The Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings Explained Simply

Today we’ll cover the meaning of the Four of Cups tarot card. This is a part of a deep dive series on the tarot.

The Four of Cups tarot card description

four of cups tarot card meanings

The Four of Cups tarot card is part of the Minor Arcana and is associated with the element of Water. The imagery on the card typically depicts a person sitting under a tree with three cups placed before them, and a fourth cup being offered by a hand emerging from a cloud.

The person in the image is often depicted as deep in thought, with a contemplative or melancholic expression. The imagery of the four cups is often interpreted as representing emotional fulfillment and satisfaction, but also the possibility of stagnation or feeling unfulfilled.

The fourth cup being offered could represent new opportunities or choices that the person has not yet considered. The cloud from which the cup is offered can also be interpreted as a sign of uncertainty or confusion.

Overall, the Four of Cups is often interpreted as a card of contemplation and introspection, encouraging the individual to carefully consider their emotions and the choices they are making.

The Four of Cups card keywords

The Four of Cups tarot card is associated with several keywords, including:

  • Contemplation
  • Introspection
  • Emotional fulfillment
  • Satiation
  • Melancholy
  • Stagnation
  • Unfulfillment
  • New opportunities
  • Choices
  • Uncertainty
  • Confusion
  • Emotions
  • Reflection
  • Discontentment
  • Indecision
  • Apathy
  • Self-reflection
  • Withdrawal
  • Indifference
  • Moodiness
  • Introvertedness
  • Emotional detachment
  • Emotional apathy
  • Self-pity
  • Self-absorption
  • Self-involvement
  • Self-centeredness
  • Self-obsession

Astrology of the Four of Cups card

In tarot readings, the Four of Cups is often associated with the astrological sign of Cancer.

Cancer is a water sign, which aligns with the Four of Cups’ association with the element of Water in the tarot.

Cancer is ruled by the Moon, which is associated with emotions, intuition, and the subconscious. This aligns well with the Four of Cups’ meaning of contemplation, introspection, and emotional fulfillment.

The Four of Cups can also represent the planet Jupiter in Pisces or the planet Moon in Scorpio.

Jupiter in Pisces can represent a sense of overindulgence, a feeling of being overwhelmed by emotions, and a lack of focus. Moon in Scorpio can represent an emotional state of introspection, self-discovery, and secret longing.

It’s worth noting that the astrological associations with tarot cards are not fixed and can vary based on the specific interpretation or tradition.

In general, astrological associations are used as an additional tool to gain a deeper understanding of the card’s meaning and message.

Upright Four of Cups tarot card meaning

What is the meaning of the upright Four of Cups card?

The Four of Cups tarot card is associated with contemplation and introspection, encouraging the individual to take a step back and reflect on their emotions, relationships, and the choices they have made. It suggests that the individual may be feeling emotionally fulfilled or satisfied but also unfulfilled or stuck in a state of stagnation, missing new opportunities and emotionally detached.

The traditional interpretation of the upright Four of Cups in tarot readings is associated with contemplation and introspection.

It is a card that encourages the individual to take a step back and reflect on their emotions, relationships, and the choices they have made. It suggests that the individual may be feeling emotionally fulfilled or satisfied, but also possibly unfulfilled or stuck in a state of stagnation.

The card may also indicate that the individual is feeling apathetic or indifferent towards new opportunities or possibilities that are currently being presented to them. They may be feeling content with their current situation but also may be missing something important.

They may be in a state of introvertedness and self-absorption, which can lead to self-pity or self-obsession.

The Four of Cups is also associated with a sense of withdrawal and emotional detachment. It suggests that the individual may be feeling disconnected from their emotions or those of others and may be in need of a deeper understanding of themselves.

In summary, the upright Four of Cups suggests that the individual is in a state of contemplation and introspection, possibly feeling emotionally fulfilled but also unfulfilled or stuck in a state of stagnation.

They may be missing new opportunities and possibilities, emotionally detached, and in need of self-discovery.

Example upright Four of Cups reading

In a tarot reading, the Four of Cups may appear in a spread for an individual who is feeling stuck in their current job and considering a career change.

The card may suggest that they are feeling emotionally fulfilled in their current position, but also unfulfilled and possibly yearning for something more. The card may also indicate that the individual is feeling apathetic towards new job opportunities that have been presented to them and that they need to take some time for introspection and contemplation in order to make a decision about their future career.

The Four of Cups is a reminder for them to take a step back and carefully evaluate their current situation and their emotional needs before making any major changes.

Reversed Four of Cups card tarot meaning

What is the meaning of the reversed Four of Cups tarot card?

The reversed Four of Cups suggests that the individual may be overlooking or ignoring new opportunities or possibilities that are currently available to them, and may be feeling restless, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled with their current circumstances. It may indicate that they are ready for a change, becoming more open-minded, and willing to take action toward new opportunities and make changes.

The traditional interpretation of the reversed Four of Cups in tarot readings is that the individual may be overlooking or ignoring new opportunities or possibilities that are currently available to them.

They may be so focused on their current emotions and situation that they are unable to see the potential for growth and change.

Reversed Four of Cups can also indicate that the individual is feeling restless, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled with their current circumstances, and may be ready for a change.

They may be starting to feel a sense of dissatisfaction with their current state and may be ready to take action toward new opportunities.

They may also be experiencing a sense of boredom and apathy and may be looking for something new and exciting to break them out of this rut.

It may be a call for them to be more open-minded and consider new possibilities, to take action and make changes, rather than staying in a state of contemplation and introspection.

Example reversed Four of Cups reading

In a tarot reading, the reversed Four of Cups may appear in a spread for an individual who has been in a long-term relationship and considering ending it.

