Eight of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

Eight of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

What does the Eight of Cups card mean in a Tarot Reading?

Eight of Cups is not a very easy to understand Tarot card. It can have several semantic shades depending on the specifics of the question. Most often, its meaning is defined as a departure from something. But the motives will need to be clarified.
While the card is easy to read literally and negatively, the Eight of Cups is actually a positive sign in most contexts, despite the ending overtones and hints of disgust. The feast does not stop, not because it is immoral or because it is inappropriate, but simply because all the wine has been drunk and everyone else has already left. It’s over, and the new beginning you are moving towards is usually a positive change after achieving you goal.
This card carries the meaning of separation and loss. Eight of Cups usually involves a tough decision. To move forward, you need to leave something in the past.

Goal: Path to Freedom
Element: Water
Planet: Saturn, Moon
Astrological sign: Pisces, Scorpio, Virgo


In the foreground, we see eight cups arranged in a row. A man walks away from them, turning his back on what they represent, and heading for the desolate mountains in the distance. This is a lonely wanderer with nothing but a staff. In the sky above him, the Moon is visible, which is shown at the same time as full and waning.
(For a detailed depiction, analysis of the Symbols and all Elements of the Eight of Cups Tarot Card, click here)

The Main Meanings of the Card In an Upright Position

Key Words and Phrases

Care. Removal. The gap. The path to the unknown. “Arrivederci”. Turning point. Withdrawal. Parting. The past makes you feel deprived. Disappointment. Farewell to the past. Break up of emotional addiction.

Eight of Cups Tarot Card

Turning your back on a difficult situation. Look inside. Search for meaning. Rejection of an outdated lifestyle. Directing energy to new interests. Rejection of old concepts. Leaving home. Leaving a difficult family situation. Search for new relationships. Seeking spiritual satisfaction. Leave your emotions behind. Job change. Moving. Sayonara. In search of the Holy Grail.

The main meanings of the card in an upright position

search for the good despite the fact that all the good is already there;
transition period;
rejection of worldly goods;
open up to new opportunities;
advises to leave people and things to which you are accustomed and go in search of the unknown;
uncertainty about the future;
the realization that the partner is not perfect;
troubles will go away in one lunar month;
travel, change of residence;
material wealth and family no longer bring peace;
help from a blonde;
modesty, honesty;
restraint, shyness, fear, apprehension, meekness, agreeableness;
inferiority of life, loss, change of power;
failure, disappointment in love;
lifestyle change, personality development;
rethinking values;
search for a new life path;
the need to start a lot anew, from scratch;
drastic changes in life;
fading love, parting.

Eight of Cups. Witchcraft Tarot by Ellen Dugan
Witchcraft Tarot by Ellen Dugan

Situation and Advice

You move away from what has ceased to suit you, and head towards something new. For a while, you have felt dissatisfaction and frustration with past relationships or circumstances. You gradually realized this and strove for inner changes. Now you want to free yourself from the old and experience something different. You may be anxious to fill the void in your life. Now is the time to free yourself from emotional bonds and become independent. Very often, the Eight of Cups tells that only one lunar month will pass – and everything will change. Travel and change of residence are possible. But the main concern of the character of the Eight of Cups is family and material problems. Money, family and wealth no longer bring him satisfaction. He seeks depth and content. Emotional experiences and family affairs are denied, also love and other connections weaken and fade. The querent makes a choice in favor of spiritual development.
Now is the right time to get rid of the old and unnecessary, that which has already become obsolete. Think about what you have learned. You are now emotionally mature and able to choose a more worthy goal. You are looking for more meaning in your life. You are moving away from the past, and new relationships await you ahead. Old books say that the Eight of Cups predicts help from a blonde or marrying a blonde.

Persons designated by Upright Eight of Cups Tarot Сard

Those who are in search. Breakup survivors. People who have left an unsatisfactory situation in the past. “Blondes” ready to help.

The Main Meanings of the Card In a Reversed Position

Key Words and Phrases

Positive values
Feeling of satisfaction from the completed task. Good situation. Communication. Strong relationships. The hard times are coming to an end. Pleasure. The search for happiness. Attending a party. New novel. Flirting. Friendship. Holiday. Renewal of old relationships within a month.

Negative values
Refusal to move on. Clinging to the past. Fear of the unknown. Wrong decision. Refusal of personal growth. Problems that arise from restrictions. Failure to “outgrow” outdated relationships and hobbies. Mediocrity. Following false ideals. Giving up valuable relationships. Fear of intimacy. Turn your back on emotionally valuable allies. Change something that you can regret later. The grass is greener on the other side.

