Cups is the tarot suit that represents the element Water. All Cups cards symbolize an aspect of elemental Water within us or manifesting somewhere in our lives. Water is the element of feelings and intuition. Perhaps not surprisingly Cups correlate to the suit of Hearts from a playing card deck; these cards deal with matters of the heart.

To get a good feel for this set of cards, reflect on the physical properties of water. Look carefully at a river or ocean and what do you notice? It is wet, obviously, and when moving it flows, creating waves. A body of water may appear still on the surface, hiding all the activity that is occurring within its depths. When we’re in a healthy relationship with water we can swim in it and ride its waves. Plants and animals need it for life! But water can flood or drown us when it’s out of control.

Within the psyche, Water is the emotional realm. By their nature, feelings are experienced deeply and can wash over us in waves. We cry water when overcome with emotion. A watery person has awareness of the depths within themselves. On a bad day they may become moody or lost in fantasy. Generally, they’re likely to be some combination of sensitive, artistic, compassionate, and intuitive.

  • Elemental Water is analogous to the liquid state of matter.
  • The suit of Cups may be summarized as “I Feel.”
  • The Water signs of the Zodiac are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

(Note: All images Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, available in many versions from US Games)


This card symbolizes new love or the pure power of the heart. It may be romantic love but could also include anything your heart feels drawn to or wants to express. This card also indicates the depths of your soul. Be open to your feelings and receive the wisdom that lies within your intuition.

  • The power of love
  • The depths of the soul
  • New feelings of love, romantic or otherwise
  • Intuitive guidance
  • Following the truth of the heart

Keywords:  Love, Strong Emotion, Purity, Intuition, New Feelings

Astrological Correspondence: Root Powers of Water

2 of CUPS

When two hearts become one, the result is both beautiful and something wholly new. The connection to another that binds, heals and comforts. Often an intimate connection but can be platonic as well. Can also be the balance of emotions within yourself or the integration of conscious and subconscious feelings.

  • Love shared between two people
  • A heartfelt connection
  • Merging of two to become one
  • Giving yourself to another
  • Merging of feelings within yourself

Keywords:  Attraction, Connection, Relationship, Romance, Integration

Astrological Correspondence: Venus in Cancer

3 of CUPS

A card for feeling more love and joy in your life. Perhaps it’s time to reach out and connect with your friends or family. Doing so may help you get out of your head and lighten up a bit. Do something fun! Enjoy the company of those you care about and feel your heart grow.

  • More fun and enjoyment in life
  • A celebration
  • The pleasures of being around those you love
  • Your social network of friends
  • A time for play or creativity

Keywords:  Friendship, Joy, Creativity, Community, Celebration

Astrological Correspondence: Mercury in Cancer

4 of CUPS

This card may be inviting you to step out and try something new. People tend to stay in their comfort zone until it becomes like a prison. If life becomes stale, we become stale. We become bored and life loses its luster. There are opportunities to get more from life, but you must do something new.

  • Staying in your comfort zone
  • Withdrawal or closed off from others
  • Missing out on life’s opportunities
  • Feeling bored with life
  • Sense of self-doubt

Keywords:  Apathy, Boredom, Withdrawal, Refusal, Inactivity

Astrological Correspondence: Moon in Cancer

5 of CUPS

A time of disappointment, regret, or loss. Could be a major life challenge or a simple but painful setback. Despite what’s been lost, there is healing and growth on the other side. The challenge is to make peace with the situation in order to move on. Acknowledge the loss and accept it. Let go and then heal.

  • The pains of loss or regret
  • Stuck in the past
  • Struggling to deal with disappointment
  • Changing perspective to heal and grow
  • Learning to see the bright side of a setback

Keywords:  Loss, Sadness, Disappointment, Regret, Pessimism

Astrological Correspondence: Mars in Scorpio

6 of CUPS

Deep within all of us is an inner child, a pure and giving spirit. It is naturally playful and kind. It is the sweetness and innocence of youth within us. This card also symbolizes the nostalgia of looking back on good days gone by. This is an invitation to soften your heart and feel the deep joys of inner harmony.

  • Being pure of heart
  • Seeing through the eyes of a child
  • Innocent playfulness
  • Reliving old memories
  • A generous, giving spirit

Keywords:  Innocence, Generosity, Nostalgia, Childhood, Memories

Astrological Correspondence: Sun in Scorpio

7 of CUPS

Do you feel like you’re searching for happiness? Perhaps it feels more like fantasizing or daydreaming. This card may suggest you’re discontent and looking for some way to fill a void. With many options available, just what is it you’re looking for? Are your expectations realistic? Are you exploring possibilities, or just lost?

