Join us on another mystical journey through the tarot deck! Tarot reading is a pretty old divination practice, still widely in use, although it is considered an alternative practice, just as many other divination techniques.
In older days, science and divination and much of what we call alternative and pseudo, were more interwoven, which was, perhaps, even a better way of looking into our existence.
Not everyone would agree, though; nevertheless, divination should not be taken for granted and simply ignored, as something without any ground.
Well, since amazingly ancient times, people have been practicing it and they still do. Moreover, in various situations, divinations and prophecies prove right.
However, the key is to master the art of divination and understand it properly.
One could understand answers provided through tarot or any other technique, only if he or she was open minded, spiritually open and eager to dive into the world of the mysterious.
In fact, there are no ’dark’ mysteries with tarot, only things that are flexible in interpretation and not an exact fact. Divinatory provided prognoses should not be taken word by word.
Tarot Suits Basics
What is tarot, anyway? Tarot are specific type of cards, originally playing cards, introduced probably during middle ages.
Over the course of time, they’ve entered the world of the occult and esoteric and were frequently being used for divination. What makes tarot cards so specific and useful in occultism and such?
Tarot decks are consisted of seventy eight wonderfully and curiously illustrated cards. All cards in a tarot deck are meaningful, each featuring specific symbols and meaning. Each card is carefully illustrated, depicting an archetypical personification, a specific scene and, overall, imagery loaded with symbols.
Decks are divided onto two major parts that are named the Minor Arcana and the Major Arcana.
These titles do not say one was more significant than the other, but speak about their relations with the major and the minor plan in our lives. Therefore, the Major Arcana relates to the bigger plan and the Minor Arcana describes everyday life, the mundane.
Suit of Cups Major Characteristics
The suit of Cups is the one that interests us here, and one particular card of this suit, that is, a Court card, the King of Cups. What are the main characteristics of the suit of Cups? First, this suit is associated with the element of Water; each of the four suits are linked with one of the four essential elements; the Cups are all Water. This makes them an emotional and intuitive suit, one could say.
Cups are affectionate and loving, passive in nature. Water is the element associated with feminine principle and feminine energy. The Cups are in pursuit of happiness, peace, beauty and art; Cups are greatly about the aesthetics and everything that has to do with the artistic expression. This suit is not about the direct and straightforward expression, as the suit of Wands is, for instance.
The King of Cups Tarot Card Quick Facts
The King of Wands is our serene, generous, compassionate ruler; a king whose heart is not hardened by his high position.
The King of Cups is strong, wonderfully strong, mighty in his calm attitude, his goodness and wisdom.
This king represents power through compassion, protection and benefaction, though, in a reversed position, the card presents with the opposite.
Before we get to know our serene King of Cups much better, let us introduce you to some of the basic facts concerning this tarot card. This brief overview would serve a useful guidance for our following, more detailed paragraphs.
Key terms for The King of Cups tarot card: Serenity, calmness, peaceful attitude, openness and generosity, mercy, grace, compassion, self-confidence through tranquility, altruism, benefaction, protection, understanding
Key essential element of the King of Cups: Fire in Water suit
Minor Arcana type: Court card, face card
Yes/No question for The King of Cups card: Yes
Reversed card key terms: Weak character, laziness and indifference, overindulgence, susceptible to vice, being petty, being selfish and spiteful, deception and betrayal, viciousness, aggressiveness
Visual Description of The King of Cups Card
Interpretation of visual appearance of tarot cards is probably the most important step in understanding the meaning of each card.
Of course, in order to understand the imagery of a card, one has to be familiar with the meaning of symbols featured on the card and with symbolism in general.
In addition, the interpretation of visual appearance requires the ability to connect the meanings and analyze them as a complex.
The most popular tarot deck is Rider-Waite tarot, with illustrations known all around the world, even amongst people who are not even interested into tarot reading. The stylized imagery of these cards is full of amazing symbols.
Each color, shape, a figure and a scenery communicates a message. Alright, let us see what the King of Cups has to tell us.
The King of Cups is a seated figure of a man, a king, holding in his hands a kingly scepter, which instantly reminds us of a torch, though without a flame, and a cup, the symbol of the suit. His robes are kingly, indeed, layered, rich and of different colors.
His base dress is blue, which is associated with the quality of the whole suit and the element of Water.
Blue color is the color of serenity, calmness, the ever flowing water, the imaginative, the intuitive, the inner and spiritual. His upper garment, the royal cloak is yellow, that is, golden. Gold always represents something that cannot be corrupted, something solid, bright, rich.
A part of his clothing is red; red is the color of fire, compassion, drive, passion, love and strength. This King wears an interesting necklace, with a fish pendant on his chest; fish is an interesting symbol. Of course, it is directly associated with the quality and energy of Water.
The fish is silent, roaming through depths of oceans and seas, and rivers and ponds and lakes. All these watery habitats are mysterious; the fish is, therefore, associated with imagination, intuition and the unspoken.
Although the King of Cups does not at all remind of Neptune or Poseidon god, he is enthroned on a shell-shaped seat amidst wavy waters.
Despite the waves, he is very calm, collected; his face and posture speak about his serenity and self-confidence. This king is relaxed, confident about his position. He is the master of these waters. In the background, we see a ship, a royal galley perhaps. It returns to the King or goes on a quest sent by him; it is red.
The ship could be taken as the wandering spirit of the King himself, his passion traveling through waters of the unknown world.
