Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

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

The Four of Cups is a symbol of apathy and self-absorption. This could be the wake-up call that you are missing.
Apathy is the most insidious evil. If its influence is uncontrollable, you can lose yourself without even realizing what you have lost. Four of Cups is a serious warning that you must find a way out of your current situation in order not to become isolated.
The mood of this card is best defined by the concepts of “repletion”, “overkill”. Remember the impermanence of our feelings: we desire something with all the strength of our souls, however, having achieved this (and even more than we wanted), we suddenly realize that we do not need it, and we are overwhelmed by despondency, resentment and disgust. This can be expressed in grumbling, indifference, or vice versa, irritation, despair and the desire to destroy everything. One way or another, this card serves as a warning: do not let your bad mood to turn into apathy, so you will not to miss a favorable chance and will not push the helping hand away.

Goal: New meaning of life, new goal.
Element: Water
Planet: Moon
Astrological sign: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces


Ryder Waite’s Arcana depicts a guy sitting under a tree away from others. Looking at the card, it seems that he is in a closed state, possibly depressed. His arms are crossed, his face is sad. Next to him are three cups. Someone, like a helping hand, offers the fourth cup. The young man does not see, or does not want to see the gift presented to him by the outstretched hand.
(For a detailed depiction, analysis of the Symbols and all Elements of the Four of Cups Tarot Card, click here)

The Main Meanings of the Card In an Upright Position

Key Words and Phrases

Boredom. Fatigue. Retreat. Public isolation. Rejection of public invitations. Revaluation. Appeal to your inner world. Apathy. Closure. Deepening in thought. Silence. Despair. Distance.

Four of Cups Tarot Card

Disappointment. Something is missing. Feeling of inner emptiness. Yearning. Introversion. Routine. Resentment. Depression. Feeling exhausted. Deepening into yourself. Lack of motivation. Feeling of satiety. Nobody understands me. The honeymoon is over. I never promised you a million of red roses. The grass is greener on the other side. The winter of our discontent. Disgust for many things.

The main meanings of the card in an upright position

dissatisfaction with oneself, self-delusion;
wounded pride;
warning: do not waste time nagging so as not to miss a new chance.
ignoring a partner;
imaginary annoyance;
displeasure, resentment, hostility, hatred, anxiety, mental illness;
sadness, grief, burden, dissatisfied mood;
upsetting, saddening;
emotional stagnation, life stagnation;
dubious pleasures, contradictions;
satiety, habit;
lack of incentives in life;
emotional fatigue, unwillingness to change anything.

Situation and Advice

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

You may have withdrawn into yourself because you are unhappy with some aspects of your life. You are now bored or frustrated. The honeymoon is over. Everything seems trivial and unsatisfactory. You need a reassessment of values. The danger in your current position is that you do not see the good things that surround you. You have become distant from everyone, and this prevents you from accepting the help that is offered to you. Perhaps you feel depressed, it seems to you that you are demoralized and do not understand the situation. The novelty has passed and you are looking for new ways to stimulate. You feel empty, as if something has disappeared from your life, and you cannot understand what exactly. Perhaps you shouldn’t distance yourself from others? Four of Cups advises not to rush, but to think carefully before continuing.

Persons designated by Upright Four of Cups Tarot Сard

People who are not satisfied with something. Those who have to reevaluate the situation. Hermits. Recluse.

The Main Meanings of the Card In a Reversed Position

Key Words and Phrases

Positive values
Restoring relationships with other people. Someone you expect. Acceptance of a public invitation. Motivation. Initiative. Communication. Inspiration. Willingness to accept new opportunities. Restoration of vitality. Energy. Breaking your shell. Breaking down the walls. Satisfaction. Getting rid of the routine.
Negative values
Self-pity. Fatalism. Satiety. Excessiveness. Apathy. Lethargy. Despair. Depression. Exhaustion. Lack of pleasure. Missed opportunities.

