Key Meaning: Walking Away
The Eight of Cups is all about moving on and leaving the past behind. You’d like to walk away in search of a more meaningful life. You could end up abandoning your routine, job, relationship or even your belief system. This card indicates that you have already taken steps in a different direction, if not practically yet, then at least in your head. There is a sense that all you have built up in your life has been shown to somehow lack meaning. While you might not know where you are heading at this time, you do sense that there are many more opportunities out there waiting for you.
Number 8 Meaning In Tarot
All eights, including the Eight of Wands, Eight of Pentacles and Eight of Swords represent a time of change and opportunity. As Cups represent the heart and emotions, the change you are looking for now is spiritual. While it may feel like you are abandoning a situation, you are not. You won’t burn your bridges, poison any wells or scorch any earth. Other people have sensed for a while that your heart is no longer in your present situation.
A to Z: List of Tarot Cards
8 of Cups Keywords
🥰 Upright: Leaving, moving on, searching for meaning
🥰 Reversed: Spiritual awakening, celebration
Eight of Cups Description
This description is based on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. A solitary, robed figure has turned his back to us and crosses a footbridge to begin a journey under a waning moon. He has left behind eight neatly stacked cups. Maybe the job is finished or done well, and so he can simply move on. Something is completed here and to remain would mean diminishing returns. Habit and the daily-grind will only wear him down, and so it is time for more exciting things.
Notice the lunar eclipse above the mountains which casts a luminous light, heightening the emotional experience. This is a necessary journey from light into darkness. You have no way of knowing at this time what lies beyond the mountain path, and so a leap of faith is required.
What does The Eight of Cups Mean when You Ask About Spirituality?
When the 8 of Cups turns up in a reading, you are most likely at the early stages of a spiritual awakening. What does a spiritual awakening mean? Simply put, it is the search for a more meaningful life. It begins when you step back and start seriously asking questions like, Who am I? and What Is My Life Purpose? Something could have triggered this search – like a divorce or losing a job. Or maybe it was an accident, depression or mid-life crisis. Occasionally a soulmate opens the door for a spiritual awakening.
This card indicates you are turning away from a lifestyle that was – to a great extent – based upon satisfying other people’s desires or expectations. Now you want something personally more fulfilling. Anything superficial is not going to work for you anymore. You will find what you seek, but you have some way to travel to find your true heart’s desire. Don’t let this put you off. Enjoy the journey.
Don’t expect to reach a deeper level of meaning easily. Certain superficial levels of your personality will be cleared away first. This is an important growth process in your life. As your life comes back into alignment with your karmic destiny, you may first of all experience a sense of aloneness. But, bit by bit, as you continue in your new direction, you will begin to meet others who are on the same new path as yourself. Meet your fellow travellers with open arms.
LOVE: What does The Eight of Cups Mean when You Ask About Love?
💖 If you are in a relationship, this card means you – or the person you are asking about – wishes to take a ‘break’. The real question is, how serious are you? Are you just feeling overwhelmed at the moment, or are you really deeply unhappy? It is probably a good idea to spend some time alone, to walk through what it would mean to walk out on the relationship. Are you ready to be alone? The Tarot is offering no guarantee that you will meet someone else. Nor should it. You should judge your current relationship on it’s own merits.
💖 If you are single, this is not the right time to start a romance. It is a good time however to meet a kindred spirit on your spiritual journey. This may develop into something deeper later. Your soulmate may come from overseas.
💖 In all cases, your romantic life is improved by going on spiritual retreats and walks (such as the Camino). See such experiences as a head-clearing exercise.
CAREER: What does This Card Signify When You Ask About Work?
✔️ If your question relates to work, business, career or study and you receive the Eight of Cups, then the guidance is to focus on your dreams rather than your fears. What do you dream of doing? Don’t waste time wondering if you can do it. If you have the desire, a burning desire, then that is all the guidance you need. Desires are a form of spiritual guidance. Higher Powers insert desires in your mind, they offer clues to what you are supposed to do with your life.
✔️ You are walking away from a job or course, as you do not feel it is ‘you’ anymore. This card also indicates retirement.
✔️ Motivation and a can-do mindset will be key to your success.
✔️ In numerology, careers associated with the number 8 life path, include business owner, real-estate, marketing, life coach and consultant.
MONEY: What is the Meaning of The Eight of Cups in a Money Reading?
💲 If you asked the Tarot about money, and you receive the 8 of Cups, it means try something different. The path you are on will not improve your finances.
💲 If you asked about a significant purchase, like a house – then consider buying where there are rolling hills or mountains. This card indicates rural living.
Tarot Card Combination Meanings
“Eight of Cups combined with Tower” – Challenging times trigger your spiritual awakening.
“Combined with The Empress” – Becoming a parent has made you reassess life.
“Eight of Cups combined with The Moon” – You are now the student, but one day will become the teacher.
HEALTH: What does This Card Mean When You Ask About Health?
⭕ If you are worried about your health and the 8 of Cups turns up – it can signify an improvement in your well-being, especially mental health. When you free your mind, you will heal your body.
⭕ This is a good time to go on vacation or a retreat and recharge your batteries.
⭕ Health conditions associated with this card include: hip, legs and ankle problems, insomnia, eating disorders, itching, restless leg syndrome and balance issues. Any inner spiritual work you do will help you heal.
YES/NO: Does The 8 of Cups Mean Yes or No in a Reading?
❓ When you ask a Yes or No question and the 8 of Cups turns up, then the answer is neither. The Tarot says you must seek the answer for yourself.
TIMING: Does The Eight of Cups Predict any Particular Timeframe?
🕔 The 8 of Cups is only a timing indication when you specifically asked a timeframe question. For example, if you want to know if something will happen, and when, then you need to draw two separate cards. These are in fact, two separate questions. This is a fundamental principle to understand if you want an accurate tarot reading – and it is core to my teaching in my book Tarot in 5 Minutes.
🕔 Using my timing method, the 8 of Cups is about 8 months. If the card is reversed, timing will be slightly longer – so up to 12 months.
Karina’s Timing Method:
Swords are days. Wands are weeks. Cups are months and Pentacles are years. Please note this is my personal timing method. Feel free to adopt it (or not).
What is the Meaning of The Eight of Cups Reversed?
When the 8 of Cups is reversed then the hooded figure returns from the mountains and reconnects with the people and place, he left behind. It means you have completed the first stage of your spiritual awakening, and are now ready to pursue your new path with determination. You can share your goals and talk more confidently about your experiences with those around you.
✔️ In love, the 8 of Cups reversed can mean you are now happier after leaving a relationship. Whatever your situation, you are happy to be alone and doing your own thing. This is wonderful, because now you are balanced enough to meet someone special.
✔️ In a health reading, the 8 of Cups reversed means you have rooted out the mental cause of an illness, and are now working on fixing it.
✔️ In a work situation, you have quit a job or retired and now are on the search for something meaningful.
Other keywords associated with 8 of Cups reversed include: starting a new routine, feeling refreshed, able to follow through, clear thinking.
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Eight of Cups Symbolism
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Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.