The King of Cups is a mixture of fire, the element of Kings, and water. He is, therefore, something of a contradiction, an enigma. He appears to know all about you, but is somewhat cagey about letting us know him. He puts his feelings on show, but you always get the feeling that he is holding something back. There is fire in his heart, but he won’t allow it to burn in public view.
The King of Cups sits on his throne which is on a platform floating on the ocean. He is a little ill-at-ease as he faces slightly left – his eyes are looking at the viewer giving him a shifty expression. He holds a plain gold chalice in his right hand and a gold scepter in his left. His throne is quite plain, save for the carving on the arm support. He wears a deep blue robe, a red-lined gold cloak, and an ornate crown. At his neck hangs a gold fish pendant. The ocean is choppy, and in the background are a leaping fish and a red-sailed boat.
The King of Cups is a gentle man with a passionate core. He is reliable, empathic and a refuge in any storm. As a King, he has mastered his feelings and can calmly display them, whether it be for a political cause, in his career or with his wife and family. Others see him as a good sort. However, he does have an agenda; he may not acknowledge it, but he enjoys the power he has over others. He is excellent at getting the results he wants by subtle manipulation of emotions. You wouldn’t even know he was doing it. A word here, a glance there, perhaps a sigh in the right place causes a ripple of reaction. The cause he is supporting gets its funding, or his daughter shuns an evening out with her friends in favor of staying home and doing her homework. These are satisfying outcomes for the King of Cups.
When the King of Cups appears in a general reading, he often represents a person in the life of the seeker. He may show up as an older man with influence or someone who offers a refuge or shelter. He might be an adviser or teacher who can help the seeker get through their current problems. He may even be telling you that you need to take on aspects of his gentle, accepting and wise personality.
If the card appears reversed, then the King of Cups takes on a disturbing personality. He often represents someone with deep emotional problems – and he will very likely be able to hide them for a very long time. Emotional blackmail, abuse or alcoholism are just three of his possible negative traits.
Interpretations in Various Areas of Life
The King of Cups isn’t a hard-nosed professional, but he does tend to reach the top of the career ladder because he has help to get there. He is a figurehead rather than an active contributor to an organization. He is often involved in the creative arts. He does well as an actor; he has that natural ability of water to take on any characteristic and make it his own. He’s a good negotiator and speaker. He could also be a religious leader or head of a charity.
As a business person, he has a more overarching view of his company. He has the vision and compassion to create a worthwhile venture but prefers others to hold the reins while he contributes ‘from above.’
This is a King, so money isn’t in short supply. He is a generous donor to causes he feels deeply about. He is also good at getting others to part with their cash for a good cause, too. In a financial reading, this card encourages you to be generous too. Is there a cause or person who needs your financial help?
If you are down on your luck, then you may well receive help from a wealthy relative or even a charity.
The King of Cups is a good husband. He may have ‘rescued’ his partner back in the early days, and she is glad that he is her ‘rock’. When this card turns up in a relationship reading, then you may well meet your rescuer soon. He’s no knight in shining armor but more of a ‘port in a storm’. He could be an older man who is a complete contrast to your previous relationships.
In a spiritual reading, this card tells you to turn your feelings out to the world. Do something practical to show your compassion. Visit the elderly or sick in the hospital. Volunteer at your church or another spiritual home. He leads by example, his Kingly bearing brooks no refusal. He says, “If you feel it, then show it and prove it.”