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The Four of Cups Tarot Card Meaning: Luminous Spirit Tarot Deck

By Tina Gong


Four of Cups in the Rider Waite Tarot

The original depiction of the four of cups tarot card in the Rider Waite deck. Four of cups meaning in tarot.

In the four of cups, a young man sits beside a tree, his arms and legs crossed as he contemplates or broods over some unknown concept. Three cups lay in front of him, but he does not seem to pay them any heed. Neither does he notice the hand that brings him the fourth cup from the air, representing his complete disconnect with the world and the opportunities that it brings him.

Four of Cups Tarot Card Meaning & Symbolism

Buddha under the Bodhi tree, finding enlightenment - four of cups tarot symbols

The four of cups is interesting in that there are both positive and negative interpretations with the card. On one hand, it reflects our desire for truth, to seek beyond the earthly concerns that we normally have. The associated symbol pairing we have here is the story of Buddha under the Bodhi tree - it is here where he discovered enlightenment and sought for it beyond the worldly. On the other hand, we are creatures of the universe, and we are animals - the worldly is what is natural to us, and when we do not care about our present, it breeds apathy. Again here is the conflicting interpretations of the same idea.

In this Post: Luminous Spirit Tarot

Holographic, minimalist deck. Companion app focused on moon phases included.

The Vanitas Concept in the Four of Cups Tarot Card

Adrienne von Utrecht Flemish Vanitas painting - four of cups tarot meaning

In the four of cups within my own deck, I took the concept of vanitas, which I found very similar to the ideas being expressed in the traditional Rider Waite. Vanitas is a style of art, which are commonly seen in the works of the Flemish painters. They are still lifes, and they commonly depict rotting fruit, broken and misplaced things, skulls and watches. In them, we see the beauty of decay - and we are reminded that all that is beautiful will fade. We are reminded that all earthly things are fleeting. The painters here, were contemplating the same things that this card represents.

Simplifying the Four of Cups Tarot Card

A comparison of the four of cups in the Rider Waite with the Luminous Tarot - four of cups meaning in tarot

With this in mind, it was simple to compose a small little still life featuring the cups, and decaying flowers, which are to me, the ultimate symbol of fleeting beauty. I also included a pomegranate, whose seeds were consumed by Persephone, the queen of the underworld. In the Greek myth, Persephone is abducted and tricked into eating six pomegranate seeds, so that she is forced to spend six months beside Hades in the underworld. During these six months, her mother Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, grieves, thus creating fall and winter.

The Four of Cups in the Luminous Spirit Tarot Deck

The Luminous Spirit Tarot Deck is the second deck of my creation, after the Golden Thread Tarot. I've been posting bits and pieces of the artwork on Instagram, but I'm going to start logging my progress here with every piece of work that I do. Please follow along with me here on Labyrinthos Academy.

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