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The Suit of Cups with Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

Updated on July 1, 2014

The Suit of Cups

Cups are the second suit of the Minor. Cups are usually associated with water, emotions, imagination, and intuition. These are the things that you care for like family, friends, or lovers. These are things that can affect our emotions. Cups usually talk about love, but that can be any kind of love. Keep in mind that you love your friends in a friendship kind of way, but you love you partner in a romantic kind of way. So this doesn't always mean your actual love life meaning romantic love. These are the things that pull on your heartstrings though. When a reading has a lot of Cups in it that means that you emotions are going to be effected quite a bit with this journey. Either that be good emotions or bad ones they are ones that will be felt.

The Minor Arcana

Ace of Cups

This is like all other aces that it has a lot of initial energy. This one has a lot of emotional energy though. This is a great card for the beginning of relationships, friendships, and things that you are emotionally evolved in. This is also a great card for personal emotions like getting to know yourself, or getting to understand your own emotions. When the Ace of Cups is involved be prepared to be empathetic to others, and their feelings. This Ace is also a card of turning to your intuition. If you feel like you don't have any intuition this is always a key to start developing it because it will help you along this emotional path, but if you do then it is telling you that you should listen to it. This is also a great card for love. If the question is specifically about a romantic relationship this can be a great card as long as you aren't asking about a particular person. This usually will mean that you haven't met this person yet, unless it is in a past position.

2 of Cups

This is a card of combing things emotionally. Either a marriage, becoming a parent, a partnership in something you are emotionally involved with, and sharing. This can also be called a card of truces. If you, and someone have been battling then this is usually a card that says you two will forgive each other. The 2 of Cups is a card that means letting grudges go, and building something beyond the beginnings of the emotional path. This card also means that someone is realizing they are attracted to someone. This someone could be you, or someone else. This card isn't specific in that way, and you would need to look at the other cards to see if it is to represent cheating. The 2 of Cups in the present or past, and the 5 of Cups in the future will usually tell you that this isn't going to work out, and someone is going to get hurt.

3 of Cups

This is a card of celebration, or your emotional circle growing. This card has a lot of good emotional energy, and often tells you it is ok to rejoice about the current situation. Have you gained a few great friends, or has your family recently grew? The 3 of Cups is going to show you that this can happen if they are in the future position. This card is also telling you to rely on the people around you. They are a force in your life that brings you support then they are someone you should celebrate with. This can also be the bringing together of some old friends. Are you planning a reunion, or going back to your hometown to see some old friends or family? The last meaning for this card is valuing the people around you. This can mean from a group, team, work, or anything that has you getting together with other people. You need to get emotionally involved with these groups, and everything will flourish. This can also mean being neighborly, and getting to know the people that live near you. Maybe one of them is your future best friend, or lover.

4 of Cups

Now finally in the 4 of Cups we get our first real card of sadness. This card shows us that not everything is roses in all relationships. There will be time that you mess things up, or become emotionally detached in a way that is harming you. This 4 is a card of being selfish emotionally, and only caring about your own feelings. Usually this is because you feel like you were harmed in the past. This is also a card of wishing so hard for something when there is a better blessing out there for you. If you look at the drawing on the Rider-Waite card for the 4 of Cups it has a man sitting against a tree, and looking at 3 cups in front of him with distaste. He isn't happy with the 3 Cups, and you can tell that he wants more. Then if you look in the back there is a hand that is coming out of almost nowhere that is holding another cup, and trying to hand it to him. This shows you that sometimes you need to look around so that you can really see what God is giving you, and that he doesn't always place your gifts in front of you. This sometimes means that if you are looking for a sign and that you need to really watch all the signs from God. This means in your dreams, meditation, and really getting to know the higher self that communicates with God regularly.

5 of Cups

This card is a card you get when you didn't find what was being given to you in the 4 of Cups, or you don't realize you have it yet. This card is a bad sign if you are doing a relationship reading that the relationship will work out. This card shows you that you either feel or will feel regretful, and that you feel loss, and sadness over this regret. You can get this card, and not break up though. This card can mean that you feel like you are being deprived of love, and that is an issue for you. This is also a card of regrets, and feeling like you didn't get what you wanted. It is like a child crying over spilled milk. The 5 of Cups makes you want to go back in time, and change the things you did. You are also starting to acknowledge where everything went wrong. If you notice in the Rider-Waite card though there are still 2 cups that are standing up. This is trying to show you even though you are upset that things have gone wrong there are still a few things that are going right for you. Don't give up just because you get this card. All this card is saying is say goodbye to the 3 other cups, and start to fully cherish the ones that are still standing.

