King of Cups Tarot Card Meaning

Tarot, like astrology, has long been one of our favorite divination systems. Interpreting either takes practice. As you learn, we wanted to help you to quickly connect to the cards and use them in ways that are actionable and practical in every area of life. xoxo, Tali & Ophira

Co-authored by James Kerti

What does the King of Cups tarot card mean?

The most nurturing card in this suit, the King of Cups bundles wisdom with compassion. When you see this card in a reading, you’re being pointed to the importance of balancing between head and heart.

A symbol of emotional maturity, this card advises taking the long view of a situation while being conscious of the inner needs and desires of everyone involved.

The King of Cups is about responding rather than reacting. Thoughtful and wise, this King incorporates empathy with sound judgment when making decisions. Be diplomatic as you search for the best path forward. Take a heart-centered, grounded approach to any challenging situation.

Like other court cards, the King of Cups may signify a particular person in your life, or someone you’ll meet soon. Your situation may involve an older person with a caring, rooted energy who is a valuable sounding board and advisor.

What is the King of Cups zodiac sign?

The zodiac sign of the King of Cups is Pisces

King of Cups Tarot Guide

Keywords for the King of Cups: mature, caring, paternal, wisdom, advisor, diplomatic

Yes or No: Yes

Planet of the King of Cups: Neptune

Element of the King of Cups: Water

What does the King of Cups card mean in a love reading?

The King of Cups represents the archetype of a caring partner and provider. Its appearance is a good sign for your domestic life and symbolizes the potential for a strong emotional bond. You may also need to be a source of emotional strength for someone close to you at this time.

If you’re in a relationship, the King of Cups shows a high degree of support and emotional sensitivity—or the desire for this kind of bond. Both partners want to feel seen and validated. This card suggests that care and affection are important now.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, this court card’s appearance asks for even more emotional depth and balance to your romantic sector. How can you increase the level of communication and support with those you love?

For singles, this card is a positive omen that a loving, secure person could soon come into your life. Keep an eye out for prospective mates with the qualities of this King. Your growth opportunity: opening yourself to receiving this person’s support and compassion. You may first need to expand your capacity to be vulnerable, which will require healing from past betrayals and relationship wounds. The King of Cups encourages you to get that support. You’re ready to be loved for who you are—unconditionally.

What does the King of Cups tarot card mean for career, money and finance?

Need a caring, experienced person to show you the ropes? When the King of Cups appears in a career reading, an advisor or mentor could nurture your path. Reach out for support if you’re navigate a challenging project or workplace scenario. A seasoned industry veteran who’s “been there, done that” could take you under their wing and champion you.

This court card is also a generally positive omen for your work environment. It signals ease and cooperation with your colleagues. You have the diplomatic skills to navigate conflicts or disagreements that arise. As this is an emotional card, like other Cups, it specifically points to the importance of valuing people’s emotional needs at work.

In money readings, the wise King of Cups leans toward wise financial decisions. If there’s an important choice you’ve been weighing, this card encourages you to trust your inner wisdom and experience.

What does the King of Cups tarot card mean for health?

Mind-body-soul alignment is your prescription when the King of Cups appears. This card asks you to balance inner and outer stability. If you’ve been thinking about exploring more “yin” practices like yoga, breathwork or tai chi, the King of Cups nudges you to follow through on that idea.

What is your body trying to tell you? When this King appears, you might flip through Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life, which links physical symptoms to possible emotional triggers.

If you’re working with a healer or health professional, search for someone with solid experience and references who listens and treats you with compassion.

How to read your birth chart

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King of Cups Tarot Card in Reverse Meaning

Like other court cards, when the King of Cups appears in a reversed position, the shadow side of its personality is emphasized.

While the King of Cups is a compassionate card, its reversed placement means you’ve gone too far into being overly trusting and sensitive. Someone could be taking advantage of you in this situation. Is that a pattern you’ve been finding yourself in? If so, the King of Cups in reverse encourages you to get in touch with the boundaries you need to protect yourself. (Boundaries don’t mean walls. You can still have connecting, emotional experiences with people!)

Another aspect of this reversed card is a tendency to feel imbalanced and out of sorts emotionally. If you’ve been feeling upset in a way you can’t quite explain, look at where you might be repressing your feelings. Nurture yourself rather than beating yourself up. If a good friend came to you with the emotional frustration you’ve been burying, how would you listen to receive them and their experience? Offer yourself that same kindness!

Is the King of Cups tarot card a yes or no?

With its caring, wise nature, the King of Cups is absolutely a yes in a yes or no reading. 

What does the Suit of Cups mean?

Cups are associated with water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), which rule emotions and connection. Water signs carry a romantic, artistic, and intuitive energy, and people with those signs love to create and connect.

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Feature art by Diana Hlevnja