A Dream Come True: King of Cups

The King of Cups, like his wife, represents beauty, poetry, and dreams.  He is the King of the emotional realm, the watery subconscious.  He is romantic and poetic. He is the masculine principle of unconditional love and devotion.

The King of Cups is gentle and empathetic, and, even though the Air signs are known for their communication skills, those strong in Water have their own comforting eloquence–they know what to say, and also when to stay silent.

Dolphins, the playful mammals that live in the sea, represent the King of Cups’ comfort both in the land of reason and in the water of feeling.  The King of Cups is aware that the human imagination and capacity for compassion is limitless, like the ocean itself.

The King is gazing far off, indicating the intuition associated with Water signs.  The King of Cups can see into the future, using his heart (or his gut) as his guide. The watery King does not rely exclusively on his brain.  Because he is so empathetic, he is also pretty good at anticipating what another person may need.  However, because the person in question is a human being, don’t be too hard on them when they don’t!

Robin Wood’s King of Cups is dressed in the same watery yet powerful colors his wife the Queen wears, and the background is colored in pale, soft, colors.  These colors show both the majesty, splendor, and tenderness of the King of Cups.

The King of Cups is a man who is “in touch with his feminine side.” He is nurturing, and has a comforting presence.  As you can see here, on Kris Waldherr’s King of Cups, the King is dressed in the feminine color of lavender; however, the King of Cups should never be thought of as weak.  The people whom this card represents are loyal, strong, and true, and willing to take on anything for the people whom they love. Lavender is a healing, peaceful color, and peace takes power and courage, perhaps a different kind of courage than the more masculine Wands and Swords, but courage nevertheless.  The soft glow that surrounds this King is his true nature, but keep in mind that the Water signs can be intimidating–Lunas have claws, Scorpios have the stinger, and Pisces–well, you’ve heard of barracuda, piranha, and great white sharks.
The King of Cups has a pensive, dreamy quality, which can be seen in the way the King gazes down into his cup. That cup is full of mysteries and wonders of the subconscious, the beauty and power inside every person, and the inner peace accessible to all.
Little side note: the Suit of Cups are sometimes associated with blondes.

The Celtic King of Cups looks concerned, even though he has all the qualities embodied in the King of Cups. This can be a common pitfall of the King of Cups–even though he has all of these loving qualities, and intuition, and imagination, they can be plagued by insecurity and doubt.  Yet, this vulnerability can be a great strength. Openness and exposure is an act of courage.

Barbara G. Walker chose the Welsh god of the sea, Dewi, to be the King of Cups for her deck.  Dewi later became known as Davy Jones, and Saint David (Walker 24).  He is the ruler of all the oceans, the symbol for the subconscious, its mystery, its power, its beauty, and its terrors.  The Welsh god was a protector, like all King of Cups who are balanced and whole, and was a symbol of “ageless power and strength, [and] irresistible forces underlying a calm surface” (Walker 25).  Still waters run deep.
The King of Cups, like all Kings in a tarot deck, typically represents a father figure. The King of Cups is the kind, loving, affectionate, and nurturing father.
When the King of Cups is imbalanced, he can be narcissistic, needy, estranged, or even bipolar.  He can also be emotionally cruel or abandoning.
Archetypes and people associated with the King of Cups
Kind, loving fathers
Devoted husbands
The Lover
A Sensitive Man
A good therapist
The Romantic
Males born under the Water signs and have a lot of that energy
Work Cited:
Walker, Barbara G.  Barbara Walker Tarot.  Stamford: US Games Systems, Inc. 1986
Like my Emperor post, which was dedicated to my beloved Grandpa, I dedicate this post to my dearest Uncle Tim, who passed away on November 13 (and was a Pisces), and my lovely Uncle Mike, who just celebrated his birthday (and is a Scorpio).

Rest and Relaxation, brought to you by the Four of Swords

Fours, in numerology, is the number of stability and balance. There are four points on the compass, four elements in the Western tradition, and four seasons.  There are four sides in a square, and four legs on a table. There are also four aspects to the human being–physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.


The Four of Swords signifies a time of rest and rejuvenation after a struggle or a period of intense mental activity.


Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Deck shows Isis reclining under the points of Four Swords.  Looking at the card, you may feel that the points are ominous and menacing Swords of Damocles, literally. Since the Four of Swords signifies an only temporary truce, this card can carry an underlying tension. But, again, it’s all in the interpretation of the card, and the same card may show something different to the same reader at each reading. Another person may see, or another reading may show, the swords as Isis’s own swords, and they keep her safe and secure while she rests before rising to face a new challenge.



In Robin Wood’s deck, three of the four swords are sheathed, and one is carved into the stone of the sepulcher.  The swords are put to rest as well.  Now is not the time for the questioner to brain storm (the Swords are aligned with the mental realm) or sharpen his wits. Now is the time to take care of herself. From the position of the shield on the chest, now is a time for, at most, a defensive position. Do not take the offensive.  Take a temporary peace to recharge before going back to the challenge or conflict at hand.  Relish the relaxation, and feel gratitude.


The Celtic Deck shows people having a meal. Depending on how you read the card, this scene may tell about a temporary truce or ceasefire, or a retaking up of arms after a temporary truce. On what razor thin edge is the questioner balancing? Is it heading toward peace, or an explosion?

Perhaps the questioner is more like the fellow up in the balcony, or the serving man carrying the tray of food, or the unarmed host.  What does this vantage point offer? Can they influence the outcome of the situation?



Barbara G. Walker’s Four of Swords shows a sorceress at rest, but on her guard.  Her swords form a protective boundary around her as she etches the protective pentagram onto the ground in front of her.  The four swords, with the square that they form around her, also help her keep balanced metaphorically.

She is in a cave, the symbol of the womb, and of regeneration. When she leaves her resting place, she will be stronger and better prepared for the problems that she may face. In that regard, the Four of Swords may be telling the questioner to not only take a break to rejuvenate, but to gather intelligence and possible defensive and offensive mechanisms.


When reversed, the Four of Swords mean that a truce or a time-out is denied, or that the period of rest and truce is coming to an end.