Knight Cups

Alt names: Prince of Cups, Son of Horns
View more versions
(password protected)

Range of meanings

Personality: The Knight of Cups can represent anyone who wants to lead the way (Knight) to stronger emotions and deeper spiritual understanding (Cups). The Knight may also represent the tendency to be more emotional than reasonable, or an urgent desire to experience spiritual or emotional extremes.

Light: Being deeply committed to a cause. Giving in to strong emotions, from excitement to depression. Acting on intuition alone. Solving problems intuitively. Believing in and basing decisions on ideals instead of realities. Bringing intuition or passion to the table.

Shadow: Becoming a fanatic. Rejecting information that suggests your intuitions are misguided. Allowing your emotions to control you. Giving in to jealousy, confrontation, and peer pressure. Hiding or ignoring intuitive insights.

Questions to ask

  1. How prone to emotional extremes are you?
  2. What’s the difference in driving passion and blind zeal?
  3. How can you inspire others without inciting a riot?


Personal Growth: Temper your inclination to be driven to extremes. Love can be passionate without overwhelming you. Spirituality can be deep without becoming bizarre. In all things, seek the balance of the middle ground.

Work: Beware initiatives designed to do little more than stir everyone’s emotions. Keep your own feelings in check, and don’t hesitate to ask for details. Decisions may require more than the facts. What do your wisest advisors feel about your options?

Relationships: A desire for a Hollywood-style romance may blunt your ability to appreciate the value of everyday, garden-variety love. There’s a fine line between passion and obsession; if your relationship leaves you upset and exhausted, consider other options.

Spirituality: Spirituality may incorporate extremes (speaking in tongues, intense rituals), but more modest spiritual experiences are also valid. Strive to find Spirit in everyday actions. When you do, the smallest gestures take on the aura of ministry.

Fortune-Telling: This card represents a man with an emotional, sensitive personality, likely born between October 13th and November 11th, who wants you to rally around his latest passionate cause.


Element: Air

Fool's Journey: Prompted by strong emotion, the main character launches into action.

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.

Knight: Knights embody extremes. The Knight of Coins could be a miser or a spendthrift, depending on which way his energy flows. The Knight of Cups could be emotionally-intelligent or overly sentimental. The Knight of Swords rushes towards insight, but might skip over important facts in the process. The Knight of Wands is motivated to rush to action, but might never be able to build something that lasts, like the pyramids behind him.

Cup Held Aloft: The Knight of Cups is frequently drawn with a cup held aloft—or, at least, carried reverently. Emotions are powerful; they must be treated with the utmost care. If we fail to take proper precautions, emotions will overrun our lives, drenching us in obsession and over-reaction.

Contemplative Horse: In RWS-inspired versions of this card, the Knight’s steed looks almost contemplative. But Knights, by nature embody extremes. In times of extreme emotion, are you reflective…or berserk?

Content generously licensed from Mark McElroy via