The Knight of Cups

The Knight of Cups displays a noble looking young man who is riding a greyish coloured horse while grasping a single cup in his hand. He wears a distinctive helmet on his head that pays homage to Mercury or the messenger Hermes. He has come to a stream, which he is about to cross as he travels toward the mountains shown on the horizon. The knight shown here is an extremely romantic figure who is in touch with his emotions and has the capacity for love that other young man may not. The Knight of Cups seems to have places to see and things to do. He is very goal-oriented and wants to do the right thing in life. This is the beginning of the journey for this young man after the careful planning and exceptional ideas formed with the Page of Cups. Here, we see these ideas manifested in the Knight of Cups.


The court cards of each Minor Arcana Suit represent people, and the physical and astrological characteristics of a person as well. In the case of knights, there are astrologically significant details that should be made known.  The Knight of Cups is associated with the signs of Libra and Scorpio. The nature of the energy that is carried by the Knight of Cups is considered fixed for Scorpios and cardinal for Libra. This shows that these individuals are very stable and have the quality of endurance in their energies when the individual being identified is a Scorpio, and there is creative and ambitious energy within the Libra described by the Knight of Cups. The elemental property of this particular knight, which is air energy, mixes with the energy of the suit he appears in: water energy. The Knight of Cups shows a combination of water and air energy, which embodies turbulence or restless energy. This indicates that the Knight of Cups in a spread is speaking to turbulence or movement of some sort. The physical characteristics often found to accompany a Knight of Cups individual include light eyes of grey, blue, or green, as well as dirty blonde to mid-level brown hair. It is advised that the querent pay attention to the young man depicted in the Knight of Cups that has these physical characteristics.

Although there is very little to go on in terms of an outright card meaning, the surrounding cards will be of immense influence and importance to the Knight of Cups and the interpretation of it.

The Knight of Cups in an Upright Position

The upright presence of a Knight of Cups shows someone entering a new phase of life regarding the development of their career and lifetime ambitions. There may be a college, trade school, or other type of institution near this individual that serves to help him shape his career and future. This young man will be someone who is breaking out into the world for the first time and is very optimistic and aware of what lies ahead. There may be some uncertainty about the right path to take, but he seems to be educated on the inevitable obstacles he will encounter on his journey. His goals hold great emotion, and he has chosen a career that involves doing something that he loves to do. Whenever a court card appears in a spread, it does not necessarily always signify a real human being, but a quality within the card that the querent needs to take up as part of his own persona or philosophies in order to experience growth and a better outlook on life.

The Knight of Cups could symbolize the need for the querent to become more ambitious and take initiative in his love life or career. The querent must find it within himself to get excited about possible opportunities and get out into the world and start something worth working on. This needs to be done without paying too much attention to the obstacles that likely lie ahead because these will only make the querent reluctant to try something new. The querent is definitely experiencing an urge to do something different, make a career change, or begin a relationship with intentions of making a commitment.

The Knight of Cups in a Reversed Position

A reversal of a court card has an inverse meaning that corresponds with the court card it is attached to. The reversal of the Knight of Cups shows a person of the same physical and astrological correspondence, but with a very reluctant and hesitant nature when it comes to his goals for the future. He may be unable to make the leap into a new more rewarding life. He may be unprepared or afraid of the obstacles he will face. The Knight of Cups could also signify that the querent will encounter a young man who has dropped out of college in search of something better. Whether or not this works out to his benefit will be dependant on the cards that surround him. This could also be an augury that the querent is going through the same ordeal himself or may need to overcome these types of attitude related obstacles.

The Knight of Cups in a reversed position also shows a reversal of the energies he embodies. For example, the querent may encounter a time where this is a lack of ambition and initiative. Goals may be absent from his life or the life of the individual represented by the Knight of Cups within the tarot layout. There is a large need to leave a career that is causing the querent unrest or angst, and the querent or this young man must find a way to begin a search for something that is more spiritually and emotionally fulfilling. There will be time for standstills and breaks along the way, but there is a need for action where this card appears in a reversed position.

Key Terms

  • Starting out
  • College or Trade School
  • Beginning a career
  • Beginning a long journey
  • Being aware of obstacles
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