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Five of Cups Tarot Card

Five of Cups Tarot Card

The Five of Cups represents loss, disappointment, and regret. It symbolizes focusing on past failures or losses rather than appreciating present blessings. This card encourages acceptance of what cannot be changed, letting go of remorse, and finding hope and renewal amidst adversity.

The Five of Cups Tarot Card

The Five of Cups Imagery and Symbolism

The Five of Cups in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot Cards represents disappointment, loss, and missed opportunities. It invites you to acknowledge your grief but also recognize that there is still hope for renewal and new beginnings. It’s a card of emotional complexity and the need to shift focus toward what remains.


  • The Five of Cups shows a man in a long black cloak looking down on three cups that have been knocked over – symbolic of his disappointments and failures.
  • Behind him stand two cups, representing new opportunities and potential, but because he is so fixed on his losses (the overturned cups), he misses the opportunities available to him.


  • Loss and grief: The three spilled cups represent mourning, regret, and despair. The man feels as if his world has caved in due to unfortunate circumstances.
  • Upright cups: The two standing cups symbolize hope and the potential for better days. Even in sadness, there remains a glimmer of possibility.
  • Spilled wine: In ancient Rome, spilling wine was considered an omen of bad luck and disaster. The overturned wine in this card signifies how the man feels – perhaps abandoned by higher powers temporarily.
  • Bridge: The bridge in the background represents a way forward, a path from one state to another. It can also symbolize progress and communication.
  • Castle: The castle traditionally represents home and safety, but here, it may evoke feelings of loss or abandonment.

The Five of Cups Divination Meaning

Allow the Five of Cups to guide you through the process of acknowledging your losses, learning from them, and stepping into a future filled with renewed hope and resilience.


Disappointment, grief, and mourning unfulfilled expectationsThe Five of Cups often appears when you’ve experienced a setback, loss, or a situation that didn’t unfold as you hoped. It signifies feeling disappointed, grieving what has been lost, and navigating the emotional challenges that come with loss.
Emotional overwhelm, feeling weighed down by negativity, and struggling to copeThis card can represent feeling overwhelmed by negative emotions, like sadness, anger, or bitterness. It encourages you to acknowledge your feelings, allow yourself to grieve, but avoid getting stuck in negativity.
Focus on the remaining possibilities, appreciating what’s left, and learning from setbacksDespite the losses, the two upright chalices remind you that there are still possibilities left. It encourages you to shift your focus away from what’s gone, appreciate what remains, and learn valuable lessons from your experiences.
Taking responsibility, owning your choices, and moving on with wisdomThe Five of Cups can signify blaming others for your losses, avoiding accountability, and refusing to acknowledge your role in the situation. It encourages you to take responsibility for your choices, learn from your mistakes, and move on with newfound wisdom.
Holding onto the past, refusing to let go of hurt, and hindering healingThis position can sometimes warn against clinging to the past, refusing to forgive yourself or others, and preventing yourself from healing. It encourages you to let go of the baggage of the past, embrace forgiveness, and open yourself up to the possibility of moving forward.


Finding hope amidst loss, recognizing hidden blessings, and starting anewReversed, the Five of Cups’ energy shifts towards finding hope amidst the disappointment. It signifies recognizing unexpected blessings even in loss, learning valuable lessons, and using them to build a better future.
Moving on from negativity, releasing emotional burdens, and embracing healingThis position can represent actively dealing with your emotions, releasing negativity, and starting the healing process. It encourages you to seek support, practice self-care, and open your heart to the possibility of joy again.
Taking small steps forward, rebuilding trust, and reclaiming your emotional strengthReversed, the Five of Cups encourages you to take small steps forward, rebuild trust in yourself and others, and reclaim your emotional strength. It signifies a gradual journey towards healing and rediscovering your inner resilience.
Acknowledging past mistakes, apologizing for wrongdoings, and seeking reconciliationThis card can sometimes reveal the need to acknowledge past mistakes, apologize for any hurt caused, and seek reconciliation with yourself or others. It encourages you to take responsibility for your actions and use them to build stronger relationships.
Focusing on the future, embracing new possibilities, and leaving the past behindReversed, the Five of Cups encourages you to focus on the future, embrace new possibilities, and leave the past behind. It signifies a time for transformation, personal growth, and stepping into a brighter chapter of your life.

