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.

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.