King of Cups

Tarot Card Meaning
King of Cups


The King of Cups represents emotional balance, diplomacy, and leadership. This card often appears when you are in a position to take control of your emotional responses and use your emotional intelligence to benefit both yourself and those around you. It symbolizes maturity in handling feelings and relationships with wisdom and empathy.

Key Symbolisms

  • The Throne on Water: Symbolizes stability amidst emotional or turbulent circumstances.
  • The Cup in His Hand: Represents control over the realm of emotions and the ability to manage feelings without being overwhelmed.
  • Calm Sea: Indicates mastery over the complexities of emotion, suggesting a balanced and diplomatic approach.

Upright Meaning

Drawing the King of Cups suggests that you are or need to be a calming influence in a chaotic situation. It encourages you to lead with empathy and understanding, using your emotional maturity to navigate through life’s challenges. This card highlights your ability to connect with others emotionally, offering guidance and support while maintaining a steady and compassionate demeanor.

Reversed Meaning

When reversed, the King of Cups can indicate emotional manipulation, moodiness, or a lack of control over one's emotions. It warns of the potential for letting personal feelings cloud judgment or lead to unfair treatment of others. This position calls for a reassessment of how you handle emotional power and relationships, urging you to strive for greater balance and integrity.


The King of Cups is often associated with the watery aspect of Scorpio, highlighting deep emotional undercurrents and a powerful capacity for emotional leadership. This astrological link enhances the themes of emotional depth, intuition, and the management of complex emotional dynamics.


Typically, kings are associated with the number 14 in tarot, which is linked to temperance and moderation. This number emphasizes the King of Cups' ability to balance emotional responses and act as a stabilizing force in turbulent times.


  • Embrace and use your emotional intelligence to guide others.
  • Maintain calm and rationality in dealing with emotional matters.
  • Be aware of the impact of your emotions on your decisions and actions.
  • Cultivate empathy and understanding in all your relationships.

Yes/No Meaning

  • Upright: In a Yes/No reading, the upright King of Cups generally suggests a "Yes," indicating that emotional maturity, compassion, and balanced decision-making will lead to positive outcomes. It supports actions that involve being empathetic, offering support, and maintaining emotional control.
  • Reversed: When reversed, the King of Cups suggests a "No," indicating that emotional instability, manipulation, or lack of empathy may hinder progress. It advises focusing on achieving emotional balance, avoiding manipulative behavior, and addressing any emotional issues before proceeding.