Five of Cups Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretations
"It's no use crying over spilled milk"
The Tarot imagery for this card is, in general, one of a sad figure lamenting over turned, empty, cups. The spilled water symbolising emotional loss. In the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck the person stands with their head bowed, facing left or west, looking at 3 over turned cups. A character who is facing left is focused on past events and, as the spilled cups are on the left, this is a past emotional loss and not something about to happen or in the future. In the RWS card we can't see their face and they wear a black cloak as someone who is in mourning. They have shut themselves off from others. On the right, in the future, are 2 upright cups. If our sad character was to put the past behind them, turn around and move on they'd see that the future offers something new emotionally.
In Numerology the negative aspects of the number 3 are unhappiness, sorrow, heart ache and loss. (See the 3 of Swords). The positive, emotional, attributes of the number 2 can be found in the 2 of Cups. In such a negative card as the 5 of cups these two full cups give hope, pointing to a brighter future. They represent something new to look forward to. The message here is to let the past go, accept what is and move on and embrace new, emotional, possibilities and partnerships.
The 5 of Cups is a card of emotional loss, regret, melancholy, self pity or feeling blue. The element here is Water which relates to love and emotions. In numerology the number 5's positive traits are change, detachment, adaptability and freedom. The negative traits are instability, irresponsibility, carelessness, thoughtlessness and over indulgence.
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THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT
By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)
A dark, cloaked figure, looking sideways at three prone cups two others stand upright behind him; a bridge is in the background, leading to a small keep or holding. Divanatory Meanings: It is a card of loss, but something remains over; three have been taken, but two are left; it is a card of inheritance, patrimony, transmission, but not corresponding to expectations; with some interpreters it is a card of marriage, but not without bitterness or frustration. Reversed: News, alliances, affinity, consanguinity, ancestry, return, false projects.
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