The card may suggest that they are feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied with their current relationship and may be overlooking or ignoring new opportunities for love and connection.

They may be so focused on their current emotions and situation that they are unable to see the potential for growth and change.

The reversed Four of Cups may be a reminder for them to take a step back and carefully evaluate their current relationship and their emotional needs before making any major decisions. I

t may be urging them to open their heart and mind to new possibilities and be more open-minded toward new relationships. It may also indicate that they are ready to let go of what’s not working for them and take action toward something new and exciting.

Meanings of the Four of Cups in tarot positions

Depending on the position of the Four of Cups card, you will need to interpret it differently.

Love Four of Cups tarot meaning

In a love context, the Four of Cups can represent a feeling of emotional fulfillment and satisfaction in a current relationship, but also the possibility of feeling unfulfilled or stuck in a state of stagnation.

The individual may be content with their current relationship but also may be missing something important. They may be in a state of introvertedness and self-absorption, which can lead to self-pity or self-obsession.

The Four of Cups can mean the individual may be feeling apathetic or indifferent towards new romantic opportunities that are currently being presented to them.

They may be feeling content with their current relationship but also may be missing something important. They may be in a state of introvertedness and self-absorption, which can lead to self-pity or self-obsession.

In a reversed position, the Four of Cups may suggest that the individual may be overlooking or ignoring new romantic opportunities or possibilities that are currently available to them.

They may be so focused on their current emotions and situation that they are unable to see the potential for growth and change in their love life.

It means that the individual is feeling restless, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled with their current relationship and may be ready for a change. They may be starting to feel a sense of dissatisfaction with their current state and may be ready to take action toward new opportunities.

It may be a call for them to be more open-minded and consider new possibilities, to take action and make changes, rather than staying in a state of contemplation and introspection.

Career Four of Cups tarot meaning

In a career context, the Four of Cups can represent a feeling of emotional fulfillment and satisfaction in one’s current job, but also the possibility of feeling unfulfilled or stuck in a state of stagnation.

The individual may be content with their current job but also may be missing something important. They may be in a state of introvertedness and self-absorption, which can lead to self-pity or self-obsession.

The Four of Cups can also indicate that the individual may be feeling apathetic or indifferent towards new job opportunities or advancements that are currently being presented to them.

They may be feeling content with their current job but also may be missing something important. They may be in a state of introvertedness and self-absorption, which can lead to self-pity or self-obsession.

In a reversed position, the Four of Cups may suggest that the individual may be overlooking or ignoring new job opportunities or possibilities that are currently available to them.

They may be so focused on their current emotions and situation that they are unable to see the potential for growth and change in their career. It may indicate that the individual is feeling restless, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled with their current job and may be ready for a change.

They may be starting to feel a sense of dissatisfaction with their current state and may be ready to take action toward new opportunities. It may be a call for them to be more open-minded and consider new possibilities, to take action and make changes, rather than staying in a state of contemplation and introspection.

Finances Four of Cups tarot meaning

In a financial context, the Four of Cups can represent a feeling of emotional fulfillment and satisfaction with one’s current financial situation, but also the possibility of feeling unfulfilled or stuck in a state of stagnation.

The individual may be content with their current financial state but also may be missing something important.

The Four of Cups means that the individual feels apathetic or indifferent towards new financial opportunities or investments that are currently being presented to them.

They may be feeling content with their current financial situation but also may be missing something important.

In a reversed position, the Four of Cups may suggest that the individual may be overlooking or ignoring new financial opportunities or possibilities that are currently available to them.

They may be so focused on their current emotions and situation that they are unable to see the potential for growth and change in their finances. It may indicate that the individual is feeling restless, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled with their current financial state and may be ready for a change.

They may be starting to feel a sense of dissatisfaction with their current state and may be ready to take action toward new opportunities. It may be a call for them to be more open-minded and consider new possibilities, to take action and make changes, rather than staying in a state of contemplation and introspection.

Advanced modern tarot interpretations of the Four of Cups card

I always like to examine other, modern decks to see what can be read into their symbolism.

The reason for this is that every person will have different decks, so it’s good to learn how to go with your gut on what you see. This is the best way to have a good interpretation of the moment.

Too many people stick to a learned reading instead of going with the flow. Remember, each reading, deck, person, position, and question is different. Reading the cards is an art, not a science.

Here is a new interpretation of the Four of Cups tarot card:

The Four of Cups tarot card represents the feeling of being “emotionally full” but not necessarily fulfilled.

For instance, in today’s society, social media and instant gratification can make people feel like they are constantly experiencing new things and emotions, but it can also make them feel like they are missing out on something, leading to feelings of dissatisfaction or a sense of emptiness.

The Four of Cups in this context represents the state of feeling like you have everything you need, but still feeling unfulfilled.

Another possible interpretation could be that the Four of Cups represents the feeling of being “over-connected” but disconnected at the same time.

With the rise of technology and social media, people are constantly connected to others and have access to a vast amount of information, but it can also make them feel disconnected from their inner selves, emotions, and the things that truly matter.

The Four of Cups in this context represents the state of feeling connected to the world but disconnected from oneself.

In summary, the Four of Cups can be interpreted as representing the state of feeling emotionally full but not fulfilled and the state of feeling over-connected but disconnected from oneself.

four of cups tarot card interpretation

Back to the Minor Arcana list.

The previous card was the Three of Cups tarot card and the next card is the Five of Cups card.

References

  • Dean, L. (2018). The Tarot Companion: A Portable Guide to Reading the Cards for Yourself and Others. Fair Winds Press.