(The above image is a copy of The Knight of Cups card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 7 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
The Knight of Cups engages the world with love and compassion. Calm and collected, he is the polar opposite of the sporadic Knight of Wands. This card appears when you want to enact your creative vision in the world. It encourages you to create and to lead with wisdom.
For more information about The Knight of Cups card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – KNIGHT
The knight depicted in the card sits up straight on his horse and holds out a cup. The knight’s overall demeanor is calm and posed, like still water. He isn’t charging to battle. He isn’t acting brash. He is instead allowing his wisdom to guide him.
Point 2 – ARMOR/TUNIC
The knight wears a coat of armor over a red and blue tunic. The armor appears more casual than most sets of armor. With the beaver up, the knight is ready to talk things out rather than fight. His tunic is decorated with fish, the animal spirit of the cup suit.
Point 3 – WINGS OF HERMES
The Wings of Hermes on the knight’s helmet symbolize his connection with divine creativity. Hermes was the messenger god and, like him, the knight is holding out the message of the cup, telling the world to love and create.
Point 4 – HORSE
The horse in the Knight of Cups is the complete opposite of the horse in the Knight of Wands. Whereas the wands horse was dynamic and leaping into battle, the cups horse is relaxed and trotting along the road.
Point 5 – CUP
The knight holds out the obligatory cup. It is unclear if the cup is full of water or empty. It is also unclear if the knight is offering the cup to someone or requesting it to be filled. The knight can thus represent us in different times in out lives, like the two children in the Six of Cups.
Point 6 – RIVER
The river in the Knight of Cups appears to be a reiteration of the river in the Five of Cups. Whereas in that card the river was daunting to cross, in this card the river seems easy to cross. It pales in comparison to the size of the horse, who appears undisturbed by the coming water.
Point 7 – MOUNTAINS
The mountains in the background appears to be a reiteration of the mountains in The Fool card. They are the obstacles and hardships that come up in life. Instead of running away from them, the knight faces the mountains head on.
An Upright Knight of Cups encourages you to participate in the world with compassion and altruism as your goal. Whereas the Page of Cups emphasize the emotions and ideas theoretically, the Knight of Cups emphasizes them practically. He seeks to resolve injustice and to inspire hope.
A Reverse Knight of Cups suggests that you have the ideas of the page but are not sure how to implement them like the knight does. You might be caught up in logistics or distractions. The Reverse Knight of Cups encourages you to take a step back and meditate on the creative project you want to manifest.
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.