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The Meaning of
the "Two of Cups" Tarot Card

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

The Meaning of the "Two of Cups"
Tarot Card


The Symbolism of the Two of Cups

A man and a woman appear to be saying vows and engaging in an act of union. Both wear ceremonial clothes and garlands.

The woman wears a robe and a garland of leaves, while the man wears a brightly decorated tunic and a garland of roses.

A modest house sits in the background on a grassy hilltop. A caduceus (two entwined snakes) and winged-lion rise into the air above their two cups.

The imagery used in this illustration was chosen very carefully:

Historically, the winged lion represented St. Mark the Evangelist, who poured the water that Jesus turned into wine. The symbol of the caduceus — scepter of Hermes from Greek mythology — represents health, travel and messages from afar.

The interweaving of the ancient winged-lion and the caduceus symbolism suggests a message of a healthy union and transformation.

The interweaving of the ancient winged-lion and the caduceus symbolism suggests a message of a healthy union and transformation. As the man and woman join in union, they are transformed.


How to Interpret the Two of Cups

While the Ace of Cups represents a wellspring of love and emotion coming from within, the Two of Cups represents the flow of energy between two people.

The card represents a joining of energies — love, trust, commitment and support.

The card represents a joining of energies — love, trust, commitment and support. The imagery in the card suggeests that this union is still in its early-days, but is expected to blossom in the future.

While the imagery in the card is very romantic, the appearance of the Two of Cups in a reading may also suggest the beginning of a non-romantic relationship like a business partnership, a friendship or a platonic connection. The positive imagery suggests the relationship, whether romantic or not, is mutually beneficial and is a 'win' for both parties.

The card is very positive, and carries overtones of trust, attraction and travel.


The Two of Cups Inverted

Since the upright meaning of this Minor Arcana card is a very positive sign for love, it would be easy to assume that the reversed card is negative. While that interpretation may sometimes be appropriate, in most cases the reversed card still references a positive union.

The reversed Two of Cups carries two distinct meanings:

It may serve as a reminder to rekindle a relationship lest it be taken for granted or lose some level of importance.

On the other hand, a reversed Two of Cups reminds us that before we can love, we must love ourselves. Love cannot be projected outwards effectively when its foundation is unstable.

First, we must love and respect ourselves, our decisions and our paths before we can create a stable union.

First, we must love and respect ourselves, our decisions and our paths before we can create a stable union. This advice applies to businesses and non-romantic relationships too: Put your own house in order, and take yourself seriously to forge stronger partnerships.

Lastly, depending on your specific reading: If the card references a new relationship or one that hasn't happened yet, a reversed Two of Cups can sometimes be an indication to expect the unexpected. Events may unfold in ways you had not predicted.


Common Symbols Found On the Two of Cups Card

Tarot cards often use a a common symbology to convey additional information about how the card should be interpreted. The Two of Cups contains at least six well-known, repeating Tarot symbols. Each of these common symbols can add additional levels of interpretation to the card.

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

  • Garlands

    Garlands symbolism appears on the Two of Cups card:

    The symbolism of garlands and rings of flowers is used often throughout the classic Rider Waite Tarot deck. Garlands of flowers, leaves and fruit indicate festivity, plenty and and the power of the natural world. In other cases, the appearance of garlands may also point to a ceremony or some official recognition.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Garlands" in Tarot  

  • Hills

    Hills symbolism appears on the Two of Cups card:

    Single hills have a distinct symbolic meaning in classic Tarot imagery. Single hills in Tarot, as opposed to imposing mountains or mountain-ranges, are often depicted with a lone house at the crest. Hills represent a safe, secluded place or a homestead. They represent safety, security, self-reliance and the comforts of home — but also a quiet place of solitude and introspection.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Hills" in Tarot  

  • Trees

    Trees symbolism appears on the Two of Cups card:

    In a general sense, trees highlight a connection to natural forces and the natural world. Trees are one of the most widely used symbols in the classic tarot deck. The specific meaning of any one tree varies depending on the specific Tarot card it appears on.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Trees" in Tarot  

  • Lions

    Lions symbolism appears on the Two of Cups card:

    Lions in general represent courage and strength, however the depiction of lions in the Tarot varies widely, and their meaning depends on the exact card where each lion makes an apearance. As well as being the primary theme of the Major Arcana Strength Tarot card, lions are a recurring symbol on several other cards across the Tarot deck.

    NOTE: The winged lion shown on the the Two of Cups card is a well-known motif from antiquity which symbolizes Saint Mark. St. Mark is considered a symbol of determination and strength. However, this lion's head sits atop a caduceus, representing the Greek Hermes, or the Roman Mercury. This interesting combination may also suggest the concepts of messages and communication.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Lions" in Tarot  

  • Couples

    Couples symbolism appears on the Two of Cups card:

    Couples are a frequent symbol appearing on cards of both the Major and Minor Arcana. When appearing in Minor Arcana cards, couples are a generally (but not always) positive symbol — associated with ideas from growth and happiness, to prosperity and security.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Couples" in Tarot  

  • Roses

    Roses symbolism appears on the Two of Cups card:

    Roses are among of the most common repeating symbols in the classic Rider-Waite Tarot deck. What can sometimes make interpreting roses difficult, is that there are a few different varieties of roses depicted on different cards. Each of these different varieties and colors carries a different meaning.

    Read more about the symbolism of "Roses" in Tarot  

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