King of Cups

Number: 49/14

Element: Air of the suit of Water

Astrological Associations: Libra and Scorpio

Key Meaning: A charismatic man

The King of Cups in Tarot stands for wisdom, calm, diplomacy, caring, and tolerance. The King of Cups meaning in a Tarot reading is a combination of the positive water energy of the Cups suit and the outward focus of a king. His knowledge of the world comes from his heart. Wise and understanding, he guides his students lovingly. In all situations, he is calm and relaxed, and he knows intuitively what is required at any given moment. His persona exudes peacefulness, and everyone turns to him for advice as he listens attentively. Under him, all others have the freedom to grow and develop in their own way.

Upright Meaning:

As a person: The King of Cups shows a warmhearted, charismatic male. He might be an academic, lawyer, advisor, businessman, scientist, or artist. In his work, he follows his intuition. In friendships, he is sociable, but, like his counterpart the Queen of Cups, is sensitive and needs to choose his closest friends wisely. For this reason, he may have one or two confidants and a wide circle of acquaintances. While being empathic, at times he tries to control his feelings and can come across as distant. He often needs time to process his intense emotions before sharing them.
This card often comes up in readings to show the ideal romantic partner, who is unafraid of intimacy while having stability and appropriate boundaries. It can predict fatherhood and children, too.

As an influence: A need exists to settle a conflict, either within yourself or between you and others, usually in a work or family situation. You are unsure whether to be logical or left-field, to go with the consensus or go with a hunch. If in doubt, follow your intuition and let your heart rule. In negotiations, use all your charm and empathy. When others feel that you are really engaged with them, they will drop their defenses and communication will improve.

Reversed Meaning: The reversed King reveals emotional vulnerability. If this applies to an individual in your life, you may be dealing with someone who is volatile right now. This person may be secretive, ashamed, and uncommunicative when not blaming others for their predicament. Thankfully, this situation is temporary and will change.

An additional meaning of the reversed card is a person with destructive behavior patterns and possibly addiction issues.

About the Deck: “Ciro Marchetti’s Tarot of Dreams” from