The Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings Simply Explained

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

The Five of Cups tarot card description

five of cups tarot card meanings

The Five of Cups is a tarot card that is often associated with disappointment, loss, and grief.

The imagery on the card typically includes a figure standing in front of a river, with three cups overturned and spilling their contents onto the ground. Two upright cups can also be seen in the background.

The figure is usually depicted as standing in a contemplative or sorrowful pose, with their head bowed and their back turned to the upright cups.

The overall tone of the card is one of sadness and regret, with the spilled cups representing the things that have been lost or gone wrong.

Some interpretations suggest that the figure may be looking back on past mistakes and regrets, while others suggest that they may be looking forward to a brighter future, despite the current hardships.

The Five of Cups card keywords

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

  • Loss
  • Grief
  • Disappointment
  • Regret
  • Sorrow
  • Contemplation
  • Sadness
  • Overcoming
  • Moving on
  • Acceptance
  • Emotional turmoil
  • Letting go
  • Reflection
  • Melancholy
  • Emptiness
  • Heartache
  • Loss of hope or expectations
  • Emptiness
  • Disillusionment
  • Bereavement
  • Abandonment

Astrology of the Five of Cups card

In tarot, each card is associated with a specific astrological sign or planet.

The Five of Cups is often associated with the planet Saturn, which is known for its association with hardship, loss, and limitations. In astrology, Saturn is the ruler of the zodiac sign of Capricorn, which is associated with discipline, responsibility, and hard work.

The Five of Cups can also be associated with the zodiac sign Scorpio which is known for its intensity, depth, and emotional complexity. Scorpio is associated with the planet Pluto which is also associated with transformation, rebirth, and healing.

The Five of Cups as a card can be seen as a reminder that loss and disappointment are a natural part of life, but that it is possible to overcome them and find a deeper understanding and acceptance of oneself and one’s situation.

Upright Five of Cups tarot card meaning

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

The Five of Cups card means disappointment, loss, and grief. However, it also suggests that the person is at a turning point in their life, ready to move on and open to new opportunities and possibilities.

The traditional interpretation of the upright Five of Cups is one of disappointment, loss, and grief.

In a reading, the Five of Cups can indicate that the person is currently experiencing feelings of disappointment or sadness as a result of a loss or disappointment in their life. This could be a loss of a loved one, a broken relationship, a missed opportunity, or the end of a dream or ambition.

The card can also suggest that the person is feeling regret for past actions or decisions, and is looking back on them with a sense of sorrow.

However, the Five of Cups also has a more positive interpretation.

It can indicate that the person is at a turning point in their life and that they are ready to move on from their current state of disappointment and grief.

The two upright cups in the background can represent the possibility of new opportunities and possibilities, and the figure’s contemplative pose can suggest that the person is taking the time to reflect and learn from their past experiences.

Overall, the Five of Cups is a reminder that loss and disappointment are a natural part of life, but that it is possible to overcome them and find a deeper understanding and acceptance of oneself and one’s situation.

It encourages the person to reflect on their past experiences, to learn from them, and to move forward with hope and optimism.

Example upright Five of Cups reading

In a real-world reading, the upright Five of Cups can indicate that the person is currently going through a difficult period of disappointment, loss, and grief.

They may be feeling regret for past decisions or missed opportunities and may be struggling to come to terms with the things that have gone wrong in their life. It could suggest that the person has recently experienced a break-up, lost a loved one, lost a job, or missed a big opportunity.

However, the Five of Cups also has a more positive interpretation.

It could indicate that the person is ready to move on from their current state of disappointment and grief and start a new chapter in their life.

They may be taking the time to reflect on their past experiences, learning from them, and finding a deeper understanding and acceptance of themselves and their situation.

This card may also suggest that the person is open to new opportunities and that the future holds possibilities for growth and healing.

Reversed Five of Cups card tarot meaning

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

The reversed Five of Cups card means that the person is in denial of their emotions and avoids dealing with them, not ready to confront their feelings and move on from past disappointment and grief. They may be holding on to regrets and unwilling to accept the reality of their situation, stuck in the past.

The traditional interpretation of the reversed Five of Cups is one of denial and avoidance of one’s emotions.

It suggests that the person is in a state of emotional turmoil and is having a hard time processing their feelings. They may be in denial about their loss, disappointment, or grief and are unwilling to confront their feelings.

The reversed card may indicate that the person is stuck in the past and not ready to move on and find closure. They may be holding on to regrets and cannot let go of the past.

This card could also suggest that the person is not willing to accept the reality of the situation and is instead choosing to dwell on their disappointment.

In a relationship reading, the reversed Five of Cups can indicate that the person is not ready to let go of a past relationship and is still holding on to feelings of attachment and longing. They may be in denial about the end of the relationship and may not be willing to accept that it’s over.

