Ace of Cups is related to the water element and represents water element in its pure form. It is the source. The source of the water and everything which relates to this particular element. This is the beginning and the unity. Ace of Cups includes the meanings of all cups cards, each of them because of all of them came from the same source. The essence of the Cups suit is contained in this Ace. The rest of the cards are the modalities of the essence - specific expressions and stages of development.
Two of Cups is on the top amidst those romantic and love cards. It represents emotional unity between two people. Two of Cups is about one on one relationships. As others Twos, this one is related to duality, but duality represented with Two of Cups is the one which unites, not separates. While Ace of Cups is unity itself, wholeness, Two of Cups is unity of difference. In Ace of Cups, we have represented the idea of "One is all and all is one", but in Two of Cups, there is a picture of two separate sources tending to merge in one to achieve unity. We can say that Ace of Cups doesn't have any particular focus, it gathers its content from everywhere around and spreads it in all directions. But Two of Cups is focused. It has one specific focus and acts in the direction of that focus. Two of Cups is the card of both giving and receiving, exchange of energy is mutual.
Three of Cups is the card of favorable influences in business, friendship, relationship and life. It is the card of growth and the first phase of realization in the matters of Cups. The Three is a unit of One - Ace and Two, thus the initial hint of love and affection has discovered its purpose. It is the first step of materialization, so what was born as an idea in Ace and consolidated energies in Two, it will develop and bloom in Three.
Very often Three of Cups points to the company of three persons or group of people rather than to a pair. Accordingly, it is more about friendship than the actual relationship, unless the pair is involved in the wider assemblage. So, not rarely, Three of Cups suggest marriage or other kinds of celebration. As the Two of Cups may represent a pair and Three of Cups first stage of completion, it could also be pregnancy or childbirth as realization and crown of the relationship between two. In that manner, the child is the third part.
At the first sight this Four of Cups has nothing vivid to tell. But that only seems like that on the surface. Under the surface a lot is going on. This is not the classical story about emotions in meaning of being emotive. This is about living trough emotions. Perception is ruled by current emotional state and mood. So, The four of Cups talks a lot about moods, being moody and reacting accordingly to current mood switches. Self-absorption is deeply rooted, such an instinct or habit behind will control because of constant need for self-researching ones own feelings, thoughts and reaction. That's the reason why this card is related to mental issues. Not because the querent is really mad or mentally disordered but because he might feel like that due constant inner dialog with himself. During that dialog he is on the edge to lose the thread who is talking to him and who is a listener within his own head.
The phrase "Crying over spilled milk" may best describe Five of Cups. Bad thing happen and there ain't much we can do about it. No matter who is to blame, who "spilled milk", it's already done. Blaming yourself or someone else wouldn't be of much help, nether will sorrow and guilt. Keeping that in mind I must say that this is a card of deep sorrow and emotional pain. As the Cups are related both to emotions/feelings and spirituality as well, distress may be experienced not only as deep emotional pain but also as spiritual sadness, emptiness and void. Such experiences are there to tear off one from his comfort zone and shake him to the root.
I believe that if you are familiar with tarot, you have already read a lot of articles which represent Six of Cups in very romanticized manner. There is all about love, pleasure and happily ever after. And of course, if you are doing readings for yourself or others you might be very happy and feel blissful when Six of Cups comes up. And there we come to the topic of big expectations and idealization. You have also probably noticed that very often Six of Cups is related to sexual pleasure and joy in many books and articles about tarot cards meanings. Well, I feel responsible to make something clear here.
Venus in Scorpio is lustful, thirsty for any kind of sensation - visual, sensual, emotional. Dependent on impressions she consumes everything in order to get inspired. More inspiration and sensation she picks up, she is more alive. If it lacks sensation, she is getting depressed, in bad mood and unsatisfied. So she runs to any content just to see will it awake her passions. If content touches her she could be the most pleasant, beautiful and charming being, full of wonderful ideas and very optimistic. But if doesn't not she is nearly completely desperate. In that effort to fulfill the thirst she is addicted to, she easily might slide to cheap entertainment, selfish self-indulgence and debauch - which is the title for Seven of Cups in Thoth Tarot. The other side is where this natural charming beauty, susceptible to fantasy and illusions, becomes the Queen of delusion with wide range of tricks to seduce and involve others to her poisoned spider web.