The main meanings of the card in a reversed position

the chance has already been missed;
new relationships, new acquaintances;
motivation for work; new ambitions;
new instruction, new light;
signs, traces, considerations;
foreshadowing, prediction;
premonitions, announcement, warning, novelty;
renewal, new acquaintance;
new guidelines, anticipation of changes for the better, new hopes;
there is an understanding with a loved one;
good news;
new perspectives and plans, freshness of perception;
love, new friendships or partnerships.

Situation and Advice

Positive meaning
Things went well. You feel a surge of new strength and are ready to take advantage of new opportunities. Life gives you pleasure again after a prolonged period of boredom. You are in a pleasant state of expectation. You will communicate a lot, you will make new friends.

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

Perhaps this will be the result of the fact that you attend a party or accept someone’s invitation. Perhaps right now it is worth renewing old acquaintances and thinking how important they are to you. Now is the time to seize the new chances that fate gives you.
Negative meaning
You are experiencing severe depression. Don’t let self-pity obscure all other feelings.

Persons designated by the Reversed Four of Cups Tarot Сard

Those who have retired from routine affairs or do not participate in social activities.

In the Spreads

The Four of Cups Tarot card represents a tendency to take for granted what we have, and it is difficult for us to see what treasures the universe has to offer. We tend to have our own answers to our problems, but we can’t focus on what we don’t know. A four in a suit of Cups refers to a turbulent time when a person can become unhappy with life and emotionally drained. Feel stagnant, hungry for change, pondering options. But sometimes in life it should be so.
Four of Cups in Tarot spreads suggests that it’s too easy to lose sight of what we already have in pursuit of what we don’t have.

In an Upright Position

In the upright position of the Arcana in reading the Tarot, it indicates the need to stop focusing on yourself and start looking around. Try to figure out how you can focus on other needs?
Four of Cups in an upright position is the Arcana of material realization, which is complemented by feelings of satiety, satisfaction and repletion. Remember the impermanence of our feelings: we desire something with all the strength of our souls, however, having achieved this (and even more than we wanted), we suddenly realize that we no longer need it, and we are overwhelmed by despondency and apathy. Either way, this card serves as a warning: don’t let your bad mood turn into a blues. You are currently immersed in experiences that, by and large, can be called subjective. Nothing tragic has happened in your life that could cause so much grief. But you are so entangled in your own desires and fears that now it will take some time to find a way out of this impasse.
In the upright position, the Tarot card Four of Cups symbolizes satiety from success, material or other benefits, and in general from life itself. The young man depicted on the card does not need any gifts of fate: it seems that he has tried everything, and he is already tired of everything.
Four of Cups suggests that there are many good things in the life of the querent, but he is not inclined to notice it. He takes some gifts of fate for granted, others “are not to his taste”, and still others just become boring to him. Therefore, instead of enjoying life, his life consists of grumbling, boredom and eternal discontent.
If you have a Four of Cups in the spread, this is an unequivocal warning that you urgently need a reassessment of values. You need a new stimulus, new interest, new experiences that will make the blood run faster through the veins, leaving no trace of boredom.
The Tarot card Four of Cups symbolizes frustration, annoying incidents, problems, irritation caused by unpleasant circumstances. The questioner is dissatisfied with the life that is happening, is in a state of boredom and melancholy.
Excessive social activity led to burnout and mental exhaustion. The man overdid it, and now he has absolutely no strength to do anything. Perhaps he faced unexpected obstacles, which forced him, caused annoyance and dissatisfaction with the situation, as well as with his soul mate.

