King of Cups Meaning, Guide and Review

King of Cups is a part of what tarot readers call Minor Arcana in Latin-suited tarot playing cards called tarot deck. Esoterics use this card for divination purposes, but its origin is playing cards. The meaning and interpretations of this card are derived from the original Rider-Waite tarot deck.

King of Cups: King of Cups Tarot Card, Tarot Card Journal,...
  • Mystic, Tariana (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

King of Cups Keywords

Upright Keywords:

Emotionally balanced, compassionate, diplomatic, wise, the balance between head and heart, devoted, advisor, counselor, mature, compassionate male, calm, caring, friendly, sympathetic, tolerant, balanced, affectionate, romantic, charming, devoted, family orientated, a generous, easy-going, married man, good husband/partner/father, loyal, faithful, spiritual guide, good advice, creativity, wisdom.

Reversed Keywords:

Unproductive, unreliable, intolerant, emotionally immature male, overly emotional, overwhelmed, anxious, uncaring, unkind, gullible, depressed, cold, repressed, withdrawn, moody, unbalanced, controlling, rape, violence, deviance, manipulation, affair with married man, cheater, conman, blocked creativity, ruthlessness, anxious, cold, repressed, manipulative, selfish, self-compassion, inner feelings, moodiness, emotionally manipulative.

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King of Cups Description

The King of Cups card, just like its name, displays a king, presumably a man sitting on a throne made out of stone in the middle of the card’s image. The King is wearing garments made of expensive and rare materials, such as a blue tunic and a golden robe. His attire symbolizes his authority, status, power, and influence over his subjects. He’s also adorned with a small fish amulet that hangs around his neck; it stands as a symbol of- creativity, critical thinking, a strong mind, and mature emotions.

The objects he holds in his hands as he sits graciously on his throne also represent specific meanings of this card; in his right hand, he holds a chalice, and in his left, there lies a scepter. The chalice and the scepter, both in his hands, represent the depth of his power and status. But the quality that sets the King of Cups card apart from the other Cups court card is that the King’s eyes aren’t focused on the chalice in his hands like the other Cups card. His eyes seem to shift somewhere far away.

This particular expression is drawn onto the image meticulously to symbolize that the King doesn’t need to watch his subjects actively and has full power and authority over them. Moreover, he has confidence in his power and authority so he can shift his gaze and attention somewhere else to concentrate on building a better future.

King of Cups card’s background is a turbulent sea with harsh and unpredictable tides and waves. The King’s throne appears to be floating in the middle of it, representing his calm sense of demeanor in even the most difficult of times. On his left, a fish is seen jumping out of the ocean, and on the left, a ship stays steady and sails despite facing such harsh waves.

Even in this environment, the King stays calm and stays unmoved, as he needs to stay in control of his emotions in even difficult times and avoid acting on unconscious impulses. He keeps hold of his power and avoids being overwhelmed by the difficulties he faces while balancing his emotions and urges.

General Interpretation of King of Cups (Upright & Reversed)

Upright Meaning:

In general meaning, the upright position of the King of Cups represents the qualities of compassion, kindness, and knowledge. This card of Minor Arcana represents that you’ll be able to find a certain balance within your consciousness and heart.

Learning to control your emotions will shape how you make decisions for your actions, and you’ll accept that you can’t change everything in this world. You’ll gain a deeper maturity level when this card appears in your reading. You’ll find yourself calmer and more tolerant towards others than before; you’ll also be able to make decisions and measure the consequences neutrally.

Like the other cards of the Cups territory, the King of Cups represents a person with the qualities of emotional maturity, empathy, creativity, sensibility, artistic intelligence, and intuition, but all in a very balanced and organized demeanor.

If the King of Cups card depicts a person, it symbolizes someone calm, caring, affectionate, and empathetic to others. The King of Cups also signifies someone’s ability to lead and organize work and an enduring and focused vision of the future. He appears to have fewer enemies because of his diplomatic and calm approach to situations. He’s a good listener, gives thoughtful and helpful advice, and works as a calming influence in your life.

