(The above image is a copy of The Four of Cups card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 4 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
The Four of Cups is a card about decision making and the gifts that pop up in our lives. In the card, a man looks quizzically at the three cups before him while a fourth one, like the Ace of Cups, materialises in the sky next to him. Through his meditation, the man must reconcile what he has with what is given to him.
For more information about The Four of Cups card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – FIGURE’S POSE
Breaking from the previous incrementation of figures in the Cups suit, the Four of Cups has a lone figure sitting on top of a hill. The figure’s position suggests that he is thinking about something. He might be analyzing the three cups that stand before him. He might be trying to figure out how to add the fourth cup. He might not even be aware of the fourth cup. In any case, the figure is in planning mode.
Point 2 – CUP IN THE CLOUD
The fourth cup in the cloud is a clear reiteration of the Ace of Cups. It reminds us of second chances as well as sudden bursts of creative energy. What’s notable though is that it is unclear if the figure can see the cup or not. This encourages us to look out for the gifts in life; sometimes they are floating right next to us.
Point 3 – TREE
The figure in the card sits at the roots of a tall tree. The tree represents a shelter in the wilderness. It also reveals that in order to meditate and be in repose, one must first satisfy our immediate needs. Meditation is a luxury that we must work hard to achieve.
Point 4 – HILL
The figure sits atop a green hill, signifying the upper hand of his enlightenment. In many ways, this card is a juxtaposition of the Seven of Wands. Whereas in that card, the figure was at war on top of a hill, in this card, the figure is at peace on top of a hill.
An Upright Four of Cups is all about discernment in repose. You are trying to figure something out. Perhaps you have shut down a new opportunity due to disinterest or due to a lack of available time. Perhaps you are even unaware that a new opportunity is presenting itself to you. In any case, an Upright Four of Cups suggests that you rely on your intuition to make the difficult decisions that arise in your life.
A Reverse Four of Cups suggests that you are entering a period of internal reflection. This can be dauting because everybody loves being rooted in society. Brief periods of introspection, however, can add significant depth to our lives whenever we re-engage with the people around us.
For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our blog here.
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about Tarot here and his LinkedIn profile here.