The Suit of Cups is the topic today, and to start off, I’ll go over some of the basic correspondences before going over the story of the Suit.
Other names for the Suit of Cups include chalices, vessels, goblets and cauldrons.
In a deck of playing cards, and in some tarot decks, Cups is known as Hearts.
The element most commonly associated with the Suit of Cups is water. Water is fluid and receptive. A beautiful duality, gentle and overwhelmingly powerful, shallow and deep.
The cups, and water, relates to the fluidity of our emotions, out intuition. Water is closely associated with healing and cleansing. Cups can be most commonly associated with relationships and our connection to ourselves and others.
Our emotions and relationships, like water, works in duality and acts as a paradox. Shallow, passive, gentle, deep, aggressive, powerful. We may be over-emotional, allowing our hearts to take over our heads, or we may not be as in tune with our emotions as we perhaps should be. Most view emotions as passive and reflective in comparison to the fiery action of the Suit of Wands.
When the Cups refers to a person, it likely refers to someone who has the astrological sign Pisces, Cancer or Scorpio.
Now onto the story:
Starting with the Ace of Cups symbolises new beginnings, a new love or a new relationship of some description. These new feelings are overflowing and abundant. The Ace gives and gets in return.
Following the Ace’s overwhelming emotions comes a union a partnership, where honour and respect are kindled with Two of Cups. Drawing on the emotions of the Ace, Two uses these emotions to create a deeper connection.
The Three of Cups is where Two’s partnership becomes more, signifying a time of community. The Ace and Two were wrapped up in the new and exciting emotions, but it is time for Three to share those emotions with friends, family and their community. Three spends a lot of time investing in those around them.
However, Four of Cups now feels that they gave too much away. They covet and contemplate the Ace and Two’s freedom. Four feels apathy for those around them and are so focused on one particular thing that they are at risk of losing what is right in front of them.
Five of Cups suffers from Four’s apathy, mourning the loss of what Four had elected to ignore. Five is disappointed and grief-stricken. However, not all is lost, for there is always some hope to be salvaged – even in loss.
While mourning, Six of Cups stumbles across a meeting of the past and present. Nostalgia hits, and it hits Six hard. Hard enough that Six may get too wrapped up in the joy of the past and begin to forget the present.
Once Seven of Cups pulls themselves from Six’s nostalgia, they are faced with a decision. A range of choices lay in front of them. But Seven must take caution, the same dangers the other Cups have faced are still present and prevalent. Seven must not allow themselves to be lured in with fantasy and wishful thinking – lest it leads to their downfall.
After making a decision, Eight of Cups is left feeling disappointed. While they made their decision, they look at their current situation and feel disillusioned. Now Eight feels the best choice is to walk away. Leaving something behind and with it a part of themselves. Eight feels this loss keenly but continues on.
Nine of Cups reaps the rewards of Eight’s loss, feeling emotionally stable, Nine indulges in the joys and comforts life can bring. However, Nine must be cautious and not be smug nor forget to be grateful for all they have.
Ten of Cups, however, feels truly content, Ten feels true emotional fulfilment. They express gratitude in as many ways as possible. Ten takes the time to enjoy and be a part of their community as well as feeling harmony and joy with family and friends. Ten of Cups feels truly at Peace.
However, the story doesn’t end there, as the Page of Cups arrives with a surprise. This may be something unconscious or intuitive that the Page does not yet understand, but gets an almost childish delight from this unexpected surprise.
The Knight of Cups is a messenger, able to understand that which the Page could not. The Knight brings a message of something that is to be celebrated, perhaps a new relationship or something else entirely. The Page’s surprise is something to be celebrated, and the Knight is here to spread the message.
The Queen of Cups has listened and learnt from the previous Cups. The Queen has learnt to nurture and care for others, with a strong empathy – either natural or cultivated over time – the Queen is connected to others and is very generous when able.
Finally, the King of Cups is a master of balancing. He may seem to be lacking in emotions, but instead, he is so very full of them. However, he understands and controls each with an iron fist. Allowing them to show when they are most appropriate. He is generous like the Queen, compassionate and overall a diplomat.