Four of Cups Tarot Card Meaning - Upright, Reversed & More

Four of Cups upright

Four of Cups At A Glance

Keywords: Apathy, dejected, disenfranchised, overcoming emotional burnout, feeling numb, unmotivated, stagnation, procrastination, repressed feelings
Season: Winter
Element: Water (emotions)

Four of Cups Tarot Card Description

The Four of Cups is the 4th card within the minor arcana suit of cups within tarot. Its original artwork features a man sitting crossed legged at the roots of the tree. With his arms folded he looks dejectedly towards three cups lined up before him. He doesn’t notice the 4th cup being presented to him by a hand of God (a hand materializing out of clouds from thin air.)

His expression looks apathetic despite the serene blue sky and sunshine he sits in. This man is lost in his thoughts which seem to be negative despite the pleasant circumstances he finds himself in.

Four of Cups Upright Meaning

The meaning of the 4 of Cups is one of apathy and disenfranchisement. Like the man in the original art we sometimes can become so absorbed in our thoughts that we fail to see the reality in front of us. We may be trying to make a situation perfect and are overly focusing on every micro imperfection that we fail to see how good it truly is.

When we receive this card we are being guided to look at the situation from a new perspective so that we can develop a more well-rounded view of how it truly is. The Four of Cups could also be guiding us to assess our relationships. It is possible that we have people in our lives who take more than they give, leaving us deflated. In this case we are being asked to reallocate our energy and resources into actions and relationships which energize us.

“Perfect is the enemy of the good.” - Voltaire

Four of Cups Reversed Meaning

Four of Cups reversed

Usually with reversed cards they are the negative counterparts to their upright cards, but in the case of the Four of Cups it is actually a very positive card in its reversed position. It signals that we may be ready to make a new start which always begin in the mind with a fresh perspective. We may have spent our recent months feeling dejected and disconnected but now we have awoken feeling more positive and this allows us to make the changes we have yearned for.

We finally have enough mental energy to explore new ideas and feel excited about them for the first time in a long time. We start to feel our lives grow and expand as we say yes to more opportunities and meet new people, visiting new places.

“When negative feelings are suppressed positive feelings become suppressed as well, and love dies.” - John Gray

Four of Cups: Yes or No

When we see this card in a reading and want to know a quick yes or no answer we can be pretty certain that the 4 of Cups is a no card. The card is saying we are not in the right mind frame to take this on right now. We should spend our time working on our mind frame and energy usage.

Everything we do in life has an energetic cost and sometimes we have to decline to preserve our energy. If the card is reversed then it falls somewhere between a maybe and a yes. It is forewarning us that we might need to give something up if we really wish to take this ‘yes’ on.

Let’s Break Down the Four of Cups In Our Lives

What this card means in the popular areas of life that we often turn to the tarot and ask about.

Four of Cups In Love

For singletons the Four of Cups suggests feeling bored of the dating game. The desire to either settle down or to switch up our dating pool is strong for us. It can also mean we want to spend some time alone and happy in our own sacred solitude not actively trying to date.

If we are in a relationship then the 4 of Cups shows that we may need a few hours a week where we can spend some time on our own recuperating our energy. We love our partners but we don’t want to spend every minute glued to their side.

Reversed is quite an exciting time whether single or in a relationship. It says we are about to experience renewed excitement within our love lives and this will lead to better more in-depth communication and a deeper understanding of our loved ones and ourselves.

Four of Cups With Money

When we see the Four of Cups come up in money questions then we can associate this with jealousy and or comparing our financial circumstances with others. We might be overly focusing on what we don’t have and not being grateful for all that we do have.

Reversed the 4 of Cups is congratulating us for emerging from a period of austerity and letting us know we can spend a little on luxuries now because we are more financially secure. We must be careful not to develop a scarcity mindset around money and not hoard it out of fear.

Four of Cups At Work

Seeing this card in work or career related questions suggests that we are feeling distracted and disinterested in our roles at work. Do we need to look for something new or is there something else distracting us? It’s very important for us to work out the answer to this question and take steps to fix this. Working distractedly means making mistakes and spending valuable time and resources fixing them so getting to the root cause of the distraction means we can work happily and more efficiently giving us more free time.

Reversed this card indicates that we were recently experiencing a period of stagnation or procrastination but this has now passed. We feel our mind quickening and becoming more creative with problem solving which others have noticed in the workplace and appreciate us for.

Four of Cups With Others

When we see this card as it relates to other people in our social circles and the world in general it can be highlighting that we are not feeling drawn to social situations at the moment. This could be caused by depression or sadness but it could also be a return to our true selves if we are naturally more introverted. As long as spending some time alone serves us well we can continue to do this. But we are being asked to check in occasionally and make sure it isn’t causing us to feel negative in the long term.

Reversed we are being asked to step into society a little more and engage with our loved ones. It could also be guiding us to expand our horizons and travel somewhere new to inspire us.

Four of Cups With Self

When we have asked about our internal world and we receive the 4 of Cups we are being asked to dig deep and find the root cause of our emotional apathy or dejectedness. We may have trauma which needs healing as it is currently preventing us from feeling the full breadth of our emotions.

Reversed this card is acknowledging we have recently overcome a big emotional milestone on a personal level. This could mean opening up or accepting a truth about ourselves. This emotional acceptance is a weight off our shoulders and allows us to sleep peacefully at night and live our lives with renewed vigor.

Four of Cups As Feelings

The feeling of this card is one of numbness and an absence of emotions. We may have shut down due to trauma or grief. We find that emotions which used to feel strong now only feel like flickers or embers.

Often this is the mind’s way of preserving itself. Counseling and advice from mental health experts can be very helpful during times like these.