(The above image is a copy of The Queen of Cups card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 8 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
The Queen of Cups rules the suit with compassion and understanding. She beholds the beauty found in her ornate cup. The ever cascading sea flows next her, symbolising the ever changing nature of our subconscious. The Queen is the culmination of many of the ideals found throughout the suit.
For more information about The Queen of Cups card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – QUEEN
The queen sits in a relaxed position as she admires her cup. Sitting by the sea, she is connected with her inner emotions and subconsciousness. In her appreciation of beauty and her casual posture, she communicates her rule by aesthetics. Instead of might is right, the Queen of Cups’ motto is right is right.
Point 2 – CUP
The cup in the Queen of Cups is unique in its design. It is the only cup in the suit that is visibly larger than normal. It is also the only cup that is closed. This illustrates the vastness of the soul and reveals the inherent mystery of our inner consciousness.
Point 3 – CUP’S HANDLES
The ornate cup handles appear to be two angels, guarding the cup’s contents. This is an allusion to the ark of the covenant, a divine container that had similar angels guarding it. The cup handles thus connect the card with the mysterious divine.
Point 4 – GRAY THRONE
The Queen sits upon a great gray throne. The grayness of the throne illustrates the queens unbiased nature. She does not rule for herself but for the ideal of aesthetic beauty.
Point 5 – NYMPHS ON TOP OF THE THRONE
Above the queen’s head, carved in the throne, are two water nymphs. These magical babies reiterate the sentiment found in the Six of Cups: Keep your inner child alive. These creatures of the ocean also connect us to our unconscious self.
Point 6 – BLUE ROBES
The queen’s robes are flowing and blue. They reiterate the clothing worn by The High Priestess. From her robe comes all of the world’s oceans. Because water is associated with the subconscious, the queen wears her mind for all to see.
Point 7 – PEBBLES
At the queen’s feet there are scattered stones of various colors. They reveal the beauty that can come from weathering the ocean waters of your subconscious. They also show that we need to gather up the hardships we have faced and arrange them in a beautiful mosaic, illustrating our life’s experiences.
Point 8 – WATER
As has been stated multiple times in this article, water represents our subconsciousness. It is the element of the cups suit, stemming all the way back to the Ace of Cups. Like water, we must be nourishing to others and adapt to the hardships that come up in our path.
An Upright Queen of Cups encourages our desire to nurture those around us. While the Knight of Cups enacted his compassion everywhere, the Queen of Cups does so with more precision and more intensity. She allows people to come to her for guidance and healing. Without reservation, the Queen gives the people what they want, and then some.
A Reverse Queen of Cups encourages you to direct all of your nurturing capabilities inward. While it is noble to spend a lot of your time caring for other people, you truly can’t help them until you help yourself first. Take time out of your day to self-care, whatever that means to you: spa day, meditation, yoga, ice cream, etc.
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.