment within family.
Reversed – A phase where one might retreat to a fantasy world, chances of joining a cult which could be dangerous, complacency about what has been achieved, disrupted joy and mental conflict, malice between family members, family routines end up getting disrupted, indicates chances of being taken advantage of due to one’s vulnerable state.
Insight – What can you learn from your family and relationships? Are you blocking our real concerns for this euphoria?
PAGE OF CUPS
Upright – Stands for creativity, love, dreams, indicates that intimacy, love or romance come unasked into life, interest in the paranormal or mysterious, new job might demand a lot of emotional intelligence, renewal of old friendships or even romantic relationship, flirtations, a phase where emotions tend to be fragile; one must tread carefully, possibility of happy events like birth, marriage, engagements etc.
Reverse – over-confidence, obsessive emotions, possibility of significant bad dreams, fears and phobias, cold indifference, might tend to be frivolous and shallow, lack of discipline, scattered brain thinking, indulgence in unwanted gossip, relationships tend to fade away imperceptibly, inability to communicate clearly, decent into addictions.
Insight – Do not let your inner state become a matter of public knowledge. Trust your intuition.
KNIGHT OF CUPS
Upright– New relationships, new opportunities, seduction, sensuality, following one’s dreams, enhanced psychic abilities, tendency to fall in love easily, potentially a strong card but the reverse is equally strong.
Reverse– indicates a dangerous person who can trample everyone or everything in pursuit of pleasure, unreliable lover, this card in reverse is famous as the card of a lover who will leave, loss of direction in life, fraud and embezzlement, tendency to manipulate, blames destiny for all his flaws.
Insight – The emotional supersedes the mental far too much. It is important to bring a balance. Something similar to- ‘fools rush where angels fear to tread’.
QUEEN OF CUPS
Upright – indicates a potential for deep spiritual transformation, makes for great healers, emotional and empathetic approach towards matters, emotional harmony, calm and patient, empathy makes one’s personality attractive, deep emotional bonds; not necessarily romantic, letting go off past anger, hurt, grief and disappointments, nurturing and unconditional love.
Reversed – tendency to neglect people, unnaturally high expectations and ideals, misguided jealousy, close-mindedness, insecurity and self-doubt, malicious and could use vulnerabilities of others for personal use or power, high levels of selfishness.
Insight – Everybody is not as intuitive as you are. Share your insights where it is required and appropriate. Trust your feelings.
KING OF CUPS
Upright-Born mentors and healers, friendly and helpful nature, motivational speaker who can make a lasting impact, successful in whatever they put their mind too, accurate instincts, ability to read people well, ability to take risks because of their abilities, sensual and sociable, responsible and generous, high levels of self-awareness, level-headed in moments of high emotional excitement.
Reversed – Unable to put up with people’s emotional demands beyond a point, tendency to create dissonance instead of harmony, manipulative guile, indicates a misleading sort of a personality, intolerant; at times even bigoted, seeks power by manipulation by covers up skilfully, tends to be of explosive nature.
Insight – Is your life on track as you think it is? Are you becoming complacent or smug?