In a career or financial reading, the reversed Five of Cups can indicate that the person is not ready to accept that their current career or financial situation is not working out and are not willing to make the necessary changes. They may be in denial about the reality of their situation and are unwilling to take action to improve it.

Overall, the reversed Five of Cups suggests that the person is in a state of emotional turmoil and is not ready to confront their feelings and move on. It can indicate that they are avoiding their emotions and not willing to accept the reality of their situation.

Example reversed Five of Cups reading

In a real-world reading, the reversed Five of Cups could indicate that a person who has recently gone through a divorce or a separation is not ready to move on.

They may still be holding on to feelings of attachment and longing for their ex-partner, and are unwilling to accept that the relationship is over. They may be in denial about their feelings and are avoiding dealing with them.

This card could suggest that this person is stuck in the past, dwelling on regrets, and not ready to open up to new opportunities and possibilities in the future.

A reading with this card could be an indication for the person to confront their emotions and let go of the past to be able to move on and find closure.

Meanings of the Five of Cups in tarot positions

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

Love Five of Cups tarot meaning

In a love context, the Five of Cups can indicate disappointment, heartbreak, and emotional turmoil.

It suggests that the person has recently gone through a difficult breakup or lost a loved one, and is feeling a sense of loss and sadness. They may be experiencing feelings of regret and sorrow, and are looking back on the past with a sense of melancholy.

The spilled cups on the card can represent the things that have been lost or gone wrong in the relationship. This card can also indicate that the person is feeling a sense of emptiness and heartache.

However, the Five of Cups also has a more positive interpretation in a love context.

It can indicate that the person is at a turning point in their love life and is ready to move on from their current state of disappointment and grief. The two upright cups in the background can represent the possibility of new opportunities and possibilities in love.

The figure’s contemplative pose can suggest that the person is taking the time to reflect on past experiences and learn from them, and is open to new possibilities in love. This card can also indicate that person is ready to let go of past regrets and move on with a sense of acceptance.

Career Five of Cups tarot meaning

In a career context, the Five of Cups can indicate disappointment, loss, and feelings of failure.

It suggests that the person has recently experienced a setback or disappointment in their career. They may be feeling regret for past decisions or missed opportunities, and are looking back on their career with a sense of sorrow.

The spilled cups on the card can represent the things that have been lost or gone wrong in their career. This card can also indicate that the person is feeling a sense of emptiness and disappointment with their current career path.

However, the Five of Cups also has a more positive interpretation in a career context.

It can indicate that the person is at a turning point in their career and is ready to move on from their current state of disappointment and grief. The two upright cups in the background can represent the possibility of new opportunities and possibilities in their career.

The figure’s contemplative pose can suggest that the person is taking the time to reflect on past experiences and learn from them, and is open to new possibilities in their career.

This card can also indicate that a person is ready to let go of past regrets and move on with a sense of acceptance and is open to exploring new paths and opportunities.

Finances Five of Cups tarot meaning

In a financial context, the Five of Cups can indicate disappointment, loss, and feelings of financial failure. It suggests that the person has recently experienced a financial setback or disappointment.

They may be feeling regret for past financial decisions or missed opportunities, and are looking back on their financial situation with a sense of sorrow. The spilled cups on the card can represent the things that have been lost or gone wrong in their financial situation.

This card can also indicate that the person is feeling a sense of emptiness and disappointment with their current financial situation.

However, the Five of Cups also has a more positive interpretation in a financial context.

It can indicate that the person is at a turning point in their financial situation and is ready to move on from their current state of disappointment and grief. The two upright cups in the background can represent the possibility of new financial opportunities and possibilities.

The figure’s contemplative pose can suggest that the person is taking the time to reflect on past financial experiences and learn from them, and is open to new financial possibilities.

This card can also indicate that a person is ready to let go of past financial regrets and move on with a sense of acceptance and is open to exploring new paths and opportunities to improve their financial situation.

Advanced modern tarot interpretations of the Five 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 Five of Cups tarot card:

The Five of Cups represents the emotional toll of social media and online communication.

In today’s world, we are constantly exposed to the highlight reels of other people’s lives, which can lead to feelings of disappointment, loss, and grief when comparing our own lives to the curated versions of others.

The overturned cups could represent the unrealistic expectations and false sense of perfection that social media can create. The figure in the card could represent the person feeling a sense of melancholy and emptiness as they scroll through their feeds.

In this interpretation, the upright cups in the background could represent the possibility of disconnecting and finding balance in one’s digital life.

The figure’s contemplative pose could suggest that the person is taking the time to reflect on their relationship with social media and learning to find self-acceptance, rather than constantly comparing themselves to others.

This card could be a reminder to focus on one’s own life and emotional well-being, rather than constantly comparing it to others’ curated versions of reality.

five of cups tarot card interpretations

Back to the Minor Arcana list.

The previous card was the Four of Cups tarot card and the next card is the Six of Cups card.

References

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