In a Reversed Position:

The reversed Four of Cups is a card tat tells how to escape from the chaos of life. You may know that you are in a rut, but you do not realize that you yourself have driven yourself there. You can control of your destiny.
In the reversed position, the Four of Cups acts in its positive, constructive quality. It symbolizes new opportunities, new connections, new acquaintances, new approaches to old problems, new knowledge. And if the upright card corresponds to apathy and chronic problems, then the reversed one indicates another attempt to solve these problems, the ability to shake off numbness and boredom. However, sometimes such an Arcana can also serve as a warning that a person, being in a state of readiness for active actions, will not take time to think about how correct his decision will turn out to be, and whether the moment is right for this.
In a reversed position, the Tarot card Four of Cups symbolizes changes and new opportunities that will appear in the life of the querent. Fate invites you to try or discover something new, and this will bring a fresh stream into your life, renew your feelings and impressions.
Depending on the spread and on the neighboring cards, we can talk about new love or friendship, about material values, money, career prospects, etc. Most likely, it will appear in your life unexpectedly, like a surprise, materializing as if out of thin air.

Four of Cups. Guardian Angels Tarot
Guardian Angels Tarot

A reversed Four of Cups is a favorable card. A person gets rid of boredom, begins to see the world in a new light. New projects, connections, acquaintances appear. He gets rid of old problems, gains new knowledge, overcomes his own apathy and passivity. He goes towards everything new and promising which he had previously rejected.
The card indicates an unforeseen event that will affect the solution of old problems with new methods. Relationship with a partner will reach a new level, achieving mutual understanding, foreboding, prophecy, signs of fate, changes for the better.

In the Spreads for Different situation

In an Upright Position:
In all life situations, this Arcana in an upright position suggests you not to spend too much time in self-pity or a desire to break away from the world. A lot in life has to do with what people focus on. It’s better for you to focus on the environment in your life for which you should be grateful to fate.
In a Reversed Position:
When the reversed Four of Cups appear, then it’s time to move on. Now is not the right time to feel sorry for yourself or give in to the thought of having everything at once. Start where you are now and know that no matter what happens, you can always make a difference. When you do this, you will be free from what has bothered you for so long.

In the Spreads for Relationship

In an Upright Position:
The significance of Four of Cups in relationships is that there are some regrets when it comes to love. If you are single, you are focused on your perceived flaws and are mired in bad and negative feelings about yourself. If you are in a relationship, it could mean that you are fantasizing about a “better” relationship and taking for granted the person who is with you.
In an upright position, the Four of Cups, appearing in spreads and fortune-telling for love and relationships, means a difficult, if not poisonous atmosphere. It shows that the person is blinded by jealousy or nurtures his resentment by punishing his partner with silence or completely ignoring him. Usually, in such a mood, it is impossible to see the gestures of goodwill and steps towards reconciliation that a partner is taking. The card advises to overcome this apathy as soon as possible and to meet halfway. Sometimes Arcana indicates a preoccupation with a hopeless relationship, and a person’s unwillingness to try to see other possible candidates for partners around him.

In a Reversed Position:
The reverse Tarot card of Four of Cups may indicate that you are going to meet again with a friend from the past, someone you took for granted and who has now become a real godsend. The relationship will grow gradually as there is still a sense of mistrust.
In a reversed position, the Arcana of the Four of Cups is interpreted as a fatal meeting, as a sign of fate and speaks of achieving complete understanding with a loved one.

In the Spreads for Dates

In an Upright Position:
If you’re comfortable with yourself, then now is the time to start thinking about romantic relationships. If you are not happy with yourself, then the relationship that is worth working on is the relationship with yourself.
In a Reversed Position:
Not to say that a lot is happening in your life. Rather, almost nothing.

In the Spreads for Family

In an Upright Position:
Your family’s worries will soon have a solution.
In a Reversed Position:
Great resentment and tension in the family.

In the Spreads for Friendship

Four of Cups. Black Grimoire Tarot
Black Grimoire Tarot

In an Upright Position:
You may feel abandoned, unattractive, and redundant among your friends. If this is the case, then it is time to build a new friendship.
In a Reversed Position:
Most likely you are offended and outraged, but try to avoid collision. That’s right – it’s not worth it.

In the Spreads for Money

In an Upright Position:
Focus on your strengths, what you have, what you can do, and not on what you don’t have. If you are not financially stable, define specific goals and plans, and then outline the steps you need to take to make a difference. Look at your financial situation as it is.
In a Reversed Position:
If you look around you carefully, you will see something that you have not noticed before. Take some time, your motivation should be higher than ever. This approach is essential to succeed and make money.

