Key Meaning: Feeling Disappointed or Sad
The 5 of Cups means you are feeling disappointed or sad about a particular situation.
Number 5 Meaning In Tarot
All fives, including the Five of Wands, Five of Pentacles and Five of Swords are associated with change and movement. This change may be exciting or challenging, but either way, the Universe is pushing you forward. As cups refer to emotions, this change is likely to impact your mood and confidence.
The number 5 is also associated with the point where aspirations meet reality. It is the point where you recognize what is truly possible. Decisions are made about what to keep and what to let go of.
A to Z: List of Tarot Cards
Five of Cups Keywords
😒 Upright: Disappointment, loss, grieving, betrayal, facing the facts
🥰 Reversed: Recovery, snapping out of it, optimism returns
Five of Cups Description
This description is based on the Rider Waite Tarot Deck. In this Tarot card, a man in a dark hooded cloak stares down at three fallen cups. In his misery, he does not notice the two upright cups behind him. These cups are a future source of happiness, and are a reminder that this too shall pass. However, there remains a risk that in not turning around to acknowledge the cups, he risks losing them too.
LOVE: What does The 5 of Cups Mean when You Ask About Relationships?
❤️ When the 5 of Cups turns up in a love and relationship reading – it means someone has let you down. This may be a lover, but it could equally refer to another relationship in your life – such as a work colleague, friend or family member.
❤️ It may be that you are feeling disappointed in other people. You are being warned here not to rely on the promises being made by those around you, especially on the emotional level. People are not deliberately attempting to deceive, but what is more likely is that they are getting carried away with their own naive enthusiasm and projecting images of hope and fantasy far beyond their capacity to provide. This card is saying that you must not take these promises too literally. In fact, the best course of action is for you to remind these people that in reality you expect a lot less than they are offering. That way, when the going gets tough and it becomes increasingly difficult for them to deliver, they will be reminded of your words and make a far greater effort to make sure that what they have promised will become yours.
❤️ If you asked about a romantic relationship, and the Five of Cups appears – it can mean the relationship not working out as you hoped.
CAREER: What does This Card Signify When You Ask About Work?
If your question relates to work or business, the Five of Cups indicates something failing or not working out as you hoped. The question is, do you walk away or wait to see if there are further developments? To answer this, you will need to draw another card for guidance. For example, the 5 of Cups and Magician combination means you have mastered an important lesson, there is no need to walk away, but rather to apply what you have learnt. The 5 of Cups and Tower combination means walk away.
If you asked about life purpose and career options, the 5 of Cups can signify a career in coaching – motivating people to achieve their goals. Other options to consider include writing, personal trainer, teacher and therapist.
MONEY: What is the Meaning of The Five of Cups in a Money Reading?
💲 If you asked the Tarot about money and finances, and you receive the 5 of Cups, be careful who you trust right now. Especially when it comes to any major purchases or investments. Someone may over-sell and under-perform when this card turns up.
💲 If you are hoping to buy a property, or improve your finances through a new job or promotion – your hopes are dashed at this point. This does not mean, however, that you should give up. What is meant for you, will not pass you by.
Tarot Card Combination Meanings
“Five of Cups combined with The Star” – Don’t give up hope, brighter days are coming.
“Five of Cups combined with The Wheel of Fortune” – What seems like bad luck, will prove to be good luck.
“Combined with the Four of Swords” – Be gentle with yourself at this time.
“Five of Cups combined with Strength” – What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.
HEALTH: What does The Five of Cups Mean When You Ask About Health?
⭕ The Five of Cups can indicate a setback in health goals. While it may feel like you are taking one step forward and two steps back, you are still making progress.
⭕ This card is also linked to depression and anxiety – there may be a reason for your sadness, perhaps someone has passed away and you miss them. Or maybe you are overcome with a general sense of weariness. When you are ready to breathe again, you will turn around and see the other upright cups. When this happens, your heart will fill as you start to see that there are things you can look forward to again.
⭕ Occasionally the 5 of Cups is linked to gaslighting. Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse where a person or group of people make you question your sanity or memory. If you are being bullied, reach out and find the help you need.
YES/NO: Does The 5 of Cups Mean Yes or No in a Reading?
❓ When you ask a Yes or No question this card turns up, then the answer is NO. At least, not at this time.
TIMING: Does The 5 of Cups Predict any Particular Timeframe?
🕔 The 5 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 5 of Cups is about 5 months. If the card is reversed, timing will be slightly longer – so up to 7 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 Five of Cups Reversed?
When the 5 of Cups is reversed then everything is much better. This signifies the end of depression and the return of optimism. There are only a few cards in Tarot where a reversal is better, and these also include the 5 of Pentacles, The Tower and The Devil.
✔️ Now that the card is reversed, you are filled with energy and hope. You can begin to chase your dreams – in love, work, life purpose and health.
✔️ If you have fallen out with someone, this reversal can mean the rift is healed and you start talking again. In the meantime however, you may have made new friends who opened your eyes to new experiences.
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5 of Cups Symbolism
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Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.