Nothing is as tragic as it looks at first sight. This card reflects more on inner, subjective state than objective and outer issues. Maybe best description of Eight of Cups is feeling drained after so much expectations, indulgence and involvoing. As everything goes on in cycles this melancholy is nothing more than temporary state. And the lesion of this cycle should be learning to say no and enough and how to disconnect from current affairs.
Eight of Cups always seemed to me as lower octave of The Hermit. Someone is alone, in ascetic mood, relinquishing the material and worldly pleasures for the sake of something higher, or at least different. He is aware of his decision to leave, nothing forced him to do that.
This card denotes need for introspection and reflection on the past. What is achieved and what was wanted? Where does it lead you further? Does it bring satisfaction? What was invested and what did it return? Is there something which should be left behind?
It's time to overcome the past disappointment, rest and move on forward. The decision is yours where do you want to go next. Spend some time in private and listen to your inner voice. If it's about an insurmountable emotional problem, support of therapist or trustworthy woman, especially the blond one, should be helpful.
Also, this is a good time to engage in psychology or read a novel. Siddhartha, novel by Herman Hesse, would be my choice for today. Symbolically, the name Siddhartha fits well the Eight of Cups. The name Siddhartha was made up of two Sanskrit words - siddha (achieved) and artha (what was searched for) - and means "the one who has found meaning of existence" or "the one who has attained his goals".
Nine of Cups is the card of luxury celebration, generosity and life on high scale. At the first sight it seems to be followed by certain dose of snobbery, which is not excluded, but also not implied. That kind of snobbery isn't the one followed by selfishness and exclusive behavior. It is rather about generosity, open handed and open hearted followed by urge to take all what the life may offer. Why be ordinary if it could be on grand scale and pompously? Taking and getting all available pleasures which life may offer without hesitation isn't a crime till the other side isn't threatened. This is simply the way of life perceived from the bright and easy side, fulfilled by lust for satisfaction, joy, optimism and high enthusiasm. That even might seem to be naive point of view because it's devoid lust for power and might, lust for ruling by iron fist. Here the ambition is clear, purpose by itself, just for personal inner satisfaction and feeling of glory, not because of submitting everyone. In its uncorrupted form, this card has nothing with abusing everyone in any matter. Though, if its corrupted abusing and mercenary aspect is present.
Ten of Cups is one of the most happiest cards. It increases effect of positive cards and eases effect of negative ones. This is the highest degree of emotional fulfillment and happiness. Thus, Ten of Cups is the final phase and complete realization in the sphere of Cups. It is an encircled wholeness after which begins the new one.
Page of Cups may lead you to express your artistic abilities such writing poems or painting. It suggests to pay attention to your dreams and impressions you are getting from around. It could be a great time to enjoy playing with pets and kids or adopt stray animal.
Page of Cups usually refers to sensitive child or young teen, but it could also be an adult with childish attitude. Think about your inner child and try to connect with that aspect of your being. It is a time to be honest with yourself about your repressed wishes which you considered as unappropriated for your age.
Perhaps you have frivolous and childish person in your environment you need to deal with. Show them love and affection, they will appreciate it.
Knight of Cups, similar as others court cards, may represent a certain person in the reading, current position of the querent or subject of the question, current situation, an event, inner process, subjective feeling of the querent toward question or objective state of the subject of question. Depending of the question, court cards could be read differently and very often give us a mixed meaning, in the same reading they may represent both person, event or incoming trend.
Queen of Cups, as a Court card, should be observed as a certain person, type of personality, event, our personal relation to certain situation, the role we take on in specific event, part of character which is mostly expressed in some period, temporal state accordingly to question or just as a describe of situation to which is question related. Also it could be personal significator card, used to represent certain person.