In the Spreads for Education

In an Upright Position:
In class, not only are you listening, but when you speak, there is amazing insight and wisdom in the words.
In a Reversed Position:
Watching too much in inaction. Finally, get involved.

In the Spreads for Career

In an Upright Position:
You may not like your current job, but it puts food on the table. In the modern era, the success and stability of work is a thing of the past. Remember that rarely does anyone find themselves completely trapped in the routine, there is always a way out.
The Four of Cups, dropped out in an upright position, shows that the work has finally lost its attractiveness. The card can also mean tiredness from monotonous work or wounded pride – for example, after receiving a reprimand or refusal. In such situations, it is necessary to consider this card as advice and warning: do not waste time on fruitless whining, so as not to miss a new, already very close chance.
In a Reversed Position:
Perhaps you are finally starting to figure out what to change in life and how to get out of a work situation. You don’t need to do something hasty, but if you look around you will see other possibilities. All you need is faith in yourself.
In a reversed position, the Four of Cups can talk about “finding oneself” and the life purpose, about trying to do something more interesting and promising. However, there is also the possibility that a person, spending energy on many things, will not achieve success in any of them.

In the Spreads for Health

In an Upright Position:
Four of Cups can indicate a physical problem in terms of health. Pay attention to diet, exercise, and time to rest. A healthy diet is a must. You may need to see your doctor for help.
In a Reversed Position:
When a reversed Four of Cups falls out in matters of health, it means that it is a great time to make some changes to your daily routine. Consider if you need more exercise, diet, or both.

Answer to Yes / No Tarot Spreads

In an Upright Position:
In a Reversed Position:

Self-Development Lesson

We need to reflect with others and alone on the choices we make in our daily lives. It takes patience and effort. If we do not do this, our life will remain static and lethargic and we will lose all sense of purpose (meaning).

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

Type of person in an upright position:

The card means a person inclined to self-sacrifice. For the sake of loved ones, I am ready to deny myself a lot. Often acts to his detriment despite the fact that they do not appreciate it. In difficult cases, he is a masochist who likes to accumulate grievances and torment himself with emotional experiences.

Type of person in a reversed position:

This card means a rather stubborn person who seeks to take what he wants. A truth-seeker, does not tolerate being bullied. He is honest himself and expects the same from others. Sometimes he is intolerant, inclined to condemn others, but he tries to eradicate these shortcomings in himself.

Arcana’s warning

Four of Cups drop out so that you analyze how stuck you are in your routine or how distracted from important events. You may be mired in negativity, hopelessness, or limitation. Assess your strengths, weigh the pros and cons. You may be missing the point.

Final Advice of Arcana

Arcana’s advice is to find reasons or people to take care of, to fight for them. Set new goals, new ways to achieve.

In an Upright Position:
Stop complaining about fate, do not grumble in vain. Remember to appreciate the gifts of fate.
In a Reversed Position:
Get to know people actively. Pay attention to new opportunities. You will certainly find among them those that are right for you.


The Four of Cups Tarot card symbolizes a friendly warning. Everything you need, everything you hope for is available to you. Your own dissatisfaction, your negative outlook on the world, is holding you back from accepting, receiving, or taking advantage of it all. You are so persistent in your displeasure that you refuse to fulfill your desires. One of the interpretations calls the Four of Cups “the card of bachelors and old maids” and claims that the reason for the long postponed marriage is in the “strange mood” of the questioner. This is essentially a warning. The reason for your dissatisfaction is that you chose it, and not because your life is really unsatisfactory.
Four of Cups requires a close look at yourself and the way you look at your life. Can’t you see how happy you are? Is it difficult for you to accept the good that you deserve? Appreciate all the good things that you have, and you will never be bored or disappointed in life.


Discover other Minor Arcana:

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