6 of Cups

This is a good card after the last 2 sad cards. This represents childhood, having children, or celebrating with innocence. This card is telling you that either you are acting kindly or you should be. You need to donate to things that you are emotional about because this will help you with your noble impulse. This is also a card of feeling blessed, and having others donate to your cause. The 6 of cups is also of being child like, or children. As you can see on the Rider-Waite Tarot There are two children sharing among the cups. This is to show you that you are to feel a lot of innocence in the experience at hand. You will have a clear conscience, and will feel like you are carefree. This can also mean having a baby, or that someone is planning a family. Lastly, this card can mean that you are being taken care of, and that you are indulging in play.

7 of Cups

This card shows us that we are having wishful thinking. That we are creating a fantasy, and that we are caught up in the illusion of things. There are 7 cups in front of the man on this card, and all of them are full of many different things. This shows us that sometimes we want more that we really are about to get. He isn't actually in possession of any of these things. Actually most of these things are floating out of reach, and he is more just impressed by seeing the options then actually having them. This can also mean that you have a lot of grand options, but that you need to choose wisely because some of them only look grand. The 7 of Cups is also a card that means overindulgence, and that you are letting things go in hopes for something better. This can mean that you are partying to excess, or that you are living to much in your mind that things are passing you up in the real world. Get out there, and figure out what is real, and what is more just for show. You really need to look at all the cards to know what this card is trying to tell you, but you will know that it is overindulgence if it is surrounded by the Devil. This card is more likely to mean illusion, and living in a fantasy if it has The Moon around it.

8 of Cups

Now we are to the 8 of Cups which is a card of moving on after you find a personal truth out. This is a card of depression, but getting over it with you figuring things out. If you look at this card it shows a man walking away from his 8 Cups. He is realizing that it is time to move on and that you are starting to let go of what ever is depressing you. This often shows itself in hopeless relationships where there really is no other option, but to leave. Sometimes this means leaving bad habits so that the relationship can work, but generally means that you will need to leave the person if the actions that are saddening you continue to happen. This is also a card of growing weary. Are you getting so tired of your partners habits that you are starting to want to leave? This card can sometimes mean that you lack the energy to continue the fight, and are ready to move on past it. This is being burned out emotionally, and usually is something that you were once emotionally attached to that you are starting to wonder why it even had your emotions at all.

9 of Cups

Now we are back into the happier Cup cards with the 9 of Cups. This is one where your wishes are valid and could actually come true. Now sometimes that means getting what you think you want, and isn't always what we want. So remember even though the 9 of Cups is the wish card that you need to be careful what you wish for. This can also be a card of being satisfied, or smug. This is a card that you have either gotten what you wanted, or will, but you need to remember to be grateful and know that you can't get a wish done all alone. Thank the Gods for what you have received, and realize that you couldn't do this without God. The 9 of Cups is also a very sensual pleasure, and can mean making love, and enjoying the emotional part of true love making. This kind of love is not animalistic, but more of a romantic like of love making. Where you really feel like you, and that other person are now emotionally attached afterward.

10 of Cups

This is the final destination for all grand emotional adventures. Be this finding your best friend for life, or finding the one that you will marry, or to creating a family with someone. This is one where in this instance you will feel emotionally satisfied and that you are ready to be in this emotional state. This is a great family card, and a great relationship card if the question is about either. This is also a great card in the future if you are upset right now, and are hoping to have peace. Now everyone needs to remember that even though this is a great card that there are times that it isn't. If this card is in a wish spot that just means that the reader wants this, and doesn't mean that they are going to get it, but if this is in a cross position than that can mean trouble. Either that means that this is what you want, and you are going to have to get over that to make the situation work. Or this can mean that your family is getting in the way. This card means family so sometimes our higher self will show this card to mean family, and really close friends. So if you get this card keep that in mind.

Page of Cups

This will be a young child, or someone that is acting like a young person emotionally. This is someone that is very emotional, and very loving. This Page is one that is very affectionate and really enjoys others to be affectionate to them. This Page love beauty, and loves finding the beauty in life. Now he always has strong emotions for everything that he does, and often times can seem over emotional. This is a person that you would consider as sensitive, and someone that you know if you have to be careful on how you tell them things as they can take things harsh. The Page of Cups can also be moody, and sometimes get grumpy rather easily. So this is someone that you have to be weary of their emotional state before you tell them things as it can really make the situation better or worse.

