Five of Cups

Upright Meaning Guide

Five of Cups Upright Tarot Card Key Meanings:

Sadness, loss, grief, despair, abandonment, guilt, remorse, regret, trauma, bereavement, mourning, heartbreak, unwelcome change, emotional instability, focusing on loss, focusing on negative emotions, isolation, loneliness, emotional baggage, divorce, separation, anger, disappointment

General Meaning and Interpretation (Upright)

How many negative emotions can one card represent? Quite a few in the case of the Five of Cups! In a general context, the Five of Cups Tarot card can represent sadness, loss, loneliness and despair. When this card appears it indicates that you are focusing on the negative. This may be the result of some sort of trauma or unwelcome change you have suffered. As such, this card can signify heartbreak, divorce or separation. The Five of Cups also tends to appear if you have suffered a recent bereavement as it represents mourning and grief. It is a card of emotional baggage and instability and can signify that you feel deep remorse, regret, anger, sorrow or disappointment. It is also the Minor Arcana card of abandonment and can either represent you being abandoned by someone significant to you or you abandoning plans or people in your life. It can also indicate loneliness or isolation. However, for all the negative connotations this card can bring there is a positive message underneath it all. The figure depicted in the card is crying over the spilt cups and seems to be oblivious to the fact that two cups are still upright. This is reminding you that no matter how bad things may seem there is always a silver lining, you just have to choose to see it.

Love & Relationships (Upright) 

In a love Tarot spread, if you are single, the Five of Cups can indicate that you are overcome with sadness or despair about a past relationship that did not work out. You may feel as though “The One” has slipped through your fingers and could be oblivious to potential partners as you are so focused on your sense of loss. You may also be consumed by remorse, regret or guilt. Perhaps due to mistakes you made in a past relationship. The Five of Cups is also a card of bereavement and as such, can indicate the loss of a loved one. If you have lost a partner, the Five of Cups can signify that you are isolating yourself as you feel too heartbroken to even contemplate dating anyone. If you do not feel up to dating, that is OK! However, try not to isolate yourself. You must deal with the present and try to stay grounded. Keep a supportive network of friends around you or join a support group if you need help. There is still love in your future even if you are not quite ready for it at the moment. If you are in a relationship, the Five of Cups is not a great omen as it can signify a break-up, separation or divorce. It can also indicate that you may be still harbouring old feelings about an ex rather than emotionally committing 100% to your current relationship. If so, you will need to work on resolving these feelings, if you want your current relationship to move forward. The Five of Cups can also represent abandonment or can simply indicate that fear of abandonment is causing friction in your relationship.

In a career context, the Five of Cups can indicate a job loss or the collapse of a business. If you are in business it can also signify a business partner or staff member abandoning the company or it can signify you leaving the business or abandoning a business plan. Although this indicates an unwelcome, difficult change in circumstances there is still something that can be salvaged from the situation so try not to let anger, frustration or despair overwhelm you. It can also represent a career in grief or trauma counselling. In financial Tarot spread, the Five of Cups can indicate a financial loss so now is not a time to be frivolous with money or to make investments. If you have suffered a recent bereavement, the Five of Cups can indicate that you will receive some sort of inheritance.

Money & Career (Upright)

Health (Upright)

In a health context, the Five of Cups can indicate emotional baggage causing mental health issues. It can represent grief or sadness causing depression or your need to isolate yourself causing you panic attacks in social situations or agoraphobia. Try to get back out into the world. Take small steps at first such as a quiet coffee with a trusted friend and gradually bring yourself back to the world around you. If you are struggling, you may benefit from speaking to a professional counsellor.

Spirituality (Upright)

In a spiritual context, the Five of Cups indicates that you may be holding on to feelings of deep anger, frustration or resentment. As the saying goes, holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. You need to forgive those who have wronged you, for your own sake in order to move forward on your spiritual path. Consider therapy or energy healing to help you put these emotions behind you. Try to visualise those who have hurt you coming to you to apologise for the pain they caused you in the past and ask the universe to help you to forgive them, forgive yourself and release the pain you have been holding onto.

Reversed Meaning Guide

Five of Cups Reversed Tarot Card Key Meanings:

Moving forward/ moving on, accepting help, healing, forgiveness, re-joining the world, releasing emotions, letting go of grief, letting go of regret or guilt, letting go of sorrow, overcoming despair, releasing emotional baggage, acceptance

General meaning and interpretation (Reversed)

In a general context, the Five of Cups Tarot card reversed represents acceptance, forgiveness and healing. You have come to terms with your grief and sorrow. You have realised that living the rest of your life in regret, mourning or sadness will not change the past and have accepted that you have to move on with your life. You are beginning to open up your awareness to the opportunities that have been all around you all along. Alternately, the card can also indicate the negative feelings of the upright card being prolonged or dragged out. However, the Five of Cups reversed usually signifies that you are ready to begin re-joining the world. You are letting of the past, releasing your negative emotions and emotional baggage. You may also be willing now to accept help from those around with this Minor Arcana card in your Tarot reading. This is a positive step forward as previously you were so caught up in despair that you could not accept the help that was offered to you, which left you feeling lonely and isolated.  If you have been bereaved, the Five of Cups reversed can signify coming through a period of intense mourning.

Love & Relationships (Reversed)

In a Love Tarot reading, if you are single, the Five of Cups Tarot card in a reversed position can indicate that you have let go of your regrets or sorrow over your past relationships and are ready to move on. You are beginning to see the possibilities for romance that are all around you. You are starting to re-join life and get back out there and meet people. You are finally able to forgive others for the pain they have caused you. Alternately, it can indicate that you are still holding onto the negative feelings of the upright version of the card, to the detriment of your future. You may want to consider counselling or healing if you are struggling to resolve these feelings by yourself. If you are in a relationship, the Five of Cups reversed indicates that you may be ready to forgive past mistakes in the relationship so that you and your partner can move forward.  It represents a time of healing and renewal in the relationship. Alternately, it can signify that you are still holding on to old pain which is stopping the relationship from progressing.

Money & Career (Reversed)

In a career context, the Five of Cups reversed can represent getting back on your feet after a job loss or redundancy. It can also represent beginning to rebuild a business after a loss or after being abandoned by a business partner. With this Minor Arcana card appearing in a reversed position in your Tarot spread, you may even find that you are able to recoup some of your losses or salvage the business or part of the business and build it into something even better. In a financial context, the Five of Cups reversed indicates that your finances should be improving after a period of financial difficulty. It can also signify problems or disputes over an inheritance.

Health (Reversed)

In a health Tarot reading, the Five of Cups reversed indicates that allowing yourself to let go of past pain and opening up to positive healing energy will be key to resolving any health issues you are experiencing. If you are struggling to let go of negativity, some energy healing may be beneficial. 

In a spiritual context, the Five of Cups reversed can indicate that you are coming out of a period of great loss or sorrow ready for a fresh start and new spiritual path. You have learned some important karmic lessons from the pain you’ve experienced and you’re allowing those experiences to make you a kinder, more spiritual and more empathetic person. Alternately, you may be wallowing in your pain or sorrow and refusing to let the past go. This will hold you back from learning your karmic lessons and continue on your spiritual path. Surrender your sorrow and grief to the universe and ask the universe to help you heal. 

Spirituality (Reversed)

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