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King of Cups Meaning - Tarot Card Meanings

By Tina Gong


King of Cups Keywords

Upright Keywords Reversed Keywords
wise, diplomatic, balance between head and heart, devoted, advisor, counsellor overwhelmed, anxious, cold, repressed, withdrawn, manipulative, selfish
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King of Cups Meaning - Original Rider Waite Tarot Depiction

King of Cups Tarot Card Description

The King of Cups is a card in the tarot that shows generosity, control, and emotional balance. The card itself depicts a king seated on a throne, who has an amulet that is shaped like a fish. The fish in his necklace represents his creativity and spirit, which thrives on the calm waters that surround him. We can see from the background that there is a steady balance between the conscious and unconscious.

Behind the king, there is a fish jumping out of the ocean on the right side, and a ship on the left side, representative of the emotional and material worlds respectively. The King of Cups shows that you do not suppress your impulses, but have learned to deal with them in a balanced manner.

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Upright King of Cups Meaning

The King of Cups is one of the most influential cards in the suit of Cups. He represents creativity, emotion, and the unconscious. The card shows the ability to restrain one's emotions and be fully in charge of your feelings and impulses. Therefore, the King of Cups represents a balance between the intellect and emotions. He indicates that there is a strong relationship between understanding and feeling.

The King of Cups represents a balance between the intellect and emotions. He indicates that there is a strong relationship between understanding and feeling.

When you have balanced your emotions and are able to control them, it means that you have a deeper knowledge and awareness of yourself. When you are faced with challenges that would normally throw you off balance, the King of Cups is there to remind you that you should act as he does - do not fly out in a rage, or immediately throw yourself into despair! You first need to temper the state of your emotions, so that you can progress forward in reality. Learn to evaluate yourself so as to determine how you can create a stronger awareness of your own internal state.

There are instances when the King of Cups can symbolize an older male who is in your life. This is a mature man who is willing to take responsibility for his actions and has mastered his own self-understanding.

The King of Cups tends to be political and diplomatic, and this makes it possible to for him to balance the needs of others, and enhance the harmony among all parties involved. The King of Cups shows that you are sensitive as a leader and you are careful with the way others respond to your emotional needs. The King of Cups implies that you should remain mature when dealing with negative energy.

Upright Love Meaning Upright Career Meaning Upright Finances Meaning
using head and heart in love, a compassionate but calming partner balancing emotional, practical and logical needs, wisdom leads to respect and admiration financial stability, being realistic but hopeful about finances

Upright King of Cups Tarot Love Meaning

A balance between the heart and the head is represented by the King of Cups tarot love meaning. This person is emotionally mature, and values family. When emotional tensions are high, their calm and collected responses are just what everyone needs to maintain peace. When this card isn’t represented by a person in your life, it can be a suggestion to use both logic and intuition in your approach to love. Approach romance with practicality, but also with wisdom, compassion and understanding. Combined, the love you find is sure to be deep and rewarding.

Career Meaning - Upright King of Cups

At times, the king of cups can signify a more experienced, caring and compassionate advisor or mentor who can help you develop an emotionally fulfilling career. This card is also about balancing one’s emotional needs and practical, logical needs. Your wisdom and ability to balance your head and your heart can win you the respect and admiration of those around you, and can make you especially valuable when it comes to ironing out conflicts between various parties in the office. 

Finances Meaning - Upright King of Cups

On one hand, the king of cups signals some level of financial stability. This stability is the result of your judicious nature when it comes to making decisions. If you find yourself in the midst of making some large purchases or investments, this card can be a reminder that you should be both cautious and logical, as well as satisfying an emotional need. 

King of Cups Reversal Meaning

The King of Cups reversed signals what happens when he is at his worst: volatility, emotional manipulation and moodiness.

When the King of Cups falters, his usual ability to handle situations with compassion and wisdom are turned upside down. He is unable to balance the needs of all that seek his guidance, and while appearing kind to some, may be cold to others. His talent in navigating the emotions of others may be put to dubious uses, manipulating circumstances to fit his needs.

The reversed King of Cups suggests that there is a character in your life that is depicted by this card, whether a part of you or someone else. While he is normally very in touch and controlled with his emotions, he has lately become manipulative and emotionally controlling. His actions will be used for vengeance and vindication, impulses that he normally has under control, and is eventually aimed at being some form of punishment. 

Reversed Love Meaning Reversed Career Meaning Reversed Finances Meaning
manipulation, deceit and selfishness in love, being lead on or used, not putting in effort selfishness at work, staying at job despite lack of emotional fulfillment out of control spending, bad financial judgement, emotional financial choices

Reversed King of Cups Tarot Love Meaning

This king lacks consistency, empathy, or morals. In love, he can be rather manipulative and selfish, using his emotional intelligence for his own desires. If this doesn’t represent a person, you may have to deal with a love interest leading you on, or using you. Alternatively, the King of Cups tarot love meaning can simply suggest some kind of selfishness in your romantic life. You or your partner may not be putting effort into your relationship, content to let your partner do much of the work.

Career Meaning - Reversed King of Cups

The reversed king of cups can signify dealing with a boss or a manager who has become a bit of a tyrant. While the upright version of this card is compassionate and emotionally aware of how others are doing, this reversed king can be selfish, and ignorant of everyone’s needs except their own. Insecurity and lack of emotional control can play a big factor in how this person handles their work environment. At times, this person can also be you. Sometimes, this card can indicate that you are at your position solely for the money, and you may be feeling unfulfilled. Even if you began at this position with excitement and passion, it may be slowly disappearing. Try and see whether you can reconnect with what you enjoyed about this job in the first place. 

Finances Meaning - Reversed King of Cups

While the upright king of cups is a sign of good judgment, the reversed king is a sign of the opposite. You may find it difficult to control your spending, or make logical and well-informed decisions. You may be letting your uncontrolled emotions make your financial choices for you, and when unchecked, can create problems for you. 

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King of Cups Tarot Cheat Sheet

King of Cups Meaning - Tarot Card Meanings Cheat Sheet. Art from Golden Thread Tarot.

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