King of Cups Tarot Card
The Tarot Suit of Cups
The Tarot Suit of Cups is associated with the suit of Hearts in standard playing cards.
The cups depicted on tarot cards are usually, but not necessarily, in the style of ceremonial cups, chalices, or goblets. There are meanings associated with each of the suits in a tarot deck, as well as the more specific interpretations associated with each individual card and the yet more precise meanings of particular cards in particular locations within spreads.
The suit of cups is associated with the element of water. It is also associated with the season of autumn (or 'fall' in U.S. English), and with the direction West.
Cups concern emotions, love, romance, the wide range of emotions, mastery of emotions and feelings, and 'gut reactions' that call upon our intuitive as opposed to intellectual abilities and development.
The Kings in the tarot
deck may also be known by other names depending on the deck used.
For example, the The World Spirit Tarot includes 'Sages' and the Shapeshifter's Tarot includes 'Gods' in place of the 'Kings' in the Rider-Waite and Robin Wood tarot decks.
All court cards may be interpreted as referring to a person with the card supplying information to identify the individual. Alternatively they may be interpreted symbolically, in which case 'Kings' may be understood to represent motivation, that is a beginning or start of something.
The Kings are reflections or aspects of the Emperor. The element of the Kings is 'Fire'.
In general, when Kings appear in a spread they indicate the presence or need for planners, motivators, commanders, and creators; in short, the type of people who make things happen.
In the case of the King of Cups, the theme is that of 'highest emotional responsibility'. He is often (including on the Rider-Waite and Robin Wood decks) depicted sitting on a royal throne above an ocean of waves. The waves of energetic water can imply disturbed or hightened emotions. Some people interpret this as the King of Cups being 'above' emotions, and as such as having become somewhat detached from the theme of his suit.
When the King of Cups court card appears in a tarot spread to identify a person the characteristics it conveys include:
- a mature man
- who has, or who used to have, fair hair
- has blue eyes
- person whose astrological sign is scorpio.
Note that this is not always the purpose of the appearance of a court card in a spread and that not all of the above characteristics need apply. The readers intuition will guide him or her to mention only any that are relevant.
The presence of the King of Cups Tarot Card in a spread may provide advice to remain level-headed about the situation, or alternatively to cease repressing our emotions and instead to become their 'master' (or 'ruler').
Keywords and phrases for some of the possible interpretations of the King of Cups Tarot Card include:
- Artistic inclinations
- Balanced person
- Considerate male
- Father figure
- Kind man
- Quiet power
What about the King of Cups Reversed ?
Some interpretations of the meaning of the King of Cups reversed include:
- A powerful man with deceptive 'two-faced' tendencies, or simply an uncaring man
- Emotional manipulation
- Confusion about a relationship, emotions out-of-balance