King of Cups

A person sits on a throne that appears to be floating on the water.  He holds a scepter in one hand and a cup in another. He wears the symbol of a fish around his neck and his feet are covered in chain mail.  The seas around him are turbulent and a fish is visible jumping out of a wave while a ship is seen sailing by behind him.

A very affectionate person but one who controls his or her emotions carefully.  Capable of staying very grounded and steady, even in the midst of turbulent emotions flowing all around him.  The chain mail beneath his cloak indicates that he may be a trifle protective of his own emotions and perhaps that allows him to remain so stable.

Reversed:  A lover or emotional partner who is not well grounded or reliable.  Perhaps even flighty or mercurial, this is not someone you can count on in a pinch.

EXAMPLES:  A lover who is caring and sensual in private but is really uncomfortable with public displays of affection.

A good friend who is always there for you if you need help but doesn’t much like discussing emotions or affections.

Queen of Cups

A blonde woman sits on a throne and sort of glares at an extremely complex vessel which we assume to be a cup of some sort.  Sea shells or gem stones are gathered at her feet and one foot is quite visibly submerged in the water. There is a cliff in the background.

This represents a sensual person who can give and love deeply.  She is probably able to be deeply emotional while remaining relatively stable and grounded.  She may have a tendency to make love more complex or complicated than it needs to be. Her sensuality may include a fairly materialistic bent and a love for the finer things in life.

Reversed:  This may be a person who has a sour attitude toward love and affection.  Perhaps a very materialistic person who prizes possessions over true affection.

EXAMPLES:  An older lover who teaches you what sex and sensuality are really all about.

Your friend who is a hopeless romantic and loves to be in love.

Knight of Cups

A fully armored knight sits astride a gentle horse.  His visor is open and he holds a cup in one hand.

A person who feels true love and affection for the questioner.  The open visor indicates that he or she approaches the relationship with eyes wide open, fully aware of all of its’ implications, and still holding a strong, steady love.  There may be some element of travel involved here, as in a long distance romance or an individual who is frequently on the road to make a living.

Reversed:  Unfaithful love, a relationship where the affections have dulled, possibly even a lover or spouse who has decided to move away.

EXAMPLES:  Your boyfriend who knows exactly how many men (and or women) you slept with in your younger,wilder days and still worships you.

Your best friend who is unfailingly kind and caring even when you’re being a real asshole.

Page of Cups

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.

Ten of Cups

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.

Nine of Cups

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

Eight of Cups

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.

Seven of Cups

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.

Six of Cups

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.

“Just the Tarot” – Available at

Five of Cups

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.