Knight of Cups

"I translate my passions into actions."

XII: Knight of Cups

fervor zeal moodiness illumination

Here comes the image of the true romantic and poetic spirit, the worshipper of love who is the defender of perfect love, which ultimately exists only in the spirit. But anyhow it is time for the individual to experience the sensitive dimension of love, he falls in love and there can be also a marriage. But he still idealizes the mother, his first love and seeking the ultimate experience of holy love and mere bodily satisfaction does not interest him. With his receptivity he is intuitive and even clairvoyant, but at the same time highly impressionable, still subject to crazes and passions, emotionally naive and vulnerable. It is an initiation and the awakening of sexuality. Be ready for enchantment.
Inverse: Lonely and exploited.



  • Being deeply committed to a cause.
  • Giving in to strong emotions, from excitement to depression.
  • Acting on intuition alone.
  • Solving problems intuitively.
  • Believing in and basing decisions on ideals instead of realities.
  • Bringing intuition or passion to the table.
  • Shadow

    • Becoming a fanatic.
    • Rejecting information that suggests your intuitions are misguided.
    • Allowing your emotions to control you.
    • Giving in to jealousy, confrontation, and peer pressure.
    • Hiding or ignoring intuitive insights.
    • Symbolism

      The Cup Held Aloft

      The Knight of Cups is frequently drawn with a cup held aloft - or, at least, carried reverently. Emotions are powerful; they must be treated with the utmost care. If we fail to take proper precautions, emotions will overrun our lives, drenching us in obsession and over-reaction.

      The Animal's Attitude

      In RWS-inspired versions of this card, the Knight's steed looks almost contemplative. But Knights, by nature embody extremes. In times of extreme emotion, are you reflective...or berserk?

      Intuition and Illumination

      When emotion and spirituality are combined, we become enlightened, discovering a new way of thinking, seeing, and acting. That transcendence may not be appreciated by those who feel their own light is dimmed by your personal brilliance.

      The Marseilles Image

      The Marseilles Knight of Cups regards his Cup with trepidation, as though terrified of spilling a single precious drop from the Grail. Even his horse is on tip-toe! To what extent are you "tip-toeing" around in an effort to avoid heated confrontation?

      Knight of Cups' Advice


      • A desire for a Hollywood-style romance may blunt your ability to appreciate the value of everyday, garden-variety love.
      • There's a fine line between passion and obsession; if your relationship leaves you upset and exhausted, consider other options.


      • Beware initiatives designed to do little more than stir everyone's emotions.
      • Keep your own feelings in check, and don't hesitate to ask for details.
      • Decisions may require more than the facts.
      • What do your wisest advisors feel about your options?


      • Spirituality may incorporate extremes (speaking in tongues, intense rituals), but more modest spiritual experiences are also valid.
      • Strive to find Spirit in everyday actions.
      • When you do, the smallest gestures take on the aura of ministry.

      Personal Growth

      • Temper your inclination to be driven to extremes.
      • Love can be passionate without overwhelming you.
      • Spirituality can be deep without becoming bizarre.
      • In all things, seek the balance of the middle ground.

      Fortune Telling

      • This card represents a man with an emotional, sensitive personality, likely born between October 13th and November 11th, who wants you to rally around his latest passionate cause.


      • Between October 13th and November 11th.

      Questions to ask

      • How prone to emotional extremes are you?
      • What's the difference in driving passion and blind zeal?
      • How can you inspire others without inciting a riot?

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      Major Arcana

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