  • Having your head in the clouds
  • Aimlessly hoping for a better life
  • Many choices available to you
  • Wishful thinking
  • Dreams, imaginations, delusions

Keywords:  Fantasy, Delusion, Imagination, Desires, Discontent

Astrological Correspondence: Venus in Scorpio

8 of CUPS

Feeling tired of the same old thing? You may be feeling an urge to move on from a situation that’s no longer serving you. Are you worn out or just plain bored from the playing out the same dramas? Perhaps things have run their course, and it’s time to start fresh. Here’s an invitation to get out of a rut and discover what else is out there.

  • Tired of feeling the same hurts
  • Bored of the same old routine
  • A sense your life is stagnant or out of balance
  • Needing a fresh start
  • The call to move on to something better

Keywords:  Exhaustion, Stagnation, Imbalance, Moving On, Rejection

 Astrological Correspondence: Saturn in Pisces

9 of CUPS

This could be seen as the “wish come true” card. What would it look like to get what you really wanted? Do you have it now? Choose wisely because you may get it. Go ahead and enjoy your good fortune. We all deserve some pleasure and happiness in life. As long as it isn’t too much of a good thing.

  • Having your wish fulfilled
  • Enjoying the sensual pleasures of life
  • Emotionally satisfied
  • Happy and content with your life
  • Over-indulgence

Keywords:  Pleasure, Satisfaction, Indulgence, Wishes, Sensuality

Astrological Correspondence: Jupiter in Pisces

10 of CUPS

What does your “happily ever after” look like? Imagine a life of joyous and fulfilled contentment, being in harmony and at peace with who you are. Be grateful for life’s blessings and share them with those you love. The best life goes beyond selfish desires; it is living with some higher purpose. And it is nurtured daily.

  • Loving life
  • Being in harmony with yourself and the world
  • Sharing your love and life with family
  • Living a life of purpose
  • Gratitude for life’s blessings

Keywords:  Happiness, Fulfillment, Contentment, Family, Gratitude

Astrological Correspondence: Mars in Pisces


Young-at-heart, playful, and romantic, this card shows the part of personality that is anything but serious. This is the dreamer in you, fantasizing of the possibilities in love and life. Your pureness of heart comes with a flair of creativity and gifts for intuition. Gentile and sensitive, you see life with imagination and love.

  • The pure and gentile spirit
  • Young at heart; sense of fun
  • Dreaming and fantasizing
  • Intuitive and visionary gifts
  • The sweet and innocent side of romance

Keywords:  Sensitive, Playful, Intuitive, Romantic, Innocent

Elemental Correspondence: Earth of Water


This personality type is extremely sensitive and feels emotions intensely, which makes you very romantic, imaginative, and artistic. You’re the knight in shining armor, looking to do good deeds while remaining true to what your heart tells you. This can sometimes make you moody, unrealistic, or vain.

  • The romantic who sweeps you off your feet
  • Following your heart at all costs
  • Moody and temperamental
  • Artistic and imaginative
  • Loves deeply and intensely but not for long

Keywords:  Idealistic, Impassioned, Seductive, Temperamental, Artistic

Elemental Correspondence: Air of Water


This part of you is deeply connected to your emotions, and able to use them to heal yourself and others. Loving and kind, you show patience and empathy to those around you. You’re an excellent listener who cares for the well-being of others. Although very sensitive, you don’t allow others’ negativity to bring you down.

  • Compassion and empathy for others
  • Ruler of your emotions
  • Deeply intuitive, soul-conscious
  • A healer to those in need
  • The extreme power of love

Keywords:  Loving, Self-Aware, Empathetic, Healing, Compassionate

Elemental Correspondence: Water of Water


This part of your personality is kind and generous, seen as a wise advisor and trusted friend. You’re calm and humble, intuitive, and quietly powerful. Unflappable and composed in stressful situations, you draw on personal strength from deep within yourself. You’re well-liked and respected, trusted to do the right thing.

  • Quietly powerful, emotionally balanced
  • Calm and poised, especially in stress
  • Well-liked and respected
  • Doing the right thing for those in need
  • Diplomatic; able to bring out the best in others

Keywords:  Wise, Charismatic, Generous, Composed, Humane

Elemental Correspondence: Fire of Water

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