Four of Cups

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 of Cups

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.

Two of Cups

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

Ace of Cups

A ghostly hand appears out of a cloud.  It holds a golden chalice in its’ palm. A dove holding a eucharist in its’ beak descends toward the chalice.  Four streams of water fountain out of the chalice and pour their contents into a pool in which lotuses grow.

This card signals the appearance – perhaps very sudden appearance – of love in the questioners life.  It emphasizes the divine origin of love and how it flows into the world and nourishes all that it touches.  The lotuses echo the Buddhist symbol for the divine in the human spirit. They begin life in the mud and yet grow into the air and produce beautiful flowers.

In the Southern United States they might refer to this as being, “thunder bolted.”  It’s that lovley state of affairs when you realize that you are head over heels in love with someone.  The world seems bright and beautiful and new because you’re in love. A truly wonderful card to draw in a reading.

Reversed:  It’s possible that the questioner thinks he or she is love but the other person views it as just a friendship.  Another possibility is that there has been true love but it’s fading away.

EXAMPLES:  Your first, “puppy love,” growing into a real relationship with someone you adore.

You’re at a party when you suddenly see someone across the room and know that’s the person you’re meant to be with for the rest of your life.