As I am new to the study group, I am a little nervous about posting my thoughts first, but like the 'Prince of Wands', I will jump that cresent wave with my eyes shut, and have a go ...
It sounds awful but I was a little shocked by this king initially. I was used to other decks, where the king was a little bit more enigmatic and charismatic. This guy isn't the most attractive of guys and looks like he has drank a few too many beers out of his cup.
However, he looks happy and it was a nice feeling to place him next to his queen so that they face each other. It strengthened the card for me; look at how lovingly he gazes at her, how proud he is to have her as his wife or lover. She offers him her cup. and dips her toe into the water. Her eyes are closed - she is not interested in whether he is the 'Druidcraft Hottie' - she feels his love and care for her. And he knows it; a fish jumps in the water near him, almost like his heart skips when he sees her.
He is reliable and offers her his heart. I see the dog as a faithful representation of himself, laying behind his throne. The sky is beautiful and the Queen's moon lights both his and her own card. I feel that this combination is important to me; especially in readings. To have them both together in a reading, for me, would be very special - kind of complete, since they compliment each other so well. In so many decks, I cannot always see a connection between the Kings and Queens, but here, even though they have their own personal essence when alone, they are also like two halfs of the same. I notice that there is some kind of beetle moving towards the Queen's robes, and in the King's card, there is some kind of small crab - is there a connection between these animals that make sense to this card? I also see what looks like a harp beside him, ready to make beautiful music.
Just another thought connected with the Queen and King coming together. At first, I wondered if the throne in the Queen's card was his, left vacant. As I thought this could insinuate then when she is in a spread alone, that she misses him and is calling for him via the moon. Having the cards together though, I see the throne as her own. They both sit opposite one another with the body of water between them, where they unify. Also, there is a red sunset in the Kings card and he also wears red. From what I can see, the Queen does not but the colour reflects in her robe - is that from his card?
In this short study, I have grown to like this King a lot. He looks very kind. I am glad he is not all 'cheekbones and toned physique' - I think it may have been quite distractive and I never would have got so much from the card.
Off to see if there is a thread on the Queen as I feel that their presence together is somehow important.
I think of the King of Cups as being a gentle leader and really knowing how to relate to people and make them comfortable. I don’t see him as “lording” his position over others. When issues come up and things need to be decided I imagine him assembling leaders from the community and sitting down with them at a table laden with good food and drink. He’s sensitive enough to realize people need to feel comfortable and safe to really open up. The drink doesn’t hurt either since ulterior motives might slip out during the meeting.
It seems he’s been having these meetings a long time and pretty often given his portly appearance. It’s probably a tradition he picked up from his father. I think he continues the tradition partly because it works and partly out of sentimentality in continuing his father’s tradition.
The harp at his side shows his sensitive and creative side. I think the crab in this card and the beetle in the Queen’s card show that if you’re sensitive you need to develop a harder shell to protect yourself.
The King can be all the things described so far, but today when I was looking at him, I saw indolence. "Fat and happy", that he's got a iron grip on that throne and nothing is going to make him budge, no matter how interesting it might be.
I noted that his throne is on the barren rocks above the water, he's no where near getting wet, unless a tidal wave barrels in and romoved from the green growth behind him. So in a way it seems his growth is behind him and as a King, his action is no action. He enjoys his role, his comforts and is satisfied with the status quo, he sees no reason for change but looks like a likely candidate for a heart attack.
I'm working on the reason the dog is lying down behind the throne rather than at his feet. Perhaps he's either put his loyaties behind him, or they are what is close behind his intent. He is no one that would get my heart aflutter, unless of course he uses that harp for wooing and can inspire my unconditional loyalty and faithfulness and be my best friend.
A fish is leaping in the water, emergent widom, yet he is looking at something else with obvious interest and misses it. Still his feet are grounded, his shoes as a barrier between him and the hard facts.
When the King and Queen are together, it is possible to match up the sky line and the foot of the dog, and that makes for an interesting scenario and interaction between the cards. Her throne is in the grass, but she too is on the bare rocks, facing away from him... the light of her moon lights up the edge of the King's sky and becomes a rosy sunrise. In this case, the Queen is more active than the King, tho' she seems to work more from the mind and emotion than the dynamic qualities of the other Queens. oops, sorry for the ramble going off topic. Guess what struck me was comparing the two, that they face in different directions and not what I would have imagined for this couple, It's as if their emotional worlds are at odds with each other and don't have the communion linking them.
The King of Cups is no longer the dreamer he was when he still was the knight of cups. He no longer loses his shoes or has his sensible clothes torn. Instead, he placed his throne on a solid rock. He is still close to the water and in touch with it – the salmon recognizes his presence and greets him – but he will not be surprised by the water there.
He provides the structure for his family, so they can afford to follow their dreams. He enjoys providing for family and friends and giving dinner parties for them, he had to give up a few of his dreams for them but he was happy to do so. He is contented most of the times but he also longs to get into the water sometimes.
I think the king of cups had to learn to find a balance between following his feelings and finding structure in his life. He has had to make compromises, he cannot always follow his feelings but i think he still can sometimes.
We also see this king reappear on the 9 cups where he sits ready for a dinner party.
Very interesting comments! I took a look at all 4 Cup Courts and also the 9 of Cups. The King really does look to be the same man as in that card. One thing I noticed is that the Princess and Queen hold their cups with both hands and with eyes closed. As if to say they "see" with their intuition or hearts and they understand how to balance the dominant and receptive sides to emotion.
The Prince (and the "king" in the 9 of cups) hold their cups with their left, receptive hands. This could mean a more receptive nature and is less interested in maintaining constant control. The King of Cups holds is cup with his right, dominate hand. His left receptive hand is closed into a fist. Is he more in control of his insights and feelings? Or is he closed off? Perhaps he has mastered them and can make full use of them now. Or he just has control issues LOL
Edit to add: The King is also the only one who IS wearing shoes. Does this show that is cut off or protected from the world around him?
Just got this deck, and I don't think I've ever unexpectedly fallen so hard for one before, with the possible exception of the Fey. I so appreciate all of the insights given. I love this card; it reminds me of my hubby. I just don't think a "centerfold" type guy could convey the same meaning to me.