Four of Cups

"I appreciate what I've been given."

IV: Four of Cups

boredom listlessness lethargy stability ingratitude

This is a card for care, tenderness, for pleasure and emotional wealth. Confidence to deal with everyday emotional situations and the conventional ability to sense sympathetically other people's feelings. But one can call it also control of feelings, a blissful state of ignorance and so abandonment brings new desires. Out of unheard panic screams a conventional emotional security within a long-term relationship becomes discontented and there is sadness and suspicion. It contents a shadow side which forces us to explore more deeply and demand more honesty in our emotional dealings with others.
Inverse: Becoming accustomed, motionless, depression.



  • Maintaining your emotional stability.
  • Refusing to give in to overwhelming emotions.
  • Appreciating what you have and refusing to take it for granted.
  • Seeing the value of long-term commitments.
  • Shadow

    • Being bored.
    • Daydreaming at the expense of your work.
    • Refusing to be engaged by opportunity.
    • Taking people and relationships for granted.
    • Ignoring romantic or spiritual opportunities.
    • Spurning inspiration.
    • Feeling everything should stay "just like it is!"
    • Symbolism

      The Extended Cup

      Remember the Ace? Here again, opportunity knocks, but we may be too distracted or dull-witted to hear it. What opportunities are you overlooking today?

      The Three Known Cups

      The figure in RWS-inspired decks already possesses three familiar, comforting cups. What emotional or spiritual resource are you taking for granted?

      Delayed Gratification

      How might focusing on pleasure yet to come help you deal with the less attractive, less engaging responsibilities you face today?

      The Marseilles Image

      Four Cups anchor a flowering vine, providing stability, but also limiting further growth. What ingrained emotional responses, useful in the past, limit your personal evolution now?

      Four of Cups' Advice


      • Without adequate attention, even the best relationships grow stale over time.
      • Reignite the spark.
      • Rediscover what brought you together.
      • If on your own and unhappy about it, don't play the victim: get back in the game.


      • Bored?
      • It's time to ask for new challenges.
      • When work fails to fulfill us, it quickly becomes drudgery.
      • There's always plenty to do.
      • You can shatter inertia by just getting started.
      • Take that first step; others will follow.


      • Unless you tap into a fresh reservoir, your spiritual well will eventually run dry.
      • Replenish your Spirit with a dip into new experiences: meditation, drumming, fasting.
      • Open yourself to new possibilities.

      Personal Growth

      • Boredom and ingratitude blind us to new opportunities.
      • Don't fall into this trap! Alter your routine.
      • Try new foods.
      • Dress in different colors.
      • Break the mold, and you'll never stop growing.

      Fortune Telling

      • A lover is getting restless.
      • Find out what he or she needs, or new opportunities may lure your partner away.


      • Between July 12th and 21st.

      Questions to ask

      • How can I use this "downtime" to my best advantage?
      • How can I show my partner that I don't take him or her for granted?
      • To what extent is my mood blinding me to new opportunities?

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      Major Arcana

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      Parts of this page's description of the Four of Cups tarot card are taken from "A Guide to Tarot Card Meanings" by Mark McElroy.