The main meanings of the card in a reversed position

the person has already abandoned the goods in search of what he lacks (he has already made a mistake);
worldly life, a period of rejection of the search for the spiritual;
portends the appearance of a lover;
angry “blonde”;
apology, correction;
satisfaction, happiness, contentment, gaiety, admiration, delight, entertainment;
excuse, public joy, performance;
meeting with friends, celebration;
new love affair;

Situation and Advice

In a reversed position, the Eight of Cups advises you to get away from an unsatisfactory emotional situation and start looking for something that will fill your life with meaning. Perhaps a reversed Eight of Cups suggests that the current relationship is not at all what it seems to you, or that you refuse to accept the advice of this card in the upright position. You should value what you have now, and not dismiss it as unnecessary.

Eight of Cups. Tarot of Consequences by Corrine Kenner, Pietro Alligo
Tarot of Consequences by Corrine Kenner, Pietro Alligo

It may be difficult for you to decide to break up a problematic relationship. Have you chosen a mediocre behavior for yourself? On the other hand, it may turn out that you are breaking off an ideal relationship for some reason that you have invented. You may not be taking any steps to improve the situation. It may be that the change you intend to make is the most inappropriate at the moment. After a while, you may regret that you got excited and ruined the situation or broke off some kind of relationship.
The positive meaning of the Eight of Cups in a reversed position: you have successfully got out of a difficult situation and are ready to celebrate the beginning of the next stage of your life. Sometimes a reversed eight of Cups indicates the beginning of a new romance or a change of residence. It can also refer to a specific action such as attending a party or inviting to a social event. Family, friends, new love, companionship and parties. In the bubbling life of the querent, a new love connection can arise.

Persons designated by the Reversed Eight of Cups Tarot Сard

Those who act impulsively. Angry “blondes”.

In the Spreads

The value of the card in its most general form is the rejection of something, a voluntary farewell. This may be due to the fact that the person has revised his plans or dreams and now wants to change his life. Or perhaps he is just tired of what he has now and is trying to temporarily withdraw from the world. The other cards in the spread will help to determine the nuances of the interpretation of the Eight of Cups Tarot card.
Last but not least, remember that this card can also indicate that a matter of great importance is actually trivial. Along with other cards that help you understand misperceptions, this can help you understand what you might have overestimated lately.
The meaning of the Eight of Cups, based on its position in the spreads, differs in intensity while maintaining a similar meaning. More details below.

In an Upright Position

The upright position means understanding that what you are used to need to change, hence the voluntary rejection of something or someone dear and the search for a new path. This is a conscious choice of a person, which, although it causes sadness, leads to a new stage in life.
This card portends a departure from the past, a change in priorities and goals. The person who gets the Eight of Cups Tarot card enters a new stage, where there is no place for old habits and connections. This is a rejection of the old comfortable life in the name of new ideas, a step into the unknown, that sometimes can be frightening.
In the upright position, the Eight of Cups symbolizes the difficult transitional period that awaits the querent. The presence of this Tarot card in the spread means that in some area you have achieved a lot, but you are at a dead end, and circumstances will force you to leave everything to start over, from scratch. We can talk about giving up material goods, and about breaking off relations with another person, and about leaving a prestigious job.
In addition to drastic changes in life, the Eight of Cups can mean changes in the soul of the querent himself, invisible to others, but from this no less significant. Leaving old goals, achievements and ideals in the past, you seek new spiritual paths.
Means softness, timidity, modesty. The Eight of Cups of the Tarot suggests that the querent is feeling dissatisfied. The reason for this is the desire for recognition of his personality. The querent is given advice to earn honor, to seize the opportunity, and not to hide from it. The matter, which presents itself to the querent as a huge problem, turns out to be, good or bad, not so difficult as soon as it is tackled. Disappointment comes if the querent does nothing for this.
In an upright position, the Eight of Cups indicates a state of fatigue, when everything is tired or a person does not see any point in doing at least something. This is an apathetic-depressive state, detachment and a pessimistic outlook on life, despondency and stagnation. Farewell to the past has already begun, but the person does not seem to understand it yet. The card also says that the question on which the fortune-telling is carried out is not as important as it seems, and that the actions taken will reveal its true value, reduce its significance, after which the person can switch to something else. It is necessary to take the first step, and then it will become clear that the situation is not as frightening as it seemed from a distance.
In any case, the Eight of Cups Arcana suggests that if you decide to change something drastically in your life. To give up something in order to find something. It’s time to do it now.

