Five of Cups
A description and interpretation of the role of The Five of Cups in the Tarot
In a nutshell...
closed to the world
It might as well be said straight away: the Five of Cups, which belongs to the non-court minor arcana of the Tarot, is not the favorite card of cartomancy adepts. Associated with the universe of emotions and love, some specialists see it as conveying ideas of romantic disappointment and regret. On the other hand, there are several different schools of cartomancy, and some of them consider the Five of Cups as a particularly positive card for the seeker's romantic life. For the sake of completeness, I will discuss both these interpretations in my analysis of the arcana. Let's start without further delay by what it looks like.
As the name suggests, the card features 5 gold and red cups in a perfectly symmetrical layout. Two groups of two are arranged on bottom and top parts of the card, while a single cup occupies a central position. It is from this one that some of the vegetation is growing.
The meaning of this shoot is, once again, particularly ambiguous, some stems seem to rise towards the divine while others descend to the material universe. Everything happens in fact as if this vegetation was going around in circles, locked up on itself and unable to open its arms to novelty. This is not a coincidence: the Five of Cups is often considered by specialists as a card of regret, embodying the difficulties the seeker has in ignoring the emotional trauma of their past.
Regret amplifies desire.
from an emotional viewpoint
Like all the fives, the Five of Cups reflects a major emotional conflict, capable of disrupting the quality of the seeker's romantic life. Haunted by the demons of their past, gnawed by guilt and mistakes, they have great difficulty opening up to the world again. This harmful state of mind is, of course, not ideal for anyone who wants to start a new romantic relationship. To advance, they will have to forgive, others or themselves.
from a career viewpoint
The Five of Cups is closely linked to the seeker's emotional world. Therefore, its influence in the professional field is very limited. In certain draw configurations, however, the arcana may indicate a certain emotional discomfort which affects the seeker's motivation and effectiveness at work. Maybe there is a conflict within their team? They will need to solve it.
from a life path viewpoint
When analyzed within a life path reading, the Five of Cups teaches the dangers of regret and remorse. Ups and downs are a natural part of the life of human beings. To evolve serenely it is important to learn from the past without being overwhelmed by bitterness or guilt. Although you should never neglect your past, your course should always be set towards the future. You really need to learn how to let go and open your arms to new things.
In the short term, the Five of Cups testifies to deep emotional trauma, which you are still having a hard time letting go of. Your past wounds are taking up too much space in your life, which is preventing you from opening yourself to the world as you should. Don't indulge this situation, take back the helm of your life!
In the long run, the Five of Cups teaches you the virtues of courage and self-denial. Faced with pain, you have two possible choices: wallow in it or agree to confront it once and for all. Your mistakes help create your character and shape your personality. Instead of indulging in excessive sadness, why not use it as a fulcrum?
Interpretation of The Five of Cups upright
It goes without saying that the Five of Cups does not enjoy a very good reputation with cartomancy specialists. Like all of the cards of this suit, it is associated with the world of the emotions, but this arcana symbolizes emotional difficulties, loss and loneliness.
The Five of Cups exudes a decidedly passive principle. It often means that the seeker remains focused on their emotional trauma, without having the necessary impetus to get rid of bitterness or regret. The ties that bind them to their past are still too strong. It is impossible for them to raise their head and look to the future.
The card indicates that a situation that was particularly important to them did not go as planned. In this situation it represents an abortive attempt to flourish, now perceived as a painful failure. It doesn't matter whether it was the seeker's fault or not, the feeling is just as unpleasant.
This state of mind is, of course, in no way beneficial to the seeker's well-being. It means that they have an unfortunate tendency to act as if they were a victim of life. Although it's normal - and even perfectly healthy - to need to confront your trauma, it is extremely dangerous to wallow in your memories.
Interpretation of The Five of Cups reversed
When the Five of Cups appears upside down it has a positive connotation for the seeker's future development. In the vast majority of situations, it means the total acceptance of the past and a fierce desire heal your wounds.
Although they still feel regret for their past failures, the seeker is not prepared to be overwhelmed by them. Having managed to confront their trauma, they now want to focus their attention on the horizon, expecting an opening that will be very beneficial to them. Their faults are now forgiven, and they have got over their pain.
They have stored their bitterness and regrets neatly away. The seeker is now ready to take advantage of the new opportunities that come their way. With more experience than before and more aware of what they need, they will be capable of being very bold in order to achieve their goals.