The Ace of Cups

The Ace of Cups is the beginning of the suit of Cups. This suit is represented by the element of Water and symbolizes emotion, relationships, romance, and all fluid things in life. It is often correlated with the Suit of Hearts in a regular deck of playing cards. Water is also used in the imagery of the Major Arcana to symbolize the Life Force. All Aces signify beginnings, which is appropriate for their position; this card shows where things are beginning within the confines of the Suit of Cups. The Ace of Cups in a typical tarot deck will show a single cup overflowing with life-giving liquid. The hand of the divine may be holding the cup in the palm of his hand.

Because all Aces encompass initiations and all cups represent love, positive interactions, and emotional dealings, the querent will always be in a position of beginning a journey in the realm of emotions when this card surfaces. This will be modified by surrounding cards, but it is very encouraging to find Aces in a spread as they foretell good fortune. Pairs of Aces in a tarot layout will show that there are two journeys happening simultaneously, and three Aces will reveal that there is good news about marriages or the birth of a child. If one is lucky enough to see all four Aces in their tarot layout, they will soon see great success. It is important to remember that although the Ace heralds new beginnings, there has to be an end in store to balance out the scales. Regardless of this, this particular Ace shows where the querent is starting out on a new path in romance or matters of the heart.

The Ace of Cups in an Upright Position

An upright Ace of Cups shows new romantic relationships for the querent or someone close to him. This card shows where one always starts their day: at home. Thus, there is a slight chance that this romance may begin in the querent’s home town, or they may reconnect with a childhood flame or even their first love. The Ace of Cups can also indicate a fresh start after a long drawn out separation. The cup overflowing shows brimming with joy and the beginnings of new projects that involve something the querent loves to do and may be fulfilling in some way. This card also shows a very intensely close friendship, possibly with someone of the opposite sex that may be starting or could blossom into something more. The divine hand is holding the cup, so this new relationship or friendship is seen as pre-destined or meant to be. There may be some form of advancement spiritually as well.

The meaning of all Minor Arcana cards can be modified by the cards that surround it. Court cards from the Minor Arcana (Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings) all represent people. They have corresponding physical characteristics as well as their own astrological correspondences. When a court card falls next to the Ace of Cups in its upright position, the astrological sign of the court card as well as the physical description should be taken into account as hints regarding who this new love interest may be. The meanings of other surrounding cards will help to make the Ace of Cups interpretation more specific. For instance, The Sun beside an Ace of Cups can show a ‘bright’ future with the love interest that is seen entering the querent’s life. Another example would be the presence of a Devil card with the Ace of Cups, which could warn of illegal or dangerous things happening in one’s home.

The Ace of Cups in a Reversed Position

The reversed position of each card of the Minor Arcana is really as it states: an inversion of the card’s meaning. In terms of the Ace of Cups, we can imagine the cup has been flipped upside down and is now spilling its liquid out. The cup is not overflowing but completely empty. This could mean the first moments after divorce when the querent may be emotionally drained. This could also show the start of a new relationship status, but the card implies singularity, and therefore, aloneness.  The Ace of Cups shows the home, and the inversion of the cup could show the querent’s home as empty, signifying that the other occupants have moved out and moved on. There is a definite feeling of being deserted. This could also mean that the querent has begun rebuilding their life after being abandoned by their loved one, and may be heading home in order to heal.

The divine hand of God seems to be dumping the Cup’s contents onto the ground, which could show that the querent had no control over whether or not the relationship survived, which may show that the querent has lost their love or their first love through an unexpected death, unexpected move, or other event that was beyond control. This could also symbolize that the loss was meant to be and that the breaking of bonds was necessary for the querent’s personal growth in some way. Because this is the Ace of Cups, there is still plenty of time for bouncing back and beginning anew, but it is up to the querent to pull themselves up and get back into the game. The reversed Ace of Cups could also be a warning to appreciate the home and the people in it a little more than usual. They may not be there tomorrow. There is still a chance of getting back what one has lost though, as the cup can be refilled, so this is not a permanent situation or dilemma. There will be better days to come.

Key Terms

  • Moving in with a lover
  • A first love
  • New romance
  • Returning to one’s home town
  • Starting a new friendship
  • Becoming comfortable in a new relationship
  • The beginning of a deeper connection
  • Initiating a conversation with a loved one
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