top of page

King of Cups | Symbology & Interpretations | Tarot Card Meanings

The King of Cups, a prominent figure in the tarot, stands as a beacon of emotional intelligence, compassion, and wisdom. His presence exudes a sense of inner strength and a deep understanding of the human heart and soul.

The King of Cups tarot card surrounded by crystals
King of Cups Tarot Card

As one of the rulers of the Cups suit, he epitomises the qualities of a seasoned and empathetic leader, often serving as a symbol of guidance and support in the tumultuous waters of life. The King of Cups is a master at navigating the complexities of the human psyche, fostering emotional well-being, and promoting harmony in relationships.

This royal figure, with his deep connection to the realm of feelings and intuition, offers profound insights into the power of emotional intelligence and the art of maintaining equilibrium in the face of life's emotional storms.

King of Cups Keywords

Upright Keywords

Reversed Keywords

Compassionate, emotionally intelligent, stable, diplomatic, wise, intuitive, creative, nurturing, empathetic, serene

Emotionally unstable, manipulative, overly sensitive, indecisive, escapist, cold, prone to mood swings, unreliable, codependent, selfish

Imagery & Symbolism

The King of Cups in a traditional tarot deck depicts a mature man seated on a throne adorned with intricate carvings and embellishments. He sits with a relaxed posture, emanating a sense of calm and inner strength.

His throne is placed on a platform surrounded by water. In one hand, he holds a golden chalice. His other hand rests gently on his knee, indicating his stability and self-control. The King wears a flowing robe adorned with patterns reminiscent of waves.

His expression is serene yet enigmatic, hinting at the depth of his inner world and the mysteries he holds within. Overall, the imagery of the King of Cups exudes a sense of tranquillity, emotional maturity, and intuitive wisdom.

A man sitting on a throne surrounded by water and holding a chalice
King of Cups Tarot Card

Throne: The King's majestic throne symbolises his authority over his own emotions. It signifies that he reigns over his inner world with poise and equilibrium. His emotional intelligence is akin to a throne upon which he sits confidently, acknowledging and managing his feelings with grace.

Water: The water surrounding the King is a central symbol, representing the realm of emotions. It flows with a gentle ease, embodying the idea that his emotions are harmoniously balanced and controlled. The wavy nature of the water suggests that, although emotions may be naturally fluctuating, the King remains adept at navigating these emotional tides and waves, never losing his cool or equilibrium.

Chalice: The chalice in the King's hand is a potent symbol, signifying that he holds his emotions in the palm of his hand. It illustrates that he has a firm grasp on his feelings and is capable of managing them with finesse. The chalice may also allude to the idea that his emotions are a source of nourishment and sustenance, highlighting the importance of emotional well-being

Ship: The ship in the background of the card represents the King's capacity to sail through life's emotional waters with ease. It suggests that he is in command of his emotional journey, capable of navigating through both calm and turbulent emotional seas. The ship reinforces the concept that he moves through life's emotional challenges with grace and control, much like a seasoned sailor.

Fish Pendant: The fish pendant hanging around the King's neck is a symbol of spiritual and emotional depth. Fish are often associated with intuition and the subconscious mind. This pendant emphasises the King's profound emotional insight and the depth of his understanding.


King of Cups Tarot Card Meanings


The tarot court cards encompass Pages, Knights, Queens, and Kings, each symbolising individuals or specific personality traits. They may also reflect qualities we lack, offer guidance, or highlight traits we need to embrace.

Interpretations of court cards vary among tarot readers, impacting readings significantly. Some view them solely as representations of people, while others use them as significators, reflecting the seeker's circumstances.

Traditionally, Kings in tarot readings signify those in highly respectable positions and are experts in their respective fields. For example, the King of Cups embodies a caring and nurturing authoritative figure who is a great listener and good friend. He cares about friendships and romance and makes a great companion.


The King of Cups is a remarkable figure, known for his unwavering capacity to offer sage advice and invaluable guidance in any situation that may arise. His presence is like a soothing balm, providing comfort and reassurance to those seeking his counsel.

He's not just an advice-giver; he actively supports from the shadows, ensuring that those he helps are empowered to make their own decisions. An exceptional listener, he possesses the rare skill of truly hearing what others have to say, and empathizing deeply with their emotions and concerns.

This King is a deeply soulful and spiritual individual, whose pursuits often lead him to explore the artistic and creative realms. He finds solace and inspiration in the depths of his inner world, and he encourages others to connect with their spiritual and artistic sides as well. His introspective nature makes him attuned to the intricacies of the human experience.

One of the King of Cups' standout qualities is his adeptness at steering clear of drama and negative energy. He sets firm and healthy boundaries, which helps him maintain emotional stability and protect his well-being. This makes him a pillar of strength and a source of calm in turbulent situations.

His diplomatic prowess is noteworthy, as he has a keen ability to view circumstances from various angles and perspectives.

This enables him to make well-informed, balanced decisions and consider the feelings and opinions of all parties involved. The King of Cups encourages open-mindedness and seeks harmony in relationships and interactions.


The King of Cups personifies the qualities of an exceptional active listener and a trusted confidant. His ability to lend a compassionate ear, coupled with his genuine concern for others, makes him an invaluable friend and a source of support in times of need.

He possesses the remarkable skill of not only hearing but also truly comprehending the perspectives and emotions of those who seek his counsel. This empathetic nature allows him to provide valuable insights, fostering deeper connections and harmonious relationships.