The Meaning of the Five of Cups for Personal Development

The Five of Cups in the Tarot’s Minor Arcana represents navigating loss, disappointment, and emotional distress in personal development. It prompts individuals to acknowledge their feelings, learn from their experiences, seek support, and embrace the potential for growth and renewal amidst adversity.

  1. Dealing with Loss and Grief: The Five of Cups represents experiencing loss or disappointment, particularly in emotional or relational aspects of life. It may signify the pain of a broken relationship, failed endeavor, or unfulfilled expectations. In personal development, this card prompts individuals to acknowledge and process their feelings of grief, sadness, or regret in healthy ways, allowing for healing and growth to occur.
  2. Focusing on the Negative: Symbolically, the Five of Cups depicts a figure who is fixated on the spilled cups of sorrow, often overlooking the remaining cups that are still standing upright. This card suggests a tendency to dwell on the negative aspects of a situation while neglecting to see the potential for renewal or positive outcomes. In personal development, this card serves as a reminder to shift perspective, practice gratitude, and focus on the lessons learned or opportunities for growth amidst adversity.
  3. Learning from Mistakes: The Five of Cups encourages individuals to learn from their mistakes or setbacks. It signifies an opportunity for introspection and self-reflection, allowing individuals to gain insights into what went wrong and how they can approach similar situations differently in the future. In personal development, this card prompts individuals to embrace failures as valuable learning experiences, fostering resilience, and personal growth.
  4. Acceptance and Moving Forward: Despite the feelings of loss or disappointment depicted in the Five of Cups, this card also signifies the importance of acceptance and letting go of what cannot be changed. It suggests that dwelling on past regrets or sorrows only prolongs suffering and hinders personal development. In personal development, this card encourages individuals to accept reality as it is, release attachment to what has been lost, and focus on moving forward with renewed hope and resilience.
  5. Seeking Support and Connection: The Five of Cups reminds individuals that they do not have to face their challenges alone. It encourages seeking support from trusted friends, family members, or professionals who can provide comfort, guidance, and encouragement during difficult times. In personal development, reaching out for support fosters emotional resilience, strengthens relationships, and promotes healing and growth.
  6. Finding Meaning and Redemption: Ultimately, the Five of Cups suggests that even in the midst of loss or disappointment, there is still hope for redemption and renewal. It encourages individuals to find meaning and purpose in their experiences, recognizing that adversity can lead to inner transformation and newfound strength. In personal development, this card inspires individuals to embrace the journey of self-discovery, resilience, and self-empowerment, emerging from challenges with greater wisdom and compassion.

