The Queen of Cups represents the maturation of Cups’ themes—emotions, intuition, and creativity—in the form of archetypal feminine energy. Symbolically, this can be understood as representing the qualities of receptivity, magnetism, and an emotional depth of feeling.
As the Queen of her element, water, she represents the ability to hold the depth of her emotions while remaining grounded on Earth. She is ruled by the planet Neptune and is associated with the astrological zodiac sign Cancer, which speaks to the tarot meanings of care and sensitivity that are key to this card.
Queen of Cups Keywords
emotional depth, maturity, intuition, compassion, nurturing
emotionally blocked, need for self-care, release negative emotions, boundaries
Description of the Queen of Cups Tarot Card
After fellow court card the Knight of Cups takes action toward his heart’s desire, the Queen of Cups emerges from the Minor Arcana’s suit of Cups as a good omen and a symbol of emotional balance—which allows her to nurture herself and others from a place of loving compassion. The passionate drive for action seen in the Knight has matured into the Queen’s ability to use her innate empathy, intuition, psychic abilities, and sensitivity to relate to others with emotional depth and authenticity.
In the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, the Queen of Cups sits on a throne before a clear blue sky. She is surrounded by her element, water, which symbolizes the realm of emotions. Her chalice is flanked by a pair of angels, indicating her connection to the divine. As the only closed chalice in the suit of Cups, it speaks to the unknowable or mysterious quality of the Queen’s inner world, which is characterized by her strong intuition and deeply felt emotions.
The Queen’s dress seems to melt into the water below her, indicating her ability to move with and adapt to the currents of life’s changes. She knows the wisdom of permitting herself to feel all of her emotions and allowing them to pass through her. Her fixed gaze on her chalice suggests that she’s able to observe her emotions from a distance, which keeps her from being overcome by them.
Her sturdy carved throne is perched on a small island in the midst of the sea, suggesting that she’s anchored by her connection to the Earth. The colored rocks gathered at her feet reveal that part of her function is to create and perceive the beauty around her by diving deep for the treasures that exist within and bringing them to the surface of her conscious awareness.
Queen of Cups Upright Meaning
The Queen of Cups upright speaks to your role as an intuitive, wise, and emotionally grounded presence in the lives of those around you. You are able to relate to others from a place of authenticity because of your ability to be honest with yourself. By giving yourself permission to feel all of your emotions, you let them move through you, allowing you to meet the current moment with presence and awareness.
When the Queen of Cups appears upright, you are being asked to trust your intuition and allow your feelings to be your guide. You may receive insights from your dreams or through getting in touch with your subconscious mind by meditating or journaling. Like the Queen’s sealed chalice, the wisdom you seek is within your own vessel.
The upright Queen of Cups represents the importance of finding ways of grounding yourself amidst the emotional currents of life and of finding your own metaphorical land mass to anchor yourself to. When you are tethered to a feeling of inner stability, you can rise above situations or feelings that may otherwise destabilize you.
Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)
In a love tarot reading, the Queen of Cups upright suggests that you take on a nurturing role within your relationship, and that you support your partner or loved ones with your empathy, sensitivity, and care. Your ability to see to the heart of a situation and discuss difficult truths is an asset in your partnership. It can speak to a strong sense of loyalty and a deep, soulful bond, whether it’s a new romance or an existing one.
The upright Queen of Cups speaks to your emotional maturity and your ability to handle the ebbs and flows of life with grace. You can hold space for others and support them in accessing their own truth while remaining grounded in your own energy because of your connection to your inner self.
Love/relationships upright keywords
Career/finance upright keywords
nurturing role, discussing difficult truths, loyalty, emotional maturity
intuitive decision-making, professions involving nurturing and care, emotional intelligence
Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)
The Queen of Cups upright suggests that you listen to your intuition and your own inner guidance system as you make decisions in your work or career. Rather than following a conventional road map to success, you forge your own path based on your deeply felt sense of what you feel called to do. Your ability to feel your way toward what instinctively feels correct for you is a great asset toward building success in your work.
The Queen of Cups can also speak to professions involving nurturing, emotional support for others, counseling, and healing work. Whatever field you are in, you can draw on your intuition, emotional intelligence, and your ability to make genuine social connections. You can easily earn the respect of others when you relate from this place of emotional depth and authenticity
Queen of Cups Reversed Meaning
When the Queen of Cups appears reversed in a tarot card reading, it may speak to emotional blockages. You may be afraid of exploring the depths of your feelings for fear that you’ll be overcome by them and may benefit from having the assistance of a trusted confidante to support you in feeling and releasing them. When you ask what messages they have for you, you can begin to approach them as a curious observer.
This card may also suggest that you’ve been so focused on the care of others in your life that you’ve neglected to take care of your own needs and emotional well-being. If you feel depleted by constantly giving emotional energy and time to family members and other loved ones at the expense of your emotional health, you may benefit from spending time nurturing yourself and being a bit more self-centred.
When the Queen’s chalice is turned upside down, it signals a need for an emotional release. Blocked or repressed emotions may be building up inside, throwing you off of your center and creating emotional instability in your life. This card speaks to the importance of coming back into balance internally by creating feelings of safety, stability, and self-love within.
Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)
A reversed Queen of Cups card speaks to emotional immaturity or instability within a relationship. This may be due to repressed feelings that are surfacing as emotional outbursts, high reactivity, smothering, or swinging from high highs to low lows. It signals a need to find ways of grounding so that you can come back into balance.
When the Queen of Cups appears reversed in a love & relationships tarot reading, it can also represent feeling emotionally drained from taking care of your partner at the expense of your own well-being. This card can also speak to an innate empathy that makes it challenging not to take on others’ energy as your own. You may benefit from severing a dependency or creating stronger boundaries, which will support you in maintaining your own energy and in showing yourself the same care that you show others.
Love/relationships reversed keywords
Career/finance reversed keywords
emotional instability, emotional outbursts, emotionally drained, stronger boundaries needed
tuning out intuition, feeling taken for granted, giving too much of self to work
Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)
The Queen of Cups reversed may be a gentle sign that your intuition is seeking your attention, but you are tuning out its wisdom. This card asks if you are ignoring a deeper gut feeling or lack of trust you may have about a job or career path and are forging ahead regardless.
The reversed Queen of Cups may speak to a feeling of being taken advantage of or taken for granted within your work, as you give endlessly to others without receiving your share of financial security in return. You may be invited to consider if you are being compensated fairly for the work you do, or if you are giving too much of yourself emotionally to your work.