Tarot Heaven King of Cups
King of Cups Universal Rider Waite

King of Cups

Prince of the Chariots of Water


Fire of Water

Court Element: Fire

Suit Element: Water

Golden Dawn Zodiac: Feb 9-March 10 (Aquarius/Pisces)

BOTA Zodiac: June 11-July 12 (Gemini/Cancer)

Hebrew Letter: Yod

Sephiroth: Chokmah



King of Cups Description and Symbolism


A man sits on a stone island in the midst of a turbulent sea. The sea is composed of greens and blues that roll and wave back and forth. A dolphin is jumping from the ocean through the air. Dolphins have helped many people who are drowning. They effortlessly navigate between the water and the air. They are the human companion to the sea, always helping humans in need. The name dolphin comes from the Greek word delphinos, which means womb. This was also where the Delphic Oracle held their prophetic gatherings. The dolphin is appropriately placed near the King of Cups to show his nurturing ability to care for everyone (womb) and his intuitive, psychic feelings.


On the other side of the King's throne is lovely red ship that is gently rocked by the sea. His passion to succeed and transverse anything that life brings to him is symbolized by the red ship. Red is the color of passion and desire and a boat is part of cultivation. This hints at the symbolism for being able to manifest our desires in to reality by cultivating them into human machines. (Take a look at the symbolism in the Magician's red roses).


The King of Cups is not moving, but his eyes give way to what he is thinking. They shift to the left, while his body remains calm. He seems cautious about something. Perhaps the turbulent waves are affecting his emotional mood, yet he doesn't show it; he feels it. His eyes give way to the emotions of his heart.


There is a contradiction between his eyes and body. Fire and water are also opposites and seemingly contradict themselves. The King of Cups searches his subconscious and conscious mind to find a balance between the two. And he does this effortlessly. He is calm in the mists of the subconscious waves moving up and down. He has mastered his emotions.


He wears a golden fish around his neck. The Hebrew letter Nun means fish. Death (key 13) rules over the letter Nun, which connects back to the water sign Scorpio. According to the Builders of the Adytum thought process, the King of Cups encompasses all three water signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.


His colors seem to contrast rather than blend. Yellow, red and blue are all primary colors. They are the colors that make up all the other colors. For instance, he wears a yellow turtle neck cape and a blue gown. Blue and yellow make green, which is the color of his shoes and the waves. The opposites merge together to create a new color. (I've wondered if the originally coloring for the waves was green and purple).


King of Cups Interpretation and Divination


Like his queen, the King of Cups is highly emotional, but his emotions are less transparent. He has learned to keep them under control even though there maybe a molten lava of emotional eruption inside him. Indeed, this king is the more emotional of the four kings of tarot. We can see the rough, choppy sea behind him. The water is the subconscious, which rules the world of emotions.


His emotions make him an excellent artist where he can tap into his creative juices. Anywhere you find artistic creation such as photography, painting, graphic design, you will find the King of Cups.


The spark of fire and element of water bring new creative projects and ideas into your life when you get the King of Cups in a reading.


King of Cups as a Father


The King of Cups is a man who puts his family first. He makes an excellent dad. If you want a great dad, you want the King of Cups. Because he is so in touch with emotions, he can fine tune them to deal with his children. This is the type of man who always yearned to marry his true love and make the perfect family with her. He is a faithful man who will always stand beside his children and wife no matter what. He often knows what his children need and want before they do. He is a great listener and his calming manner helps guide his children in the right direction.


King of Cups in Love


The King of Cups in love will love you to his last dying breath. He is passionate and very romantic. When the King of Cups comes up in a love reading, know that he does have his eyes set on you. Though it may take him sometime to come over and talk to you. He maybe shy at first. He may have created an entire romantic relationship in his mind even before you and him meet.


Be prepared to be worshiped with love letters, boxes of chocolates, jewelry,  and home cooked meals full of love.


The downside to the King of Cups in love is that he is prone to lying and creating fantasies. He may daydream about you more than he actually makes plans to see you. He is also prone to drugs and alcohol either upright or reversed.


King of Cups as Feelings


If you get the King of Cups as "what X feelings towards me?" then they have their eyes set on you. They feel a very strong feeling of love that surpasses a mere crush. They may even get butterflies at first and there could be some contradictions. Like he/she may look away breathlessly while talking to you. Don't let that fool you. They are just nervous and may take some time to warm up. But once the King of Cups knows his/her feelings are reciprocated then they will feel at total ease.


In general other feelings that could come up are calmness, understanding, compassion and sympathy.


King of Cups in Career


Water and emotions don't bode well in a reading about career. I would be careful in a career reading if the King of Cups came up. It's all a turbulent water of subconscious emotions behind him. His shifty eyes and piece of cold, gray throne he sits on look like they are in dire need of help. Yet there he impassively sits.


Be careful of a man coming to you pretending to help. He can have bad motives. The King of Cups can be manipulative in business and use subconscious manipulative ploys.


I had to do business with a man and a wife who were always coming up as the King of Cups and Reversed Queen of Cups. At one point, the King of Cups told me, "I told the investor that I was very ill and dying to put pressure on the sale. Then I got my wife to cry a lot on the phone."


Once I dug deeper, I realized that these two had a long, long history of duping, stealing, lying and moving around.


King of Cups as Advice


The King of Cups advises you to take a deep look into your emotions. He suggests that you calm any turbulent feelings that you may have. Meditation or a calming bath would help you at this time.


Getting the King of Cups as advice suggests that you are going through something turbulent, so this king suggests that you take a deeper look into your emotions and why you are feeling this way. You may even want to seek the help of a counselor.


King of Cups Professions


Photographer. Father. Stay at home dad.  Teacher. Artist.  Actor. Boat Captain. Fisherman. Counselor. Psychologist. Therapist. Educator. Anything creative and artistic. Zoologist. Marine Biologist. Shaman. Healer. Medicine Man. Veterinarian.


King of Cups Reversed


The King of Cups reversed is prone to emotional outbursts,  otherwise known as a drama king.


The King of Cups reversed is prone to drugs and drinking alcohol.


The King of Cups reversed may throw pity parties for himself and dwell constantly on the past while making himself the martyr.


King of Cups Card Combinations


King of Cups and Emperor:

     a. Being with someone, while wishing you were with

         someone else.

     b. Finishing your project, but being in a completely different

         frame of mind.

                   i. These two have wandering eyes. Their body

                      posture and their eyes are poised in two different

                      directions. This is how we get the doing one thing,

                      while having your eye on another.


King of Cups and Hermit:

     a. The old man shows you how to control your emotions

     b. The old man controls his emotions when he's confronted

         with feelings

     c. The older gentleman is a master of his emotions

     d. The artist seeks creativity being alone. (possibly inspired by nature)


King of Cups and Hanged Man:

     a. Suspension of emotions

     b. reigning in and controlling an emotionally pivotal moment


King of Cups and Queen of Cups:

     a.  A situation between a man and a woman. Emotional

         control and restraint is used. The woman may feel

         unusually calm.

     b. Complementary couple who may drink or do drugs too

         much. Given to artistic flights of fancy.


King of Cups and the Two of Pentacles:

      a. Going back and forth between emotions

      b. Being emotionally unstable.

      c. Indecision



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