Tarot Card Meanings – The Queen of Cups

Card Description

The Queen of Cups sits on a throne on a shore by the edge of the sea. The sky is clear, the sea calm. One visible foot just touches the water. Her white and turquoise dress ripples down onto the beach where the pattern becomes almost indistinguishable from the stones and shells amidst the sand. Cherubs decorate the throne – one peeks and two are curled over the throne arch above her. The arch of the top of the throne is reminiscent of the shape of a scalloped shell.

The Queen stares intensely at a cup which she holds in her right hand. Her left hand steadies the base of the cup. The cup itself is highly ornate and it seems as though there are two protective, winged creatures moulded onto each side. The cup also has an ornate lid which looks like the spire of a church. It is the only cup in the deck which is so highly decorated.

Un-numbered – Court Card

Astrological Association
Cancer – Cardinal water

Card Meaning

cupsqueenThe Queen of Cups is connected to the water element – so much so that in a way she becomes the element as indicated by her foot touching the water. Her connection to water indicates she has healing qualities and an ability to understand unconscious urges. She is familiar with the full range of human emotional expression from deep love to guilt and shame. She is acceptance. The church like ‘spire’ including a cross on top of the cup, indicate emotions are sacred. The feeling function bring her closer to God/Goddess.

Quite simply she loves. But for the Queen, love is a verb not just a feeling. As the dress becomes the pattern of the stones, so the Queen’s love is something that is made manifest. She is love in action. The focus of both water and earth at her feet perhaps also indicates that she has the ability to make her dreams manifest – like an artist painting a picture from their dreams. The colourful stones on the shoreline perhaps also show that whatever is washed up from the unconscious is worthy of our attention

The nature of the Queen of Cups is motherly and nurturing but also sensual. She is a wife or partner as well as a Mother. Love is not an abstract – for her it is mind, body and spirit. She may be dreamy and imaginative yet also she is able to keep a lid on her emotions so that they don’t overwhelm her. In relationships she is romantic and affectionate, easily displaying what she feels. She wears her heart on her sleeve.

The fact that the Queen steadies the cup with her left hand shows that she defers to her emotional self. Left is receptive and feminine. When it comes to following her head or head – her heart will always win. Emotionally secure she displays her feelings with warmth and has a way of helping others open up to her. Her tenderness makes her a shoulder to cry on.

When the Queen of Cups appears in a reading, she may indicate a women with the qualities of loving kindness, compassion, healing and empathy. She may be an artist or photographer or work in the arts. She may enjoy quiet pursuits such as reading, creative writing or painting. Sometimes she is a nurse or an alternative healer. With her strong connection to the collective pool of the unconscious, she may be psychic or clairvoyant.

The Queen of Cups may also appear to represent qualities that you need to develop within yourself. She encourages you to explore your feelings and to trust your intuition. Be open to love in the world. Put yourself in another’s shoes if you are finding it difficult to understand their actions.  Maybe you need to engage your imagination or listen to your gut instincts. Perhaps you need to have a more spiritual outlook . If you are being too logical, turn the problem over to your heart or to your dreams. Remember to be kind to yourself as well as others. Spend some time in meditation or contemplation. Art journalling or music may help to generate an emotional shift.

Reversed meaning

If the Queen of Cups is reversed, emotions may have got out of control. The lid falls off the chalice and all manner of feelings can pour out. When the Queen’s energy is reversed she can be emotionally vulnerable and unable to clearly define boundaries between herself an others. As a result, she may be easily used and abused, a doormat or one who finds herself doing everything for everyone else and yet never feeling as though this is returned. Reversed energy can indicate growing resentment that poisons the soul.

She may be inclined towards co-dependency, rely too much on what others want and ignore her own needs. She may have a tendency to smother others with love due to a deep need to feel love in return. Emotionally insecure, she may come across as desperate or depressed. Feelings can be bottled up causing deep emotional distress that unbalances the system. These emotional blocks can manifest as a secretive nature and/or an inability to trust others. Occasionally the reversed Queen can indicate a problem with alcohol.

I trust my feelings.

Keywords and Phrases
Upright – The lady of the Lake; Mary Magdalene; matters of the heart; Love is something you do, love heals all; a Mother’s love; the love of a good woman; fond memories; compassion, artistic imagination; introspection, empathy, calm, clairvoyance, a shoulder to cry on; peace.

Reversed – Smothering, being treated with kid gloves; desperate, moody, full of resentment; bunny boiler; an emotional wreck; co-dependent, hormonal, secretive, emotionally insecure; vulnerable.

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