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The Meaning of
the "Knight of Cups" Tarot Card

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

The Meaning of the "Knight of Cups"
Tarot Card


The Symbolism of the Knight of Cups

The Knight of Cups, sits upright in his saddle atop a gray horse. Unlike the other Knight cards in the tarot, the Knight of Cups' horse walks at a natural pace.

Like most Cups cards, water is prominently displayed in the picture. The horse prepares to cross a stream, which flows towards a copse of trees in the distance.

A tunic worn over the armor is decorated with a pattern of fish, which reinforces the theme of water.

The Knight's gaze is fixed straight-ahead, as if he is intent upon his quest — moving forwards with methodical determination.

NOTE: The rider's position, and the slowly striding horse of the Knight of Cups are both remarkably similar in their pose to the horse and rider on the Death card. In many ways this mirroring is intentional: The Knight of Cups is on a journey of creative beginnings. He is the antithesis of Death. While the Knight of Cups represents forward movement, creativity and new action. The Death card represents the ending of cycles, or the final steps of a journey.


How to Interpret the Knight of Cups

As with all court cards in the Minor Arcana, the Knight of Cups may reference an actual person and not just an idea. The Knight of Cups is a combination of action and creative energy. Where the Page of Cups is creative, the Knight of Cups takes that creativity and adds monentum, acumen and forward motion.

The Knight of Cups is also the great romantic of the Tarot Knights. Riding forwards holding his cup as if to make a romantic gesture, he is in touch with his emotional side but also intent upon his course.

The Knight of Cups references creativity and new ideas. But most importantly, the Knight of Cups represents the energy and impetus to turn creative ideas into reality.

When not referencing an actual person, the Knight of Cups references creativity and new ideas. But most importantly, the Knight of Cups represents the energy and impetus to turn creative ideas into reality. The Knight of Cups channels creative energies into useful forms.

The Knight of Cups is a very positive card and while the card's principal meaning is creativity in action, it carries overtones of romance, travel and new beginnings.


The Knight of Cups Inverted

The reversed Knight of Cups indicates creativity and the genesis of new ideas — but it suffers from a hesitance or inability to put those ideas into motion.

Perhaps those ideas still need work before they're ready for prime-time, or perhaps they're simply too grandiose to realistically be put into motion.

The inverted Knight of Cups is a card bursting with ideas and creative energy, but frustrated at the same time by a lack of momentum.

Either way, the inverted Knight of Cups is a card bursting with ideas and creative energy, but frustrated at the same time by a lack of momentum.

Like all Tarot court cards, the reversed Knight of Cups may represent a person. Like the upright orientation, the card possesses the attributes of romance, creativity and drive. But the Knight of Cups reversed suggests that the time for forward movement is not now. His heart may be in the right place, but his timing is off.

Wheter or not the inverted Knight of Cups represents a person or not, the card is still mostly positive. It carries the positive ideas of artistic creativity, enthusiasm and romance. But it indicates a failure to make things happen, for one reason or another.


Common Symbols Found On the Knight of Cups Card

Tarot cards often use a a common symbology to convey additional information about each card. The Knight of Cups contains at least four well-known, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these symbols which repeat throughout the deck can add greater dimensions of interpretation to the card.

The symbols which appear on the Knight of Cups card are:

  • Water

    Water symbolism appears on the Knight of Cups card:

    In Tarot illustrations, water appears in multiple forms — ranging from rain, to sacred pools, to winding rivers and streams, to expansive oceans and seas. Although each one of these representations of water may carry a more specific meaning, water in general terms references nourishment, emotion and intuition. Water is more prominent in the Minor Arcana, and is more often (but not always) found in Cups cards.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Water" in Tarot  

  • Rivers and Streams

    Rivers and streams symbolism appears on the Knight of Cups card:

    Water in a general sense, implies emotion. A stream or brook crossing a landscape often suggests a dimension of emotional overtones or a spiritual significance to the scene. A river may also suggest that emotion is a major part of the scene at hand.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Rivers and Streams" in Tarot  

  • Mountains

    Mountains symbolism appears on the Knight of Cups card:

    Mountains in the background are one of the most frequent symbols appearing in Tarot imagery. Mountains generally represent challenges which must be passed, and hardships which must be overcome. Depending on the specific Tarot card, these challenges may either reference future circumstances which lie along the current path, or they may represent past challenges and hardships which have already been completed prior to arriving at the current state of things.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Mountains" in Tarot  

  • Fish

    Fish symbolism appears on the Knight of Cups card:

    If the presence of water in Tarot symbology indicates emotion and creativity, then a fish represents an individual who is most comfortable living in the world of emotion and the creative. Whenever a fish or fish pattern makes an appearance on a card featuring a person (as is the case on 3 court cards in the Cups suit), it can help to bolster the idea of a naturally creative man or woman — or a natural empath.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Fish" in Tarot  

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