Five of Cups: Navigating the Waters of Loss and Hope

A figure in black mourning over spilled cups, with two upright cups behind, representing the Five of Cups tarot card

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The Five of Cups stands as a poignant reminder of the dual nature of life – the interplay of joy and sorrow, gain and loss.

This tarot card, with its evocative imagery, delves deep into the human experience, highlighting feelings of loss and the inevitable challenges that accompany such emotions.

The card’s visual narrative is compelling: spilled cups lay strewn, their contents forever lost, while a figure draped in a black cloak mourns this loss.

Yet, not all is bleak. Behind this figure, untouched cups hint at the potential for a brighter future, suggesting that all is not lost. This tarot reading serves as a mirror, reflecting both the pain of the past and the promise of what’s yet to come.

Five of Cups Tarot Card

Key Facts

  • The Five of Cups represents negative emotions, especially feelings of loss and sorrow.
  • Central to card meanings is the theme of regret and missed opportunities.
  • In its upright card position, it signifies emotional turmoil and a focus on past regrets.
  • The card embodies a deep feeling of loss, often pointing to emotional or personal setbacks.
  • Feelings of sorrow and regret are emphasized, urging introspection and understanding.
  • Spiritually, the card encourages a deeper exploration of one’s spiritual path and overcoming the “victim of life” mentality.
  • Embracing the card’s lessons can lead to realizing one’s fullest potential and creative expression.

Five of Cups Meaning

At its core, the upright Five of Cups speaks to the heart’s deepest recesses, where negative emotions and a profound sense of loss reside. It’s a card that doesn’t shy away from the painful experiences of life, instead urging us to confront them head-on.

Whether it’s the end of a cherished relationship, the passing of a loved one, or any other personal setback, the Five of Cups acknowledges the emotional turmoil such events can stir.

However, this card is not just a harbinger of despair. It also carries with it valuable lessons. While it’s natural to grieve for what’s been lost, it’s equally crucial to recognize what remains.

The spilt cups, symbolic of past pains, are just one part of the story. The upright cups, often overlooked in the throes of grief, represent hope, opportunities, and the potential joys that the future holds.

Five of Cups Reversed

When the Five of Cups appears reversed in a reading, it heralds a shift in perspective. From the depths of despair and negative feelings, there emerges a newfound sense of personal growth and emotional healing.

This card, in its reversed position, signifies a release from the burdens of the past, an unshackling from the emotional baggage that has long weighed one down.

The reversed Five of Cups is a beacon of hope. The time has come to learn from karmic lessons, to embrace the positive aspects of life, and to move forward with renewed vigor.

While the pain of past experiences can never be entirely erased, this card assures that healing is not only possible but is actively underway. The tears that once clouded one’s vision are now giving way to clarity, revealing paths previously unseen and opportunities once deemed unattainable.

In essence, the reversed Five of Cups is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and its innate ability to rise from adversity.

Five of Cups with heart-shaped spills, symbolizing sorrow in romantic relationships.

Five of Cups Love

In the realm of love, the Five of Cups carries profound implications. When drawn in a tarot love meaning context, it often signifies the heartache and pain that come with broken hearts and shattered dreams.

The card paints a vivid picture of feelings of abandonment, where one might feel left behind or discarded. It’s common for individuals to relate this card to the end of a previous relationship or the lingering pain from past romantic wounds.

However, the Five of Cups also serves as a reminder that healing is possible. While the pain of a broken heart can be overwhelming, this card urges individuals to confront their feelings, understand the depth of their emotions, and navigate the challenges of love with resilience.

It’s essential to recognize the lessons each relationship brings, even if they end in heartbreak. By understanding and accepting these lessons, one can pave the way for emotional healing and potentially mend bridges with past loves.


When the Five of Cups appears reversed in the context of love, it heralds a time of healing and reconciliation. The weight of emotional baggage begins to lift, making room for positive feelings and renewed hope.

This card, in its reversed position, suggests the possibility of rekindling old flames or finding closure with past heartaches.

It’s a time of introspection, understanding, and ultimately, moving forward with a heart that’s lighter and ready to love again.

Suit of Cups Quick Guide

Ace – Love

Two – Partnership

Three – Celebration

Four – Apathy

Five – Loss

Six – Nostalgia

Seven – Choice

Eight – Abandonment

Nine – Satisfaction

Ten – Harmony

Page – Dreamer

Knight – Romantic

Queen – Empathy

King – Diplomacy

Cups – Emotions

Swords – Intellect

Pentacles – Material

Major Arcana – Journey

Five of Cups Money and Career Meaning

In a career reading, the Five of Cups often points to professional setbacks or disappointments. It might signify business failures or projects that didn’t pan out as hoped.

The card captures the essence of feelings of sadness and regret that come with missed opportunities or failed ventures. It’s a reminder that in the professional realm, not every plan will lead to success.

However, the Five of Cups also emphasizes the importance of perspective. While a business plan might not have worked out, it offers valuable lessons.

This card encourages individuals to re-strategize, learn from their mistakes, and understand that every setback is but a temporary hurdle. With resilience and determination, one can overcome these challenges and find a path to success.


In its reversed position within a career context, the Five of Cups brings a message of hope and optimism. It suggests that overlooked opportunities might soon come to light, offering a second chance at success.

There’s a renewed enthusiasm for professional endeavors, and with a proactive approach, challenges can be transformed into stepping stones. This card, when reversed, is a testament to the human spirit’s ability to bounce back from setbacks, ready to seize new opportunities with zeal and determination.

Five of Cups Spirituality Meaning

In spiritual tarot readings, the Five of Cups holds a profound significance. It often points to the spiritual path one is on, marked by feelings of loss, regret, and the challenges that come with adopting a “victim of life” mentality.

This card serves as a reminder that while life’s journey is fraught with emotional upheavals, it’s essential to rise above the feelings of despair and seek a deeper spiritual understanding.

Connecting with one’s spiritual self becomes paramount when this card appears. It’s an invitation to delve deeper into the spiritual context of one’s life, seeking answers, understanding, and guidance.

Tarot readings can be a valuable tool in this exploration, offering insights, clarity, and a renewed sense of purpose. By confronting and understanding the “victim of life” mindset, one can embark on a transformative journey towards spiritual enlightenment and personal growth.


When the Five of Cups is drawn in its reversed position, it signals a renewed interest in spiritual growth. This card suggests a shift in perspective, where one begins to understand the deeper aspects of life and the lessons they bring.

Instead of dwelling on past regrets, there’s a newfound enthusiasm for spiritual exploration and a desire to connect with the universe on a more profound level. It’s a time of awakening, introspection, and embracing the spiritual journey with open arms.

Five of Cups Yes or No

The Five of Cups, in a “Yes or No” tarot card reading, typically leans towards a “No.” It suggests potential emotional loss or a period of reflection on past regrets. The card emphasizes contemplation, the possibility of missed opportunities, and the need for introspection.

While it may not provide the most positive answer, it serves as a reminder to approach situations with caution, understanding, and a willingness to learn from past experiences.

Griff Williams

MindEasy founder & meditation teacher

Griff Williams is an accredited meditation teacher and founder of MindEasy. He spent 12 years working as a London firefighter before changing paths to pursue building MindEasy. He received his diploma in meditation teaching from The British School of Meditation.