The Minor Arcana—The Suit of Cups

The suit of Cups represents water, the emotional aspects of our lives. It’s basically about relationships and emotions. It’s also about art. 

As with all the Minor Arcana, the cups numbered cards represent the more everyday events and situations in our lives when related to love, affections, relationships, and creativity.

The lotus blossoms symbolize spiritual awakening. 

The cups court cards, as with other court cards, represent aspects of our personality, the people we will meet, or the situations we encounter. Again, the emphasis is on the emotional aspects.

The suit of cups is sometimes called chalices (in regular playing cards they are the hearts).

Astrologically, the suit of cups is related to the water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. If you know the meanings of these signs, then you can take many of typical characteristics of this element and apply them to the suit of cups in tarot, too.

The Key Meanings—Suit of Cups 

Ace of Cups

A new beginning of relationships, emotions or art. Love. Strong emotion. Happiness. Abundance.

Two of Cups

A new relationship or a deepening of an existing relationship. Love. Partnership of all kinds. Passion. 

Three of Cups

Friendship. Socializing. Celebration. Joy.

Four of Cups

Dissatisfaction. Contemplation. Meditation. Too much of a good thing. Emotional stagnation.

Five of Cups

Loss of joy. Sadness at what is lost. Grief. Dwelling on the past, on what cannot be changed. Regret. Need to move on.

Six of Cups

Joy. Sweet memories. Nostalgia. Fun. Play.

The Six of Cups. This early RWS card shows kindness across generations—more recent RWS decks show two children or young people. 

Seven of Cups

Fantasy. Illusion. Choices. Imagination. 

Eight of Cups

Abandoned success. Disappointment. Having tried something, it’s time to move on to something better suited to you.

Nine of Cups

Happiness. Success. Satisfaction. Fulfillment of wishes. Completion.

Ten of Cups

Happiness. Happy home. Marriage. Success. Kindness.

Page of Cups

New beginnings in emotions, relationship or art. Trying something new. Learning. Creativity. Imagination. 

Knight of Cups

Going on an emotional adventure. Experiencing new relationships. Romantic. Poetic. 

The most poetic and romantic of the Knights.

Queen of Cups

Intuitive. Psychic. Caring. Thoughtful. Emotionally secure. 

King of Cups

Emotionally mature. Generous. Creative. Supportive of the arts. 

Bookmark and revisit this page, as I’ll be adding detailed pages for each of the tarot cards over the next few months.

Tarot Card Meanings


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