A rather dandy-ish looking person poses dramatically with one hand on his hip. He stares at a chalice which holds, improbably, a fish.
This may indicate a time to withdraw from the world and devote yourself to a course of study. May indicate a student who is putting serious time into cramming for exams or an individual who is starting to learn some new philosophy or spiritual discipline. A time to think and puzzle things out, such as, for instance, why in the hell do I have a fish in my cup? On a mundane level, this may indicate a young person, probably with blonde coloring, and perhaps a quirky sense of humor.
Reversed: Trouble may lie ahead. For a student this may indicate a really difficult course which has to be taken and a lot of extra effort studying. If a young person is present his or her sense of humor may be weird rather than just quirky.
EXAMPLES: Locking your door and taking your phone off of the hook so that you can cram for finals without any interruptions.
Taking a year off to go live in a meditation center.
A man and a woman stand before a rainbow of cups in the sky. Their arms are upraised in joy and two children dance merrily beside them.
Happiness, joy, fulfillment, that feeling that everything is just perfect and all of your dreams have come true. May indicate a really happy, healthy family.
Reversed: Problems in the family, perhaps even a breaking up of the unit. Difficulties in manifesting one’s dreams of achieving one’s goals.
EXAMPLES: Your friends who still worship each other after 10 years of marriage.
Finding exactly the right lover after years of dating Mr. or Mrs. Wrong.
A rather well-fed looking individual sits on a bench with his arms folded. Nine cups line the top of a raised platform behind him.
This card indicates an individual who is rather smug and self satisfied. He is very well pleased with his position in the world and doesn’t mind telling you about how great he’s doing. There is a warning against going too far and appearing to be arrogant.
Reversed: Indicates some small failures or set backs which should be easily remedied.
EXAMPLES: Your neighbor with the giant flat screen television, the super gaming computer, the sports car, the trendy clothes and the dream job.
Your beautiful female friend who got married to a rich guy and has 2.5 perfect children, belongs to an upscale church where she sings in the choir, and is voted the most popular girl scouts den mother 5 years in a row.
“Just the Tarot,” by Dan Adair, a book of basic Tarot definitions available on Amazon.com.
A person in a red cloak holds a staff as he walks down a dark path. It’s night and both a quarter and full moon hang in the sky above him. Eight cups are stacked in the foreground.
A dark and confusing situation. Fleeing from troubles. Stealing away in the night. This isn’t a really pleasant card. It shows confusion, illusions, pain, false and misleading impressions. The full and quarter moons, however, indicate that the situation will change, probably over the course of the 28 days.
Reversed: The bad situation is ending. Things will literally and figuratively lighten up and the path forward will be more clear.
EXAMPLES: Leaving town because of a really, really bad relationship.
Checking into a shelter for abused women while you wait for the divorce to become final.
An individual stands before a cloud containing seven cups. Each cup contains a different image representing, variously, the opposite sex, the divine presence, knowledge, position, wealth, status, and power.
This card shows the choices and goals a person may pursue in life. In this case there are too many of them. The questioner may be confronted with a multitude of possible options and unable to focus on any one of them. Better to wait until your choices are clear rather than jump into a decision you may regret later.
Reversed: The confusion is clearing up. Options are coming into clearer focus.
EXAMPLES: Trying to decide on a major in your freshman year in college.
Having several people around who are interested in you and not being able to decide which one you’re interested in.
A young boy in a hooded cloak offers a cup full of flowers to a little girl. Four cups of flowers are in the foreground and one is balanced on a pedestal. In the background a manor glows with golden light and a man with a staff is seen pacing down a cobbled walkway.
This is a sweet card of giving and receiving. There is an innocence and lack of guile that permeates it. This could indicate feelings of love on a very child like, trusting level. The hood that the boy wears hearkens back to the major arcanum card The Fool and shows a pure and strong energy of joy. The guard with the staff indicates that this may be a quiet time of sanctuary, of being safe and just enjoying a relationship. It’s possible that the answer to a problem that has been vexing the questioner lies in her past.
Reversed: The time of sanctuary and quiet is over. This stresses the need to act as a responsible adult and deal with your problems.
EXAMPLES: Young love, your first crush, the first days of the first lover relationship that a person has.
Just feeling happy remembering an earlier, more innocent time in your life.
A person dressed entirely in black stares at the ground where three cups lie on their sides, spilling wine upon the ground. Two cups are behind him and a bridge can be seen in the distance.
As indicated by the black cloak this is a card of deep mourning and sadness. The person mourns over the loss of the three cups, over the end of good and happy times. His or her grief is so deep that she fails to see the two cups behind her and realize that there will be more good times and relationships in the future. The bridge indicates that this is a transitional card, passing from one stage in life to another, but for the moment there is just huge sadness.
Reversed: The sadness is slowly fading away and the individual is moving on with life. Perhaps a new union, romantic relationship, or business venture.
EXAMPLES: A person who has had a loved one die and is so deeply shattered that they can barely function, much less think about the future.
A really terrible break up that’s left one of the parties feeling totally broken and hopeless.
A man sits on the ground, leaning against a tree, arms crossed. He stares at three cups on the ground before him and seems not to see the single cup that is materializing in the air.
The individual is focused on the past, dwelling on happy times that are gone, and is ignoring or just doesn’t see new opportunities being offered to him. May indicate a person who is unable or unwilling to get over a failed relationship and therefore can’t start a new one.
Reversed: The individual is letting go of old relationships and is starting over. Perhaps a new love interest or romance.
EXAMPLES: Your friend who’s stuck in the gloom and doom phase after she broke up with her boyfriend and can’t talk about anything but how much she misses her ex.
Someone who is obsessed with a business venture or project that failed and refuses to move on to another one.
Three women dance joyously together, chalices raised in a toast. A pumpkin is in the foreground and ripened crops are in the background.
Fun, frivolity, celebrations. A very sweet card indicating a period of happiness and joy. The pumpkin and crops may indicate that a long season of hard work on a project has paid off.
Reversed: A union or romantic relationship may be falling apart. It could indicate relationships where there is too heavy an emphasis on sex and good times and too little emphasis on caring and romance. Possibly indicates a sort of mindless group sex.
EXAMPLES: The office Christmas party after all of the work has been wrapped up for the season and you’re ready to take time off and enjoy the holidays.
A housewarming gathering of friends and loved ones when the move is finally over, the moving boxes have all been unpacked, and you’re settled into your new home.
The card depicts a man and a woman facing each other, the man’s right hand extended toward the woman. They each hold a large chalice and a caduceus topped by a winged lion lies between the chalices.
Two people bonding together as partners. This may indicate a budding romance or a new friendship with a great deal of affection and warmth. The caduceus was the symbol of merchants and trade long before it became associated with the medical practice and so this may indicate a particularly good business relationship.
Reversed: This indicates a relationship that isn’t going to work out. It may be a temporary, physical attraction to someone, only to discover that you really don’t have much in common. In business it may indicate a partnership or joint endeavor that never gets past the negotiating phase.
EXAMPLES: Your best buddy at work, someone who can crack you up with just a smile or a wink and you feel totally sympatico with.
A co-creator or music, art, or writing, a person with whom you can get completely into the same groove or on the same page and create some magic together.
“Just the Tarot,” a book of basic Tarot definitions by Dan Adair, available at Amazon.com.