In a Reversed Position:

The meaning of the reversed Eight of Cups Tarot card can be twofold. Arcana can mean that you are too attached to someone or something and cannot leave, although it is necessary. It may also indicate a hasty or frivolous rejection of something important that, on the contrary, needs to be left in your life.
In a reversed position, the Eight of Cups means the querent’s desire to enjoy carnal, earthly joys. Now you are not worried about the search for a spiritual path, but quite material desires, such as a good rest, travel, love, entertainment, acquaintances. All this awaits you in the near future, enriching you with a lot of fresh impressions.
The reversed Eight of Cups Tarot card means immense happiness and joy. Celebration, pleasure. Most often refers to an event about which the querent knew and either expected or planned. The surrounding cards will reveal whether the event will be so enjoyable or disgusting.
The reversed Eight of Cups is often associated with losses, but it can also indicate a recovery of the situation. Traditionally, it means engaging in a process in order to achieve ultimate success. At the same time, this card can also indicate unexpected, rather serious gifts, pleasant expected events.

Eight of Cups. Tarot by Alphonse Mucha
Tarot by Alphonse Mucha

In addition, the reversed Arcana of the Eight of Cups can herald you a great holiday, joyful event or celebration. Most likely, we are talking about a planned event such as a wedding, birth of a child, or an anniversary.
In the old days, the reversed Eight of Cups was interpreted very positively. A person was foreshadowed by prosperity, great luck, pleasure from life, dizzying success, jubilation. As a rule, it was about an event that the person already knew about.
The reversed Eight of Cups can also indicate a journey without purpose and meaning. And also refusal from well-deserved rest and travel. When it is difficult for a person to live according to certain rules and laws, and he tries to get away from the framework and boundaries that are imposed on him. But he does it aimlessly and without much enthusiasm. Another interpretation of the reversed card is retribution, cleansing.

In the Spreads for Different situation

In an Upright Position:
In spreads for a specific situation, the Arcana Eight of Cups can mean a call to action. You should reconsider your plans and expectations. Perhaps now is the time for changes and getting rid of unnecessary things.
In a Reversed Position:
The reversed Eight of Cups Tarot card gives advice to move away from the situation that worries you, and perhaps even leave and do something more important to you, look for meaning in other things.

In the Spreads for Relationship

In an Upright Position:
In love, the upright Eight of Cups can have several meanings, but they are all united by the same emotions – sadness, heaviness in the heart. Arcana may indicate a conscious withdrawal from a partner, because the relationship has already become obsolete, or parting for some reason that is beyond your control. Also, this card can mean a desire to break off a relationship or a temporary crisis and a depressed mood. The neighboring Arcana of the spread will help you to understand the answer of the card in detail.
Eight of Cups in an upright position means parting with a person or some people who have meant a lot to you until now. This card denotes a crossroads where the paths separate, indicating that it is time to say goodbye to relationships with gratitude and, if necessary, break the “umbilical cord” that connected them with you. On a deeper level, the card can mean parting with the previous ideas about a partner as a fairytale prince or princess, realizing that there are no ideal people, giving up naive dreams and returning to harsh reality. Often the card indicates the faded feelings of partners, an unwillingness to continue a relationship, a break.

In a Reversed Position:
Eight of Cups in a reversed position means unwillingness to break the connection with a partner, although this should be done. This can be a dead-end relationship, the position of a lover / mistress, sick love, etc. A person understands that it is necessary to leave, but delays the decision and cannot do it.
Also, Eight of Cups may indicate a hasty decision to part. When a person goes nowhere without thinking and leaving his loving partner. The meaning of the card in the spread will depend on the question asked and the existing circumstances.
The reversed Eight of Cups symbolizes the rejection of something important for the sake of a partner and, at the same time, speaks of the futility of the chosen course of action. In this case, we are talking about a path to nowhere, a relationship that has no future.

In the Spreads for Dates

In an Upright Position:
Are you happy together? Do you really need the person you like? Are you kidding yourself? Isn’t it time to move on alone?
In a Reversed Position:
Clinging to a relationship or dreaming hard about a relationship that cannot be viable is not the road to happiness. Take a different path.

In the Spreads for Family

In an Upright Position:
Family meetings are likely.
In a Reversed Position:
Do not let the fear of leaving your father’s house interfere with your life. Do with your life what needs to be done with it.

In the Spreads for Friendship

Eight of Cups. Illuminati Tarot
Illuminati Tarot

In an Upright Position:
You get along much better with some of your friends than with others. Your circle of close friends is changing.
In a Reversed Position:
Don’t cling to old friendships when you know deep down that you and your old friend have very little in common.

In the Spreads for Money

In an Upright Position:
The financial situation is not ideal. Disappointments are possible when there is less money than expected, a temporary crisis.
In a Reversed Position:
In financial matters, the card usually indicates attempts to make money on something that does not bring pleasure. Doing the unloved work just for the sake of money.

In the Spreads for Education

In an Upright Position:
You may be transferring to another school, or a new school year is starting. There is no need to be afraid of change. In a few months, you will be comfortable in new conditions: in a new school, or among new classmates, or with new academic subjects.
In a Reversed Position:
You are considering dropping out of school. The card indicates that you need to get advice from other people and take time to think. Think carefully about how the choice will affect your future life.

In the Spreads for Career

In an Upright Position:
In business matters, Eight of Cups Tarot card usually means a desire to quit or change a field of activity. Drops out when a person is not satisfied with his job, team or salary. He is tired of everything and wants to give up everything, temporarily (vacation) or permanently.
This may be a general departure from active functioning – due to age, as a result of a decision to devote oneself to a family, or due to the closure of this industry. A bad mood due to parting with a familiar job is combined here with a feeling of uncertainty about the future. This card can also indicate a lack of faith in the prospects of work in this place. However, in this case, there is emptiness and uncertainty: what to do next, where will fate lead?

In a Reversed Position:
Indicates a forced exit, when a person wants to stay, but something does not add up. Or, on the contrary, a hasty dismissal from a good job that could bring profit.
In the reversed form, the Eight of Cups symbolizes the difficulties that a person faces on the way to the goal when he performs his work duties. It may mean that you will have to pay off debts unexpectedly quickly, or at the most inopportune moment. Another meaning of this card is a failed business trip or business meeting.

In the Spreads for Health

In an Upright Position:
Eight of Cups Tarot card for health will signal fatigue, depression or burnout. If you have this Arcana, then you need a rest.
Deep depression, apathy. Spasmodic vascular manifestations in the foot area are likely.
In a Reversed Position:
The reversed Eight of Cups has the same meaning as the upright Tarot card, with the difference that under the current circumstances a person cannot afford time for rest and recovery.
Insomnia and somnabulism are possible, as well as diseases of the teeth and gums.

Answer to Yes / No Tarot Spreads

In an Upright Position:
In a Reversed Position:

Self-Development Lesson

Eight of Cups. The Tarot of the 78 Doors
The Tarot of the 78 Doors

Open up to new opportunities. Trust in the guidance of a higher spiritual source.

Type of person in an upright position:

The card means a person who is honest, modest, a little shy. Conscientiousness in everything is one of the main traits of his character. He loves solitude, gets used to people during a long time, but he becomes attached to them forever. It is very difficult for him to be separated from those whom he considered close.

Type of person in a reversed position:

This card means a person that is inquisitive, but capricious and cocky. Sometimes he treats people with prejudice, based on their own ideas about life. He strives to be in the midst of the people, he likes to shock the audience with unusual antics and outfits.

Arcana’s warning

Before you finally decide to give up something, think again. Is it too early for you to decide to quit.

Final Advice of Arcana

If you have to part with someone or something important, do not worry or be sad. This is essential for your bright future.

In an Upright Position:
Leave the plan. Most likely, by the time you will receive what you want, it will lose its value for you.
In a Reversed Position:
You should not be sad about the missed chance, it still cannot be returned. It’s time to go out – people are waiting for you.


The meaning of the Eight of Cups Tarot card is controversial. The Eight of Cups tells about a situation, event or enterprise in which you are involved or which you are planning. It reports that everything will turn out well. In essence, you are told that you will get what you hoped for.
But this card also indicates that you are showing too much caution and as a result you will lose what you hoped to get. In this case, the reason is not that you do not see good things, but that you are too undecided, too unsure of yourself or of your own worth, or too shy to take the first step. But without taking this step, you risk losing everything that you have worked on and hoped for for so long.
There is also an interpretation of the Eight of Cups Tarot card, convenient in practical predictions, which tells that the question under discussion, good or bad, is not as important as it seems, and that the actions taken will reveal its true value, reduce its importance, after which you can switch to something else. Take the first step and you will see that the situation is not as dire as it seemed from a distance. In any case, success lies ahead. Whether you achieve it or not is up to you.


Discover other Minor Arcana:

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