The Two of Cups is the second tarot card in the Minor Arcana suit of Cups and represents a feeling of resonance between two harmoniously attuned beings. This encounter can be felt with another person or as a feeling of inner harmony and self-love. It can signify a divinely orchestrated meeting, emotional intimacy, and the feeling of seeing your inner self mirrored in another.
Where the key meanings of the Major Arcana focus on life’s overarching themes and events, Minor Arcana cards like the Two of Cups explore and reveal the more subtle changes impacting one’s day-to-day life and near future. And, like all Minor Arcana cards with the number Two, the Two of Cups builds on the spark which was initiated in the Ace and represents the themes of duality and relationships.
It also speaks to the opportunity for that spark to grow in other areas of your life, either through dialogue or reflection with another. The Two of Cups is associated with the element of water and the first decan of astrological zodiac sign Cancer (0-9 degrees), which is ruled by Venus, the planet of love and relationships.
Two of Cups Keywords
a feeling of harmonious resonance, a romantic connection, emotional intimacy, the healing power of love and self-love
disharmony in a relationship, miscommunications, distrust, the need for self-love
Description of the Two of Cups Tarot Card
The Two of Cups builds on the theme of a new emotional beginning in the Ace of Cups with the introduction of two beings who can grow through relating to each other. The suit of Cups speaks to our emotional world and our capacity to love, and in this card, the love is expressed between two individuals.
In the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, a man and a woman face each other with arms outstretched, tentatively reaching for the other’s hand as they offer each other their cups in a gesture of shared vulnerability. The cups symbolize their emotions and their inner worlds, representing the development of emotional openness, honesty, and intimacy in the suit of Cups.
The male and female figures can also be understood as dual aspects of the psyche (masculine and feminine, active and passive, logic and emotion), which exist within us all. There is a sense of harmony between them as their opposite natures create a feeling of balance, promoting the integration of opposing forces both internally and externally.
A red-winged lion’s head, symbolizing passion, sits on top of a black caduceus, the symbol of Mercury. Also known as Hermes, Mercury was the ancient Greek god of communication and exchange who was capable of delivering messages from the Underworld to the world of the living. The presence of Mercury emphasizes the importance of digging deep into one’s own psyche to uncover and deliver one’s emotional truths.
Two of Cups Upright Meaning
The Two of Cups upright signifies an important new relationship which is forming between yourself and another, either romantically or platonically. It speaks to well-matched energies and the feeling of harmonious compatibility with one another. This process involves opening yourself emotionally to another person and being receptive to their heart and mind as well.
Whether it’s a person, place, or thing, this card speaks of being in harmony with whatever you’re in relationship with. Your energies complement each other, and together you can form a strong connection that allows you to grow in new ways. It represents being seen, heard, and understood, as well as a feeling of safety as you begin to establish trust and take the relationship to the next level.
The Two of Cups can also appear when you are beginning to establish safety with yourself as you meet yourself fully in the present moment and hold your feelings with unconditional love and acceptance. As you extend compassion to yourself through gentle and loving self-talk, you learn how to care-take your own heart.
Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)
The upright Two of Cups is a good sign that a strong connection is forming between yourself and another. There’s a feeling of excitement as you peel back the layers of each other and find deeper and deeper resonance with one another. This bond is strengthened by open communication, emotional honesty, and a feeling of fiery passion that draws you into each other’s orbit.
Whether romantic or platonic, the Two of Cups upright speaks to loving relationships built on shared values, trust, and a desire to create a mutually beneficial partnership. You each have complementary qualities which allow you to form something greater together than what you could achieve on your own. You may be in the early stages of togetherness, but this partnership shows great promise with room to grow and evolve as soulmates.
Love/relationships upright keywords
Career/finance upright keywords
strong connection, excitement, honesty, passion, complementary qualities
successful business partnership, synthesis of complementary talents, the importance of relationships in business, sharing appreciation for others
Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)
The upright Two of Cups can speak to a business partnership or collaboration built on honest communication, shared values, and goals. You have different but complementary talents and skills that create a sense of dynamic balance and harmony within the relationship. Together you can create something new which represents the synthesis and integration of your talents.
The upright Two of Cups is a reminder of the importance of healthy relationships to your business or profession and that your success is dependent on these relationships. No one achieves success in a vacuum, and this card is a reminder to make an effort to share your appreciation and mutual respect with those who support you and help you achieve your goals.
Two of Cups Reversed Meaning
The Two of Cups reversed signifies disharmony within a new partnership, romantic relationship, or friendship. You may have become disconnected from another due to mistrust, miscommunications, misunderstandings, or because of a misalignment of values. In order to restore harmony between you, it is important to focus on open, clear, and direct communication and to be receptive to hearing each other’s truths with non-judgmental acceptance.
Because the two figures in the Two of Cups can also represent aspects of self, in the reverse, this card can indicate that you’re feeling out of balance internally. There may be a split between your heart and your mind, your actions and your values, or your conscious and unconscious attitudes. This card suggests the need to come back into balance by becoming aware of this feeling of inner fracture.
The Two of Cups in the reversed position can also signify that you don’t show the same compassion for yourself that you do for others. When you have challenging feelings or thoughts, this card suggests that you may be abandoning yourself, which reinforces the belief that it’s unsafe to feel your emotions. This card suggests the need to gently allow yourself to feel your range of emotions with tenderness and compassion.
Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)
In a love tarot reading, the Two of Cups reversed can indicate that you’re at odds with your partner and are having difficulty seeing eye to eye on an important matter. This card suggests the need for open dialogue so that each person feels heard and understood. There may be a solution that requires compromise in order to maintain the integrity of the union. If a compromise cannot be reached, a dissolution or break-up of the union is possible.
The reversed Two of Cups can also speak to feelings of insecurity or worry about a relationship. You may be feeling vulnerable, afraid to share your true feelings, or overcome with doubts and fears about your partnership. This card encourages you to be brave in speaking your truth and to begin a dialogue with your partner based on complete honesty and openness in order to find a healing resolution.
Love/relationships reversed keywords
Career/finance reversed keywords
difficulty seeing eye to eye, compromise, dissolution, a need to speak your truth
imbalanced partnership or collaboration, poor communication, misalignment of ideals, need for clear communication
Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)
The reversed Two of Cups can speak to business partnerships or collaborations that are imbalanced due to poor communication or misalignment of ideals. If you find yourself in repeated arguments, heated conversations, or alternatively not communicating at all, this card indicates a need to come back into balance by having calm and open conversations.
If this card represents a misalignment of ideals with a business partner, it may be time to have a direct and honest conversation about each person’s goals and values. When you establish these objectives, you can make informed decisions about how to proceed and determine if it’s possible to re-establish harmony.