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What is The King of Cups? Unveiling Tarot’s Royal Symbol

Medium Wanda

Medium Wanda

Staff member
Aug 8, 2022
A tarot deck consists of 78 cards divided into Major and Minor Arcana. Each card has an image that represents something about an individual. One of the cards in a deck is the King of Cups. It is associated with emotions, relationships, and intuition. The image depicts a king on a throne wearing a fish amulet.

This article will help you understand its significance in tarot reading, interpretations in different situations, and how other tarot cards connect with it.

What is Tarot?​

Tarot dates back to ancient times as one of the forms of divination. It has captured the attention of individuals needing answers to different life questions or spiritual guidance. Early people saw tarot cards as a game, but they got involved in divination during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Before, only skilled and intuitive readers could interpret the cards' images. These people trust their intuition to provide meaningful interpretations of an individual's circumstances and life questions. Today, people can learn tarot reading from workshops or online videos.

The Major Arcana​

The primary part of the deck, the Major Arcana, has 22 cards with meaningful interpretations and symbolism that carry spiritual and transformative messages. These cards often depict powerful images, scenes, and concepts. Tarot readers may have varied meanings for these cards, but these readings may be positive and negative.

As the reader spreads out the cards, their position in the tarot spread also has a significant placement. It may provide insights about timing, such as past, present, or future. Each card interacts with the order of the other cards in the spread. The reader will look into the lessons or revelations associated with each image and how they can interpret them to guide an individual.

The Minor Arcana​

The Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards that include Pentacles, Cups, Wands, and Swords. These cards represent everyday experiences that may influence a person's life. The Cups represent emotions. The Pentacles represent material possessions, the Swords represent mental clarity, and the Wands represent desires and goals.

Each of the four suits contains ten cards that may provide guidance, advice, and perspectives on the concerns of an individual. Like the Major Arcana, each card interacts with the other cards that the tarot reader may reveal.

With the help of the Major Arcana, a tarot deck can address an individual's concerns and guide how to navigate the circumstances they may experience.

The Cups Suit and Its Significance​

The Cups suit represents the matters of the heart. The different cards on the suit explore any emotions a person may feel. The reader may gain insight and guide relationships, desires, and emotional well-being with these cards. Because of this, a person may improve his relationship or create deeper connections with others. The cards also represent the flow of self-expression to encourage potential creativity.

The numbers of cups present in the card also hold a significant meaning:

  • Ace of Cups: New Beginnings
  • Two of Cups: Harmony, Balance, and Partnership
  • Three of Cups: Celebration and Joy
  • Four of Cups: Stability and Contemplation
  • Five of Cups: Grief and Disappointments
  • Six of Cups: Fond Memories
  • Seven of Cups: Choices and Dreams
  • Eight of Cups: Transitions and Letting Go
  • Nine of Cups: Emotional Satisfaction and Gratitude
  • Ten of Cups: Satisfying Relationships and Emotional Union

Unveiling The King of Cups​

In the King of Cups card, you will see a regal figure seated on a throne by the water's edge. The image depicts calmness and serenity, displaying how the figure maintains emotional stability despite challenges. Each detail in the card represents a meaning, from the throne to the fish amulet.


In the card, the king sits on his throne, which means he is in the position of his emotions. With the calmness of the image of the king, it shows that he offers a safe space for emotional understanding. The throne also serves as a pillar of strength and support regarding human emotions.


As the king holds the cup, it symbolizes the king's ability to feel and understand the emotion of others. He can give empathy, support, and compassion. It has a close connection to the elements of water, in which the meanings align with the qualities and characteristics of water. It is why the images in this suit often have a cup or a part that displays water.

Fish Amulet​

Generally, fishes symbolize deep intuition and hidden wisdom. The presence of the fish amulet represents the king's ability to connect deeply with others on an emotional level. Since a fish can quickly move through currents and different environments, the fish amulet in The King of Cups signifies the king's ability to adapt to various emotional situations.

Calm Water​

The calmness of the water shows emotional stability, peace, and tranquility. It completes the peaceful aura of the card, which symbolizes a serene atmosphere that may create tranquility, inner peace, and equatorial equilibrium.
King of Cups

Interpretations of The King of Cups​

Depending on the question of an individual, the reading may interpret different meanings. The king can provide insights about emotions and relationships. A tarot reader may guide a person about relationship healing, seeking balance in feelings, or simply looking into the person's personality.

