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Five of Cups


Card Information:

Numerical Value: 5

Element: Fire


  • Loss

  • Deadlock

  • Disbelief

  • Searching for a way out

  • Stuck in the past

  • Restriction of freedom

  • Self-destruction

  • Acceptance

  • Overcoming pessimism

  • Need for solitude

  • Focusing on the negative

  • Finding a new direction

  • Focusing on the future

  • Learning from past mistakes

  • Illusion

  • Seeking reality

  • Misdirected solutions

  • Hidden hope

  • Self-reliance

  • Unhappiness

  • Rejection

  • Emotional

  • Pessimistic

  • Lonely

  • Regretful

  • Hopeless

  • Passive

  • Introverted

  • Heartbroken

  • Depressed

  • Mourning

  • Defeated

  • Need for solitude

  • Darkened world

  • Separation

  • Recent loss

  • Unaccepted grief

  • Victimized

  • Powerless

  • Confidence lost

  • Fixated on the past

  • Deceived

  • Exhausted

  • Freedom restricted

  • Emotional turmoil

  • Focus on the negative

  • Reached an end

  • Solutionless

  • Lost in darkness

  • Unexpressed feelings

  • Relationship issues

  • Burnt bridges

  • Hopelessness


  • Burning bridges

  • Inability to accept loss

  • Unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel

  • Harming others

  • Looking in the wrong direction

  • Ignoring realities

  • External disappointments

  • Valuing what remains

  • Positive thinking

  • Escaping darkness

  • Misconception of severity

  • Opening new doors

  • Patience for desires

  • Farewell

  • Accepted defeat

  • Dead-ended

  • Excessive pessimism

  • Unexpressed sorrow

Five of Cups: Loss and Reflection

In the Five of Cups, we encounter a somber figure standing with a black cloak, his back turned, and a melancholic demeanor. The image draws our attention to his inward posture and bowed head, signifying his deep sorrow and disappointment. Three of the cups lie toppled over on the ground, while two remain upright. The distant castle, a river, and a bridge provide the backdrop to this melancholic scene.

This card, often considered one of the most sorrowful in the Minor Arcana, symbolizes a sense of disappointment and the inability to accept a loss. The prominent black cloak represents the pervasive themes of gloom and mourning. The three fallen cups signify things that are irrevocably lost, while the two standing cups represent what remains. Upon closer examination of the figure in the black cloak, one can discern feelings of regret and sorrow. His regret stems from a sense of missed opportunities and a recognition that certain losses cannot be undone.

The Five of Cups can also indicate separation or the onset of depression and sadness associated with a parting, though not necessarily in the romantic sense. It could be leaving one's hometown, bidding farewell to a cherished goal, or abandoning something deeply desired. This card often appears when one struggles to come to terms with an event that cannot be changed, urging them to withdraw into themselves or seek solace in solitude.

Furthermore, the Five of Cups may represent turning one's back on the past and the lingering sorrow from a past event. However, the two cups still standing behind the figure suggest that hope remains, and there is still a chance for redemption and reconciliation. This card is a symbol of grief, denial, and the inability to let go of the past. It encourages acknowledging the losses of the past and embracing the potential for a brighter future.

Person Represented by the Five of Cups:

The person represented by the Five of Cups is emotional, melancholic, and sorrowful. However, this state may be temporary rather than a reflection of their true personality. This individual is likely someone who regrets a recent mistake or decision. They may have withdrawn into themselves, turning away from reality and becoming trapped in their inner world. They may feel the need for solitude and introspection.

The prominent black color in the Five of Cups signifies a broken heart, a sense of being in the dark, and a need for guidance. Yet, even when offered guidance, this person may resist listening. They may currently feel isolated and excluded, possibly due to a rejection they haven't fully processed. This person may have taken a bold step toward a cherished goal but experienced failure. However, they should remember that they still hold cards they haven't played. The two standing cups on the ground represent unrealized possibilities. Despite the loss, hope remains, and they can continue to strive for their goals.

The world of the Five of Cups is one of devastation and difficulty seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. This person needs to understand that there is always light at the end of every tunnel, and this darkness is temporary. The following card, the Six of Cups, represents renewed hope and positive energy, signifying that positive developments are on the horizon after this melancholic phase. While this person may currently feel sorrowful and pessimistic, the future holds positive changes for them.

Reversed Five of Cups:

When the Five of Cups appears reversed, it indicates a sense of loss or disappointment that is largely self-created or a matter of perception. Unlike the upright Five of Cups, which signifies a genuine issue, the reversed card suggests that the problem may only exist in the person's mind. Reversed, the Five of Cups signals that there is no problem at hand, but the individual perceives one where none exists. Instead of focusing on the problem, they should shift their attention toward finding solutions.

Reversed, the Five of Cups can also suggest unnecessary melancholy or depression. Instead of dwelling on the problem, the individual should focus on solving it.

Five of Cups in Love:

In matters of love, the Five of Cups signifies sorrow and disappointment. Much like the figure on the card who has turned away from reality, the person represented by this card may have withdrawn emotionally or become stuck in a cycle of denial. The color black emphasizes the sense of discontent in the current situation. This card can also indicate an excessively pessimistic outlook on a relationship issue. The bridge in the background serves as a reminder that there is still a connection, and the two upright cups represent what is still salvageable. Regardless of how the situation is perceived, it is not an absolute ending or a hopeless case, and there are still things that can be done to address the issues.

When the reversed Five of Cups appears in love readings, it suggests that a seemingly insurmountable relationship problem may have a solution. It encourages a more positive outlook and a willingness to work on the issues at hand. The darkness and pessimism can dissipate with effort and communication.

Five of Cups in Career:

In career readings, the Five of Cups indicates disappointment or a sense of loss related to work. Sometimes, it can signify parting ways with a job or, in a broader sense, bidding farewell to a cherished career goal. It can also indicate receiving negative news when positive outcomes were expected, or failing an important test or evaluation. The Five of Cups does not signify a point of no return; rather, it implies that the person may be so fixated on their losses that they fail to recognize what they still possess. When this card appears in a career reading, the individual should allow themselves some time to grieve if needed but should also continue to move forward without succumbing to depression.

When the reversed Five of Cups appears in career readings, it suggests that there may be hope in a seemingly dire work situation. It indicates that with effort and possibly seeking guidance, one can navigate through the challenges and come out with a more positive outcome. This card encourages individuals to focus on solutions and opportunities rather than dwelling on perceived losses.

Five of Cups in Finances:

When the Five of Cups appears in financial matters, it signifies setbacks or losses in monetary matters. It may indicate financial disappointments or unexpected expenses that lead to a sense of gloom. However, it's crucial to remember that the Five of Cups does not represent financial ruin; rather, it highlights the tendency to dwell on losses while overlooking the remaining resources. It reminds the individual to acknowledge what they still possess and to avoid succumbing to despair.

In a reversed position, the Five of Cups suggests that the financial situation may not be as dire as it seems. It encourages a more positive outlook and the willingness to explore solutions to financial challenges. It reminds the individual that there are opportunities for improvement and that they shouldn't focus solely on their perceived losses.


Please remember that Tarot card interpretations can be highly personal and situational. The context of the reading and the reader's intuition play a significant role in understanding the full meaning of a card. These interpretations serve as a general guideline but should be adapted to your specific circumstances and feelings.

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