Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

Five of Cups tarot card image
Five of Cups (Reversed)

Ideas: Pardon, re-evaluation, silver lining

Traits: Adaptable, conciliatory, flexible, forgiving, rational, realistic, sane, tolerant

Emotions: Hope, nervousness, optimism, relief, sentimentality, uneasiness

  • Actions:
    • Finding the silver lining in a dark cloud
    • Focusing on how the glass remains half-full
    • Healing the pain of loss
    • Learning lessons from harsh consequences
    • Moving on after loss
    • Recognizing that loss is a natural part of life
Five of Cups (Upright, Balanced)

Ideas: Apology, healthy grief, loss, uncertainty

Traits: Emotional, empathetic, honest, honorable, humble, respectful, solemn

Emotions: Compassion, embarrassment, guilt, sadness, shame, sorrow, unhappiness

  • Actions:
    • Acknowledging loss
    • Admitting your mistakes
    • Apologizing for your wrongdoings
    • Asking for forgiveness
    • Embracing healthy grief
    • Offering a shoulder to cry on
Five of Cups (Upright, Excessive)

Ideas: Fear of failure, self-pity, unhealthy grief

Traits: Discouraging, fatalistic, moody, obsessive, repentant, self-critical, unrealistic

Emotions: Despair, fear, gloom, grief, hopelessness, regret, remorse, pity, sympathy, woe

  • Actions:
    • Allowing fear of failure to limit your efforts
    • Beating yourself up over past mistakes
    • Clinging to the past
    • Crying over spilt milk
    • Failing to live in the present
    • Obsessing on past lives or past loves
    • Refusing to let go and move on
    • Wallowing in unhealthy grief or self-pity

Five of Cups’ Advice

Personal Growth

Perspective is everything. Each of us is predisposed to focus on the positive or the negative; if you tend towards the latter, condition yourself to be more optimistic by reviewing how apparently dark events of the past gave rise to greater strength or insight.


Maintaining an affair with memories of past lovers will prevent you from appreciating lovers in the here and now. Burned by past friends or partners? Thank them for the lesson learned and offer your heart to those who deserve your affection.


You can’t look back. The “good old days” have given way to the “here and now,” and it’s time to adjust your efforts accordingly. If you made mistakes, admit them, pick up the pieces, and return to work with renewed effort. Don’t focus on losses; define new goals.


Your faith, at first, may seem like “cold comfort” in times of loss. But if you accept that all things unfold according to a larger pattern, you must look for the role this loss plays in the grand scheme of things. Three cups remain upright. What do you still have to be thankful for?

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