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The King of Cups Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

The King of Cups Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

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We have reached the end of the suit. The King of Cups Tarot card welcomes us floating triumphantly over the waters of the unconscious. Looking calm and careless, this monarch directs his destiny and has absolute control over his emotions and creative abilities. He has managed to dominate and moderate his instinctive forces, his impulses, and his future.

This doesn’t mean that the king depicted in the Suit of Cups is obsessive, a control freak, or that he’s suppressing his impulses. On the contrary, he knows exactly what he wants and how to get there because he has managed to find a balance between his logic and his desires. That is why he’s floating in the open sea, without fear of getting lost or drowning. He is calm because he knows how to return to the shore safely. He has conquered his growth path while keeping his kindness and compassion intact. Unlike other monarchs, the King of Cups is a man who maintains the ability to connect with others, establish ties and fall in love with life as many times as necessary.

Emotional maturity, stability, balance, and spirituality are some of the key concepts related to the King of Cups Tarot card when we stumble upon him in a reading. No matter what challenge you’re facing, it is important to believe in yourself. If you understand your internal conflicts, you’ll be able to go further and recover everything what you once thought was lost.

King of Cups Tarot Card Keywords:

Upright: Compassion, a counselor, emotional stability, maturity, a teacher, integrity, authority, husband, diplomacy, conversation, philosophy, emotional depth, spiritual growth, affection, emotional intelligence, creativity.

Reversed: Laziness, jealousy, lies, communication failures, immaturity, secrets, manipulation, scam, emotional imbalance, coldness, vices, domestic violence.

Description of The King of Cups Tarot Card:

Sitting on a stone throne that floats adrift in the ocean, the King of Cups Tarot card is a male figure that remains calm despite having to navigate his way through a rough sea. His crown is gold with red inlays and decorations. He is wearing a blue tunic, the same color as the sea, and the trim of his golden cloak is red. A golden fish sigil adorns the King’s neck. The King holds a cup with his right hand and a scepter with his left. His gaze is focused on the horizon. Behind him, a fish jumps freely out of the water, and on his left side, we can see a red sailboat following his path.

In the middle of the open sea, we find a King sitting on a massive stone throne that floats adrift amidst turbulent waters. With his eyes fixed on the horizon, the King of Cups Tarot card suggests to us that he is beyond any emotional outburst or disruption. He has overcome and assimilated all the lessons of this deck: fear of separation, reconciliation with his inner child, family union, sincere love, and emotional stability are some of the victories this brave monarch has conquered.

How to interpret the symbolic world of The King of Cups:

As a symbol of spiritual communion, the King of Cups Tarot card carries a fish sigil on his neck. This is a divine symbol which is repeated with a little fish jumping next to the king. These fish represent the creative freedom that crosses the limits of the sea, which represents consciousness.

The sailboat behind the king’s throne is a representation of conquering the world of emotion. It a safe method of navigation that can stay afloat during a storm. All the symbols of the card show that this character has managed to understand and control his impulses and emotions. He can express himself without fear and without the need to repress his feelings. His control over the situation is such that neither his clothes nor his body come directly in contact with the water even though he is in the middle of the ocean.

In his hands, he holds the symbols of emotional stability and the power of intuition showing that he has been crowned king for a reason. He can understand and manage his emotions, but he is also capable of understanding and relating to the feelings of others. He is beyond the other court characters because his emotional involvement is more calculated. Unlike the Page and the Queen, the cup is no longer of interest. His goals are far beyond the immediate.

The King of Cups Lesson: We all are adrift

The King of Cups Tarot Card takes us by the hand to guide us to full awareness, great depth, intuition, and spiritual awakening. Are you ready to handle that process? Achieving control of emotions is constant work full of setbacks and surprises. Nothing in life is permanent; everything is constantly changing.

