Visual Description of the Five of Cups:
An ominous figure stands cloaked in black. His back is turned to two upright cups, representing opportunity. Instead he looks down at three fallen cups. Their spilled contents represent his failed attempts. He is filled with regret and remorse and as a result is blind to the opportunities still available to him, or he is afraid that the same may happen should he turn toward these new opportunities.
In the distance a bridge stretches over a river, showing that in order to attain the security of success, represented by the castle, the ominous figure must overcome the river of emotions he is currently facing.
Divinatory Meaning of the Five of Cups:
Upright Meaning of the Five of Cups Tarot Card:
The querent has felt loss in some form or another. They regret their past, but in the distance there is a promise of success. They must however let go of these negative feelings before they will be able to see the opportunities that are still available to them.
“Sadness is a natural emotion. You are sad at the moment due to a loss of some kind. This sadness may run so deep that it feels as though everything you touch will turn out for the worse. But the river of life keeps flowing. If you look beyond the current regret and sorrow you will see that this loss has opened the door to great new opportunities. You will however only be able to see these once you accept what has happened.
In some cases this card can point to your love relationships. Have you grown bitter toward your partner? Is it because of the things you have done in the past? You may be feeling helpless right now, but that’s because you’re focused on the negative. As soon as you start focusing on the possibilities still open to you you will see things in a brighter light, but this can only happen once you release the emotions from the past you’re clinging onto.”
The querent has an opportunity to let go of the past at this time. If they cling to this negative state of mind they are sure to “knock over” the remaining two cups. There is still hope, even in the face of loss. An inheritance awaits them, but whether it is positive or negative will depend on their ability to let go and move forward. Their emotional state will determine their future success.
Reversed Meaning of the Five of Cups Tarot Card:
The reversed Five of Cups indicates that the querent has managed to “turn around” and see the two cups that are still upright, the bridge and the castle in the distance. There is a restored sense of hope. They have however not forgotten what lies behind them.
“You’ve found a renewed sense of hope. Things haven’t been easy, your life is no walk in the park, but you know that things will get better if you keep moving forward. This message is a kind of survival mechanism passed down from generation to generation. Your parents went through some tough times, and yet they never gave up… In the same way you are also refusing to give up. You are returning to your roots and finding hope their. It might even mean a visit to your family to gain insight and support.
The key here is that, despite the negative circumstances you face, you remain rooted in the fact that there is always something better. You understand the idea that life cannot always be easy and you accept the fact that sometimes people fail. But you learn from your setbacks and remain hopeful that you will reach your goals. And with this attitude you will.”
The querent may not have turned around and seen the hope there still is in their lives yet, but this card is an indication that they will find the strength to do so soon. It may come as a message, especially one from family.