The Four of Cups shows the activities that occur after the celebration of the third card in the Suit of Cups. The relationship began, and the union has occurred, now the wind down is taking place. The Four of Cups commonly shows three cups sitting before a gentleman or maiden. A third is being offered to them, but the individual is shown sitting there in a closed off position of refusal. It appears that the querent has found early success in a relationship and may be looking for other things to do with his life other than simply be in love or another emotionally fulfilling relationship. There may simply be too much good energy going around and the querent may need a little bit of balance between this and the other parts of his personal life.
Fours in the Minor Arcana show sturdy foundations, and thus, the Four of Cups illustrates a stable relationship and a solidified union with another.
When more than one four shows itself in the same tarot spread, there is a deeper message available to the querent. Pairs of fours indicate event invitations or promises that have been made good on by both of the participants in the querent’s romantic partnership while three of them shows contracts and many people working towards a common goal like in a marriage; this could even mean signing paperwork on couple’s first home together. Having four fours in a reading implies eternal bonds that have a timeless quality to them, which is very fitting for the Suit of Cups and its romantic interpretation. The Four of Cups may indicate a time of settling in that happens in a romantic relationship after the parties are over with, and real married life or parenthood can finally begin.
The Four of Cups in an Upright Position
When the Four of Cups is seen upright in a tarot spread, it is an indication that someone is overdoing it in the querent’s current relationship. It isn’t so much that the querent doesn’t enjoy kind words or unending fun, but there must be time to relax and be oneself. The feeling that life cannot be rainbows and sunshine all the time is very apparent here as the individual in the illustration is passing up the offer for the additional cup. This card can mean a marriage bed, and the Four of Cups could show boredom in and out of the bedroom. The querent may feel that he cannot break out of a rut and may be feeling a little discouraged at the moment. The apathy he is feeling is completely normal for any person who has reached the top of the roller coaster: there is only one way to go from here, and there cannot be constant peaks in a relationship without the occasional valley to make the participants appreciate the good times. There is a tiny possibility that the querent has made a mistake and jumped into the marriage or other serious romantic commitment out of an attempt to heal some excess baggage of sorts, and he may be coming to his senses. The querent may also find themselves being quite pessimistic during this time. There may also be someone hitting on the querent when he is already in a relationship, which the querent isn’t interested in pursuing.
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. The Four of Cups shows the querent having choices but being uninterested in them at the moment. Court cards around this could indicate what type of person is trying to offer themselves up to the querent for extra-marital fun, or the querent may find that he is brought out of a rut by a person that matches the description given by the court cards around the Four of Cups. This card can also be defined better by taking into account the Major Arcana cards that are around the Four of Cups. If there are swords and the Tower is standing nearby, it could signify an affair or obsession with another that leads to chaos, and if there are swords and the Fool, the feeling between two people is not mutual.
The Four 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 the case of the Four of Cups, we see that all of the querent’s choices, whether he wanted to choose on or not, are gone. The four cups have all spilled over, and it seems that the querent is completely out of options. The troubling thing is that he may still not seem to care about the losses he has faced in romance up to this point. This reversal of the Four of Cups could show a player of sorts who holds the attitude that there will be many more relationships to come.
The loss the querent has faced in the reversed Four of Cups doesn’t seem to require the querent to grieve, or the querent may appear like he does not care about the loss. It will be up to the querent to decide if revealing his true feelings is wise or not. This may also be read as the partner of the querent, so there can be a feeling that the querent’s partner in a romantic relationship doesn’t care, but this may not actually be the reality of the situation. If the querent is taking part in an affair, he will be found out when the Four of Cups shows up in a reversed position, but this can run vice versa as well.
- Too much too soon
- The need for balanced emotions
- Rest after tiring celebrations
- A firm romantic foundations
- Beginning a marriage
- Unemotional displays
- Boredom in romance