The magical world of divination never stops fascinating us! Tarot reading is just one of the amazing divination arts and practices that could reveal much about our heavenly written destiny.
Divination is not dark and obscure, as many would think. It simply does not follow the principles and laws of what one would call purely rational.
Many thing is our lives cannot be explained by using only logic and reason; emotions, for their part, make a tremendously important part of our existence and we cannot be fully understood only by reason. Individual life experiences are not to be that easy interpreted by methods of science. Divination can tell us much more.
People have been interested into divination arts since far past. It would help them feel more secure in the areas they cannot really predict. What all those alternative paths could tell are our potentials.
Therefore, no prophecies of the sort tell about the exact, written in the stone course of events, but about the potentials of what might happen.
Tarot Suits Basics
Tarot serves the same purpose. Through analyzing tarot cards imagery and combinations of cards in an opening especially, the practitioner tells us about our own potentials, that is, the possible outcome of our circumstances and more. Sometimes the answers could be very straightforward, sometimes not.
In any case, they serve as a precious and very useful guidance and open our horizons, helping us not only in understanding the world around but, even more importantly, the world within. So, what are tarot cards anyway? When did they first appeared? Tarot cards are medieval playing cards, but they’ve easily entered the area of the esoteric.
Tarot cards are illustrated cards, full of mystical and meaningful symbols. One has to posses great knowledge and understanding of symbols in general, in order to interpret sole cards and cards in combination in a reading. Every single symbol is very important, just as a card’s position and its relation with other cards.
Tarot decks are divided into two major parts and count seventy eight cards in total. The two parts are called the Major and the Minor Arcana, where their names do not tell about their value, but about their nature. The first part, the Major Arcana, counts 22 cards and explains the major plan we are a part of. It is greatly about archetypes.
Suit of Cups Major Characteristics
The other part, which interests us here, is called the Minor Arcana and it relates to the minor, everyday plan, explaining our individual experiences, everyday situations, the people we meet and have in our lives and more. This suit counts 56 cards divided into four more suits.
These four are called the Wands, the Cups, the Swords and the Pentacles, but they are also known under other familiar names. For example, the suit we will analyze here, the Cups, is also known as the Hearts. Each of these four suits counts fourteen cards, of which four Court cards (Kings, Queens, Knights, Pages) and ten numbers.
The suit of Cups is associated with the element of Water and it is greatly about the emotional aspect of life. This suit has much to do with intuition, imagination, the inner world, the introverted, art, beauty, expression through artistic mediums, love, care, motherly instincts, compassion and else. This Minor Arcana suit is of passive energy, unlike, for example, fiery Wands.
This suit is related to the concept of domesticity, harmony, peace, culture, it is not impatient and rash, it is rather quiet and calm. Of course, each suit could present with not as pleasing side, so in the case of Cups, it could turn to overindulgence, laziness, hesitation, dependence and impractical passivity. However, its core energy is that of love and emotions overall.
Five of Cups Tarot Card Quick Facts
The Five of Cups is quite an interesting and a bit uneasy Minor Arcana card. We shall go into great detail about its appearance, core meaning and message and specific meanings, related to career, love and health, as well as meanings depending on the card’s position and combination with other cards. Five of Cups appears a sad card in its original position.
Before we analyze it in detail, let us go through some basic terms and facts associated with this strange Cups card. This one is definitely about emotions, as Cups greatly are, though not very pleasing ones. Let us not rush into it. Here is a brief overview of the Five of Cups.
5 of Cups key terms: Grief and sadness, abandoned, lonely and/or betrayed, accepting failure, pessimistic attitude, depression, loss, disappointment, lacking spirit, lacking energy, inability to appreciate life, not seeing the good side of life, being sad and discontent
Key essential element of the Five of Cups: Water
Minor Arcana type: Number, 5
Yes/No question for The Five of Cups card: No
Reversed 5 of Cups key terms: Seeing the glass half full, recognizing positive sides of life, being broken but not giving up, regeneration and the beginning of a healing process, birth of optimistic attitude, regretting something, deepening of dark thoughts
Visual Description of The Five of Cups Card
As we have seen from the quick facts, The Five of Cups card does not appear a ‘hearty’ one, to call it so, as the Cups are also known as Hearts.
Well, in fact, it is, but not in a way we would like to think about heart, associating it primarily with the fulfilling and pleasing emotion love and passion. Five of Cups is definitely about our heart, but a one that feels down.
Let us look into the image of this tarot card. The first thing you notice is probably the gloomy figure that occupies the center of the card. Here we could see a human figure, all wrapped in a long midnight black cloak, a stark contrast to the bright surroundings. We cannot see the person’s face, but we could describe the person as pensive.
The person, a man, presumably, seems to look at something, though. His head is bowed down as he stares into the cups before him. Of course, the card features characteristic golden cups we can find on other Cups cards.
There is something peculiar about his five cups; there are five, as the card is The Five of Cups. Three cups in front of him are overthrown, fallen. The two behind him stand upright on the ground.
What is another thing you notice about the three fallen cups? The contents of these are spilled on the ground, it is obvious. The cups are emptied by being overthrown.
Whatever was their content, regardless of how precious and important, is now gone; there is no way to gather it back into the golden cups. This particular detail illustrates failure, loss, disappointment.
