The cups signify the Classical element of water, and water is considered to be the stuff of the heart, and feelings. But specifically, one’s own heart, how one takes the world, as opposed to how one influence is. Like water the emotions described by Cups are stored, held, and consumed. Whether holding wine or water, they indicate home environment, private leisure and the quality of life.
King of Cups
This King is driven by regal displays and sophistication, temporal power through the arts, influencing others with privilege, and his ability to bestow status and luxury on his allies. He delights in what is fine and rare.
The card’s folk name was Charlemagne. In our time, it is the Suicide King of Hearts.
Queen of Cups
This Queen is master of Feasts, through her dedication to the calendar of social life, to the positions and responsibilities of each member of the household, she is responsible for the well being of the court and the prevention of rebellion.
Folk lore calls it Judith, the woman that cut off the head of general Holofernes. In our time, she holds a rose.
Horseman of Cups
This Noble is on a quest for truth. After a way to contain himself and his ambition, a true goal. An easy stand in for the Holy Grail, which is the search for a kind of immortality by idolizing its evidence.
Folk lore called this La Hire, the general who backed Joan D’Arc, or the lady herself. In our time, it is the One-Eyed Jack of Hearts.
Page of Cups
This Valet is skilled at insuring the party goes off well and cleaning up the messes afterwards. Making sure people don’t drive drunk, that the food and wine are flowing and the entertainers are on their feet and not asleep into the buffet.
This card is drawing your attention to the ancient quality of water. The cup on this card is a reliquary or container for communion. It’s a vessel of vessels, a tiny model of the ‘city in the clouds’ where all the food is nourishing body and soul. Water is the source of life, and its origin.
Two of Cups
With cups and their water being such ancient parallels to the origin of life, this is less to do with face time as the natural way life combines in union and divides in growth and blooming. This is the card of love (the gift of life) that one has within them, not so much the romantic love that one envisions.
Three of Cups
Since three is a creative number, from the wellspring of life, the love of the earth, two cups are mixed into a third and a guest is at the table. There is extra, this is the natural, easy generosity of parents to a child, the endowment of a plentiful, reliable source.
Four of Cups
Beyond a full heart aware of the gift of life, an especially lucky person’s chest can swell with the experiences of a good and rich life. With plenty of heart to go around, and the right space for ease, this isn’t just a full life, it’s a luxurious one.
Five of Cups
The unlucky five is like a cougar hunting in the palace gardens. No matter how much one has, how fortunate they are in love and life, humans are notorious for growing too familiar, and forever wanting more. It’s a significant, greedy monkey trait, the spilled drink on one’s clothes.
Six of Cups
We don’t cry over spilled milk. We move on, accepting that things cannot always be perfect, old thrills may not last, and things that fill a child’s heart lose their attraction. But even in the small things that don’t shake our world, there is pleasure to be found. Though each is the same, a field of flowers delivers its own collective delight.
Seven of Cups
As the heart acclimates to its growing understanding of the world, one can be left with little but their daily pleasure to pursue. When the need to satisfy a pleasure craving interferes with a happy life, one’s own heart balance becomes corrupted, willing to give up life nourishing good to satisfy merely pleasant needs.
Eight of Cups
This is the curious and enchanting stability that comes from having experience of themselves. Knowing what we are capable of, we build lives ordered to maintain pleasure and minimize pain. The slow ballooning of bureaucracy, and the haze that covers long relationships comes from this.
Nine of Cups
Deprived of the thrills of novelty and enthusiasm that experience takes from us, there are still occasions when one can reach, or be blindsided by, peak moments. These arrive in forms like existential bliss, mind altering feeling, and pivotal decisions.
Ten of Cups
As the highest ranking of the numbered cards, the most water of cups, we have the modest but noble title of satisfaction. In our cups, we have drunk of the water of life. We’ve added a savoring to our appetite for the sweetness of life, have learned to love again.