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King of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

Suave and debonair, the King of Cups court card leads the way towards emotional maturity and balance. He may even be the masculine energy we are looking for in our lives.

One thing about the King of Cups is confident that he is thirsty for a deep connection with himself, so maybe he can find the right partner one day. Will you possibly be his Queen of Cups? Only time will tell.

If divine timing is on our side, the King of Cups appears up at the moment we are catching that vibe, that special connection. Whether or not his eyes gaze directly your way or his thoughts do is the question we all seek the answer to, don't we? 

Tarot Card Description and Imagery 

In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the King of Cups is represented by a distinguished male sitting on a throne with his gaze off to the side. His posture is correct, and his legs are slightly apart with their same slant in the direction where his eyes are gazing. He is focused on what he is looking at in the distance. In other decks, sometimes his feet and eyes are in opposite directions, or his eyes are staring right at you. One detail is always similar, though, and he always has a pendant around his neck of a fish.

There is always a balance to him when it comes to what is in his hands. In the right hand, he holds a cup, and in his left hand, he holds a scepter. The imagery of the cup represents the King's connection to the Water element and how that plays into his emotions. The rod symbolizes his ruling nature and balances the role that his emotions play in his decisions and actions. He is balanced even though his throne is floating on the water that surrounds him.

The Meaning of the King of Cups 

In astrology, the King of Cups represents the Sun in Pisces. When the card is upright, the energy of the Sun in Pisces is carried in the message, and it is one of optimism, creativity, and individuality. In reverse, the King of Cups' energy is out of balance and is pulling power from the zodiac sign of Cancer. Basically, it is struggling with the same things Cancerians do, such as not expressing their emotions, living inside their minds, and holding grudges.

In numerology, the King of Cups aligns with the numbers 37 / 10 / 1. What this means is that it is a composite number representing its ultimate foundation. 3+7=10. 1+0=1. The ultimate foundation is the number 1.

37 in numerology is the number of independence, innovation, and self-determination. It is about solving problems on your own with fun and creativity. Ultimately, is the number of free will to the absolute most and will do so with optimism. All in all, the King of Cups suggests it is a positive card.

King of Cups Upright Tarot Card Meanings 

Basic Meaning  

With the representation of water so predominantly in the artwork, the King of Cups is deeply connected to our unconscious mind. We may not always be fully aware of the emotions and behaviors that guide us internally, but with self-awareness, we can learn to navigate them like a King and learn to live a balanced and fulfilling life.

The King of Cups is wise and peaceful. He is a mature man, perhaps even an older man or someone with intense masculine energy, representing someone in our lives or a part of ourselves. He may also represent masculine energy and not just male identity.

He is here to teach us to be in tune with our feelings, inner wisdom, creativity, and the logical side of our brain. We must find the balance between our analytical mind and our creative mind. Doing so will allow us to live in harmony and be mindful of our emotions and behaviors that affect those around us. When the King of Cups shows up in a tarot card spread in the upright position, it tells us that we are being led by emotional maturity.


When this tarot card shows up in a tarot card reading, the King of Cups is here to tell you to remain calm and peaceful even when navigating the treacherous waters of someone else's negative energy, thoughts, and feelings. Holding the space with the power and balance that this tarot card envisions is the key to your success in the situation at hand.

The tarot card appears to offer good advice on using your creativity and imagination to resolve conflict. It works as a proxy to your spiritual guide to enlighten you about using positive masculine energy and lean into the positive vibrations of a mature man.

As the card is upright, it speaks volumes regarding the direction of your leadership, strength for independence, and the significance of your individuality. This is your time to shine or follow someone with masculine energy who can lead the way for you.

Love and Relationships 

The King of Cups shows up in love and relationships as a symbol for using both logic and intuition to guide you in love. Instead of using your head solely to think through things or go only with what your heart says, an upright King of Cups lets you know that you need to use both when it comes to a potential love interest. Balance is necessary for a long-term relationship.

It is a great omen to have this card show up in a love and romance relationship tarot reading. The older male figure on the tarot card demonstrates that there is a connection between your feelings and understanding that allows for an emotionally mature relationship to occur. Compassion and empathy are straightforward as well as healthy boundaries.

The masculine energy of this card may represent your love interest too, but it can also be a guide to let you know it is okay to lean into that energy and center yourself in calmness during conflicts or fights. Using this energy to guide you will help you maintain balance when choppy emotions come into flow regardless of personality type.

Career and Financial 

The King of Cups shows up in a career and financial tarot card reading in the upright position to show you there is balance in the present or to come soon.

Money holds a favorable position here as well as the work environment. There may even be an older male who is a mentor or supervisor helping you in your career or with your finances. Lean into that masculine energy to grow more financially secure and continue on your best career path. This tarot card represents realistic financial stability.

It may also inform you that you need to be cautious and not overspend what you have or overplay your hand in the workplace. Balance is already at hand, so don't tip the boat over and throw caution to the wind. Be mindful of your decisions, for you are in a good position. Now is the time to stay the course and allow yourself to reap the rewards of your hard work and effort.


The King of Cups shows up in a tarot card reading focused on your health to tell you that you have healed or are on the right path to healing.

Whatever crossroads you are at with your health and wellbeing, you are now headed to or are currently on a journey of self-healing. All of this leads to stability and security when it comes to your mental and physical health, so your patience is rewarded. Please continue to do the self-care you are doing, as it has brought you back into balance with both your masculine and feminine sides.

