Five of cups, cups, tarot cards


  • LOSS


  • LOSS
  • letting go of a hope
  • giving up the win
  • experiencing a setback
  • being defeated
  • having a possession taken away
  • saying good-bye
  • breaking up a relationship
  • feeling deprived of love
  • longing to be reunited
  • grieving
  • feeling sorrow
  • being disappointed by events
  • crying over spilt milk
  • wanting to turn back the clock
  • wishing for what might have been
  • believing you made the wrong choice
  • acknowledging mistakes

OPPOSING CARDS: Some Possibilities

  • Lovers - establishing a relationship
  • Judgement - absolving yourself, releasing regret
  • ix of Wands - triumph, winning
  • Two of Cups - relationship
  • Nine of Cups - contentment, satisfaction

REINFORCING CARDS: Some Possibilities

  • Death - loss, good-byes
  • Three of Swords - separation, loss of love, heartache
  • Six of Swords - sadness
  • Five of Pentacles - rejection, lack of support, loss of approval


The Five of Cups is about loss. On this card, we see a figure draped in black and covered in grief. He so dominates the card that it is hard to look beyond him. The Five of Cups refers to that time when the pain of a loss is most acute. This man is looking only at the overturned cups in front of him. For now, he cannot acknowledge the two cups that are still standing. Later, when he has healed somewhat, he will be able to see all that remains.

In readings, the Five of Cups can alert you to the possibility of a loss and its associated emotions - sorrow, regret, denial. The loss could be great or small. It could be tangible (money, relationship, work), or intangible (dream, opportunity, reputation). You may already know what this card represents, but, if not, use it as a warning to help you avoid a loss, or at least reduce its toll.

You may feel discouraged by this card, but it does have a positive side. Every loss opens new possibilities for growth because every loss initiates change. Loss hurts because it is our emotional resistance to change. No matter how much we accept intellectually that we must go with the flow, if that flow separates us from what we love, our feelings say, "No!"

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