2 of Cups

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The Two of Cups sets up a promising scene: A young couple are gazing deeply into each other’s eyes while exchanging cups, and presumably promises or vows. There is a great sense of mutual trust, appreciation and attraction between them. A romantic relationship or union is the obvious interpretation, but the Two of Cups may also refer to other types of unions, agreements and emotional bonds where harmony, balance and nurturing qualities reign.

When the upright Two of Cups Minor Arcana card appears in Tarot readings, it is a positive and encouraging omen. The partnerships, agreements and bonds you are entering into at this time are going to be both fruitful and equal. You can trust the person you are with – you can trust them with everything. They’ve got you, just as you have got them.

When the Two of Cups appears in its reversed position, it tells a different kind of story, and talks about a different quality of union. Here, mistrust and discord reign, and a bad breakup or betrayal become distinct possibilities.

What the Cups mean in Tarot

The Tarot’s Minor Arcana (meaning the ‘lesser mysteries’, as opposed to the ‘greater mysteries’ of the Major Arcana) is divided into four suits, one for each of the four elements. The suit of Swords represents air, the suit of Pentacles the earth, the suit of Wands fire and the suit of Cups water.

The element of water is associated with deep feelings and emotions, intuition and psychic abilities, creativity and imagination, emotional intelligence and bonds, compassion and empathy. The suit of Cups deals with all of these qualities, and often refer to the emotional connections we have with the people in our lives, both romantic and otherwise. The suit of cups also talks about emotional fulfilment, and the fruition of our innate creative potential.

Numerological number 2 in Tarot

According to numerology, the number two deals with the energy of unions, specifically relationships. The energy of the number two is one of pulling together, romance, diplomacy, mutual agreements, and collaboration. The number two suggests balance and harmony, the union of two forces.

The meaning of the numerological number 2 makes perfect sense in relation to the Two of Cups Tarot card. Its key meanings include romantic union and partnership, mutual agreements, balance, harmony and emotional support.

Two of Cups Tarot card description

Depictions of the Two of Cups Tarot card differ between different Tarot decks, but most include the essential symbols and details of the classic Rider-Waite Tarot. Let us take a closer look.

The couple

The Two of Cups Tarot card features two primary figures; a young couple, who are gazing deeply into each other’s eyes, focusing on each other and their mutual attraction, seemingly to the exclusion of everything else.

Each partner is wearing a flowering wreath, symbolic of victory and fruition, and suggesting that their relationship or union has an enriching and inspiring effect on both of them.

The cups

The couple are exchanging golden cups as a sign of their mutual trust and the emotional agreement they are entering into.

The cups represent the deepest essence of feeling and emotion. Characters are depicted holding cups throughout the suit of Swords, but in no other Tarot card do we see the characters entrusting their emotional essence to another. This really highlights the rare levels of trust and affection between the two characters in the Two of Cups Minor Arcana card.

The Caduceus

Floating in the air above the couple, as if to bless or preside over their union, is the Caduceus of Hermes, a winged staff with two snakes wrapped around it. The Caduceus is an ancient symbol of agreements and proper conduct, particularly as it relates to trade and commerce. Clearly, any contracts or agreements between the couple are going to be mutually beneficial and in accordance with their values.

The lion’s head

Hovering above the Caduceus is a red, winged lion’s head. The lion represents solar energy, and its red colour indicates passion, hinting at mutual attraction and sexual energy between the two partners.

Two of Cups Tarot card meanings

Like every other Tarot card, the Two of Cups is a multi-faceted prism of meaning and significance. Here are some of the key upright Two of Cups Tarot card meanings.

Romantic relationships

The Two of Cups Tarot card often refers to a romantic relationship.

More often than not, the types of relationships that are represented by the Two of Cups are relatively new, as the number two indicates something that is in its early stages, only just beginning.

The Two of Cups always points to positive relationships where the romantic partners are on the same wavelength and share a deep emotional connection, mutual respect and trust, and shared values.

Union, partnership

Sometimes, the Two Of Cups might refer to other types of connections than romantic relationships. The Two of Cups might talk about the deep connections you have with family members, or it may indicate the professional relationships you have with business partners or clients.

