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Five of Cups | Symbology & Interpretations | Tarot Card Meanings

The Five of Cups is a card of deep loss and sadness. Although it feels sad, there are still some positives that will help you move forward out of the dark period. This card is about grieving, accepting the loss, and then ultimately letting go.

Five of Cups Keywords

Upright Keywords

Reversed Keywords

Emotional loss, grieving, letting go, despair, mourning, partial recovery, inheritance, divorce, breakups, being let down, and large losses.

Moving forward, shifting perspective, overcoming grief, emotions are back in the flow, letting go of old habits, empowering emotional change, understanding value, recovery, forgiveness, and acceptance.

Imagery & Symbolism

Five of Cups
Five of Cups

Black Clothing: If you look at the figure, he or she is turned away, wearing a full black gown. Black is typically worn at funerals, symbolising the grieving of a loss. The figure is perhaps turned away due to shame or wanting to silently mourn.

Bridge: In divination, bridges symbolise help in moving past a situation. The bridge in this case is in the distance, and the figure is not looking at it and is instead focusing on the three fallen cups. The bridge is a strong permanent structure, which means it won't disappear. You will be able to move over this bridge.

Water: In divination, water symbolises emotion, and the water in the Five of Cups is flowing under the bridge. This symbolises that your emotions are in flow, but they are not entirely consuming you. Once you are done grieving, you will be able to move on.

Two Standing Cups: The two standing cups represent the things that are positive in that situation. However, in this case, the figure is not looking at them and is instead preoccupied with the negatives. Although the situation looks disheartening, there are still some positives.

Three Fallen Cups: The fallen cups symbolise your losses. Notice that one cup spills water, and the other two cups spill what could be blood. The term "blood is thicker than water" can be seen here. This can mean that what you are grieving you are emotionally attached to and that it is close to home.


Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings


The Five of Cups is a card of mourning, loss, and grief. It is likely you have or will lose something important to you. This could be a loss of money, a person, or some other kind of emotional attachment. Grieving is an emotion that you cannot avoid, and even if you try, eventually you will have to go through the grieving process. Even though there are losses, this is only temporary and you will be able to pass this. You may be experiencing trouble and misfortune in your relationships, which is making things difficult for you.


The Five of Cups can signify a partial recovery of emotional loss. You have done the grieving, now it is time to go through the difficult part of moving on. This is a time of acceptance and forgiveness, so it is important to reflect on what is truly the right thing to do at this time. This will be an empowering period where you will slowly transition through emotional change.



In a relationship reading, the Five of Cups predict an emotional breakup with your romantic partner or a friend. You will likely be focusing on the negatives of your situation when in reality there is still some positivity if you shift your perspective. This will take time, but for now, it is important to forgive and accept the situation. Alternatively, if you are still in a relationship, the Five of Cups can signify emotional losses within a relationship due to mistakes being made.


The Five of Cups will signify your recovery from an emotional loss or breakup. This can allow you to move forward and put your past relationships or mistakes behind you, giving you a new perspective and empowering change for your future relationships.



In a work, career, or business-related reading, the Five of Cups will indicate a significant loss of business profit, work, or resources. Your professional life is important to you and this shows because you seriously value your losses. You may have lost your job, an opportunity for work, or something profound by losing some of your time. Alternatively, the Five of Cups can indicate misfortune in business relationships, or the relationships you have with your colleagues.


The Five of Cups can indicate seeing a more positive perspective of your situation. Although there has been some significant loss in your work or career, you can move past this and build a bridge forward. The Five of Cups is also a card of trouble within relationships around work. It may be time you attempt to rebuild this relationship with others or try to position yourself on the positive side of your co-workers.



In a financial-related reading, the Five of Cups can indicate misfortune or trouble when it comes to your relationship with your finances. To improve this relationship, it may be time that you shift your perspective on money. This comes down to a mindset issue, and your negative belief about your finances is likely causing you to attract negativity. Sometimes, the Five of Cups can signify receiving inheritance when it comes to an emotional loss.


The Five of Cups can suggest that your beliefs and views around finances are changing. You have suffered losses in the past before, and making the same mistakes has not previously worked. You are likely trying to forge a different relationship with your finances in response to loss.



In a health-related reading, the Five of Cups can signify the passing of a loved one significantly close to you. Although this meaning is rare, it can signify a period of grievance due to this reason. This meaning will usually need to be supported by other cards - such as Death or the Four of Swords. Alternatively, the Five of Cups will signify a period of grief due to losing something you value when dealing with a health condition, such as your freedom due to being hospitalised.


The Five of Cups in a health-related reading can signify the acceptance of a health condition and the priority to move forward. It can suggest that now is the perfect time to be open to receiving healing, whether it is traditional or holistic. Either way, your spirit guides, and ancestors will know if you have asked and requested healing, allowing them to help you through your process.



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