The king, calm and steady on his seat lets his imagination lose, lets his spirit wonders in pursuit of happiness. The torch-looking scepter is a particularly curious detail.
The King appears as if he is ready to set the flame on, only if necessary.
Therefore, this imagery tells about the ruler who would rather use peaceful approach, who would not rule through aggression and force, but, if the situation would demand it, he has it inside him. For this reason the King is Fire in the Water suit.
The King of Cups Card Meaning Guide
I feel solid ground beneath my feet.
The King of Cups represents calmness, a peaceful approach to life, growing of responsibility, the ability to evaluate odds, before setting into action. He also embodies the power of intuition; this king relies on his imagination and his inner voice. He does not suppress them.
In tarot readings, face cards of the Minor Arcana are commonly taken as people in our lives, but thy could be understood as related to the questioner as a person.
This card represents one’s stability, having solid stone under the feet, even if amidst turbulent waters, as depicted on the image.
This person is capable of keeping cold head in the critical situations; there is no place for panic for the calm King of Cups, although he is not indifferent. He does not act impulsively and speak before he has carefully thought about the situation.
The King of Cups represents a compassionate and caring protector. This person is well aware of the own qualities, of the own power and strength and especially of the influence over other people.
The intention of such one is good; this person would love to be a benefactor to others. The King of Cups does not use force in order to establish and confirm his high position, but grace and generosity. This person carefully chooses words.
The King of Cups – YES or NO
The King of Cups is a YES answer, because this card tells about keeping a calm and peaceful attitude when making important decisions.
There is no place for impulsive actions, for rashness and impatience. This card has to do with maturity in making decisions, but also with trusting your inner self, while being aware of possible consequences of your actions over others.
Therefore, the card provides a positive answer.
Yes/no readings are very simplified tarot technique; it requires a simple and direct question and provides short, clear answers: yes, no or maybe.
These answers mostly depend on the overall quality of the card. These readings are perfect if you have certain doubts about doing or not doing something,
The King of Cups Card Upright Meaning
The upright King of Cups represents everything positive about this card and there are many great characteristics about it.
In the upright position, this card represents the ability to remain patient, calm and uncorrupted, even if the situation was somewhat turbulent or critical. Everything flows, as water does.
The King of Cups does not lose his nerve. He believes that everything has its purpose, the divine purpose, a she card is greatly about the intuitive.
However, in the upright position, this way of thinking never means that one would simply surrender to the tides of destiny and let everything else controls his or hers life.
Not at all, the King of Cups knows when and how to act and react.
However, there is an amazing strength that comes exactly from calmness, from not being hasty and impulsive, from the ability to see under the surface. The King of Cups does not waste energy, although he has a flame within and he will light up his torch whenever it was needed.
By this torch, he provides guidance to those lost at the stormy see. In that sense, this card could represent even a safe haven, a person who will offer guidance towards greater wisdom and peace of the heart. It could also represent an allegory of an inner journey.
The King of Cups Card Reversed Meaning
Things change when the card appears reversed. In this case, everything goes to excessiveness.
The patient king thus becomes indifferent and lazy, neglecting the obligations, neglecting duties and all responsibility. In this case, a person becomes prone to over indulgence, careless about others’ feelings and needs, seeking ways only to fulfill their own desires.
In a reversed position, the King of Cups is about being selfish and immature, greedy, prone to nasty tricks that would provide certain satisfaction in an easier way; of course it could have grave consequences. In this case, the person does not want to take up any responsibilities, which eventually leads to losing that solid peace of stone under the feet.
The King of Cups Tarot Card – Career Meaning
In a career reading, the King of Cups is a good sign. It tells about calm, welcoming sea, ready for you to set sails. This card tells about being careful when making plans concerning your job and career.
As this card is related to compassion and generosity, this also tells about being approachable to new ideas and people whom you cooperate.
This card is about keeping peaceful working atmosphere and, generally, working towards pleasing results.
The King of Cups Tarot Card – Love Meaning
In love reading, the King of Cups is equally positive. All Cups are about emotions and relationships.
The King, as one high in the hierarchy, here plays the role of a compassionate, caring and generous protector.
Concerning the matters of love, this card could represent a deeply loving and caring partner, who finds is easy and natural to be by your side, to show you love and kindness through the very presence and romantic deeds, rather than words.
The King of Cups Tarot Card – Health Meaning
When it comes to health, we could give another plus to the nice and serene King of Cups.
In general, this card suggests that the first step to recovery or well-being in general, is being calm and nice towards yourself; treat yourself as someone you love and care for.
There is something to be cautious about, though. As this card in reversed position tells about being prone to vice, such as abuse of alcohol or else, be aware of that risk. The key to healthy body, mind and soul is moderation.
The King of Cups Combined
Each tarot card becomes especially interesting when it is combined with other ones.
Here are several good examples of the King of Cups combined with other Minor Arcana cards and a couple of Major Arcana ones.
- The King of Cups and The High Priest: Therapist, healer
- The King of Cups and The Lovers: Giving love
- The King of Cups and The Four of Wands: Understanding and support from loved ones
- The King of Cups and The Queen of Cups: Emotional growth, maturity
- The King of Cups and The Queen of Swords: Unity of opposites
- The King of Cups and The King of Pentacles: Career change
The King of Cups Message
The King of Cups message is that the best course in life is a thoughtful and peaceful one.
The King of Cups tells you to keep your head calm when faced with turbulent times.
This card suggest that the key of well-being lies in moderation, compassion, generosity and care. There is a greater and long lasting power in tranquility and patience than in force and aggression.