The Suit of Cups

The Suit of Cups – Water

Pisces,Cancer, Scorpio

 Ace of Cups

The Positive Cup

Feelings – Emotions – Relationships – Heart – Feminine – Unconscious – Sensitivity – Psychic – Spiritual – Intuitive – Imagination – Reflective – Reflection – Creativity – Artistic – Nurturing – Friendship – Poetic – Passivity – Compassion – Understanding – Self-respect – Self-Worth – Gentleness – Peace – Humanitarian – Dreamy – Dreams

The Suit of Cups also known as Chalices, Vessels or Hearts is represented by the Element of Water. Water seeks no challenge or conflict and is happiest when it is free to flow with the changes life brings. Water governs our emotions and while Fire loves doing things and being very physical, Water is passive and receptive influencing our emotions, dreams and imagination.

Cups people approach life through their feelings.  The Cups deal with love, both giving and receiving it. Cups types are gentle and soft and show compassion and understanding for their fellow human being. They are the natural counsellors of the Tarot and have a deep desire to help others.  They are very gentle and sensitive and dislike harsh environments or situations.  They tend to have an idealistic outlook on life, preferring to view everything through rose-tinted glasses.  They are the poets and dreamers of the Four Suits. They seek a loving partner from an early age.  Not been the most ambitious of the Four Suits they are quite happy to put marriage and children ahead of their careers.  Cups have a deep love for their family and will spend a lot of time engaging in family pursuits.  As parents, Cups types will be either loving or smothering, emotionally available or cold.

The Cups prefer to follow and not lead as they tend to shy away from making difficult decisions.  They prefer careers where they can utilise their natural nurturing abilities such as nursing, counselling, social work or working with children.

As partners they are romantic and sometimes overly so.  They enjoy courtship and all that goes with it. Soppy cards, chocolates and love letters go with the territory.  They can however be overly romantic and slushy which can become tedious as a relationship matures. They are loyal to their partners and very unlikely to stray.  They have a tendency to marry for life.  Cups types prefer the quiet life and gentle pursuits unlike their Wands neighbours.

Cups in their positive state represent the healthy sexual relationship and the two-way flow of love, both giving it and receiving it.  For Cups types, being happy and emotionally fulfilled is the most important thing in life.

With their amazing imaginations and their ability to tap into other realms or dimensions they can be wonderfully creative and artistic.  They are not overly showy and have a habit of being unaware of how talented they are.  They can be shy, timid and passive and will often shirk the limelight.  They can produce great works of art such as paintings, pottery or sculpture and write deeply romantic novels.  Cups people do love to dress up and can be quite hung up on their appearance.  They like their clothes to represent their personality and moods.

Like the Water Element that governs their Suit their emotions can run very deep.  They are easily hurt. Their imaginations can run wild on them if they dwell on worries or problems for too long.  For Cups types, a broken heart takes an extraordinary long time to heal.  Great at listening to other people’s problems, their shoulders drenched from the amount of tears shed on them by poor distressed souls, they are not so great at seeking help themselves.  They avoid arguments and conflict so can be found internalising and repressing upsets, hurts and worries.  This can regularly result in bouts of depression.

However, the Cups types do like to socialise and party-party.  They value friendships and closeness and seek loving relationships.  They are very loyal to their friends and always there for them.  Cups people make wonderful hosts and hostesses and will throw regular dinner parties which they enjoy immensely.  They also enjoy their food and drink but have a tendency to overdo it at times.

Cups are also the most spiritual and psychic of all the Suits.  From a young age they may become aware of angels and spirits or indeed see auras.  They are naturally drawn to the spiritual or psychic arts and have the ability to make a career out of it.  They are very intuitive and rely on their intuition when making decisions or making new friends.

Negative Aspect

Ace of Cups Rx

The Negative Cup

Lack of Love – Broken Heart- Depression – Sadness – Overly-Sensitive- Overly Emotional – Apathy – Bitterness – Lack of Self-respect – Lack of Self-worth-  Addictions – Alcoholism – Blockages – Vice – Promiscuity – Seduction- Abuse – Coldness – Aloof – Apathetic – Ungrounded – Unbalanced – Occult – Creative Blocks

When Water is allowed to flow freely it remains fresh and brings life and joy to many, however, if Water is restricted and blocked in any way it becomes stagnant and cannot support life.  Blocked emotions, hurt, bitterness and depression can result with an inability to give or receive love.  Love may be denied or a partner withdraws emotionally or sexually.  In fact love may die altogether.  The Cups type in this state can literally die from a broken heart or a lack of love.  They have a twisted idea of love and find it hard to forgive and forget, nursing old hurts and wounds.

Indeed their problems with love can easily stem back to their childhood. Sometimes the negative Cup may find love but lacks the ability to hold onto it.

Love is what makes the world go around and to love and be loved is vitally important to the state of our health, especially our emotional and psychological state of health.  A child that has been deprived of love will grow with no knowledge of what love is, yet on a deep level seek it out in any mutated shape or form it may present itself as.

The Cups Suit deals with abuse and most specifically sexual abuse.  Sexual abuse does not always point back to childhood sexual abuse but also to other forms of sexual abuse such as prostitution, promiscuity, pimping and depraved sexual acts.  For the negative Cups type who has not a healthy understanding of love and their emotions, sex can easily be confused with love.  Taking this further sex can be used to replace love.  If normal love cannot be found, or is deprived, then any form of attention, even negative, is preferable to no attention at all.  Promiscuity or prostitution may be the manifestation of such deep issues.

When the emotions are unbalanced paranoia can occur and the imagination runs wild.  Lack of self-worth and self-esteem are evident.  Repressed emotions begin to manifest as the harsh realities of addictions and obsessions. Unfortunately the Cups Suit also deals with these areas of despair.  A lack of love can lead Cups types to replace it with food, drink or drugs.  So it is in the negative aspect of Cups we find the drug problems, alcoholism and eating disorders.

Too much drinking and socialising may be causing problems.  Excess of all sorts may abound.  Confusion with sexual orientation can present along with over-dressing and obsession with body appearance and image.

The Cups in their negative state find it hard to tap into their creative channels and experience blocks of all kinds.  Their interest with the spiritual and psychic world can become an obsession.  In this state they can become detached from reality and ungrounded.

*When several Cup cards appear in a reading it generally indicates that emotions and relationships are foremost in the mind of the Querant.  Typically you are looking at new or existing loving relationships or just sheer happiness, contentment and emotional fulfilment surrounding the Querant.

Several reversed Cup cards indicates a lack of love, broken love, blocks to love, deep unhappiness, addictions or alcohol abuse.  Depending on the nature of the question or concern there may be more serious issues surrounding the Querant.

 Wands   Swords  Pentacles

Back to Lesson 4

Copyright © 2006-2012 Vivien Ní Dhuinn

4 replies »

    • Thanks Kathy, that’s great and well spotted. I have corrected the mistake (an obvious one!). I also changed the wording slightly. I type so fast and am half blind so don’t always see my typos. My partner is a teacher and he has offered to start proofreading my work but he is as blind as I am. However, he does have a big thing about apostrophes so I am bound to get in trouble with him on umpteen occasions.

      Keep up the good work.


      Vivien (Your Tarot Teacher)


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