10 of Cups

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The Ten of Cups Tarot card reveals a vision of happiness and domestic bliss. A man and a woman with their arms around each other are admiring the view of the reality they have been able to manifest together while their two children are playing nearby. A colourful rainbow illuminates the sky above them, and within the rainbow are ten golden chalices, the tangible symbols of their accomplishments and blessings.

The 10 of Cups is one of the most positive cards in the Tarot deck and often appears when you are in a profoundly positive, stable and fulfilled place in your life. The card often describes fulfilment in the realms of romance and family, but it can also indicate fulfilling work or a wealth of creativity.

When the Ten of Cups appears reversed in Tarot readings, it usually points to problems related to emotional instability, a lack of emotional or creative fulfilment or romantic incompatibility.

What the Cups mean in Tarot

The Tarot’s Minor Arcana is divided into four suits, one for each of the four elements. There is the Suit of Swords for air, the suit of Pentacles for earth, the suit of Wands for fire and the suit of Cups for water.

The water element is associated with emotional intelligence and emotional bonds, compassion, imagination, intuition and creativity.

The symbol of the cup is not constricted to the Minor Arcana suit of Cups but appears in several Major Arcana trump cards as well. A great example is the Magician card, in which we see the young Magician wielding his wand to command the three tools on his altar; the pentacle, the sword and the cup. The Magician is essentially practicing his mastery over the four elements and the areas of life they represent.

Significance of the numerology number 10 in Tarot

Each of the four Minor Arcana suits consists of ten cards numbered 1 through to 10. Each card adds a note to the same chord progression. The 10 of Cups is the tenth and final card in the suit of Cups, and as such it adds a final chapter to the suit.

According to numerology, the number 1 indicates a new beginning, a fresh start, a move forward. The number 0 is a portal between endings and beginnings, the very shape of the number forming a portal as well as an unbroken loop. Together, the numbers 1 and 0 indicate completion, fulfilment and finality, while also hinting at the promise of a new beginning.

Ten of Cups Tarot card description

Depictions fo the Ten of Cups differ between Tarot decks, but most renditions include the same essential symbolism. Let us take a closer look.

The happy family

The Ten of Cups Tarot card features four characters; a man and a woman, clearly a couple, with their arms wrapped around each other in a loving embrace, and their two young children dancing around them.

Each of the two adults has one arm free and are raising them up towards the sky as if to welcome and receive divine blessings and abundance. The four family members are dressed in blue and earthy colours, hinting at their intrinsic connection to the water element while also suggesting they are practical and down-to-earth people.

The ten cups

The ten golden cups or chalices, perfectly aligned in a row, are floating in the air above the family.

The ten cups symbolise the emotional well-being and fulfilment, stability, creativity, strong bonds and true happiness that the couple and in a wider sense the family have attained.

The rainbow

A rainbow appears in the sky behind the ten golden cups. it is a great omen, indicating peace, happiness and an idyllic state, sometimes in the wake of hardships and struggle.

The landscape

The man and the woman have their backs turned to the viewer as they gaze out over the verdant landscape in front of them. Rolling green hills, a babbling brook and a modest but secure home represent security, comfort, and the well-earned fruits of hard work.

Ten of Cups Tarot card meanings

The Ten of Cups, like every Tarot card does, contains a plethora of meaning. Here are the key and primary Ten of Cups Tarot card meanings.

Emotional fulfilment

When the upright Ten of Cups appears in a Tarot reading, it points to emotional fulfilment. This can relate to family relationships, the bonds you have with close friends, career satisfaction, creative fulfilment, self-realisation and an overall feeling of happiness and contentment with where you are at in life.

The Ten of Cups card appearing in a Tarot reading does not necessarily mean that you have accomplished everything you dream of yet – what it indicates is that you have many blessings in your life and that you are aware of this emotional abundance.

A nurturing, loving and supportive relationship

The Ten of Cups indicates a harmonious relationship where you are feeling seen, supported and appreciated. You and your partner consider each other soul mates and a deep level of trust exists between you.

Alignment

When the 10 of Cups comes up in Tarot readings, it suggest alignment and congruence.

There is harmony and flow between your inner being and your external surroundings, and this puts you at great ease. You earthly goals are fully aligned with your higher sense of purpose, and all of your activities seem to be taking you in the right direction.

