Tarot 101: Four of Cups…

As we continue on our Tarot journey, the next stop in the Minor Arcana is the Four of Cups.

Fours represent foundations and stability. Cups represent emotion. Before looking at the card, we can infer that the Four of Cups should represent stable emotions or the foundations of an emotion.

Four of Cups

However, when we do look at the card, we see a young man sitting under a tree. In front of him a three cups, with a fourth being offered by an unidentified entity. The man looks generally upset by this development, perhaps, unsure of the choices before or just angry some Amazon drone deity keeps giving him the same cup he only ordered once.

Although Fours should represent foundations, stability, and structure, this card seems to represent choices. Perhaps emotional choices, or perhaps, considering our angry friend, ‘picking your battles’ so to speak with picking which issue to truly get upset about.

Four of Cups Reversed

When this card appears reversed, there isn’t a huge difference in message. While it is always best to check what the Little White Book in your deck says for each card, as new artistic representations can change a cards meanings, it is also okay to read intuitively and try to interpret what the cards are telling you specifically.

When I see the Four of Cups reversed, I see a losing battle; a young man surrounded by choices and options and unsure of what to choose. He’s upset by the options before him because, maybe he would’ve preferred silver to gold, but all he’s receiving is gold, so he either has to live with the choices given to him or wait for a better option.

This card is also a good example of how reversed cards can be tricky, by either saying the same thing in different words as the upright card, or needing closer examination to understand the hidden messages.

When the Four of Cups pops up, remember these things:

  • Fours represent balance and stability
  • Cups represent emotion, water and months
  • The reversed card can be tricky and may resonate differently with you; don’t be afraid to look for other resources to define any cards that seem tricky, like blogs, forums, and the Little White Book that came with your deck

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