An upright King card can also indicate that an older male or someone with masculine energy has helped you on your healing journey and will continue to support you.


The King of Cups shows up in a tarot card spread to signify that your shadow work has led you to this moment.

Either a spiritual counselor of sorts, a mentor with masculine energy, or perhaps your inner wisdom has brought you into a place of balance with your spiritual growth. You are feeling more centered than you ever have, or these feelings will be flowing into your life shortly. Your troubles and worries have been lessened, and you are on the right path to enlightenment, even if the journey may be bumping at times.

King of Cups Reversed Tarot Card Meanings 

Basic Meaning  

With the King of Cups upside down and his cup tossing out all his water, the negative energy is clear. There is volatility here, a lack of control of emotions, and everything giving you balance is now spilling out. You are suffering from a lack of emotional fulfillment, and you are giving away your sense of inner peace.

Out of all the tarot cards, this one, when reversed, is the most troubling in a financial context. Spending may be out of control, and you may use it as a crutch to help you deal with unchecked emotions. Addiction is also likely.

Here you may show signs of moodiness, lack of anger management, and be emotionally controlling and manipulative in everything you do. Your negativity is spilling everywhere, and you are spinning into a poverty mindset.


Pay attention to when this tarot card shows up in your tarot card spread. The King of Cups represents a lack of balance, a sense of being out of control, and suffering from feelings of lack. No matter where it lands in your tarot spread, you are suffering, or someone with masculine energy which is out of balance is causing you suffering.

Denial, codependence, and relying on others for validation are vital themes when it comes to this tarot card showing up in the upside-down position. Take a step back and view the situation or the person causing distress in your life. Don't allow yourself to fall into a negative mindset or enable others to control your emotions. Take back control of your life. Now is a time for action and resetting the balance.

Love and Relationships 

The King of Cups shows up reversed in a tarot card reading on love and relationships when there is a lack of empathy and emotional manipulation. Either you or your partner is not fully committed to the longevity of this union. The emotions and feelings are not aligned, and someone, most likely your love interest, doesn't have your best interest at heart.

Whatever is happening in your relationship, there are false pretenses. These pretenses may not be from a place of malice, but more from a lack of balance and understanding of how that affects other people in their life. Laziness, or perceived laziness from poor mental health, maybe the root of the situation.

It may also signify that someone in the relationship has unresolved issues with a male authority figure or is an older male with a lack of respect towards women or feminine energy. Having compassion and not personalizing what is happening is key to restoring your balance within.

Career and Financial 

The King of Cups shows up reversed in a tarot card spread for career and financial aspirations when selfishness and greed are in play. You could either be setting yourself for failure or be the victim of someone else's malice and insecurity.

The tarot card could represent a tyrant such as a boss or a coworker that has ego issues. As a result, you may feel a lack of fulfillment and purpose and be constantly concerned about your financial stability. They could also be projecting these feelings onto you.

Tune into your feelings of discord and disconnection. Make sure your decisions on your career and finances are based on both what is reasonable and what fills your passions. If both boxes aren't checked, it is time to reassess your options as your career and finances will remain stagnant, or you will suffer even more losses.

This card can also be present when addiction or emotional spending is at the heart of your problems. It is time to realize that you are not an island, isolated and lonely. Set your sails on new shores to regain your balance and composure. Look for a healthy, positive masculine energy to bring you back to the center.


The King of Cups shows up reversed when it is time for you to start your healing journey. This is your warning sign that you lack inner peace and are suffering from anxiety and depression. It is time to slow down, take time for self-care, and allow yourself to step into feelings of stability and security again.

This card may also come into play if drug or alcohol abuse needs to be addressed to bring you back into balance.


The King of Cups shows up reversed when your spirituality is out of alignment and you lack a direction or path. Suppose you feel like you've lost your sense of direction. In that case, it is most likely due to your masculine energy being overbearing, or you have fallen prey to a tyrannically spiritual leader or false prophet.

If you feel insecure about your faith and spiritual beliefs, now is the time to step back and look at what you are following. Ask yourself, is it in alignment with my values and my core? If not, it's time to do something about it and start by focusing on shadow work within and stop seeking validation from outside sources. Use your logic and intuition to help you deduce what is happening and take action now.

King of Cups Tarot Card Meanings in the Advice Position 

When seeking advice from the King of Cups tarot card, keep in mind that it focuses on either you setting the example or looking for someone who is setting the example to help guide you on your path.

Spiritual guidance can come in many different forms, and for the King of Cups, it is all about helping you find your center balance. Maybe you need to seek counseling or learn to listen to your intuition. Perhaps all you need to do is develop strategies to help you stay on track and learn to lean into your instincts when going with the flow.

The role you set is just as important. People are looking at you always, and if you are acting within the energy of the King of Cups, then you have a lot of insights and wisdom to offer them. Lead by example and let go of trying to control others. Everyone comes into their own within their divine timing. Sometimes we need to let things be and be at balance and allow others to learn from us in their own time and own way.

Yes/No Reading 

In a yes/no reading, the King of Cups is a yes card, always defaulting to one of positivity. Your emotions will not get the best of you and, in fact, are your very strength in whatever you are facing. Stand your ground clearly and be true to yourself. You will receive the love and respect you deserve as you are being supported by those around you as well as your guides.

Are you interested in tarot card meanings and learning more about the implications of tarot? Reach out to us for recommendations for one of our top Tarot readers.​ 

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