The Meaning of
the "Ten of Cups" Tarot Card
Tarot Quick Info
What is the inverted meaning of
the "Ten of Cups"?
The Meaning of
the "Ten of Cups"
The Symbolism of the Ten of Cups
The Ten of Cups shows us an image of domestic bliss.
A well-dressed husband and wife stand arm-in-arm in a perfect landscape. They each raise one arm to the heavens in wonder and thanks as their children play nearby.
In the background we see their home, perched on a hill surrounded by lush trees, fertile land and a clear blue stream.
Overhead, a rainbow arcs across the blue, cloudless sky. Within it are ten floating cups.
This is a couple that has it all: A home, love, family, financial security and visual beauty all around.
Their pose seems to say "look what we have been blessed with".
This is a couple that has it all: A home, happiness, love, family, financial security and visual beauty all around.
How to Interpret the Ten of Cups
The Ten of Cups shows us a state of domestic bliss, happiness, security and prosperity. One of the happiest cards in the tarot deck, the ten of cups references contentment on almost every level, from romantic to financial.
In contrast with the Nine of Cups, which depicts a merchant who has not yet arrived at a state of true wealth and happiness, the Ten of Cups shows us what it looks like to have actually arrived.
The card references a blossoming of success and happiness, achieved after years of hard work and diligence.
It may directly reference this success in romance or business — but it may also reference a perfect alignment of interests between people, groups or forces.
When the Ten of Cups appears in a reading, it may directly reference this success in romance or business — but it may also reference a perfect alignment of interests between people, groups or forces.
On the card, we see a man and a woman, in perfect balance and alignment. They are almost exactly the same height. Their arms are raised at the same angles. Their postures are perfectly balanced and symmetrical They mirror one another and even echo the shape of the Roman numeral X shown at the top of the card. Likewise, the children are playing together in harmony.
While the literal meaning of the card may be happiness on the homefront. A very common meaning of the card is involves this smooth synergy and balance between parties and ideas.
The Ten of Cups Inverted
There are several different ways to interpret the reversed Ten of Cups. The card does not generally indicate outright arguing or strife — although at times, it may.
More likely, the inverted orientation indicates tensions which arise when we place the wants and needs of others before ourselves. If the upright position is the manifestation of happiness and lifelong desire, the inverted position suggests that those desires have been placed on hold for some reason.
When we consistently put ourselves second, that action keeps us from attaining our dreams. As time goes by, that pattern creates dissatisfaction and tension.
The normal alignment of interests between family members, partners, friends or co-workers is disrupted or blocked by something.
Another common interpretation of the inverted Ten of Cups is that the normal alignment of interests between family members, partners, friends or co-workers is disrupted or blocked by something. A force or event of some kind has led to a divergence of goals, which ultimately leads to interpersonal tension and sets back greater objectives.
When the Ten of Cups comes up reversed, it's important to consider how goals and interests can be brought back into alignment. How can you get back on the same team?
Common Symbols Found On the Ten of Cups Card
Tarot cards often use a symbolic or iconographic language to convey hints about the cards. The Ten of Cups makes use of at least six well-known, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these common symbols can add greater dimensions of interpretation to the card.
The symbols which appear on the Ten of Cups card are:
Hills symbolism appears on the Ten of Cups card:
Single hills have their own symbolic interpretation in classic Tarot imagery. Single hills in Tarot, not to be confused with large mountains or mountain-ranges, are sometimes depicted with a lone house at the crest. Hills symbolize a protected, private place or a place for a home. They represent safety, security, independence and the comforts of home — but also a quiet place of solitude and introspection.
Children symbolism appears on the Ten of Cups card:
On Minor Arcana cards children symbolize the positive ideas of innocence and purity of intent. When appearing alongside mother and father, children often convey the associated ideas of family, wealth and happiness.
Couples symbolism appears on the Ten of Cups card:
Traditional couples are a frequent symbol appearing on Tarot cards of both the Minor and Major Arcana. In Minor Arcana cards, couples are a mostly (but not exclusively) positive symbol — associated with ideas from growth and happiness, to prosperity and security.
Green fields symbolism appears on the Ten of Cups card:
Green fields in Rider-Waite Tarot symbolism typically represent possibility, prosperity, health and wholesomeness. Although green fields are generally associated with positivity, they are sometimes included on cards with an overall negative message to show a contrast between negative and positive themes — as shown in the background and foreground respectively.
NOTE: The green fields in the Ten of Cups card, with a blue river winding through them, highlight the transition from dry, unproductive earth in the foreground to the lush, green and productive life rising in the background. The pair has manifested their dreams and ambitions through working together and by aligning their interests.
Water symbolism appears on the Ten of Cups card:
In Tarot illustrations, water comes in many forms — ranging from secluded pools, to winding rivers and streams, to wide oceans and seas. While each of these types of water may carry a more specific meaning, water in the simplest terms references emotion, nourishment and our intuitive nature. In the Tarot deck, water is more common in the Minor Arcana, and is very often (but not always) found in the Suit of Cups.
Rivers and Streams
Rivers and streams symbolism appears on the Ten of Cups card:
Water in a broad sense indicates emotion. A stream or brook passing through the land frequently adds a dimension of emotional depth or a spiritual significance to the card. A river may also suggest that emotions are a vital factor in the scene at hand.
Read more about the symbolism of "Rivers and Streams" in Tarot
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