Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

Five of Cups tarot card image
Meaning Indicator


Five of Cups’ Upright & Reversed Meanings

Five of Cups (Reversed, Lacking)

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?

Five of Cups’ Symbols & Insights

Three Cups Down, Two Cups Up

Tradition leads many artists to draw this card with three Cups overturned and two still standing. The outcome (three) of your emotional or spiritual effort may be disappointing, but now it’s time to focus on achieving a new sense of unity (two) elsewhere.

The Posture of Defeat

This card often depicts a cloaked figure with slumped shoulders. How is your current mood reflected in your posture? If your demeanor changed, might your mood change along with it?

Weighing Options

Do you focus on loss, or on the opportunity inherent in change? Do you grieve for the way things were or do you reassess your situation and adapt to it? How might this insight help you in your own situation?

The Marseilles Image

Growth continues (loss forces growth!), but the garden’s getting cramped. How can you balance the need for emotional stability with the fact that time is marching on?

More About Five of Cups Tarot Card

A breakup looms.
Don’t cry over spilt milk.
Take your lumps and get back in the saddle.
Between October 23 and November 1
“I learn from my losses and move on.”
Numerology Number
(the catalyst: instability, resistance, confrontation, evolution)
Astrology Element
Astrology Planet in Sign
Mars in Scorpio
Shocked by loss, the main character considers giving up the quest. Alternatively, the main character’s judgment is distorted by memories of loss.
Questions to Ask
How do I tend to deal with loss?
What life lesson might I be learning now?
How can I shift my attention from the past to the future?
Related Pages
Tarot Card Meanings Guide
Exploring Today’s Tarot
Consulting the Tarot
Traditional Tarot Card Meanings
Thirteen Fun Things to Do with Tarot Cards
Where to Go to Learn More
More Tarot Card Meaningss