Reversed Ten of Cups Tarot card meanings

When the Ten of Cups comes up reversed in Tarot readings, its meanings become inverted and distorted. Here are the key meanings of the Ten of Cups reversed.

Discontentment

The Ten of Cups reversed suggests a general sense of discontentment with where you are at in life.

The source of your disquiet may be your family life, negative patterns within your relationship, or a lack of emotional, creative or financial fulfilment and stability. You may be feeling isolated, lonely or under-appreciated.

Discontentment is a symptom that something in your life needs to be set straight, realigned or changed. Consider the Ten of Cups a nudge from the universe, telling you to start getting clear on the problem so that you can start looking for or working on the solution.

A struggling relationship

Whereas the Ten of Cups upright indicates thriving long term relationships, the Ten of Cups reversed is an indication of a relationship that is struggling, possibly due to a lack of intimacy and emotional connectedness.

The upright Ten of Cups card suggests that the relationship is mutually supportive and that the people involved are on the same page when it come to their core values. The reverse card may suggest the opposite.

Misaligned values

The reversed Ten of Cups indicates misaligned values, disagreements and not seeing eye to eye on the most vital matters.

You may be experiencing this clash of worldview within your romantic relationship, in the relationship you have with your friends or children, or between yourself and colleagues, co-workers, superiors or clients. Viewing the world fundamentally differently can be stimulating or extremely jarring, depending on how and where you encounter this mismatch.

Unrealistic expectations

Sometimes, the reversed Ten of Cups Tarot card can indicate that you don’t have a realistic view of what is possible or reasonable, and that your expectations of yourself or of those around you are too high. Insisting on the unattainable is a certain recipe for unhappiness. Consider how you could be kinder towards yourself or others, or how you could be more open to different outcomes than the one you have cemented in your mind.

Ten of Cups Tarot card interpretation

Every single card in the Tarot contains many facets and layers of meaning. Which aspect of a card stands out and becomes relevant in any particuar Tarot reading is always going to depend on a number of things. Important card combinations in the surrounding spread and the individual Tarot reader’s take on things are the most important parts of the equation.

To illustrate, here are a few examples of how the Ten of Cups Tarot card could be interpreted within the context of different Tarot readings.

What the Ten of Cups means when it signifies you in a Tarot reading

Upright

The Ten of Cup in its upright position is a good omen, suggesting that you are in a positive place in life. You are surrounded by people who love you, support you and believe in you, and all of the positive energy flowing your way is giving you great strength and satisfaction.

You may not be wealthy by conventional standards, but you have financial security and are blessed with a wealth of meaningful emotional connections with the people in your life.

Reversed

You are not in the best place emotionally. Perhaps you are not receiving the support and acceptance you need from the people around you, and as a result you may be feeling overlooked or despondent.

You are not satisfied with where you are at in life. The reversed 10 of Cups is a sign from the universe, telling you that it is time to roll up your sleeves and start doing something about it. Dissatisfaction and unhappiness are indicators that change is needed – they are not emotional states we should allow ourselves to stay in.

What the Ten of Cups card means in a love reading

Upright

The Ten of Cups in its upright position is a good omen when it comes to love and romance. It indicates the you are open to give and receive love.

Most likely, you are already in a committed long-term relationship that is happy, nurturing and fulfilling. If this is not the case and you are single, there is great potential for you to enter into a new relationship from a place of feeling confident, balanced and assured of what you are looking for in a relationship.

Reversed

The reversed Ten of Cups is ominous news where love and relationships are concerned.

If you are in a relationship, the reversed Ten of Cups might point to a fundamental misalignment between you and your spouse or partner. Your disagreements on fundamental points are causing painful fractures in the foundation of the relationship. For both of you to feel happy, you will have to work hard to find a compromise, an agreement, a balance point that is acceptable to you both.

What the Ten of Cups means in a career reading

Upright

The Ten of Cups in its upright position suggest a harmonious work-life balance and emotional fulfilment and joy within your career in the work that you do.

You may be engaged in work that is either deeply meaningful to you because it contributes to or betters the world in some way, or because it fulfils you creatively and emotionally on a profound level. Either way, you have obtained that rare holy grail that so many spend their lives chasing after; career satisfaction, fulfilment at work.

Reversed

The reversed 10 of Cups has a rather negative career meaning. While it does not say much about what the work you do may be providing you with financially, it indicates a lack of emotional fulfilment and there is a sense of you having to bottle up your true creativity.

Consider whether it might be time for a career change.

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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