Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings & Combinations
Water, female, passive energy - emotions
Keywords and Phrases:
Sadness, disappointment, sense of loss, regrets.
Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings
The image in the Five of Cups displays a moody sky as the knight grieves for the spilt tarnished cups beside him, representing disappointment. Something is lost yet something still remains, shown by the two golden and upright cups that he currently fails to see behind him.
The Five of Cups brings a sense of sadness and loss; things may not have gone as you hoped leaving you disappointed. It can suggest feeling let down or sometimes a betrayal but, in whichever way it applies, it brings disenchantment and regrets.
In relationship readings there could be disappointment and tears, though not always permanent (see Tarot Card Combinations section below), someone may not live up to your expectations but, emotionally, something is lost along the way.
If reversed or ill-dignified it provides a more hopeful view and recovery of sorts, though not usually a complete reversal of the meaning. It can help to heal hurts or to move on but wounds are still present.
Similar or supporting cards: Three of Swords (upheaval and upset) Ten of Swords (disappointing ending) Eight of Cups (disillusion) Nine of Swords (worry)
Opposing or contradictory cards: The Sun (happiness) Three of Cups (joyful) Ten of Cups (emotional contentment)
Five of Cups Tarot Card Combinations:
As with all the fives, it takes us to the midway point, like a set of scales that can tip either way, so they often have a temporary nature. As always, other factors would need to be considered concerning the position in the spread, for instance, it may not bode well as a final outcome card to a question. In a simple line or three-card spread the Five of Cups is most insightful if it falls in the central position, as the first card shows where the problem stems from and the last card as to how matters progress.
Multiple fives in a reading show instability.
Three of Swords > Five of Cups: fairly traditional for heartbreak and tears.
> Temperance > Judgment: healing and renewal, reconciliation.
I’ve seen on and off type relationships often displayed with these four cards (or similar) in leap-frog or roller-coaster progression, such as: Three of Swords > Temperance > Five of Cups > Judgement.
> Four of Swords: retreating to lick wounds and recover.
Page of Swords > Five of Swords > Five of Cups: can be gossip and slander, jealousy, betrayal of friendships (false friends) causing the upset.
> The Star: in close proximity such as this usually brings quick recovery from the situation.
> The Sun: complete turnaround in events, short-lived upset may be internal or unfounded emotional fears.
> Ten of Swords > Eight of Cups: time to move on and call it a day.
You'll find more information to help you in Easy Tarot: Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All! book and card set.
Available from bookshops, Llewellyn, Amazon.com, & UK.
Material provided here is in addition and complementary to the kit. Copyrighted material displayed with permission of Llewellyn. Please see my notes regarding combinations and reversals on the main index page.