2 of Cups

Alt names: Love, Union
Keywords: Union, attraction, combination, affection
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Range of meanings

Light: Being drawn to someone. Longing for someone or something. Acting on your desires. Discovering a feeling is mutual. Doing what makes you feel good. Merging. Healing broken ties. Admitting two people feel differently about each other and moving on.

Shadow: Burning bridges. Becoming caught up in unhealthy codependency. Shutting out anyone but your chosen few. Obsessing on someone who does not return your affections. Despairing over finding “The One.” Deceiving yourself about your true orientation.

Questions to ask

  1. How might affection be the balm for what ails you now?
  2. In your situation, what’s missing? What’s needed in order to be complete?
  3. Do your relationships and alliances incorporate a cycle of healthy interdependence and mutual support?
  4. The couple here seems to be on the verge of a toast. What do you need to celebrate? To acknowledge? To embrace?
  5. How can I make sure that what I’m feeling is mutual?
  6. When was the last time I felt “in love” with someone or something?
  7. What do you need in order to feel emotionally stable?


Personal Growth: Rather than merely reflect the desires of others, identify what you want and be yourself. You can appreciate others without sacrificing your individuality. Honesty is power; be brave enough to admit what you really feel.

Work: Meet your goals more easily by recruiting others who see things your way. If what you’re doing now doesn’t thrill you, admit it. Do what delights you, or engineer a change of heart that allows you to enjoy what you’re doing now.

Relationships: In a healthy relationship, everyone involved feels safe enough to reveal how he or she really feels. Feeling attraction? Say so. Not invested? Say so. Reflected love is a balm for the soul, but hidden or repressed emotions will poison a relationship.

Spirituality: The idea that your spiritual practice must satisfy anyone other than yourself is an illusion. Do what you feel drawn to do. Find support and solace with like-minded individuals. Forgive spiritual abuse and rediscover the power of unity.

Fortune-Telling: Someone has a secret crush on you. Relationships should be mutual; get rid of a leech.


Astrological: Cancer

Planet: Venus

Fool's Journey: The main character improves his or her lot by joining with likeminded others.

The Number 2: The Other: Division, debate, duality.

Cups: One of the 4 suits of the tarot. Also sometimes called vessels, or chalices. Represents intuition, spirituality, affection, and motivation. As a suit marker, Cups suggest receptivity: they are vessels, waiting to be filled. Cups have long been associated with divination (remember the uproar caused when Benjamin stole King Joseph’s cup?) and, by extension, intuition.

Medicinal Angel: In RWS-inspired decks, an angel and a caduceus (the medical symbol) rise from the 2 of Cups, signifying the healing power of love.

Balance: Illustrations for the 2 of Cups almost always incorporate themes of balance. Emotional extremes and obsessions unbalance us; tempering your feelings with wisdom may help you feel more empowered.

Content generously licensed from Mark McElroy via TarotTools.com.