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Reversed Meaning:

In the reversed position, the King of Cups can indicate being too immature or emotional. It can also signify over-sensitivity. It also suggests that maybe you’re being too gullible or that you’re allowing yourself to be taken advantage of by others. A person’s maturity is connected to their ability to cope with situations and be accountable for their behaviors. So, the King of Cups card advises you to consider your emotional maturity while behaving and making decisions.

Alternatively, the card King of Cups can signify anxiety or depression. Moreover, it can also represent unkind, toxic, bitter, and abusive behavior. To describe the King of Cups card as a person, that person would likely be manipulative, controlling, negative, and extremely abusive.

These kinds of people and behaviors are harmful and can scar a person for life. Being vulnerable and weak creates the opportunity for others to take advantage of you and use you as a weapon to achieve their own selfish goals. The card can also represent a cunning, selfish person who can’t be trusted.

King of Cups- Yes or No

The answer to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question in reading the King of Cups is a strong and definite ‘yes.’ The King of Cups is a card that embodies the abilities of confidence and security. As a person, the card represents someone wise and knowledgeable and someone who doesn’t solely take important decisions based on their impulsive feelings. He’s also generous, caring, and usually friendly with everyone he crosses paths with. That said, it’s no surprise that the answer to such an affirmative card would be ‘yes.’

Symbols, Astrology & Numerology of King of Cups


The element associated strongly with the King of Cups card is water.


The Minor Arcana card King of Cups is strongly connected to the zodiac sign of Pisces. This zodiac sign is the indicator of both spiritual and physical energy, and it can set boundaries and break down barriers. But he’s also sensitive to his surroundings and keeps a sharp eye on the people around him, which gives his personality depth and makes him lovable and caring to others.

The planet of Neptune rules the zodiac sign of Pisces. Neptune is the planet associated with dreams and imagination.

King of Cups & Some Important Card Combinations

Even though the card of King of Cups stands for relatively positive attributes and qualities such as creativity, life-oriented advice, wisdom, dependability, security, stability, and more, if this card is seen in a tarot reading appearing with other cards, then the meaning of the King of Cups may change, bend or simply arrive as a warning or sign of ensuing arguments.

  • King of Cups & The Devil:

The King of Cups and the Devil showing up in your tarot reading together is a sign of a manipulative person creeping into your life soon. You may need to closely watch the people around you and the people approaching you. You need to ensure that each person in your life adds value, not only hovering near you for their interests.

Maybe it’s time to look back and spot someone taking more from you than giving; if there’s someone like that, perhaps you need to talk them into changing their behavior, and if they disagree, maybe it’s high time you cut ties with them.

  • King of Cups & The Tower:

These two cards combine to indicate arguments and quarrels; maybe you’ll find yourself fighting with your partner way more than usual. This pair can be the indicator of both serious arguments and minor quarrels about petty things.

Regardless of the situation, the best way to solve it is to come clean and communicate with your partner. Open conversations with your partner about the difficulty or situation can save both of you a lot of headaches and help you fix the problem quicker.

Furthermore, to avoid more problems happening in the future, you can be clearer with your partner about your feelings and take time daily to talk about them; face to face. This will make a world of difference.

  • King of Cups & Queen of Swords:

These two coming together indicates you are uniting with someone opposite for the greater good. For example- maybe someone is sick from your family, and you’re required to unite with the side of the family that you don’t like.

But it’s for the better. So, considering your differences is good, and working hard for your desired goal. Just remember the real reason you’re doing the work. You can gain the strength for perseverance with other people different from you.

  • King of Cups & King of Pentacles:

This combination of cards shows the potential possibility of a change of career on your horizon. If you’ve been thinking about switching jobs, this is the time for you. The cards affirm that your venture will be successful. It’s now a great time to push forward and reach for your dreams.


We learn a lot from this card, and it’s essential to follow its teachings of this card. The King of Cups card expresses a more profound meaning and message.

Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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