Now again even though I tell you that all the court cards are people Pages can also mean messages. This would be emotional messages like someone telling you the way that they feel, or messages from somewhere that are going to tell you something about either yours or others emotions. This doesn't always mean good messages though. Sometimes this messenger has some bad emotional news.

Knight of Cups

This is a young adult man, or one that acts the same. You will see this person as being slightly immature, but generally more mature than the Page. This Knight is one that is very romantic, and refined. He is someone that loves to smell the roses, and often will bring you flowers. The Knight of Cups is one that he will always look for the finest items, and often times loves poetry, and anything that brings a lot of emotions up. He can sometimes be over emotional though, and is often times very jealous. He can also sometimes go too far with his romantic side and become overly gushy and affectionate. This can sometimes deter women from wanting to be with him. Yes women all love to be wined and dinned, but that doesn't mean that we need someone constantly at our side. He is often times codependent, and has to have someone there to do things with. Like the Page of Cups this guy can often times be moody, and be prone to taking offense easily. This guy isn't one that takes negative criticism very well, and can take things said offensively.

Queen of Cups

Now this queen loves like no other queen out there. This is a woman that you see as an adult. She is one that is very caring, and wouldn't do things to hurt others very often. She is someone who is unconditionally accepting, and really doesn't know how to hate. She is a VERY patient woman. She is also one that is very empathetic, and often times reacts because of it. This Queen can't turn down someone who is need of her help, and if she can do something then she will. This is also a very intuitive woman, and knows how to trust her gut. This is a woman that is guided by her heart, but sometimes that can be a bad things as not everyone is like her. This Queen is often psychic, and often times they are natural mediums. Now the Queen of Cups is often times extremely spiritual, and finds joy in going to church. This Queen can be a little over emotional though, and sometimes go into great depressions if they feel unloved. She can sometimes become moody, and there will be times that she will become so upset that she will pull herself away from everyone. Although most of the time this isn't a person that can survive alone. This Queen loves company more often then not, and often times that company are people that need something from her. The last thing about the Queen of Cups is that sometimes she can give so much that she herself is broke. That doesn't mean that all of these Queen's will, but sometimes they can be very poor because they give everything that the can away to the needy.

King of Cups

The King of Cups will be a male that you see as mature adult in your life. This King is one that is very wise, and often times gives some of the best advise that comes from his heart. This guy is one that often leads with a gentile, and loving hand, and doesn't often times get upset or angry. He is extremely calm, and is one of the only court cards in the Cups that isn't prone to major mood swings. Also this guy is one that never seems to get nervous, and often times never shows his distrust. The King of Cups is one that is extremely diplomatic, and can keep people working together smoothly. The King of Cups makes a great therapist, and often times does volunteer work. This is also a very open minded man, and often times is very accepting of the limitations of the ones around him. He is one to say “We are only human”. Now not everything is always great for this King. This is a man that can sometimes say too many times “We are only human” that he allows people to walk all over him, others, or a situation. This guy isn't really great at being the big boss because often times it is hard for him to fire people, and someone is so empathetic that he allows people too many chances. He can sometimes be a push over, and can sometimes be seen as weak. Emotionally he is strong, but in general this isn't a super physically strong man. If this is a big man then usually he is someone you would call a big teddy bear. That is a good thing, but sometimes people don't take teddy bears seriously.

Rider-Waite Learning To Read The Tarot Intuitively
Rider-Waite Learning To Read The Tarot Intuitively

This is a CD that helps you learn the Rider-Waite Tarot cards.


Final Notes

Now sometimes with the court cards they can get confusing. At times men are shown as women, and women are shown as men. This is not that uncommon even though I teach them to you as if they are. This is because you really need to ask yourself if the person in question is acting more feminine and internal, or masculine and external. Is this person showing a more masculine side of themselves, or are they showing a more feminine side. Often time women bosses are still portrayed as the King because we often see them showing a masculine side to themselves if they are in charge, or they are seen as the King still because they are the ones in charge. So really when deciding if someone is this queen or that king ask yourself are you really seeing them as they are, or are you perceiving them differently? Then with the Knight this can be a young woman, but I show it as a male because usually women switch from pages to queens faster than guys. That doesn't mean though that all women skip this step. So sometimes a Knight might actually be a woman who is acting like a young adult. Just keep in mind that if you see someone as acting like an adult your higher self will show them as queens and kings, and anyone you view as a child or immature your higher self will show them as Pages and Knights.

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