Very rarely, in my personal readings, does the 4 of Cups show up on a day without tears. And when it does, it’s almost always there because of boredom or apathy which could be a sign of a need for an emotional release. But like all 78 Keys, this card too contains the full spectrum of light and dark… and crying can be powerfully healing. Let’s take a look at some of the common card meanings before we dive deeper.
Negative Tarot Card Meanings for the 4 of Cups
- Stagnation: The Four of Cups suggests a sense of stagnation and boredom. You may be feeling dissatisfied with your current situation and finding it difficult to feel motivated or inspired.
- Tearfulness: Tearfulness is only negative if there is no actual release. But this card can indicate a delay of a much-needed release and a storing up of negative emotions.
- Indifference: The Four of Cups signifies a state of indifference or apathy towards the world around you. You might be feeling unresponsive to the efforts or emotions of others, leading to a sense of isolation and detachment.
Positive Tarot Card Meanings for the 4 of Cups
- Contemplation: The Four of Cups suggests a period of deep introspection and contemplation. It encourages you to take time to reflect on your emotions, desires, and aspirations, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself.
- Inner Exploration: This card signifies a desire for self-exploration and self-discovery. It prompts you to delve into your own thoughts, emotions, and subconscious, providing an opportunity for personal growth and spiritual development.
- Emotional Healing: The Four of Cups can indicate a need for emotional healing and self-care. It encourages you to prioritize your emotional well-being, recognizing that it is essential for your overall happiness and self-fulfilment.
Feeling into the Energy of the 4 of Cups
The 4 of Cups (Moon in Cancer) shows us that we have fallen for the temptation to shut down because of negative past experiences. This is natural and the ego’s way of protecting itself against more of the same. However, shutting down and adopting an apathetic stance is not the answer. The answer is to seek emotional release, integrate the lesson and move on with renewed faith and optimism.
“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favourite day,” said Pooh.”
~ A.A. Milne
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
~ Winston S. Churchill
With the corresponding Moon in Cancer comes a strong sentimental streak and a propensity to become tearful. This is not always a bad thing but it does get bad when it keeps us stuck in the past. Sometimes when we have experienced emotional trauma, we resist learning from it. That, in turn, can make us regress further back into our past, to a time when we had no responsibility resting on our shoulders. This puts us in a state of avoidance in the face of important future choices and could easily see us miss important opportunities.
The trick is to practise mindfulness like Piglet and Pooh in the first quote above. If there is a need to release emotions through crying or screaming first, so be it. Allow yourself a set time to wallow and let those tears flow freely. But today is called the ‘present’ for a reason, cliché as it sounds. Are you ready to let go of the past? Are you ready to raise your gaze…? It is your ego that looks to the past to inform the future; Your Higher Self is always centred in the NOW and poised to leap at the next opportunity.
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
~ Oscar Wilde
Affirmation: “I allow myself to wallow for a little while to purge my emotional energy body.”
4 of Cups Prayer
Dear Mother-Father God, help me recognise what has made me lose my spark so that I can purge and get back up. Thank you for opening my heart to new beginnings and opportunities. Amen and so it is!
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Planet: The Moon
Archangel: Gabriel, ruler of the Element of Water and of The Moon
Gemstones: Selenite, moonstone, desert rose
Essential oils: Jasmine, ylang-ylang
The 4 of Cups in Love and Relationships
The 4 of Cups indicates dissatisfaction and boredom in your love life. You could be expecting your partner to be your source of happiness and feel disappointed when that doesn’t happen. Or you could be coming down from the initial high of falling in love and find that the other person looks quite different to how you imagined without those rose-tinted spectacles on.
This is a time to learn the virtues of empathy, understanding and patience in the relationship. Try to relax and be receptive to the love that is there. Really make an effort to understand the perspective of the other person. As you learn to tolerate each other’s differences, you will slowly and gradually become stronger as a couple.
Single and looking
In a reading for a single person looking for love, the 4 of Cups could indicate that they don’t feel good about themselves and have misplaced their natural mojo or that they have unrealistic expectations about love, possibly inspired by some Hollywood ideal.
Ill-dignified or reversed, the 4 of Cups could indicate that a person is looking to satisfy a desire that can’t be fulfilled by having a string of affairs. There could be boundary issues and deep-rooted emotional problems that affect the relationship. Counselling might be a good next step once a pattern has been detected.
On an intimate level, you may not feel like initiating sex because of feeling shy or fearing rejection. Either way, this card indicates a passive stance. As with all the 4s, you can try changing your home/bedroom environment to inspire more intimacy and romance.