FIVE OF CUPS
KEYWORDS: Regret, Change, Despair, Disappointment, Depression, Loss, Lack of Hope
CARD DEFINITION: This signifies loss and regret about something done in the past. You need to forget the past and make a new beginning. Relationships may be unsatisfactory. There may be some kind of sorrow or remorse in your life. You need to accept things as they are and move on.
REVERSE DEFINITION: You may meet an old friend or lover. This may be the beginning of a new relationship. Life may seem more positive. You may feel the courage returning in you to tart life all over again.
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Interpreting The Five of Cups
The Five of Cups is strongly tied to the strong and firm warning issued by the Four of Cups before it. The Four warns of the dangers attached to taking blessings for granted and issues a plea to the recipient of its message to change his tune before it's too late. The type of situation represented by the Five of Cups is what can be expected to come about through ignoring such a strong and important message. Although it is still a card irrevocably tied to the concepts of love and connection, it speaks of the sadness, disappointment and loss that come about when such blessings are left to wither and rot on the vine.
However, it is very important to note that the Five is not necessarily representative of an existing situation. As is the case with any of the tarot cards, it often merely represents a strong possibility that will come to pass if a strict change in course is not adopted before it is too late. While it is true that by the time the Five shows up in your life it is probably too late to avoid an undesirable outcome altogether, all is not lost yet. Nevertheless, this card is not necessarily all negativity and shadows. While the loss you may have experienced seems all encompassing, there is always something yet remaining to hold on to. It is important to appreciate and be thankful for what remains, as it is the key to moving onward toward a brighter, better future.
The traditional tarot image attached to the Five of Cups touches upon all of these main points. The focal point of the image is a sad, dejected figure cloaked in black with his head hung low in despair. Before him lie three cups on their sides, the wine they once held spilled and lost forever. However, behind him, two cups still remain standing and full - a representation of all he still has that has not yet been lost. Nevertheless, the figure fails to see the presence of these vessels, as he refuses to look away from what is gone. The image as a whole seeks not only to warn of loss that could come about as a result of folly, but to remind us that even in the face of such loss, it is important to look around and recognize that which still remains.
When the Five of Cups makes an appearance in a tarot spread, it often speaks of a possible outcome of a situation that has already been left to molder for too long. Perhaps it is not yet too late to remedy the situation. The surrounding cards and positioning of the Five in the spread at large will offer more information. However, often this card does represent existing disappointment, loss or regret and these feelings would be tied somehow to a relationship with another person or perhaps even with the querent's own self. Whichever happens to be the case, the solution this card is presenting is always clear - stop seeing the glass as half empty and concentrate on the fact that it is also half full. The only thing keeping the querent from getting past whatever has happened (or is happening) is himself and his own blindness. He must make an effort to open his eyes and take a good look around, as the answer is already right there just waiting to be discovered.