We are like a boat adrift. Our main job should be to maintain a fixed course towards happiness. Obstacles, storms, and setbacks will appear on our way. This process is not only natural, but it is necessary for our spiritual growth. Wisdom isn’t achieved through success. Instead, it is achieved through failure, learning from our mistakes, reinterpreting our vision of the world, and redefining our paradigms and ambitions. Emotional maturity is not about your ability to evaluate others, but your ability to accept your failures with humility.

Do you know who you are? Where are you going? How you will get there?

These are some basic questions you should ask yourself every time you feel that you have lost your way. Don’t worry. Getting lost is also part of the trip.

The upright position of The King of Cups Tarot Card:

Upright King of Cups Tarot Card Meaning – Minor Arcana
Upright King of Cups Tarot Card Meaning

When the King of Cups Tarot card appears upright in a spread, it reminds us that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. To achieve your goals, you must stay focused, and avoiding excesses sentimentality. Yet, never, ever, forget that all of us are also emotional beings that require an occasional word of encouragement, a hug, or a shoulder to cry on from time to time.

For those who are in the spiritual process of reconnecting with themselves, of delving into their memories through any type of therapy, or of searching for a new sense of emotional stability, the appearance of the upright King of Cups is a blessing. This is a card that will patiently listen to what you wish for and help you achieve it. It can represent a father figure or a person with masculine behaviors and traits that seeks to take care of you by giving you good advice.

If you keep yourself in balance and focus on your goals, you will be able to achieve them sooner. Accept advice, don’t draw hasty conclusions, trust your instincts, and follow your heart. You already have everything you need to be successful.

The meaning of the upright King of Cups Tarot card when it comes to:


Emotional maturity is a trait you should prioritize in your next relationship. Pay attention to men with more experience. There is one who will be able to give you precisely what you need, which is understanding, affection, trust, and support.


Physical, spiritual, and mental balance is essential to achieve a healthy and long life. You have managed to find a balance between taking care of yourself and your day to day occupations, allowing you to enjoy very good health.


You need to work on creativity, teamwork, and communication in order to continue growing within the organization. Your leadership skills are making you stand out! Due to your ability to influence your co-workers, productivity has increased, making you a key player in the office environment.


Practicing gratitude, opening your heart, and giving back to those who need it most is essential if you want to continue to grow emotionally and financially. It is true that business is business, but doing business involves a lot more than currency, investments, finances, and diamonds. It also involves people and feelings. Don’t forget that.

The meaning of the reversed position of The King of Cups Tarot card:

Reversed King of Cups Tarot Card Meaning – Minor Arcana
Reversed King of Cups Tarot Card

When the King of Cups Tarot card appears reversed in a spread, we could be losing balance and emotional instability. He is a sign that lacking maturity or compassion has gotten you in trouble. Discussions, misunderstandings, and arrogance are some of the keywords of this card when it appears reversed. In this case, the advice is always related to working towards recovering your inner peace. Sooner or later, everything will come together.

This is a warning. Losing control over your emotions or the influence of an older and malicious man may be hindering your happiness. Your environment is full of bad energy, manipulation, gossip, and betrayal.

Codependency and emotional instability may be controlling your life. Don’t let your self-esteem depend on what others think of you. Learn to rely more on your talents and instincts (follow your gut, if you will), and you will be able to overcome this temporary tsunami.

The meaning of the Reversed King of Cups Tarot card when it comes to:


A lack of clear objectives is causing your relationship to stagnate. You could be dealing with emotional instability, infidelity, psychological dependence, singleness, and lack of suitors. It’s time to focus on loving yourself.


You may be experiencing emotional instability, psychosomatic symptoms, and mental disorders. Don’t rely on alternative treatments. Your symptoms require conventional medical observations so that you can recover successfully.


Beware of older men. You may be subject to manipulation or gossip, malicious co-workers, corruption, fraud, or embezzlement. There is a risky situation around a cold and calculating person that can implicate you in fraud if you are not careful.


Avoid a temptation to splurge that is triggered by emotional instability. Impulsive purchases, risky investments, and unnecessary expenses can decimate your finances.

Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems.