Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

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

The Five of Cups represents loss and grief. This could be a sign of future changes and potential growth that accompany losses.
Five of Cups is a dark omen. It connects with your emotions and brings a warning of loss and frustration. However, every loss opens up new opportunities for growth. Every loss triggers a change. You just need to go with the flow.
Five of Cups is a card of sadness, pain, despair and melancholy. It shows that we have lost something that has been very important to us for a long time. It shows that we will not be left alone with our grief, but can count on the compassion and help of our friends. However, this comforting side of the card should not be interpreted in the sense that our grief is far-fetched, and that soon we will be happy and all will be great again. Often the card shows that our own frivolity was to blame, that we did not value what we have, and therefore we lost it. However, there is a way out of this situation: the card advises not to dwell on your grief for too long.
This card tells that no, the life is not over. Your grief is really great, and the losses are significant, but there will also be joys and gains ahead. You just need to look forward, stop thinking about your grief, and it will go into the past, and a happy future will open before you.

Goal: Gaining a new being, big changes.
Element: Water
Planet: Mars
Astrological sign: Scorpio


A man in a black cloak stands with his head down, sadly, and looking at three overturned goblets. Nearby is a river, an insurmountable barrier separating him from the beautiful castle where his (now unattainable!) beloved lives. It seems that this card symbolizes despair and continuous failure in life. However, behind the man there are two more full cups, and in the distance, where the river turns, a bridge is visible. You can reach the castle by crossing it.
(For a detailed depiction, analysis of the Symbols and all Elements of the Five of Cups Tarot Card, click here)

The Main Meanings of the Card In an Upright Position

Key Words and Phrases

Five of Cups Tarot Card

Regret. Self-blame. Sadness. Reflections. Unhappy ending. Disturbed emotions. Lack of communication. Loss of trust. Emotional frustration. Betrayal in love. Excessive pessimism. Anxiety about the breakup. Salvation of what’s left. Fading love. Family problems. Time of crisis in love relationships. Parting. Feeling abandoned. You are being scolded or punished. Separation. Divorce. Miscarriage. Unused talents. Something is lost, but something remains. Don’t cry over spilled milk. What’s done is done. The glass is half empty, not half full.

The main meanings of the card in an upright position

deep sadness;
loss of a loved one;
the loss of something important, but there is also hope with you;
you are not alone with your grief;
deprivation of what was not appreciated;
inheritance, gift;
rejection of naive ideas and the transition to a more mature philosophy of life;
card of failures and achievements;
tradition, decision, Kabbalah;
partial failure, unjustified inheritance;
new hopes;
unfulfilled hopes or expectations;
unhappy marriage.

Situation and Advice

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

You have experienced loss or disappointment. You may be feeling rejected or abandoned. However, not all is lost. Something remains, and this “something” should be preserved. Most likely, now you think that the glass is half empty, but you can just as well assume that it is half full. If you are in a relationship that brings you nothing but pain, regret, and disappointment, it may be worth ending it. You should allow yourself to grieve as it will help you to release your emotions.

Persons designated by Upright Five of Cups Tarot Сard

Experiencing pain, resentment, or trauma. Pessimists. Women who have had miscarriages. Children who are bullied.

The Main Meanings of the Card In a Reversed Position

Key Words and Phrases

Positive values
Hope. Reigniting old love. Good news. Expectation. Receiving. New relationship. Possibilities. Renewal of old ties. A constructive approach to misunderstandings. Healing old wounds. The glass is half full.

Negative values
Painful ending. Deprivation. Irreversible losses. Regret. The end of an important relationship. Loss of love.

The main meanings of the card in a reversed position

the situation is better now than before;
old friends, beloved ones have returned;
courage to move forward;
irrecoverable loss;
loneliness and grief;
better times ahead;
paternal kinship, blood, family;
news, marriage union, family ties, return;
an encouraging future, lessons from the past;
renewal, peace of mind after adversity;
the ability to learn from the mistakes of the past;
new acquaintance.

Situation and Advice

The positive aspect of the Five of Cups in a reversed position: the emotional pain predicted by this card in the upright position is coming to an end. The light is already visible at the end of the tunnel, and you are already on your way to recovering from past wounds and losses. Someone you have known in the past will revive your hope for the future. An old friend may reappear in your life.

Five of Cups. Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti
Legacy of the Divine Tarot by Ciro Marchetti

Perhaps your former lover will return. Rapid changes in emotional life can be a source of discomfort. But now is the right time to clear up all past misunderstandings and heal wounded feelings.
The negative aspect of this card: it indicates the need to realize that some important relationship for you has been terminated irrevocably. It can predict possible hardship, loneliness or grief.

Persons designated by the Reversed Five of Cups Tarot Сard

Old friends. People you once loved. Loved ones you have lost.

In the Spreads

The Five of Cups symbolizes the frustration and feelings that arise when things don’t go as expected. A person may feel unhappy that a certain situation did not work out the way he hoped. Arcana indicates thoughts that keep in the quagmire of the past, not allowing you to see the prospects for the future. Missing the given opportunities causes a feeling of pity and self-desolation, sometimes even self-pity. Since the card belongs to the suit of the “Cups”, all problems are of an emotional nature.
Grief and sadness are part of life, if we work on emotions, then we break through the light at the end of the tunnel. The Tarot card of the Five of Cups appears when the querent experiences grief in a personal relationship.

In an Upright Position

Fives are generally undesirable in the spread, and in combination with the emotions of the Cups, the card speaks of extremely negative factors affecting the life of the querent. Five of Cups is a card of loss and disappointment, especially in personal relationships. The losses do not necessarily relate to the present. They probably happened a long time ago, but the pain from them is still fresh. However, with a positive attitude, the querent will be able to overcome grief and find hope and new goals.
This pain clears and gives worldly wisdom, but so far the person is not yet able to reach a new level. Five of Cups Tarot card means the uttermost disappointment and despair that fill the entire being of a person. And only with the end of this stage, the seeds of new beginnings and opportunities will be able to show their sprouts.
The Tarot card Five of Cups in an upright position indicates that you may have certain problems related to what happened in the past. You don’t want to learn from mistakes you’ve already made. The Arcana often reflects a person who is carried away by his past, unable to move on. There is a high probability of missing out on new joys that the future can bring.
Tarot card Five of Cups can mean a coming union, possibly marriage or partnership. There were setbacks, but there were also achievements. Those failures were small, and the sadness is fleeting. In addition, the inheritance, but not as large as the questioner wanted or expected. Change of plans, change of environment or personal circumstances.
Five of Cups in an Upright position is a card of loss and disappointment, especially in personal relationships. The losses do not necessarily relate to the present. They may have happened a long time ago, but the pain from them is still fresh. Often the card shows that our own frivolity was to blame, that we did not value what we have, and therefore lost it. The Arcana can also mean the impossibility of what we very much hoped for, worries about parting with something important and significant.
Depending on the alignment, we can talk about future losses, and about those that have already occurred, but the questioner cannot come to terms with them. His mental wounds are still fresh.
The most important mistake on this card is to get stuck in your fears, doubts and sorrows. When you learn to appreciate any, even at first glance, negative incident, you will grope for the saving ladder that is leading out of this dark hole. Indeed, any event gives us an invaluable gift – the personal experience. Here it is just right to remember the parable of the knife, with which you can maim or kill, or you can cut bread and create masterpieces from wood.
Life does not end with losses, but continues on. Think, what if it will be easier for you to go without a “dropped suitcase”, albeit a familiar and rather expensive one? Moreover, losses are the flip side of the finds. And if the first ones began to appear, wait for the second ones to come soon.

In a Reversed Position:

Appearing in the spread or fortune telling in a reversed form, the Five of Cups acquires a more positive meaning. The card can tell about the possibility of returning what was lost, about the need and ability to look at the situation in a new way. At the event level, the Arcana is interpreted as news, the return or arrival of an old friend, reconciliation with a loved one.
The reversed Tarot card Five of Cups tells that there are better times ahead. The regrets associated with a worthy card have not yet passed, but they are becoming less acute, and the querent is able to start a new life. New opportunities are often accompanied by uncertainty. In this case, the experience of the past will be a valuable lesson.
The reversed position of the Arcana indicates a significant recovery from regret, as well as a correct acceptance of the past. You become aware of all the consequences of actions, and you have learned from this experience.
In a reversed position, the Five of Tarot Cups tells the querent that the bitterness of loss and disappointment will soon be a thing of the past. The old wounds are still fresh enough, but they are already healing. Ahead of you is a new stage and changes for the better that will make your life calmer and more harmonious.

Five of Cups. The Tarot of Vampyres [With Phantasmagoria] by Ian Daniels
The Tarot of Vampyres [With Phantasmagoria] by Ian Daniels

In addition, the Five of Cups portends that the bitter experience of the past will serve you as a good lesson. Thanks to it, you will be able to avoid many mistakes and disappointments in the future: first of all, those that relate to your relationships with loved ones.
The reversed Five of Cups may speak of the emergence of a new point of view, something will reassure you, news will appear, interesting events will come into your life, new people may come back, old friends, and there will be a reunion, renewal of friendship.
If in an upright position this card can mean an inheritance upon the death of a person, then a reversed one speaks of the possibility of a gift from a perfectly healthy family member. Sometimes it can tell about avoiding solving the problem or the arrival of relatives, clarification of relationships and scandals in the family.

In the Spreads for Different situation

In an Upright Position:
In all negative situations, Arcana in an upright position suggests thinking about forgiveness. Holding on to anger and pain is bad for you. When you are busy getting angry and full of pain, the person you are angry with is having a good time! Now is the time to let go.
In a Reversed Position:
When you pull up a reversed Five of Cups in reading on a situation, you may have just gone through a difficult time. The good news is that your “recovery” is progressing well. Keep moving, don’t get stuck in things that are already over.

In the Spreads for Relationship

In an Upright Position:
The Five of Cups in a relationship indicates a possible break, tension and disputes with a partner. Arcana in matters of love and relationships means “emotional” loss, ie. what can still be saved. Arcana brings hope. No matter how many situations that can be mourned, the value of the Five Cups of the Tarot suggests that there is a chance to count on the future.
In the sphere of personal relations, the Five of Cups in an upright position, as a rule, means the collapse of the previous union or disappointment in an acquaintance that seemed to have promised so much. The card speaks of disappointment in a partner: deception and dishonesty on his part, uncertainty about the need to continue the relationship. The Arcana with a high degree of probability denotes resentments and experiences that have not yet cooled down after serious quarrels, divorce and breakup, when a person is not yet able to reason sanely. If this is truly a sad end to a once beautiful union, then you should ask yourself how much you personally contributed to this.

In a Reversed Position:
The reversed Five of Cups speaks of the coming time when it is time to stop living in the past. This is a card for forward movement. If a break in relations has recently occurred, then Arcana helps to accept reality. When one chapter closes in life, space is created for the emergence of a new one. If you are in a relationship, you may have just gone through a stressful period. We hope that you and your partner have analyzed and understood that the second person understands and hears you. Try not to dwell on past grievances and look to the future together.
A reversed Five of Cups usually indicates an awareness of one’s own mistakes and a willingness to finally see the positive sides in one’s life. This is the period when a person gradually comes to his senses from the loss of a loved one, begins to see bright prospects in front of him in love and friendship.

In the Spreads for Dates

In an Upright Position:
Disagreements with loved ones will be settled, the crack in the relationship will heal.
In a Reversed Position:
After the breakup, there is a sense of loss, but friends will support you during this difficult time for you.

In the Spreads for Family

In an Upright Position:
You love your family, but you feel the need for more independence.
In a Reversed Position:
You are afraid to leave home, but fear prevents you from seeing the great opportunities that await beyond the doorstep.

In the Spreads for Friendship

In an Upright Position:
All the quarrels and strife that you could have are already behind. Good times are ahead.

Five of Cups. Illuminati Tarot
Illuminati Tarot

In a Reversed Position:
Perhaps you have lost contact with people (for example, your sense of tact has changed), and now you regret it.

In the Spreads for Money

In an Upright Position:
Being overly concerned about money actually has the opposite effect of what you are trying to “accomplish”. Arcana speaks of the best flow of financial prosperity, about a flow in your favor. The way to deal with anxiety is to be generous.
In a Reversed Position:
The reversed Five of Cups reminds you to calculate your finances and be grateful for what you already have. You are entering a period where you are more in touch with who you really are, what you are truly capable of, in order to flourish more in life. Think positively and develop your self-esteem.

In the Spreads for Education

In an Upright Position:
While there is no talk of achievement yet, you learn from your mistakes and do everything in your power to improve your academic performance.
In a Reversed Position:
Perhaps you are discouraged. Do not give up!

In the Spreads for Career

In an Upright Position:
In career reading, the Five of Cups Tarot card means a job that you don’t really enjoy. You has a lot of potential in this career, but for some reason you cannot show it. The person feels isolated at work.
The Five of Cups in an upright position can mean a refusal of a place or a deal from which a large profit was expected, but in fact there are only losses. Dishonest behavior or deception by business partners, unfulfilled promises, unexpected expenses. However, the card advises: analyze everything, find your mistake, check if your attitude was not too frivolous or negative from the very beginning.
In a Reversed Position:
Lately, things have been difficult with work, you begin to realize that the only person you can really control or influence the situation is yourself. Think about what is really right for you. Maintain the right attitude, the best job you can expect.
In this case, the Five of Cups can mean a new job that a person is worried about, the restoration of interrupted business contacts, the need and willingness to start anew, encouraging news.

In the Spreads for Health

In an Upright Position:
The Five Health Cups indicate that it is very important to maintain a positive attitude. If you just “can’t get over” what someone “did to you” or what happened in your past, now is the time to get help solving those problems. The past is gone. Focus on the present and future.
Nervous breakdowns, depression, removal of abscesses, boils, benign formations. Negative dynamics of the course of the disease, deterioration in health.
In a Reversed Position:
If you “can’t get over” resentments, now is the time to get help with these problems before you harm yourself or hurt yourself by focusing on your past.
Illness or accident, as a result of which there is a possibility of losing some abilities that a person previously possessed.

Answer to Yes / No Tarot Spreads

In an Upright Position:
In a Reversed Position:

Five of Cups. Tarot of White and Black Magic by Gina M. Pace
Tarot of White and Black Magic by Gina M. Pace

Self-Development Lesson

Sometimes we are so absorbed in the sense of loss that we forget that everything in life is transitory. We must always strive to overcome regret and remorse and have the courage to extract something useful from our shattered illusions.

Type of person in an upright position:

The card means a melancholic person, prone to sadness, depression. Thoughtful, silent, but when he begins to speak, he often annoys those around him with a whining that is incomprehensible to them, because he does not explain the reasons for grief, expecting that everyone should understand it by default.

Type of person in a reversed position:

It means a person who seeks to maintain a positive attitude even in desperate situations. He learns, including from other people’s mistakes. Needs the help of loved ones, appreciates their opinion, often turns to them for advice.

Arcana’s warning

Arcana warns – expect failure in your life, almost certainly emotional. This may refer to past events that continue to cause regret or heartache. The only solution is optimism.

Final Advice of Arcana

Tighten the “belt” and appreciate what is available. Be grateful to fate that when the cups fell, you only lost three out of five. Two are still intact, intact and full of energy.

In an Upright Position:
Save what can still be saved. Don’t keep emotions to yourself. If you need to speak out – speak out. If you want to cry – cry!
In a Reversed Position:
Don’t make false plans. Forgive loved ones for delusions and mistakes, if possible, restore lost family ties.


The Five of Cups is a card not only of the past, but also of the future, in which you will receive the gift of “healing the past”, ie. learn to acknowledge it, let it pass through yourself and let it go.
The Five of Cups is also a Tarot card of indecision, inability to force oneself to think about important issues. Sometimes a Five heralds a change in environment caused by your desire to avoid these questions. You are essentially running away instead of working on the situation.
Here, too, it is your mood that influences your view of the situation. The Five of Cups is a card of failures and achievements, but you probably only see failures and do not notice achievements. If you see the good side of what you have, you will have the opportunity to achieve happiness. The Tarot card Five of Cups also predicts union, possibly marriage, and warns that it depends on you whether you will be happy or not. Following the Four, the Five of Cups emphasizes that the reason for your unhappiness is that you deliberately (albeit unconsciously) agree that your discontent and disappointment are just. You choose the worst and discard all the positive. In fact, you are hurting yourself by trying to annoy another person. Happiness and fulfillment of desires have been waiting for you for a long time. They are still waiting. It all depends on you.


Discover other Minor Arcana:

1 thought on “Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top