Queen of Cups, Minor Arcana, Cups XIII
The Queen of Cups card is one of Tarot’s most powerful messengers, one that can singlehandedly change the meaning of your whole reading. It’s not a merry card, unfortunately, as most of the time it signifies melancholy, a sense or experience of loss, and grief.
Even the lightest meaning of this card includes tears – crying over a recent breakup with a lover, a fight with a friend, having just lost a job etc. You need to mourn the loss first, in order to move on swiftly and gracefully. The Queen of the Cups doesn’t suggest you’ll be stuck where you are; but it stresses the need to face and embrace your grief over the situation.
The Queen in the card is sitting facing left, which represents an attachment to the past (in Tarot, left stands for the past, and right stands for the future). At this point in her life, she has her back to her future. She is holding a big cup, the holder of water (emotions). We might even say, she is holding her own heart in her own hands, looking for ways to make peace with the depth of her emotions.
Loss isn’t easy to deal with, and in this case, it has brought an avalanche of tears, forming a body of water like the one this Queen is sitting on. The Queen of Cups’ most serious meaning points at an unending grief that comes from situations such as widowhood, divorce, serious disease, losing an ability (to walk, to see etc.), losing large sums of money, or having to leave one’s country behind due to war or political unrest. When this card appears in a reading, there tends to be a grave event that happened in the past, that had great ramifications, practically, emotionally, and spiritually.
What does the Queen of Cups Tarot card mean for love?
For singles, having Queen of Cups in your reading might mean a few different things. It could mean that deep down there’s someone in your heart whom you know you’ll never forget. You might have felt that that person was your soulmate, and for whatever reason things didn’t work out between you two. You might be experiencing a profound sense of loss, deep in your soul, and so now, whoever you meet just doesn’t cut it for you. You’re craving an extremely deep connection and people you have met so far don’t seem to offer that. You can find ways to move on, or you can be a prisoner to this broken dream for the rest of your life – it sounds harsh, because unfortunately it is. What you’re going through isn’t something most people can understand, let alone experience.
The card could also mean you have experienced widowhood, or a severely painful breakup, and now you’re finding it very difficult to start over again. You are right, it is difficult, because you just aren’t ready yet. There is no need to push yourself into situations that your heart isn’t interested in. Take this time to heal. Tend to your feeling world. You are a deep, old soul – honor your truth.
For couples, this card might point at the influence of one partner’s past on the current relationship. There might be undealt-with sadness, either in you or your partner, that is slowly but surely influencing, maybe even sabotaging your bond. If you can help one another walk through this maze of grief, your relationship will deepen and it will last. It’s a difficult feeling to deal with, but you can also see it as an “opportunity” to be more open and vulnerable with each other.
What does Queen of Cups reversed in Tarot mean?
The Queen of Cups reversed indicates a refusal to deal with emotions because they feel overwhelming or unpleasant. There’s a tendency to try to see the bright side of things, in order to avoid the so-called negative, when sometimes you just really have to call a spade a spade. We can only be whole when we experience all our emotions, whether we judge them good or bad. This judgment comes from our minds, not from our hearts. Our hearts want to feel – it doesn’t matter which emotion, the heart just wants to really feel.
Your refusal or avoidance won’t help you to move on. It will probably make it all the more problematic to leave the past behind, as any undealt emotion tends come back again and again, sometimes in the form of self-sabotaging behavior or addictions. Facing the pain must be your top priority; it doesn’t mean you’re weak. It takes a strong person to be vulnerable and in pain.
All cup cards in the Minor Arcana are associated with the water element, which is associated with the astrological signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Because the Queen of Cups is about weighty, unwavering emotions, we can say it relates to the fixed water sign – Scorpio. Like ice, it’s an emotionally frozen state.
You don’t need to be a Scorpio, neither does your partner to get this card in your reading. Most likely, it’s pointing at your inner state of affairs. If you’ve ever seen a Scorpio grieving or in pain, you’ll know the type of psychological terrain this card is talking about! Scorpios take their time to heal. Their feelings are too deep, even for themselves. They might even feel paralyzed by the intensity of their emotions. The Queen of Cups embodies this type of Scorpio energy.
It might be a while before you become all merry and jolly again, but what you’re going through is profound, maybe even life-changing, so try to stay with it as much as you can. Befriend your grief, give it space. Try to be tolerant of unpleasant states of mind and heart. Only then, you will come out of this much stronger than you could ever imagine.