Mythic Tarot - Five Cups


Eros flees after being burned by a drop of oil from the lamp that Psyche held over him to see his face. Psyche stands distraught next to their marital couch, lamp in one hand as she reaches out desperately for him with the other. On the other side of the couch, four cups lie overturned on the ground as the fifth on sits upright.

  • a testing time in a relationship when one partner regrets past actions
  • loss and regret
  • depiction of betrayal as a necessary and potentially creative experience
  • the blind love of the Two and Three is shattered out of a need to be true to oneself when to do otherwise would result in self-betrayal
  • betrayal of another’s unreasonable demand or expectation is a difficult but frequent aspect of a deepening relationship
  • the upright cup shows that something remains to be built upon in the relationship
  • realization that one really loves their partner and not their fantasy of the partner
  • the action that leads to her feelings of regret was necessary to move her past the anxiety and resentment of the Four
  • suggests an unconscious desire to know the truth
  • chaos and disintegration, an ending
  • primeval fear of the unknown
  • concealment
  • Metaphors/Proverbs:
    • “to be in the dark” is to be kept unaware
    • “the darkest cloud has a silver lining” means that even the most unpleasant experience or depressing situation may have a consoling aspect or hopeful prospect
    • “the darkest hour is just before the dawn” means that things are often at their worst just before they begin to improve
    • “it’s better to light one candle than curse the darkness” means that any positive action, however small, that helps to improve an undesirable situation is infinitely better than simple bemoaning or complaining about it
  • implies being connected, close or having the same concerns, opinions and goals as another
  • a place of security, safety and comfort
  • Metaphors/Proverbs:
    • “you made your bed, now lie in it” means that one created the situation in which one finds oneself and one must now deal with it
    • “to put something to bed” is to finish it
Random Thoughts
  • needing to lose something or someone before realizing how much that person or thing truly meant to you – you never miss your good thing until it’s gone
  • one partner’s lack of honesty may cause the other partner’s betrayal
  • dissatisfaction that leads to betrayal
The keyword/phrase I came up with doing my workbook exercises on 16 Nov 91 was "regret, loss and future potential".



Psyche has acted out of emotion and not logic. She has allowed her fears to make her use deception to find out what she wants to know. This has resulted in her losing her husband.

The Five of Cups to me is about loss due to ones own hands. There was a problem with the situation but instead of bringing those issues to the surface and discussing them, others ways were employed to get ones goal.

Eros left because he felt betrayed. The truth is that he created the situation that lead to the betrayal. The situation was not balanced. One side had the advantage over the other. Doubts surfaced but how could they not.