The Five of Cups vs. Other Cups Tarot Cards

Five of CupsLoss, disappointment, grief, rejection, letting goShares themes of emotional pain, challenge, and loss with other Cups.More focused on the specific experience and processing of emotional pain and loss than other Cups.
Ace of CupsNew beginnings, potential, love, joy, emotional fulfillment, intuitionBoth involve emotional potential and change.Focuses on specific experience and processing of loss vs. Ace’s pure, unencumbered potential for love and joy.
Two of CupsBalance, partnership, union, connection, shared emotionsBoth involve potential for emotional connection and growth.Focuses on processing loss within a connection vs. Two’s focus on forming a balanced partnership.
Three of CupsCelebration, abundance, joy, friendship, communityBoth involve emotional experience and potential for joy.Focuses on processing loss within a joyful connection vs. Three’s established celebration and community.
Four of CupsContemplation, introspection, dissatisfaction, apathy, searching for meaningBoth involve emotional reflection and potential challenges.Focuses on specific experience and processing of loss vs. Four’s internal conflict and dissatisfaction.
Six of CupsNostalgia, memories, happiness, childhood, innocenceBoth involve emotional reflection and past experiences.Focuses on processing loss through past experiences vs. Six’s specific, happy past experiences.
Seven of CupsChoices, possibilities, dreams, illusions, indecisionBoth involve navigating emotional possibilities and choices.Focuses on specific choices and decisions to overcome loss vs. Seven’s broader emotional possibilities and illusions.
Eight of CupsLetting go, moving on, emotional detachment, seeking solitudeBoth involve potential for emotional change and movement.Focuses on the specific act of letting go after loss vs. Eight’s broader act of letting go and seeking solitude.
Nine of CupsContentment, satisfaction, fulfillment, accomplishment, abundanceBoth involve potential for emotional fulfillment and joy.Focuses on overcoming and healing from loss vs. Nine’s individual, deeper state of fulfillment.
Ten of CupsHarmony, family, community, completion, happinessBoth involve potential for emotional completion and connection.Focuses on healing and moving towards potential future connections vs. Ten’s established harmony and family unit.
Page of CupsSensitivity, intuition, idealism, emotional exploration, learningBoth embody emotional curiosity and exploration.Focuses on learning and coping with loss vs. Page’s broader emotional interests and explorations.
Knight of CupsRomance, passion, chivalry, creativity, emotional expressionBoth embody passionate emotional expression.Focuses on expressing and processing sadness within connections vs. Knight’s broader romantic pursuits and actions.
Queen of CupsCompassion, empathy, nurturing, intuition, emotional wisdomBoth embody emotional intelligence and connection.Focuses on finding support and emotional wisdom during loss vs. Queen’s established emotional depth and care.
King of CupsEmotional maturity, stability, compassion, understanding, emotional controlBoth embody emotional leadership and wisdom.Focuses on seeking guidance and emotional support during loss vs. King’s established emotional intelligence and control.
Tarot interpretation can vary. This table offers a general overview.

The Importance of the Five of Cups

The Five of Cups symbolizes loss, disappointment, and regret. It represents a period of grieving or sadness, where the querent may be focusing on what has been lost rather than appreciating what remains. This card reminds the querent to acknowledge their emotions, but also to seek healing and find solace in the present moment.


What does the Five of Cups symbolize in a Tarot reading?

This question seeks to understand the general meaning and significance of the Five of Cups, particularly in relation to loss, disappointment, grief, and emotional healing.

How does the Five of Cups influence feelings of sadness, regret, or mourning?

Querents may ask about the Five of Cups’ impact on feelings of sorrow, disappointment over lost opportunities or relationships, or the process of grieving and healing.

What does the Five of Cups suggest about focusing on past regrets or dwelling on negative emotions?

Here, the querent explores the themes of dwelling on past losses, feeling stuck in grief, or struggling to move forward from disappointments and setbacks.

Does the Five of Cups indicate the need for acceptance, forgiveness, or letting go of the past?

Querents may inquire about the importance of acceptance, forgiveness of oneself or others, and releasing attachments to past hurts or regrets to find emotional healing and renewal.

How does the Five of Cups influence the tendency to overlook blessings or positive aspects of life amid difficult times?

This question focuses on understanding how the Five of Cups’ energy can lead to a narrow focus on losses or disappointments, causing one to overlook the blessings or opportunities present in life.

What do reversed or inverted Five of Cups cards suggest about finding closure, moving on, or finding silver linings in difficult situations?

Querents seek guidance on interpreting reversed Five of Cups cards, which may indicate a shift toward acceptance, finding closure, or recognizing the potential for growth and renewal after difficult times.

How can I interpret the Five of Cups in the context of resilience, perseverance, or finding strength in adversity?

This question explores the Five of Cups’ significance in fostering resilience, inner strength, and the capacity to overcome adversity or bounce back from setbacks.

Does the Five of Cups symbolize the need for self-compassion, self-care, or seeking support during times of grief?

Querents may inquire about the importance of self-compassion, practicing self-care, and seeking support from loved ones or professionals to navigate through feelings of grief or loss.

What actions or decisions does the Five of Cups suggest I take to find healing and renewal after experiencing loss or disappointment?

Querents may seek advice on how to honor their feelings, seek closure, practice self-care, engage in healing practices, or seek professional support to navigate through grief and find renewal.

How can I connect with the energy of the Five of Cups to find gratitude, resilience, and inner peace amidst difficult times?

This question explores practices such as journaling, mindfulness, meditation, or seeking therapy to align with the Five of Cups’ energy and cultivate a sense of gratitude, resilience, and inner peace in the face of adversity.

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