Five of Cups

Some Tarot cards can evoke negative emotions with their imagery, and the Five of Cups is one such card. It represents loss and the painful challenges that often accompany it. The card portrays a cloaked figure who appears to be in despair, with their face hidden. Five cups are visible on the ground, three of which have fallen while the other two remain standing. The figure is preoccupied with mourning the fallen cups and fails to notice the two upright ones. A strong river flows between the figure and a distant house or castle, suggesting that intense emotions have separated them from their home.


Meaning of Upright Five of Cups

The Five of Cups is often feared by many individuals. This particular tarot card typically symbolizes feelings of grief, sorrow, loss, emotional baggage, loneliness, and despair, which can understandably elicit a negative response. However, it's important to consider the bigger picture and put the card's meaning into the context of your life. Although it may seem like you have lost everything, it's essential to take note of the two chalices that remain upright in the image, indicating that you have not lost everything, including hope. Nonetheless, the card may suggest that there are unresolved issues or lingering regrets in your life.

Upright Five of Cups: Love

The Five of Cups tarot card is considered a negative omen at its worst. It indicates the loss of a loved one, causing intense feelings of loneliness and sorrow due to a break-up. The absence of a perfect partner can lead to overwhelming devastation, causing one to be consumed by thoughts of their past relationship. This can result in isolation and constant contemplation of the heartbreak, with no apparent change in emotions. However, it is essential to note that there is still hope. By recognizing the potential in the situations around you, you can move forward and discover new love. Additionally, this interpretation can extend to the loss of contact with a loved one, whether it be due to death or circumstance.

Upright Five of Cups: Career

The appearance of the five of cups card is a sign of experiencing sorrow and loss. When it comes to your professional life, this could manifest as losing a job, business, a desired project, or a partnership. It's possible that you're being pushed back in your career or that someone you collaborated with is abandoning your joint endeavors, or you may decide to walk away. This phase could be marked by sadness and transformation. While these changes may be difficult, they also present an opportunity for growth and learning. There might be more worth salvaging than you initially thought, and it's recommended that you maintain positive relationships with former colleagues outside of the workplace. Stay connected to the positive aspects of what you've lost.

Upright Five of Cups: Finances

If the Five of Cups appears in a monetary tarot reading, it could suggest a scarcity of resources and a substantial financial setback. To restore your financial stability during this challenging phase, it may be necessary to be mindful of your expenses and avoid extravagance. Maintaining a positive outlook on your predicament is critical at this time. However, the good news is that this card often indicates that there are still plenty of opportunities to rectify the situation. Therefore, it is advisable to evaluate your resources and abilities to determine what actions you can take to compensate for the loss.

Meaning of Reversed Five of Cups

If the Five of Cups is in reverse, it suggests that you have recently faced a significant setback or adversity. You may be feeling like a "failure" and may not want to share with others that you have taken a wrong turn. Alternatively, you might be keeping your thoughts to yourself because you're not yet ready to share them with others. However, now may be the right time to start talking. Do not hesitate to reach out to someone you trust or ask for assistance, as others may not be aware of the extent of your suffering. By sharing your emotions with others, you may find that your emotional pain is reduced. This can help you see that you can overcome this temporary obstacle.

Reversed Five of Cups: Love

In love and relationship readings, the reversed Five of Cups suggests that it's time to move on from your past and let go of any pain or sorrow that you may be holding onto. If you've recently gone through a breakup, this card can be seen as a positive sign for new beginnings and the potential for new romance. For those in committed relationships, this card may indicate that you're working through past mistakes and trying to move forward. The reversed Five of Cups is a symbol of renewal and healing, indicating that you can leave the past behind and start anew.

Reversed Five of Cups: Career

The reversal of the Five of Cups in the Minor Arcana tarot suggests that you can recover from recent setbacks in your career such as redundancy, job loss, or business failure. This card indicates that you possess the necessary resources to overcome these difficulties and regain some of what you may have lost. The healing process has already begun, and you may realize that these experiences, while painful, have led you to a more fitting career opportunity. Furthermore, you might feel a sense of relief and reduced stress as a result of resolving these issues.

Reversed Five of Cups: Finances

The reversed five of cups can indicate an end to a period of financial loss or hardship, bringing a sense of relief. It suggests that you may have found ways to achieve financial stability by overcoming your losses. For instance, you may have used the remaining resources to invest in a business or a side-gig that is helping you build your financial reserves. You should take pride in your ability to overcome these challenges.


The appearance of the Five of Cups during a reading may bring unfavorable signs as it carries negative energy. Whether it shows up in matters of love, relationships, finances, or career, it suggests potential challenges or setbacks in these areas of your life. Despite its negative connotations, the Five of Cups does offer a glimmer of hope. It serves as a reminder to maintain a positive mindset as you have opportunities for significant progress on the horizon.

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