Card by Card – Five of Cups

Radiant Rider-Waite Five of Cups

If you missed last weeks card by card post on the Hanged Man, you can read about it here.

Just like last week, I’ll be taking a look at several variations from different decks and gathering that particular Author and/or Artists thoughts and perspectives.

The Five of Cups is the randomly drawn COTW-card of the week.   What does it mean when you receive this card in a one card daily drawing or it turns up in a spread?

The first Five of Cups we’ll be looking at is from the Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. 2003.

Author Paul Quinn explains the Five of Cups as a card of sadness, remorse, loss, disappointment, a time of mourning, and wallowing in regrets.   In “Tarot for Life” he goes on to say:

“The Five of Cups shows us the inevitability of emotional pain in response to loss and disappointment.  From the consuming black void within, we struggle to reckon with the death of dreams, love ones, or parts of ourselves.  At these times the rest of the world ceases to exist.  In the figure’s solitariness we recognize that all our losses, even those we share keenly with others, are ultimately felt as private losses.”

Why does the figure in the card ignore the two upright cups?  He appears to stand dejected over the other spilled three cups, and yet he fails to notice the two still standing behind him.

Let’s now take a look at several examples of the Five of Cups and see what we might learn from them to help answer these and other questions.

The first two are from the Golden Tarot by Kat Black (U.S. Games Systems, Inc. 2003) & the Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti (Llewellyn Publications 2009).

Five of Cups - The Golden Tarot & Legacy of the Divine Tarot

Golden Tarot:  Gifts foolishly discarded.  To have tasted from many cups, and forgotten the sweet wine–recalling only a bitter aftertaste.  Jaded cynicism and disillusionment.  Regret, anger, and bitterness.  The ending of a relationship.  Loss, sorrow, and grief.  Depression.  This card warns of a tendency to focus on negative memories.

Legacy of the Divine:  A woman is distressed, things went wrong, opportunities were lost.  What might have been lies before her in the shattered remnants of three broken cups.  She clutches desperately at the two that are still intact, but the positive in them is diminished and overlooked.  At some point we need to be realistic, accept whatever events and outcomes occurred, take whatever positive we can from them, and move on.

The next pair are both from Llewellyn Publications.  First, the Gain Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert 2011, and the Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore and Aly Fell – 2012.

Five of Cups - Gaian Tarot & Steampunk Tarot

The Gaian Tarot:  You are hovering on the edge of grief, despondency, or discouragement.  You may  e regretting lost opportunities or missing someone terribly.  Depression has been called “anger turned inward” yet also “intuition unheeded.”   How might you reclaim your neglected intuitive abilities?  Affirmation:  I will let healing flow through me and move me out of depression.

The Steampunk Tarot:  Experience of loss and grief.  In this image, a compassionate barmaid watches with sympathy as her customer is racked with loss.  His pain is almost as hard for her to witness as it is for him to experience.   This is a time of deep sadness and loss.  Feelings are raw and intense.   There are times when there is nothing to be done except have a good long cry.

The last pair are from The Hobbit Tarot by Peter Pracownik and Terry Donaldson (U.S. Games Systems, Inc. 2012) & the Victorian Trade Card Tarot by Marcia MacCord (Self Published)

Five of Cups - The Hobbit Tarot & the Victorian Trade Card Tarot

The Hobbit Tarot:  Disillusionment, loss, feelings of failure, regrets, and wishing you could turn back the clock.  This card is about acceptance; of what has happened and who and what you now are.  There is no point in wistful thinking about what might have been.

Victorian Trade Card Tarot:  A young boy appears upset that his cart has spilled.  No doubt he had spent quite a few precious hours putting it all together.  The goose which he had harnessed to pull the cart, is giving him what-for as he stares off into space.  All that time, energy, and effort put into his little project, only to have it wrecked.  Thank goodness neither he nor the goose look the worse for wear.

Please join me over the next week as I’ll be looking at the Five of Cups more in depth and combined with a new COTD each day.  Stop over to the New Paths Tarot -Facebook page and get in the discussion!

I hope this has shed some new light on the Five of Cups!

Until next time, Happy Tarot’ing and May Your Journey be an Enchanted one.


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