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The Meaning of
the "King of Cups" Tarot Card

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Tarot Quick Info

Tarot card name:

Alternate Name:


Quick Tarot Meanings:

A teacher and a provider. A spiritual or professional mentor and symbol of strength. To lead by example rather than force. A role model.

What is the inverted meaning of
the "King of Cups"?

A deserter or betrayer. One who influences others by fear, force or intimidation. Someone with deep personal flaws.

Advanced tarot interpretation

(Applies to the upright position)

The Symbolism in the "King of Cups" Tarot Card:

The King holds a large cup in his left hand and a scepter in his right. He appears to be floating, not sinking, on the sea which is his domain. A ship sails over one shoulder, and a creature that could either be a dolphin or a whale is jumping over the other (the creator of the deck refers to it as a dolphin). He wears a necklace adorned with a large fish. One of the king's feet looks ready to be dipped into the water below his throne.

The Meaning of the "King of Cups" Tarot Card:

The King of Cups has mastered all of the elements of water - creativity, female fertility, emotion, and art. Since he has balanced the elements of emotion so well in his character, this is a very fair man who is very honest in business. This may also refer to a religious man, a priest or someone in a more senior station in any religion. A teacher possessing any of these qualities. The fish is not necessarily a Christian symbol, it refers more to the element of water, but quite a few authorities do ascribe this meaning to it. If this card turns up in any inquiry, it is a person that is disposed to help the individual in question.

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