King of Cups Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretations
Court cards, like the King of Cups, are unnumbered which makes using numerology to unlock their basic symbology more challenging. On the surface we have the male ruler of the elemental domain of Water but not much else to go on. We can however link Tarot's Kings to their supreme ruler and card number 4 of the Major Arcana, The Emperor, which would give any King a numerological attribute of 4 by proxy.
The same element and numerology can be found in the 4 of Cups. The Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck first illustrated the 4 of Cups as a young male, arms and legs crossed defensively, sitting under a tree looking petulantly at 3 cups before him. Like the Ace of Cups there is a cloud with a hand offering a new, 4th, cup. Perhaps past relationship issues have left this emotionally inexperienced youth guarded about engaging in any new relationships. The number 4 is symbolic of a rigid structure which is static and safe but its unchanging form can be also be stagnant and boring. In the 4 of Cups we see someone who is unwilling to accept the next emotional step on from the care free 3 Of Cups to a stable and lasting relationship offered by the 4th cup. The RWS deck's King of Cups faces front with his head turned to the right, or east, representing the future. He sits in a safe and secure place on a throne on a solid, square, rock surrounded by a rough sea. His right foot forward almost as if he's prepared to "dip a toe in the water". The attitudes displayed in these two cards are contrastingly different with the youth reluctant to engage with 4 cups of water and the King unafraid of a vast, stormy sea.
The key difference between the youth in the 4 of Cups and the King of Cups is emotional maturity. The King has the benefit of experience and is unafraid of the wild and deep emotional waters of life. He represents an emotionally experienced, well balanced and socially confident person. A shoulder to cry on, a patient listener and sympathetic ear. Sensitive and understanding this person would make a good counsellor. Unlike the youth this King is not afraid of emotional commitment and long term, lasting, relationships. This is what he is good at and he represents someone who would make a great husband, partner, father or friend.
The King of Cups may represent a mature* man whose vocation in life is related to the element of water (a fisherman, sailor, plumber etc.) or emotions (a counsellor, psychologist, actor etc). The symbolic relationship to this card may not be vocational. It could be a description of his personality. In this case this man will be a sensitive, caring, patient and perhaps even a gullible or innocent man. Sometimes it refers to a man who has feminine qualities or is highly intuitive or even psychic.
*maturity happens between ages 28 to 37, when a man enter's his 2nd numerological life cycle.
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THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT
By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)
He holds a short sceptre in his left hand and a great cup in his right; his throne is set upon the sea; on one side a ship is riding and on the other a dolphin is leaping. The implicit is that the Sign of the Cup naturally refers to water, which appears in all the court cards. Divinatory Meanings: Fair man, man of business, law, or divinity; responsible, disposed to oblige the Querent; also equity, art and science, including those who profess science, law and art; creative intelligence. Reversed: Dishonest, double-dealing man; roguery, exaction, injustice, vice, scandal, pillage, considerable loss.
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© Phuture Me Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.