While many people know of the major arcana in the tarot deck, there are fifty-six other cards in the deck. Known as the minor arcana, this section of the deck is separated into four suits, each with ten number cards and four court cards. As with the major arcana, each card has two different meanings, an upright and a reversed meaning. Each of the four suits has a specific issue or area of life that they focus on as well as an element they represent.
The suit of cups is generally represented by the element of water and focuses on relationships, be they romantic, familial, or friendships.
Ace of Cups
Upright: As the beginning of the cups suite, the ace of cups represents the start of relationships and emotions. It might indicated a new friendship or romance is in the works. As it represents love in general, in some cases it can also represent pregnancy.
Reversed: If the Ace of Cups shows up reversed, it generally means that you are suppressing or blocking your emotions. It’s a sign that you’re holding back from truly expressing yourself, and now is the time to express yourself. Your emotions are a part of you, don’t hold them back.
Two of Cups
Upright: The Two of Cups represents a relationship, and while most people think of a romantic relationship, it can also simply represent a friendship. It represents a partner or connection that is important in your life.
Reversed: Reversed, the Two of Cups represents an end of a relationship, whether it is a romantic one or simply a friendship. Even if the relationship isn’t at an end, this card represents an imbalance or lack of harmony within the relationship.
Three of Cups
Upright: This card represents celebration and friendship, as well as community. It’s a sign of community and harmonious relationships. This card can also represent creativity and can be the sign that now is the time to launch into that project you’ve been meaning to do.
Reversed: Ever heard of the phrase “three’s a crowd”? That’s exactly what this reversed card means. Sometimes indicating an affair, it can sometimes mean that you are the odd person out. Whatever the case, this card is a sign to look closely at your relationships.
Four of Cups
Upright: This card is generally a warning, a sign that you need to reevaluate your relationships. It’s a sign that life has recently become stale for you, relationships included. But this isn’t a sign that all hope it lost, this is a warning, that if you take a moment to look closely at your relationships, you might be able to save them.
Reversed: When this card shows up reversed, it’s a sign that opportunity may soon come knocking, but you need to come out and meet it. Now’s not the time to close off your heart to new relationships. When opportunity knocks, you’re going to need to get up and answer the door.
Five of Cups
Upright: If the Four of Cups is a warning, then the Five of Cups is a reality check. Where the Four of Cups gives you hope in saving the relationship, the Five tells you it’s time to move on. The relationship is lost, and if you sit around focused on the past, you’ll miss what the future holds.
Reversed:Reversed, this card follows along a similar strand as the upright, but it’s a sign of recovery from the loss. When this card shows up, it’s telling you that now’s the time to take a risk, to open yourself up again. Relationships are just around the corner and now’s the time to look for them.
Six of Cups
Upright: The Six of Cups calls back to childhood and the nostalgia associated with those memories. It’s a call back to the memories and innocence of youth and this card tells you there’s nothing wrong with doing just that.
Reversed:If the Six of Cups shows up reversed in your reading, it’s a sign that you’re stuck in the past. While exploring your memories is important, remember you don’t want to get stuck in them. The future is ahead, it’s time to keep walking.
Seven of Cups
Upright: The Seven of Cups represents a dreamer and imagination, but it also calls for you to turn your attention to the real world. When this card appears, it’s telling you to take the energy you put into your dreams, and use it to make them a reality.
Reversed:When reversed, the Seven of Cups represents illusions and deception. Temptations haunt your vision, clouding what’s actually there. You could be hiding things from yourself in order to avoid facing reality.
Eight of Cups
Upright:This card appears in a reading, it’s a sign that you are at a point in your life where you’re starting to feel disappointed in the material world. Therefore, the Eight of Cups is a sign that a journey is about to start, but not a physical on, rather a spiritual one.
Reversed:The reversed Eight of Cups shows up, it’s a sign that you are stuck between two paths and don’t know which one to take. On one hand, you want to take the new opportunity, but on the other you’re afraid you’ll miss opportunities in your current path if you go after the new one. Look at the rest of the cards in your spread for advice on which path you should choose.
Nine of Cups
Upright: The Nine of Cups represents completion and the final stage of development. It’s a sign of happiness and satisfaction in all areas of life. It’s a moment to stop and bask in your laurels, you’ve earned it.
Reversed: While reversed the Nine of Cups does still represent fruition, but maybe not in the way you wanted things to come about. Something feels like it’s still missing, or perhaps there are small imperfections in how things turned out. You might also be feeling greed, or even a concern for your own needs over those of others. Take a moment to step back and figure out where these feelings are coming from. You may be able to redirect things so you can feel the satisfaction of the upright Nine of Cups.
Ten of Cups
Upright:The ten of any suite represents the highest amount of fruition for that particular suite and the Ten of Cups is no different. Since the cups suite represents relationships, this generally means marriage and emotional fulfilment in all your relationships. Even outside of relationships, it represents happiness and positive emotions filling your life.
Reversed:When the Ten of Cups shows up reversed, it’s a sign that something is getting in the way of the perfect, happy picture that the upright card represents. Romantically, this could mean an affair or divorce, while emotionally it could mean a misalignment of personal values. Now’s the time to reflect on your relationships to figure out what is in the way.
Page of Cups
Upright: The Page of Cups, like all pages, represents a beginning. In this case, the Page of Cups represents the start of a new creative venture. The cup that the page holds is overflowing with creative energy, and now’s the perfect time for you to take a drink. It’s also a sign to embrace your emotions, they may be the driving point behind your creativity.
Reversed:If this card shows up reversed in a reading, it’s a sign of someone who is emotionally immature. This person might also be escaping their troubles either through drugs and alcohol, or by simply running off to their own world. They can be emotionally insecure and prone to outbursts over small things.
Knight of Cups
Upright: The Knight of Cups is a knight in shining armor romantically, someone who is in touch with their emotions and not afraid to show it. A charmer to all, this is a person ruled by their heart rather than their head. This card can also represent a message or the arrival of something or someone who can help you emotionally.
Reversed: Reversed, the Knight of Cups is someone who lets their emotions rule them, and not for the better. This is the person who’ll jump to conclusions before knowing all the facts, act moody, or extremely emotional. While this card might be talking about someone else, it could also be talking about yourself, so take a moment to look at the situation, and the people in it, carefully.
Queen of Cups
Upright: The Queen of Cups represents nurturing and caring, someone who is there to support you throughout your journey in life. Honest and secure, she’s there to support others emotionally as they go through life. She’s someone who people come to in order to get things off their chest and is always there to listen. When she appears in a reading, she’s telling you that either you need to be that shoulder to cry on, or it’s time to find your own support so you can keep going.
Reversed: When this card shows up reversed, it’s a sign that there is a disconnect between you and your emotions. There’s a disconnect between you and your spiritual side, which is causing you dissatisfaction in life. It can also represent someone, either your or someone near you, who’s prone to manipulation through their emotions. Be careful when this card shows up and take a close look at your life. If you are being manipulated, this might be the warning to remove yourself from the situation.
King of Cups
Upright: The King of Cups is someone who has control over their emotions, experiencing stability throughout their life because of it. They keep a tight reign on their emotions, but they’re not afraid to express them and feel when needed. The perfect balance between emotions and intellect, they are a master of compassion and understanding. When this card appears, it’s calling for you to create a balance in order to keep moving.
Reversed:This card reversed tells of someone who is extremely emotionally manipulative and controlling. This person is toxic, vindictive, and does not rise above blackmail to get their way. These actions cause emotional instability in those around them, leaving people to believe it’s their fault, rather than the manipulator. If this card is pointing to someone in your life, get out of that relationship as soon as it’s safe too.