King of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

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

Ideas: Anger issues, emotional outburst, vent

Traits: Abrupt, distractible, emotional, impatient, moody, spontaneous, unpredictable

Emotions: Anger, anxiety, disappointment, frustration, nervousness, tenseness, uneasiness

  • Actions:
    • Channeling your emotions into creativity
    • Dealing with anger issues
    • Expressing your frustration
    • Improving your emotional intelligence
    • Learning relaxation techniques
    • Uncovering your feelings
King of Cups (Upright, Balanced)

Ideas: Composure, diplomacy, restraint, wisdom

Traits: Courageous, flexible, intense, perceptive, placid, protective, sensitive

Emotions: Caring, compassion, contentment, eagerness, optimism, satisfaction

  • Actions:
    • Being brave and clear in the face of adverse circumstances
    • Honoring the spirit, not just the letter, of the law
    • Keeping a stiff upper lip
    • Making fair and empathetic decisions
    • Owning and mastering various kinds of emotions
    • Sharing experience as a way of comforting others
    • Staying calm and composed amid turbulence
King of Cups (Upright, Excessive)

Ideas: Hidden agenda, poker face, spiritual tyranny

Traits: Cold, offhand, phlegmatic, rigid, secretive, scheming, steely, unfathomable

Emotions: Envy, jealousy, neglect, pride

  • Actions:
    • Abusing spiritual authority
    • Allowing yourself to become rigid and unemotional
    • Failing to check in with your emotions
    • Making decisions without regard for their emotional impact on others
    • Making unfair decisions based on a hidden agenda
    • Using emotional or spiritual leverage to exercise unhealthy control over others

King of Cups’ Advice

Personal Growth

The time has come to assume a leadership role, using your experiences to guide others. Find a way to give back some of what you’ve been given. You have more wisdom than you know; draw on newfound maturity to come to the aid of a cause greater than yourself.


Without adopting a “poker face,” some situations call for a little restraint. Calm down. Consider the other side’s arguments. Walk in the shoes of your partner or friend. Give strong emotions time to subside before taking action you may regret later.


When everyone is running in circles and screaming, someone has to step forward, exercise restraint, and draw attention back to the work that remains. Refuse to be drawn into rumor-mongering and petty disagreements. Remain neutral, fair, and focused.


A deeper sense of spirit should move us to greater service. Let wisdom guide you to a ministry that makes sense in terms of your life and your world. Consider taking on the role of a counselor or mentor. Use your experiences to help others mature.

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