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The Knight of Cups Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

The Knight of Cups Tarot Card Meaning Upright and Reversed

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The Knight of Cups Tarot card is deeply connected to the emotional state of the querent. The Knights are the brave messengers in any spread. By their demeanor, they also mark the type of message they carry and the speed by which they will deliver it. In the case of the Knight of Cups Tarot card, he is the slowest of the emissaries in the deck. Practically at a standstill, this gentleman is concentrating and reflecting upon his inner world.

Extremely idealistic, this gentleman is not a man of action. Instead, he is very romantic and loyal. He is a man that may be a little afraid of commitment and could end up taking years to make the final transition towards maturity. One negative aspect of the Knight of Cups card is that even when it appears upright, feelings that may seem intense and lasting at the present moment could change or weaken in the future.

Experts disagree as to the meaning of the reversed Knight of Cups in a reading. Some experts say that reversed it signifies stagnation, depression, and emotional instability that results in a relationship crisis. Other experts say that this could be one of the few cards that are positive when reversed and that it accelerates processes, aids decision-making, and clarifies any sentimental entanglements.

Knight of Cups Tarot Card Keywords:

Upright: Travel, invitation, new opportunities, idealism, fantasy, beauty, artist, sensitivity, romanticism, good communication, hunches, poetry, associations, proposals, intelligence, introspection, adventure, mystery, delicacy, subtlety.

Reversed: Stagnation, laziness, infidelity, betrayal, verbal abuse, irresponsibility, selfishness, a Casanova-type, hypocrisy, bad news, contradictory feelings, exaggeration, victimization.

Description of Knight of Cups Tarot Card:

Riding a white horse, a beautiful knight holds a golden cup. His helmet and stirrups are decorated with Hermes’ wings. His armor has marine motifs and red fish decorate his clothes. Red fish symbolize a passionate attitude, an enormous capacity for love, and vitality. The knight is about to cross a small stream, surrounded by a rather dry landscape and a clear sky. Both the horse and the gentleman have a passive attitude, and they do not seem in any hurry to cross the stream.

How to interpret the symbolic world of the Knight of Cups:

In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, knights represent activity, progress, and movement. However, the Knight of Cups is the slowest one. His white horse, very similar to that of the Death Tarot card, represents the purity of his intentions. Neither the horse nor the rider seems to be in a hurry. The horse is actually looking backward in a gesture that could indicate introspection.

Emissaries, brave fighters, and guardians of the kingdom, knights were in constant contact with the affairs of the nobility, and they were honored with laurels for their conquests and achievements on the battlefield. If the Knight of Cups were going to be honored, it would be for his self-knowledge and his communication skills. His armor is decorated with marine motifs and the same type of fish that is on the Page of Cups Tarot card. Although the Suit of Cups is closely related to the water element, with this rider, we face to an arid landscape furrowed by a small stream, turning him into a figure of passivity and lack of will.

This lack of energy can also be found in the attitude of the docile horse. Because of this, it has been considered that the Knight of Cups Tarot card is a significator of stagnation and laziness and of people who lack a focus to direct their energy, thereby wasting their time. On the other hand, inside the complex divinatory system that is the Rider-Waite Tarot, horses are associated with the fire element, but as we previously stated, cups are associated with water. This gives this card a contradictory energy that we cannot ignore during a reading.

The Knight of Cups Lesson: Learn to deal with frustration

The Knight of Cups Tarot card is undoubtedly one of the most interesting images that we will see in the suit of cups. Powerful, elegantly attired, carrying the blessing of Hermes, this delicate character has his sight lost in the horizon. He is holding the cup without drinking from it, and he is lost in his own thoughts. His horse looks alarmingly like the horse of Death, and the white color indicates that both serve innocent, yet opposite purposes. The Death Horse takes its rider wherever he should go. The horse of the Knight of Cups, on the other hand, does not seem not totally convinced that he wants to go on this trip.

All that energy, and all of those good omens, good intentions, and beautiful feelings can get stuck in the depth of the rider’s train of thought. Maybe he’s going through a creative block? Perhaps he has stopped to rethink his future? Maybe he’s not completely sure about getting married? Well, there is no method of achieving success that is not accompanied by action.

There is a need for change in the querent’s life, and this is what has brought them to seek a Tarot reading. Perhaps they are looking for advice from an unconventional, spiritual, or different perspective. On the other hand, everything points to the fact that they have the ability to take the final step in order to enjoy their achievements. If they allow their fears to paralyze them, they will never be able to discover what destiny has prepared for them.

The upright position of the Knight of Cups Tarot card:

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

When the Knight of Cups Tarot card appears upright in a spread, we are about to receive a positive message. This message could be an invitation or an opportunity to love again. We will be able to reconnect with our emotions and enjoy life’s pleasures.

New sources of inspiration, new relationships, and intense emotions are some of the messages that this rider can bring. Try not to lose your way, though. With knights, it is important not to get carried away unless you have a clear destination.

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


From fear of commitment to problems of self-esteem, this emissary can be warning you that it is time to work on yourself if you want to fight for the relationship. Explore your options, dare to take the first step, and be more active when it comes to taking the initiative.


In the case of health, the Knight of Cups Tarot card gives us reassuring messages. We may expect complete recovery in the near future. The recovery may not be immediate, but it will arrive in due time when your body has had time to recover.


Move at a slow pace. You may feel stuck now, but there are many decisions happening around you that will lead to a higher salary, recognition, or promotions. There will be better job opportunities coming your way, but you must decide to take the necessary steps and finally leave your comfort zone.


You will be able to overcome the economic difficulties that you have been having lately. You only need to be more proactive about investment opportunities and to stop neglecting your savings. The changes and decisions you make today will bring you great rewards in the medium and long term.

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

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

Don’t let your emotions take control of your life. One day you wake up happy, and the next day you feel melancholic and nostalgic. What could be wrong? You are living only in your head instead of living in reality. If you stop to contemplate what is happening around you, there is still much to be done.

The reversed Knight of Cups helps you to get out of the type of relationships in which you are giving everything without receiving anything in return. But, be careful. Sometimes it is better to meditate before making big decisions. Once you cross the stream, you may not be able to find the way back home.

The meaning of the reversed Knight of Cups card when it comes to:


You and your loved one must work on improving communication. Your lack of enthusiasm is colliding with your lover’s need for attention. This is causing a great tension that can accumulate and lead them to question your relationship. It is important that you don’t lose control over your temper. Instead, try to explore your emotions so you can understand the type of relationship that you need in order to be happy.


Your many worries have led you to create diseases that only exist in your head. The pain you feel is due to problems that you have created in your mind. You cannot escape them, but also you cannot take refuge in your body because you are harming it in order to divert your attention from what is really worrying you.


You are not happy with your superiors. You feel undervalued and even underestimated. If you continue to accept extra work to prove your worth, the time will come when you will burn out which will negatively impact your performance. Learn to value yourself and your confidence and appreciation from others will grow.


Lack of motivation and slow decision making has made you miss important opportunities. If you work harder, you will be able to make money to fill your pockets. All you need is to change the way you understand your finances.

The Knight of Cups Tarot Card Meaning Infographic - Minor Arcana

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