The cloaked man sees only the three fallen cups and their contents fading away, while he completely ignores the remaining two. This scene tells about the inability to see good things in life, probably because they appear to be smaller than the bad ones; the two cups are ‘good’, in contrast to three ‘bad’ ones. The person does not give a thing about the good ones.
What is else to been seen on the card? The landscape is peculiar. There is an edifice across the bridge we can see over the water.
The water represents many things, emotions, flow of energy and the passing of time, the mystery, the spiritual journey, both a bridge and an obstacle. The castle across the water could be a place our cloaked fellow should reach.
However, one cannot tell what the fort across the river represents, for it even appears as a ruin or an abandoned place. We cannot tell for sure. The bridge is an important symbol, because it represents a rite of passage, moving forward and leaving the past behind.
On the other hand, it could represent exactly the opposite, the connection, the invaluable bond between the two.
Five of Cups Card Meaning Guide
I seek for emotional recovery.
In a way, the person we can see on the Five of Cups appears to be at the crossroads. There is definitely something that is lost and cannot be brought back; at least not immediately. The card represents the state of faintheartedness, the disappointment, crying over spilt milk, for the person does not see anything positive in the situation.
There always has to be something good, just as the card itself suggests. There are still two perfect golden upright cups, unseen or ignored by our sad figure on the card. The black color of the cloak tells about mourning.
On one side, this card tells about situations that require mourning; it is normal and sometimes we have to give ourselves time to mourn and thus get over something.
The trick is not to let it become our whole life. The two ‘good’ goblets, full of pure, positive energy are still there – we have them, they are in our possession. We should never turn our head from the good things in life, even if we find ourselves in very disappointing and depressing situation. The card also tells about things we have to go through on our own.
It is about feeling lonely and abandoned. It could be related to betrayal and being disappointed into those whom we have trusted. The Five of Cups is about hurt feelings and the stage of pessimistic point of view.
However, there are always new possibilities and roads; the bridge across the water awaits.
5 of Cups – YES or NO
Five of Cups is a NO card, because of its overall pessimistic energy. This card is not of encouragement to do something, but about taking time to get over the burdening things.
It is, in fact, a good message. This card advises one not to rush into things, before he or she has dealt with unprocessed emotions of sadness.
This card tells about taking time to reflect and carefully think through all the positive and negative things in life, in order actually to recognize the good ones that have probably been neglected. Only then one can move forward and get a green light and a yes, so to say.
Five of Cups Card Upright Meaning
The upright card tells about everything we have discussed above, about loss, sadness, depression, inability to focus on good things in life.
However, there is one greatly positive aspect of this card upright, even if it generally speaks about negative experience and emotions.
It is about the acceptance. The acceptance of unpleasing experience is the only way to get over it and proceed.
The card should serve us as a wakeup call and make us aware of the fact that we have probably given too much attention only to the negative side of life.
Our glass appears half empty and it may have even became our comfort zone. This is something that has to be changed, but it cannot be unless we process the emotions.
Five of Cups Card Reversed Meaning
The reversed card, oddly, comes with positive outlook. The reversed card tells about growing of more positive attitude, after being disappointed and hurt, about hope and regaining faith.
It is about the formation of such a new, bright view, so it is still fragile.
For this reason, it could turn into even greater disappointment and deepen the sadness.
Five of Cups Tarot Card – Career Meaning
Concerning career, this card is about disappointment into one’s own capabilities, but also into others support.
Betrayal or some sort of trickery might be in the game. This is not a particularly positive card concerning finances, it is about loss. In the most direct sense, it could even mean a loss of workplace.
However, as above, it is about the acceptance and getting over it, in order to find a new path.
Five of Cups Tarot Card – Love Meaning
One would not say the Five of Cups could bring anything particularly good when it comes to love. This is not a romantic card and it is about being abandoned.
Moreover, it is about one’s inability to stop thinking about the past relationship and a partner from whom the person separated, for one reason or another.
Five of Cups Tarot Card – Health Meaning
When it comes to health, Five of Cups are greatly about the acceptance of the negative emotions, in order for those to be processed.
This is a card related to depression and, while it simply represents the depression itself, it tells about the importance of accepting that something was wrong and that the individual needs help.
5 of Cups Combined
Each tarot card gets an additional meaning when it was combined with other cards. Combinations of tarot cards are a clue to our destiny, as seen through tarot divination. One has to understand each of the cards very well, in order to know what they tell when combined.
Here are several good examples of the meanings of Five of Cups when it stands along some other ones.
- Five of Cups and The Emperor: Inconvenient situation at work or at home
- 5 of Cups and The Sun: A gloomy period that would not last for long
- Five of Cups and The Ace of Wands: Lack of enthusiasm and motivation
- 5 of Cups and The Eight of Cups: Stepping aside
- Five of Cups and The Four of Swords: Recovery from emotional trauma, from stress
- 5 of Cups and The King of Pentacles: Resentment towards a person financially powerful
Five of Cups Message
The Five of Cups card comes with a bit gloomy message, because it makes us face the sad emotions we would rather avoid.
However, they are a part of our life. This card tells us about the importance of acceptance, while, at the same time, it reminds us that there are many good things we have probably forgot about, only because we were too focused on the negative ones, though failing actually to process them.