Emotional support

When the upright Two of Cups appears in Tarot readings, it indicates that you have a lot of emotional support and encouragement around you. You have people around you, whether in your romantic connection, your family or your business, who believe in you whole-heartedly. You are blessed with people who are fully in your corner, ready to back you up and cheer you along whenever you doubt yourself or falter in your resolve. This kind of wealth is immeasurable.

Harmony and balance

The Two of Cups indicates balance, harmony and emotional stability. You are experiencing a wonderful sense of harmony and accord between yourself, the people with whom you are in loving relationships, and your surroundings. Nothing and no-one is grating on you or draining your energy away. Life may not be perfect, but you are in a good place, a place which can be used as a springboard for your most audacious and ambitions plans.

Reversed Two of Cups Tarot card meanings

When the Two of Cups card appears reversed in Tarot readings, its positive energy become inverted and distorted. Here are the primary reversed Two of Cups Tarot card meanings.

Co-dependency

The Two of Cups reversed can suggest that you have become co-dependent on your romantic partner, on your business partner, on a friend or on a family member.

While receiving emotional nurturance and support from the people in your life is vital and wonderful, relying and leaning too heavily on others disempowers you – and is likely to either annoy the other person, or create a toxic dynamic between the two of you. When the Two of Cups reversed shows up in Tarot readings, it can be a reminder from the universe that you are meant to stand on your own two feet in life.

Breaking an emotional bond

Sometimes, the reversed Two of Cups represents the break up of a strong connection, whether it is breaking up with a romantic partner, leaving a business partnership, or severing ties with a family member for self-preservation.

Breakups are never pleasant in the moment in which they take place, but afterwards comes the opportunity for healing, and for moving on. In the best case scenarios, you take the lessons you have learned and use them to create a better collaboration or new relationship in the future; one where you are truly seen, honoured and loved.

Mistrust and jealousy

The Two of Cups reversed can be an indication of mistrust and jealousy, usually within a romantic connection. Here, you want to take the cup back that you entrusted your partner with when the card was in its upright position.

Feelings of mistrust and jealousy can be very difficult to overcome, but because of their corrosive effect on all human relationships, it is important that you find a way to either heal them and let them go, or acknowledge that your negative feelings are justified and using that insight to let go of a relationship that lacks honesty and mutual respect.

Discord

The Two of Cups indicates discord and disagreements. Your romantic or business partnership may be on the rocks, and you are finding yourself constantly butting heads with your partner or collaborator. You are just not seeing eye to eye, and may have a difficult time finding mutual ground and a good way forward.

Two of Cups Tarot card interpretations

The Two of Cups Tarot card contains a plethora of meaning. Which layer or facet of its significance stands out in any particular Tarot reading is always going to come down to a few factors, including any important card combinations that appear in the spread, and the individual Tarot reader’s take on the card.

Here are a few examples of how the Two of Cups Tarot card might be interpreted within the context of different readings.

What the Two of Cups means in a love Tarot reading

Upright

The upright Two of Cups is a very good sign when it comes to love and romance. Often, it hints at a blossoming romance, a budding new relationship fuelled by powerful cosmic energy, mutual respect and attraction, and the glimmering promise of deep, unconditional love growing between you.

If you are already in an established relationship, the Two of Cups is also a good omen. It suggests a deepening of your romantic bond, and a thriving relationship where you are encouraging and lifting each other up.

It is rumoured that the upright Two of Cups may, in rare cases, hint at a twin pregnancy. Look for any surrounding cards in the spread that may confirm this, such as the Empress or the Queen of Pentacles.

Reversed

The reversed Two of Cups represents romantic challenges when it appears in a Tarot reading about your love life. Here, your relationship, if you are in one, is fraught with doubt and discord. You don’t trust your partner as freely or easily as you should. Are your worries and doubts justified, or are they the shadows cast by past experiences of betrayal?

What the Two of Cups means in a career Tarot reading

Upright

The upright Two of Cups is a positive card to see in a reading about career and business. You are in a place of opportunity, and it looks like you are involved in a very fruitful business partnership, collaboration or venture. Keep pouring your energy into this place and into these people, and wonderful things are bound to grow.

Reversed

The Two of Cups reversed has a decidedly negative career meaning. Your workplace is marked by discord and disagreement.

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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