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Understanding 4 of Cups In Tarot

Updated on January 19, 2019
Zola Mars profile image

We follow the wisdom paths of our ancestors embracing a nature-based spirituality. This solitary practice comes out in art, craft and word.


The Tarot

Tarot cards are a great way to see what the future has in store for you. They are also useful for finding solutions to the problems we face in life. This fun way of spending time is known as cartomancy. There are various designs you can choose from. Collecting Tarot cards can be a fun hobby in itself. There are many different decks from various different points in time.

There are 4 suits in a Tarot deck. These are related to the 4 elements. Wands represents fire, cups represent water, swords represent air, and pentacles represent earth. Today we are concentrating on the suit of cups. This is equivalent to the suit of hearts in a traditional pack of cards. Hearts is a very apt way of looking at this suit. The suit of cups represents feelings, emotions, and love. Relationships are reflected by this suit as well as intuition.


  • Withdrawal
  • Contemplation
  • Dissatisfaction
  • Boredom
  • Daydreams
  • Incubation
  • Apathy
  • Meditation
  • Reversed:
  • Boredom
  • Missed opportunities
  • Laziness
  • Lack of intiative

Description & Interpretation

The 4 of Cups depicts a young man sitting under a tree. Before him sits 3 cups. From the sky appears an arm holding a 4th cup. The young man is deep in contemplation. He does not notice the outstretched arm. He cares very little about the 3 cups sitting in front of him. He appears to be thinking to himself.

There are different ways to interpret this card. Different decks will suggest different ideas depending on the imagery. It is a good idea to acquaint yourself with the image on your own personal set of Tarot cards. This will allow you to form ideas for yourself. Many times the 4 of Cups represents a feeling of stagnation. You might be bored with the events in your life. This suggests a need to go inward and find new solutions. This is a meditation suggestion. It is good to evaluate your situation and understand what sorts of changes you can make.

Meditating On The 4 of Cups

Meditating on Tarot cards is a great way to center and inspire yourself. You may select a card based on an issue you are having in your life. The 4 of cups can help you in various ways. This card is very meditative in itself. This card shows a seated figure detached from worldly concerns.

1. Select a Tarot deck with images that appeal to you. There are many on the market. Some are older. There are others with popular culture references or other traditions of mythology. You can select one which has personal relevance to you.

2. Remove the 4 of cups from the deck. You might want to invoke your own personal spiritual guide. There are various ways to do this. A prayer is an effective method. It is also nice to set an atmosphere. You may light a candle and burn incense.

3. Sit in a comfortable position with the Tarot card in view. You might wish to prop it up in a way which makes it easy to see. There should not be too many distracting items within view. You might want to enlarge this Tarot card and print it out on the computer. You might tape it to a wall or other vertical surface in order to have it directly in front of you.

4. Soothing music in the background will help relax you.

5. Concentrate on the picture and any thoughts that come into your mind. You might want to sit on a cushion.

6. Concentrate on the card. Make sure that you will not be disturbed. Turn your phone off. Put a do not disturb sign on the door. Ask people to not disturb you for about 20 minutes. A meditation session of this nature should take about 15 minutes. You may use a timer.

Different Tarot Spreads

There are various ways to read the Tarot cards. There are different spreads. You would shuffle the deck while focusing on a question. Some readings are more general. You may wish to understand what will be occurring over a course of a month. Here are a few examples of spreads you can use.

3 Card Tarot Spread

This is one of the more common spreads. It is very easy to do. Select 3 cards. The first card represents the past. The second card represents the present. The third card represents the future. I did these readings daily for many months in order to learn the deck.

Celtic Cross Tarot Spread

This is one of the most common spreads. It is set up in a cross formation. 4 cards would be off to the side. This is not a spread for a beginner. This is the standard professional card readers use.

1 - Significator or querent (optional)

2 - Predicament - This goes on top the significator card.

3 - Crossing - These are factors against the situation.

4 - Distant Past - This card goes below.

5 - Recent Past - This card you would put on the left side.

6 - Near Future - This card you would put on the right side.

7 - Desire, Goal, or Wish - This is what you want or the best that can be achieved. This goes above.

8 - State Of Mind - This goes off to the side.

9 - Environmental Factors - This will tell you surrounding issues. It goes above the previous card.

10 - Hopes, Wishes, and Fears - This represents things lurking in your psyche. It goes above the previous card.

11 - Final Outcome - This is the last card. It goes above everything on the side.

Spheres of Life Spread

This card spread would involve selecting 7 cards. I have used this spread for understanding what I can expect in the coming month. You merely shuffle the cards. Set them out in a straight line. They can be interpreted as follows.

1 - Love. 2 - Work. 3 - Money. 4 - Family. 5 - Health. 6 - Travel. 7 - Home.

Have You had Your Cards Read?

Have You Ever Used The Tarot Cards To Make a Decision?

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