As a loving father figure or partner, the King of Cups is a beacon of loyalty and stability. His unwavering commitment to the well-being and happiness of his loved ones creates a strong and nurturing foundation within relationships. His consistent presence and reliable support offer a sense of security and emotional comfort.

Furthermore, his innate capacity for active listening ensures that his loved ones feel heard and understood, promoting a profound bond built on trust and empathy. In essence, the King of Cups embodies the qualities of a truly compassionate and caring companion, offering both emotional guidance and a steadfast presence in the lives of those fortunate enough to have him by their side


The King of Cups, although typically associated with emotional mastery and empathy, has its negative traits. In certain situations, an excessive emphasis on emotional diplomacy can lead to the suppression of one's feelings and a lack of emotional authenticity.

Moodiness may also surface, resulting in unpredictable emotional swings that can disrupt interpersonal dynamics. In its worst form, the King of Cups can resort to emotional manipulation, utilising his understanding of emotions to control or influence others, potentially causing harm to relationships.

Furthermore, an overly empathetic nature can lead to the neglect of the individual's emotional well-being and a tendency to become emotionally overwhelmed. Striking a balance between emotional intelligence and healthy emotional expression is essential to mitigate these negative aspects and fully harness the King of Cups' positive qualities.


LOVE & RELATIONSHIPS: In relationships, the King of Cups embodies the epitome of an ideal partner. His emotional stability provides a secure and serene environment where both partners can thrive. He excels at understanding and empathising with his significant other, fostering a deep and trusting connection through open communication.

His unwavering support and nurturing nature create a sense of comfort and encouragement, making him a reliable and caring presence. Loyalty and commitment are his cornerstones, signifying a relationship built on trust. His diplomatic approach to conflict resolution minimises drama and ensures that the partnership remains harmonious.

CAREER & BUSINESS: In the realm of career, job, and business readings, the upright King of Cups signifies an individual who brings a unique blend of emotional intelligence and creativity to their professional endeavours. This person is deeply committed to their career, dedicating themselves wholeheartedly to their work.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Their remarkable emotional acumen allows them to navigate workplace interactions with finesse, making them adept at resolving conflicts and fostering harmonious environments.

INNOVATION: Their creative talents and innovative thinking often lead them to excel in creative fields such as the arts, design, or entertainment, where their imaginative contributions are highly valued.

LEADERSHIP: If in a leadership role, the King of Cups leads with empathy and compassion, understanding the significance of nurturing the emotional well-being of their team members. Their intuitive decision-making abilities also play a vital role in making sound judgments, which can prove invaluable in critical business decisions.

MOOD SWINGS: The individual may struggle with maintaining emotional stability, potentially experiencing mood swings and emotional turbulence that can impact their performance and working relationships. Their once-empathetic nature might waver, leading to misunderstandings and conflicts with colleagues or superiors.

FINANCES: These individuals excel in managing their finances due to their deep understanding of the emotional aspects that often influence financial decisions. Their ability to remain calm and composed in financial situations is an asset, allowing them to make well-informed and rational decisions about investments, savings, and expenditures. They also exhibit a strong sense of financial responsibility and dedication, which ensures that they meet their financial goals and obligations.



King of Cups + Queen of Cups: The pairing of the two emotionally intuitive royals suggests a deep and harmonious emotional connection, typically within a romantic relationship. It can symbolize a loving and supportive traditional partnership.

King of Cups + Ace of Cups: This combination often signifies a deep emotional connection or the beginning of a new emotional journey. It can suggest the start of a loving and empathetic relationship or a significant emotional breakthrough.

King of Cups + The Hierophant: When paired with The Hierophant, the King of Cups can indicate a strong emotional connection within a traditional or structured relationship, such as a marriage or spiritual partnership. It may highlight the emotional depth in a religious or spiritual context.

King of Cups + Page of Pentacles: This combination could suggest a young person who is emotionally sensitive and ready to embark on a practical and emotionally fulfilling endeavour or learning experience.

King of Cups + The Moon: The Moon often represents emotions and intuition. When combined with the King of Cups, it can signify a period of intense emotional introspection or heightened intuitive awareness, possibly in a dreamy or mysterious context.

King of Cups + The High Priestess: This combination may indicate a strong intuitive and emotional connection, often in a spiritual or mysterious context. It suggests the need to trust one's emotions and intuition in a particular situation.

King of Cups + Three of Swords: This combination may point to emotional pain or heartbreak. It can signify a need to address emotional wounds or a challenging emotional situation that requires healing.

King of Cups + Four of Pentacles: This combination could suggest a need to balance emotional and financial matters. It may indicate someone who is overly possessive or controlling in a relationship or business context.

King of Cups + Ten of Swords: The King of Cups combined with the Ten of Swords may indicate a period of emotional turmoil and pain that requires the King's emotional strength and resilience to navigate.




join my mailing list

You will get:

📚 Your free eBook on Developing Your Spirituality

🏷️ 10% off discount code for your first purchase

🔮 Printable cheat sheets on the tarot card meanings

💎 Free crystal grids to print and use

🌌 Easy ways to level up your spiritual development

📈 Tools and tips on spiritual growth, inspiration and creativity

Your eBook sneak peek 👀

Subscriber E-Book.png
bottom of page