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Tarot of the Poets: Cups

A New Interpretation

By Sarah SniderPublished 3 years ago 7 min read
Tarot of the Poets: Cups
Photo by Veronika Jorjobert on Unsplash

-The Suit Of Cups-

The story of cups is the story of the heart. The story of our emotions; how they help us, hurt us, free us, doom us. Relationships are inevitable, the suit of cups is our guide to understanding them. Remember that not all relationships are romantic, and it's important to note the surrounding cards or situation to interpret the cards accurately. If you are reading with traditional playing cards, the suit of Hearts will represent the suit of Cups, I will make note what tarot cards correspond with face cards.

Ace of Cups: The Ace of Cups is the vibrant and wild birth of love in our being. It is love that is raw and primitive; this is love that has learned no lesson. The Ace is all desire, the great spark, an ocean of emotion filling the cup to its brim. The Ace is the first step in the journey of the heart, full of potential but not yet defined.

Two of Cups: The Two of Cups is the evolution of the Ace; the cell has split and now there are two forces. Female and Male, Night and Day, Hunter and the Hunted. It is the first few tentative steps in the quest for completion. The Two of Cups represents a seeking soul, the bright promise of a possible relationship: romantic or business. It may even represent a reconciliation, an opportunity to mend a connection.

Three of Cups: The Three of Cups is a celebration of connection, and the energy that is created from it. This is, in a way, the honeymoon phase where the world is rose colored and fresh. The Three of Cups has not yet been forced to compromise, and though this fact doesn't corrupt the awesome joy of this card-just know that a three of anything is only the initial stage of completion and is a call to explore the next level of your relationship. This is the beginning of a love affair, a marriage, the birth of a child or creative endeavor-any situation where you find initial success filled with potential and fulfillment of the heart.

Four of Cups: The Four of Cups is the fly in the ointment. It's fear, boredom, dissatisfaction, it's childish and selfish and for all of that, it's an invitation to grow and move beyond the superficial to find deeper meaning in your relationships. This is the card of mistrust, the card of 'too good to be true', the card of picking things apart to find what is wrong only to find that you've destroyed something beautiful. Don't be afraid of the Four of Cups, let it be the energy that gives you the strength to look below the surface of your relationships to form a tighter bond based on the mutual revelation and acceptance that no one person or thing is perfect.

Five of Cups: The Five of Cups is the card of shattered illusions and the pain and fear that comes with the discovery of the true self. You may wish you had let sleeping dogs lie, but to grow you must confront the uncomfortable truths in your life and in the lives of the people you love. The Five of Cups is remorse and regret, it is a great insecurity wondering if this is the unforgivable action. For some relationships, it may be. If you are willing to bear your wounds, to clean them, if you are willing to do what it takes to heal, then let this card be a promise of something beautiful and solid.

Six of Cups: The Six of Cups is happiness remembered, it is acceptance of the past and seeing the bad, yes, but also the good. This is love and friendship that has moved past idealism and has found itself rooted in realism. This is the relationship of promise, it's stronger for having been tested, resilient. It is an embrace of the truth, it's hope. The Six of Cups has learned from yesterday, it cherishes today and believes that the future holds something truly wonderous.

Seven of Cups: The Seven of Cups is a test, it's a pop quiz and its multiple choice. The right answer is not obvious because you see each of them as a ribbon of energy weaving themselves into the fabric of your life. This is an opportunity to take each lesson you've learned and apply it in real time. Plumb the depths of your heart, and with as much compassion and honesty that you can muster, chose your path and then walk it.

Eight of Cups: The Eight of Cups is the card that gives you permission to fail and to accept that failure, it encourages you to let go of what you cannot hold. There will be relationships in your life that you cannot keep, that are poisonous to keep, that will hold you back, that cannot be salvaged. The Eight of Cups is asking you to be strong, to not blame yourself and to accept that sometimes, to move forward, you have to leave someone behind.

Nine of Cups: The Nine of Cups is the celebration of lessons learned, it is the triumph over hardship. It is appropriate to be satisfied here and congratulate yourself on a job well done. The Nine of Cups represents the battle you fought to discover your innermost self, your commitment to honoring your feelings, and the steps you were willing to take to grow as a person. The card is a reward and a validation of your journey.

Ten of Cups: The Ten of Cups represents contentment, stability and peace in the journey of the heart. The raw love energy we found in the Ace has transformed into a pure and vibrant wavelength. The card offers the courage that comes with experience, and the knowledge that your relationship can withstand what comes at it. Not all relationships can realize this permanence, and the relationships that do may not experience it forever. Embrace it while you have it, it is well earned.

Page of Cups: The Page of Cups represents a crucial element to the foundations of all healthy relationships: your relationship with yourself, and self-love. The card can also represent a time when your capacity to love grows beyond its old bounds. Through whatever circumstance the cup of your heart was empty, this is you being brave and vulnerable enough to let it fill again and share it. Nurture this feeling, it's delicate.

Sir Galahad by George Frederic Watts

Knight of Cups: The Knight of Cups is the energy that sets our hearts in motion. He is a romantic, filled with tenderness and idealism. This card may represent both romantic unions or artistic ones-falling in love, being swept off your feet, even saying, "I do". The Knight of Cups may present itself in your life as a young man with a poet's sensitive heart, or the budding of your own romantic nature. If you are reading with traditional playing cards, the Jack of Hearts is interchangeable with the Knight of Cups.

Princess of Cups: The Princess of Cups appears in the Thoth Tarot Deck and represents a kind and gentle feminine energy that stirs within us great affection. This energy is intuitive, sweet, beautiful and comforting. The Princess of Cups, with her soft but truthful idealism, is the awakening in your heart to love and protect the people and world around you. The Princess calls you to warm your heart to the plight of others, to do what is right, and to give what you can to help.

Prince of Cups: The Prince of Cups, found in the Thoth Tarot Deck, is similar to the Knight of Cups in that it represents a romantic spirit, the gentle hero, a guardian-but beware. The open-hearted, masculine energy of the Prince can conceal darkness beneath. There are good men out there, and this card indicates a person who identifies as masculine in most of the traditional ways: protector, lover, provider. Those roles can be fulfilling and peaceful, nurturing and supportive. The Prince of Cups can also be a warning, to recognize and diffuse toxic masculinity as it manifests or to make sure that what you see on the surface matches what is underneath. 'The Prince' is a common disguise for manipulators and liars.

Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus by John William Waterhouse

Queen of Cups: Oh, the Queen of Cups! The Queen is all about knowing-knowing her power and knowing what she wants. The Queen of Cups is magnetic and mysterious, ethereal eyes penetrating through the darkness. Her presence in your spread signifies the materialization of profound emotions and subconscious fantasies, it can even represent the appearance of a woman with these qualities in your life. When you meet her, either in the cards or in person, you are being invited to find the energy of the Queen within yourself. She is sensual, unashamed, and compelling. It does not matter what gender you identify with here; The Queen of Cups is impartial. Her power can be claimed by anyone, so be fearless in your pursuit of pleasure be it in love or life.

King of Cups: The King of Cups is a wounded healer. This card represents those who can empathize and support others though their trials because they have been to hell and back, too. The greatest challenge the King faces is his inability to give up control in matters of the heart, he will not risk being hurt again. The King's energy is soft but guarded and is not something to be feared if drawn. The King of Cups may enter your spread or life as someone who helps you through a hard time but remains remote or he may appear to remind you that you will have more opportunities to grow if you allow yourself to be vulnerable.


About the Creator

Sarah Snider

I am a great lover of poetry, magic, mystery and science. I am passionate about sharing what I know about herbs and herbal medicine.


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