Four of Cups


Feeling like I'm personally surrounded in my life by folks who have their Sun and/or Moon and/or various planets in Cancer in their natal charts, makes the "Four of Cups" seem like a familiar visitor (and not always a particularly welcome visitor) when it shows up in my own readings about others. 'course there are also the times when I, myself, can relate to the possibly cranky, possibly bewildered gent pictured on the card. And just maybe, this card makes an appearance when the querent is feeling rather sorry for himself/herself and may be finding it hard to break out of seeing only his/her own point of view. No matter what, the guy pictured in Robin Wood's Four of Cups is not a happy camper. Depending on the question asked, the spread used and where it shows up within the spread, the querent is not exactly feeling on the top of the world...either presently, in the past, or perhaps in the future.

The man (though it could be a woman, or person of any age, race, culture, etc.) is so absorbed in his own thoughts...and by the look on his face they probably are troubling thoughts...he hasn't even noticed the brilliant cup floating in the air near to him. Three other cups sit in plain view in front of the seated man. Maybe he already knows the contents of the three cups and those contents are the reason for his troubles. The three cups on the ground could represent anything...three people joined against him; three people with differing views from him and/or each other; three events; three paths; three ideas; three cups empty or conversely, full of emotions; etc. But the fourth, glowing cup...although not noticed by the man as of yet...could hold promise to aid whatever dilemma(s) he finds himself in...IF he'd only just look and accept the possibilities that the fourth cup offers. To see the fourth cup, the man would have to free himself of his own self-absorption. The fourth cup could represent an actual person who he's not ever noticed or considered to be part of his life. Perhaps he's so guarded he's actually withheld his own affection from such a person and doesn't even realize why he's so miserable himself. It may do the man well to realize he's leaning up against the strong oak tree and that sometimes we really do need someone to lean on.

On a somewhat different note, the Four of Cups could represent a much needed and even welcome time for matter how painful or difficult it is to go over whatever is bothering him in his mind. Meditation or dreaming could indeed be just what the man needs to do. Perhaps this man finds that his life has not turned out as planned; that life is dull and flat. In this case, when the Four of Cups shows up, it may be a time to be truthful with oneself and gear up to make the changes necessary for a more fulfilling lifestyle.

saostarr what about reversed?


saostarr said: what about reversed?

Hi saostarr,

Since this is a study group, you may want to add your own thoughts about the reversed meaning of this card.


well that's the thing... i'm not sure about this one. i come here to find ideas when i am drawing a blank.


Hey spinning spider, I really like the way you have looked at this card, I have always looked at this card from similar viewpoint. I think its all in the dissatisfied look on this persons face in most decks, and it is something, at some time in our life we can all relate to. Maybe a little jealous of our friends/neighbours/co-workers lives and feeling the "poor me". Perhaps bored with our present situation, stuck in a rut so to speak. So many different "life" reasons for the negative feelings expressed in this card. I have also seen this card come up as the "sook" in the situation, a little spoilt and sulky because they can't get their own way. I agree wholeheartedly with your last thoughts, turning a negative into a positive and I think every card gives us the opportunity to look at things from both sides even if we don't want to. I tend to look at it in its reversed position as whatever was blocking, is moving away, clearer thoughts will prevail, visions of the fourth cup are making their appearance and things are on the improve.



it seems to me like this guy is deliberately looking away from the fourth (shiny) cup. almost like he wants to keep feeling sorry for himself and doesn't want to see the brightness of the fourth cup... that 'poor me" attitude you were talking about. sometimes people like to stay stuck in that.
funny...i've been looking at this card for days and days and not getting any vibe from it, till right now :)

but now i feel it and reversed would be finally seeing the bright side and stop feeling sorry for self