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Eight of Cups | Symbology & Interpretations | Tarot Card Meanings

The Eight of Cups is a card rest and retreat. In life, it is important for our mind, body, and spirit to have adequate rest so we can function to the best of our ability. Without it, we may experience a lack of focus, motivation, and needed stress.

The Six of Swords Keywords

Upright Meanings

Reversed Meanings

Withdrawal, escapism, abandonment, giving up, letting go, discovery, exhaustion, walking away, contemplation, retreating to find courage, going into hibernation and rest, seeking answers and insight.

Fear of commitment, guilt, low self-esteem, not willing to face difficulties, lacking courage, avoidance, fear of loss of change.

Imagery & Symbolism

Eight of Cups
Eight of Cups

Mountains: In divination, mountains represent the obstacles and challenges we face that hinder our growth.

Nighttime: This tarot card shows us the time of day, this can often represent the moment just before going to bed. Putting away our troubles so we can get a good night's sleep is important.

Moon: In divination, moons are seen as highly spiritual and similar to a light that shines the path. They represent the emotional self and guidance. In this card, we can see two phases of the moon, a Full Moon, and a Waning Crescent. Full Moons are significant endings and reflections of how far we have come. A Waning Crescent moon signifies fertility, opportunities, and surrender.

Water: In divination, water represents emotional flow, spirituality, and intuition.

Red Clothes: The colour red signifies passion, determination, and love. and willpower. This card can often indicate how important the situation is to your heart.

Walking stick: In tarot, walking sticks are seen in other cards such as The Hermit. Walking sticks often indicate reaching out for support and help, and knowing you have weaknesses.

Cave: In tarot, caves are seen as resting locations that are high in spiritual power and enlightenment. In the Eight of Cups, the character is walking toward the cave, however, a card like The Fool is coming out of the cave. Suggesting enlightenment and newfound ideas after rest.


Eight of Cups Tarot Card Meanings


The Eight of Cups making an appearance in any reading will often predict a time of retreat. This is usually when a heavy and stressful situation has taken its toll on you emotionally. It often symbolises a period of time when an individual has decided to take a break to rest and recuperate but to also reflect and think about possible solutions or outcomes. Alternatively, the Eight of Cups can symbolise physical retreats, such as hiking, or going away on holiday to rebalance their emotional self.


The Eight of Cups can suggest that retreating away is happening, but not for the correct reasons. Usually, this retreat is done as an abandonment technique when all is lost. It is a form of escapism from the current moment, in the hope that with time, the situation will eventually fix itself. Although this is not always the case, its appearance can indicate a lack of confidence and self-esteem.



In a relationship reading, the Eight of Cups can signify the stressors of your relationships are creating emotional friction. At this time, it would be beneficial to take a break from the other person. The Eight of Cups can signify a breakup to some extent, but it does not mean forever. It will usually signify a temporary break to sort out personal issues.


The Eight of Cups can suggest that you have a fear of abandonment which may resort to being clingy. It can suggest you lack the independence you need from being on your own and instead rely upon someone else. Although in itself, this isn't a bad thing, however, the other party may think otherwise and may want you to keep your distance. Again, this can signify avoidance of core issues in a relationship.



In a reading that is work-related, the Eight of Cups can predict burnout due to work stress. At this time, it can be a sign that you need a break from the stressors of work, and to take your mind off it, you need to remove yourself from the situation for a temporary time.


The Eight of Cups can signify a refusal towards taking a well-needed break. We are human beings, and we need rest every day, without it, we begin to lose focus and function on what is important to us. Sometimes, depending on the career or job you are in, you may need more rest than others. That is okay, and you need to honour that. Don't refuse to take a break because you feel guilty or because imposter syndrome has taken over your life.



In a financial-related reading, the Eight of Cups can signify needing a break from financial issues. If your finances have been occupying your mind lately, it may be beneficial to take a break from it, particularly if you are becoming overwhelmed. Alternatively, if finances are not on your mind, and other stresses are, it could be a sign to take an allocated break from other stressors to only focus on your financial issues. This is beneficial in that you can resolve your financial issues quicker and not have to stress about other factors.


The Eight of Cups can have multiple meanings, so it is important to look at the surrounding cards. On one hand, the Eight of Cups reversed can suggest that you are dependent on someone else for their financial stream of income, and you need to remove yourself from that so you can find your own independence. On the other hand, the Eight of Cups can signify losing all hope regarding money. Perhaps you made the wrong decision when the Seven of Cups appeared? Now, you feel guilty and are stuck. By removing yourself, you give yourself space to breathe and think.



In a health reading, the Eight of Cups can indicate needing temporary rest to rejuvenate or heal from health issues. This is not at all bad, and in fact, is absolutely needed. If in an advice position, it can serve as a warning for predicting burnout, which will affect your health.


The Eight of Cups can predict low confidence and self-esteem issues that may be weighing negatively on your mind. You may feel low, lacking energy, and may be burnt out. In this case, rest is severely needed as you cannot run another mile without collapsing from burdens.


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