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The Cups Royal Family

The Cups are a vessel, the holder of the liquid, so it is only natural for them to represent the element of water. Water in turn represents the painful, blissful, angry, loving, irritated, joyous, jealous, overarching rainbow of feelings that we emit and absorb during our lives. This water drips down into the Tarot’s suit of Cups, to be analyzed, pondered and discussed, getting us riled up or letting us vent. Because of this the Cups are a bubbling, goopy, smoky Calderon, dripping with delight and dilemma, “Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and caldron bubble.” When you scoop your chalice into this river, you never know what complex mixture you will be lifting to your lips.

So what does one do with these heady emotions? The family in the suit of Cups may have some ideas. They represent the best heart one has to offer: romance, friendship, support, family, and community! They are ready with some quick counsel, a hug or shoulder to cry on. On the other hand, boy can they drink! Their lovely features (blond or light brown hair, blue or green eyes, fair skin), sensitive personalities (any of the water signs Pisces, Scorpio or Cancer) and empathetic character traits can get anyone’s attention. Below we meet these four loving rascals and learn a bit more about our sensitive sides.

Page of Cups

The young page can represent either a boy or girl (though if indicating what sex a pre-born baby will be then it leans more towards a girl). He or she will be sensitive, sentimental and loving; easy to cry or quick to anger, since the emotions are always right on the sleeve. The Page of Cups indicates the beginnings of self-love, paving the way for a new relationship to develop, or finally recovering from a failed one. It can also mean the development of a new passion, psychic energy, a new creative craft or talent, or a longing for romance.

If the Page is reversed or compromised in a spread then look out for emotional immaturity, creative blocks, detachment and moodiness. The reversed page can have a propensity for overindulging in drinking or drugs. He resists love, is overly sensitive, blocks intuition and psychic gifts, and is hurt too easily by others. He may be boy or girl crazy and needs constant reassurance from his partner. Or he may be tired of being hurt all the time and closes himself off completely from love and relationships. He could be lovesick over someone or simply going through puberty. Lastly it could be someone who plays with others emotions deceptively and manipulates the situation to his advantage.

Knight of Cups

The Knight of Cups is a sensitive lad, charming, romantic and loves wooing the ladies. He is past the age of puberty and is enjoying his young adult life. Though not married yet, he is focused on family and friends. He is driven by romance, loves to nurture others and grow himself on an emotional level. When he does pick his partner he is a loyal, dedicated and tender lover focused on the other’s emotional needs. Some may consider him a “knight in shining armor.” He is perceptive and empathetic but can be very protective of his feelings. He believes in chivalry, honoring his commitments and treating his significant other as his best friend. Though he may enter slowly into a relationship, once he is there he may focus all of his attentions upon you. He is an artsy fart-sy type of guy so expect him to be in some kind of artistic career path. His appearance in a spread may even indicate a proposal of marriage or a short tryst.

If compromised or reversed in a spread then the Knight of Cups can indicate the emotionally unavailable type. He proceeds with great caution. Or the opposite – his emotions may take over. He may overly woo you – because he is too much of a ladies man (womanizer). His emotions may be too strong for him to handle and compromise his ability to make rational decisions. A mama’s boy at heart, there may be no room for another woman in his life. If he does choose you, his clingy emotional state will make it hard for him to be in a relationship of equals. Or his jealousy, dishonesty, moodiness, cheating and deceptions will show you his true colors. A stalker. A narcissist. He may abuse sex, power, drugs and alcohol. It could also indicate unrequited love from the knight to his subject or vice versa.

Queen of Cups

The Queen is an enchanting, sexy, sensitive woman, possessing a high degree of emotional intelligence and psychic or artistic gifts. Her confidence abounds as an excellent wife and mother. She loves animals, nature and people. Her emotional attunement to others puts them at ease, making her a great healer. She has a wicked imagination and knows how to seduce. She is emotionally secure, intuitive and deeply compassionate. A lover of romance, poetry, beauty and the arts, the Queen is also a gifted psychic. She loves others blindly, without seeing their faults.

The reversed or compromised Queen of Cups struggles with emotional insecurity. She engages in emotional outbursts, worries about things she has no control over and may need professional help. She may have mental health issues. The reversed queen is co-dependent, quick to react and over react. She may be dabbling with negative psychic forces. She lives in a fantasy world and disowns the real one. A psychic vampire, she uses sex to get what she wants. This unhappy lady is dangerous, jealous and lacks honesty. She is a fallen woman, having sex, alcohol or drug addictions. Pouty, clingy and vindictive, the reversed queen is resentful, self-serving and blames others for her downfall. Or she smothers them with her emotional neediness. Overly devout to God, she can deny her emotions and is weak-willed.

King of Cups

The King of Cups is a balanced, compassionate and emotionally mature man. He is a loving husband, father, lover and protector of all that he cares about. As a sensitive, the King will likely find a career in counseling, the ministry, the arts or psychic work. He thrives when helping others move through their emotional pain. He recognizes things in people that others do not or cannot see. He expresses his emotions honestly but also keeps them in check with great skill. He is merciful, persuasive, generous, creative and knows how to compromise. He is protective of his heart. He may chose relationships in which he keeps the emotional upper hand, in order to protect himself from disappointment or hurt.

When the King is reversed or compromised he is volatile, dishonest and domineering. This King can take advantage of another who is less experienced. He is not to be trusted, so you must be careful not to give him too much money, love or time. He can put on a good façade to friends, family or the public. He is passive aggressive. As with the other family members in the suit of Cups, he could have drug, alcohol, work or sex addictions. As a father or partner he may be smothering, overly protective and controlling. Or, on the flip side, he could be emotionally unavailable, have trouble expressing his emotions or even knowing what they are or act like a macho man to hide his sensitive nature. He is moody, highly manipulative and filled with self-pity. His appearance in a spread could also mean the King in your life is double-dealing, a scandal will befall your or someone is trying to dump you (romantically or otherwise).

Artwork from the Mythic Tarot Deck by © Tricia Newell, who has granted permission for their use on this website. Photography by Holly Petersen.

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