Card Meanings​

When the reader uses the King of Cups to delve into someone's personality, it may represent emotional intelligence and the ability of the individual to maintain calmness, whatever situation he may face.

When the card appears upright, it means that the person has a genuine concern for the well-being of the people around him. He has an emotional balance between heart and mind choices, which means he can make well-rounded decisions.

Reversed Meaning and Interpretations​

It may still provide a reversed meaning despite positively representing people's emotions. However, it will still talk about the person's emotions and relationships.

When it appears reversed, it may mean that the person experiences emotional turmoil. Common reasons for this are that the individual finds it hard to acknowledge his feelings or has unresolved emotional issues. It may represent that the person uses emotion to manipulate others, or they experience negative emotions since another person controls him emotionally.

Despite the reversed meanings, readers may use their intuition to use this card to give a warning, address emotional wounds, or have the willingness to open up for emotional guidance.

The King of Cups in Different Reading Contexts​

The King of Cups card is a powerful card in the deck. Aside from emotions and relationships, its symbolism and interpretations transcend different reading contexts like career, health, and spiritual growth.

Career and Professional Life​

The King of Cups shows that the person possesses empathic leadership, which means he can be loved by other employees when he steps up the career ladder. He can create a compassionate team that can foster effective teamwork through his leadership.

Health and Well-Being​

The reader may use the King of Cups card to remind an individual to nurture his emotional well-being. Readers may encourage them to prioritize their emotional needs, take time for self-reflection, and engage in activities that will create a positive feeling. It also suggests that the individual has the inner wisdom to make decisions that align with their well-being.

Spiritual Growth​

When used to read about spiritual growth, it suggests that the reader can use the card to suggest that the individual should explore his capabilities in connecting with their intuition. These individuals can have moments to develop their spirituality and engage in healing practices to release possible blockages.

Card Combinations: The King of Cups and Other Tarot Cards​

Since the tarot deck has 78 cards, other cards may influence the reading in the King of Cups. Each card paired with the King of Cups provides insights that can represent a more profound and specific meaning. Here are possible meanings when the King of Cups comes with other card combinations.

  • King of Cups and The Devil: Need for Addressing Emotional Attachments
  • King of Cups and The Empress: A Nurturing and Compassionate Leader
  • King of Cups and Ace of Cups: Emotional Fulfillment
  • King of Cups and Seven of Cups: Avoiding Distractions When Making a Judgement
  • King of Cups and Page of Cups: Intuitive Energy for Creative Exploration
  • King of Cups and Reversed Cards: Challenges in Managing Emotions

King of Cups

These are just some possible combinations and meanings when the reader comes up with different card combinations. Depending on which Major and Minor Arcana cards will go with the King of Cups in the spread, there are other possible meanings.

Practical Applications of Understanding The King of Cups​

An individual may seek help from a tarot reader about his career and look at the possibilities that he will succeed. The reader may look into the individual's personality using the King of Cups and guide him to prioritize his team members' well-being and emotional needs. Therefore, the reader can guide the individual to use his empathic leadership to foster a collaborative and motivated team.

An individual can also use the readings from the King of Cups to engage in non-violent communication to fix his relationship with others. The readings help resolve conflicts without getting overwhelmed with emotions while respecting each other's emotional needs.

Conclusion: The King of Cups in Your Readings​

If you're new to tarot reading, understanding the true meaning of King of Cups and its connection to other Major and Minor Arcana cards can help you guide an individual. Its essence and symbolism can enhance personal reading and reader interaction with the cards. It serves as a reminder to embody emotional wisdom and empathy and create a transformative tarot reading experience.

Frequently Asked Questions​

Can I use the King of Cups on career and health reading?​

Yes. You can use all tarot cards to gain insight into different life aspects. It may represent emotional healing from a relationship or intuitive guidance on spiritual readings.

What does it mean if the King of Cups appeared reversed?​

When the King of Cups appears reversed, it represents a lack of emotional balance, manipulation, or the need to work on mood issues.

How does King of Cups differ from other cards in the tarot deck?​

Unlike Pages and Queens, the King of Cups focuses on emotions and relationships. It works on providing guidance using emotional intelligence, empathic leadership, and emotional maturity to work on relationships.

King of Cups Tarot