The Meaning of
the "Four of Cups" Tarot Card
Tarot Quick Info
What is the inverted meaning of
the "Four of Cups"?
The Meaning of
the "Four of Cups"
The Symbolism of the Four of Cups
A dreamy youth is in meditation under a tree with his eyes closed. A mysterious hand reaches out of a cloud to hand him a golden yellow cup. Three more cups are arranged evenly in front of him.
He doesn't appear to notice the divine gift, and the look on his face seems to be one of disinterest. His arms are crossed on his chest, as if he is actively rejecting the offer.
The young man has rejected the spiritual, in favor of the ordinary. He focuses on the basic and mundane, while ignoring something truly special and divine.
NOTE: Observant students of the Tarot will notice that the hand reaching out to the young man is identical to the Ace of Cups card. Since the Ace of Cups signifies opportunity and creative potential, the message here is that the "Ace of Cups" — or the representation of opportunity itself — is being ignored or rejected.
How to Interpret the Four of Cups
The imagery in the Four of Cups is clear: Something is being ignored — either intentionally or unintentionally. Options are available. But for whatever reason, those options are not being chosen at this time.
Options are available. But for whatever reason, those options are not being chosen at this time.
A simple way to read this card in most readings is: "Not at this time... But maybe later".
When the Four of Cups appears in a reading, it's often important to explore why options are being ignored. Is it because of careful and considered reasoning? Or is it because of an emotional reason? Looking to the surrounding cards can help.
On a more negative level — this tarot card may in some cases indicate a failure to accept that which life offers. A lack of appreciation, or even a sense of over-entitlement. Imaginary problems, or the need to dwell on the drama of a situation rather than take the obvious solution.
Whether positive or negative, the simple message of the card are the same: A road exists and it is not being taken. Ask yourself what options are being ignored — and why?
The Four of Cups Inverted
The reversed Four of Cups card may indicate confusion, or an inability to decide between two things. It may indicate a period of uncertainty between tastes, goals or other life options.
An inability to decide between two things. It may indicate a period of uncertainty between tastes, goals or other life options.
In other cases, the Four of Cups may indicate a sense of disillusionment. Something or someone, once highly respected has fallen from grace in some way.
In a relationship reading this may mean a period in which a relationship is less solid. Mutual respect may have been reduced in some way.
As with the upright version of the card, the reversed Four of Cups may also simply mean to wait or pause on a decision of some kind — and to examine other options for a time.
Common Symbols Found On the Four of Cups Card
Tarot cards often use a a common symbology to communicate additional information about how each card should be read. The Four of Cups contains at least three common, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these common symbols can add greater levels of meaning to the card.
The symbols which appear on the Four of Cups card are:
The Divine Hand
The divine hand symbolism appears on the Four of Cups card:
The "Divine Hand", an iconic Tarot symbol from the classic Rider-Waite deck, is centrally shown on all the Ace cards of the Minor Arcana. Iconically represented as a white, disembodied hand reaching from a mist, the hand signifies a spark of creation or initiation — a divine, primary force of beginnings, and a universal source of energy.
NOTE: Interestingly, the Four of Cups is the only Tarot card that isn't an Ace to feature the disembodied "Divine Hand" symbol. What distinguishes this card is that here, the mysterious hand is going unnoticed. The meaning of the youth not seeing the hand is a blind ambivalence to the sacred force — which is already near to him. He is distracted by the materialistic or mundane.
Hills symbolism appears on the Four of Cups card:
Single hills have a distinct symbolic meaning in classic Tarot imagery. Single hills in Tarot, not to be confused with imposing mountains or mountain-ranges, are sometimes depicted with a single house at the crest. Hills represent a protected, private place or a place for a home. They represent security, safety, independence and the comforts of home — but also a quiet space of privacy and introspection.
Trees symbolism appears on the Four of Cups card:
In a general sense, trees accentuate a connection to the natural world and natural forces. Trees are some of the most common symbols in the well-known Rider-Waite tarot imagery. The exact meaning of any one tree varies depending on the specific Tarot card on which it appears.
Now you're ready for a free tarot reading:
Time to put your newfound tarot knowledge to use? iFate's online tarot readings are easy enough for beginners, and powerful enough for experts. Try a free tarot reading now.
all content copyright ifate.com / futuremedia LLC