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King of Cups
Tarot Card Meaning

King of Cups. (Aquarian deck published by US Games) King of Cups. (Morgan-Greer deck published by US Games) King of Cups. (Universal Waite deck published by US Games)

About King of Cups
Meaning in Tarot

The following is an account of the king of cups as if spoken in first person. I thought it would be a neat way to gain better and personal understanding of this card's personality. Hope you like the perspective!

"I am the King of Cups and this is my legacy.

I am a consummate communicator, and I built my kingdom on a foundation of intelligent discernment. A natural humanitarian, I can easily relate to people of all classes and races.

Some keywords from the King of Cups:

  • Ruler
  • Leader
  • Healer
  • Fatherly
  • Advocate
  • Sensitive
  • Diplomat
  • Idealistic
  • Negotiator
  • Nobleman
  • Influential
  • Scrupulous
  • Charismatic
  • Ambassador
  • Responsible
  • Philanthropic
  • Humanitarian
  • Understanding
  • Communicative

This ability to relate and understand people comes from an uncanny ability to listen. I've been told I have a fatherly way about me in that people are comfortable in telling me their life story. This speaks volumes, as a man of my high stature can be very intimidating. Nevertheless, they open their hearts to me, and I value the candor and trust they place in me.

My forte in verbal exchange enables me to be a true diplomat too. I am most effective as an ambassador for my kingdom. I am the most traveled of all the kings in the Tarot. I enjoy travel, but most favorable is joining forces with foreign lands.

Learning ways of foreign cultures is highly engaging for me. Indeed, I carry many foreign customs back to my home country with a goal to diversify my own people. I believe in broadening minds and expanding horizons.

To wit, I establish higher learning in my kingdom. I endorse educational programs and encourage everyone (men, women and children) to participate in continued learning.

I am also a religious man, and as the King of Cups, I promote spiritual education too. I believe everyone should have an equal sampling of religion, science and philosophy. I work very hard to make these things available to every one no matter what their economic status.

My suit is water, so I am emotionally intuitive, yet my station as King is air-bound which dwells in the realm of thought. This gives me an advanced edge because I can effortlessly communicate the intuitive perceptions I receive.

King of Cups Meaning in Tarot

I am an eloquent speaker, writer and I even express my philosophical perspectives in art too. Although, I am not in a position to nurture my artistic side as much as I would desire. More appropriately, I devote much attention to studying the fine arts. I have a savvy eye for classic design, art and style. I promote many arts programs in my kingdom too.

I sit on a foundational throne in the center of the ocean, which gives testimony to my exclusivity in communicative, intuitive realms. Further, my stone island in the sea is symbolic of my solid rock ability to discriminate the truth from the babble that is uttered from the collective consciousness.

As the King of Cups, I am psychically perceptive, and can hear all kinds of verbiage. I sit on a foundation of keen intellect and strong-willed determination to trust intellect over unreliable sources.

Arthurian lore draws a connection to me, the King of Cups and the Fisher King. Indeed, my son, the Knight of Cups is likened to Perceval whom the Fisher King engages in the story of the quest for the Holy Grail. I can see where similarities can be drawn.

The most important connection with this legend and myself is that I do protect something unfathomably priceless. The grail as it is manifested in my wife, the Queen of Cups. She is my highest advisor, more psychic than anyone in my realm. I trust her implicitly, she is my secret weapon and foretells of many an event. She is the grail of life and the connection to all things unseen. I devote my life first to my Queen, then to my kingdom.

I'm fastidious about my appearance. As a diplomat, it's important for the King of Cups to maintain a polished appearance. I have brownish hair, cut short and well tended. My eyes are most noted for their crispness more than color, but they are light and bluish like the seas of my homeland. There is something about my presence that is authoritative. I hold myself as if I am always in control. This is a quality that goes beyond the realm of kingship.

When I appear to you in the cards, I will encourage you to be a leader, to be the voice of your own people. But I will tell you in order to be a strong voice in a sea of opinions, you must first listen to for the people's needs. Let both intellect, compassion and intuition be your guide as you serve as an ambassador for the greatest good of your tribe."

Some symbols from the King of Cups:

click fish symbolism in Tarot

Fish: It is no coincidence that the fish is featured on all the cups court cards because fish symbol meanings deal with emotion, intuition and creativity. When considering the fish symbol meaning, we must first recognize the nature of the water in which it lives: in motion, unpredictable, and representative of the subconscious (as symbolic of water). The fish is a symbol of prolific abundance if we have the wherewithal to harness our own passion responsibly. Swim in fish symbolism of the Tarot sea.

click for a larger view of all cards with the Ocean symbol

Ocean: Ocean symbol meanings deal with infinite possibilities. Consider the ocean, and you will be considering the essence of vastness, mystery, and depth. It seems in exhaustible and the holder of wonderous things unseen. When the oceans in the King of Cups crash their waves against our consciousness, it is time to pay homage to the great divine - meaning we should recognize the burgeoning power around us, the animating force that runs through us - the expansive and expressive nature of the universe. In other words, we must acknowledge that there may be other (higher) powers at work in our lives and it may be time to release our control in order to allow these powers to open up incredible opportunities to us. Dive into other oceans in the Tarot

click for a larger view of all cards with the Ship symbol

Ship: Yes, of course ship symbol meanings deal with travel and journeying. However a commonly overlooked factor is the medium upon which they said - water - it deals with the deeper levels of the psyche and the subconscious. This is particularly the case with the King of Cups. When Ships sail across your vision in a reading, take into consideration where your thoughts (psyche) are traveling - what kind of baggage (cargo) are you carrying around, and are you charting (navigating) out the best course for your thoughts and emotions? Set sail on other ships in the deck.

Some questions the King of Cups asks:

  • Is it time for continued education?
    I promote constant learning, especially in the arts, sciences and religion. When I show up in the cards, I will ask you to study the classics to enhance your perspective.

  • How are you at negotiations?
    As a natural diplomat and negotiator, you have to think sharp, and also observe every nuance of your opponent or partner. Study more about me and other famous negotiators if you feel wary about your task of finessing your needs in a meeting.

  • How do you feel about leadership?
    Whether you lead in the role as a father, mother, president or even being a spiritual leader, there are many things to consider. Foremost, the cornerstones of my leadership as king is faith and compassion.

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