Five of Cups Tarot Card Meaning Explained

five of cups thothKeywords

  • Regret
  • Disappointment
  • Sadness
  • Rumination
  • Breakup
  • Moving on
  • Changes in relationship




General Meaning of the Five of Cups in a Reading

The number Five in the Tarot Cards is often the most difficult number to work with as it indicates change, and most people are afraid of change. When it comes to the Cups Suit in Tarot Readings, the themes are around relationships of all kinds as well as the emotions surrounding them.

When doing any reading, from the simple 1 card spread, to a 3-card tarot reading or a Celtic Cross Reading and you receive this card, you may be dealing with regret, pain and loss in your relationship; usually a Love relationship. Things have changed and you could be overwhelmed with disappointment. There is hope of moving on, but you may need to make some serious effort to do so, and try not dwell on the past or lose yourself in rumination of what you could have done better. When dealing with a situation of this kind, we recommend doing the online Love Oracle Reading as well to gain some insight into how you can move on.

Symbolism of the Five of Cups

five of cupsThe feeling of this card is rather gloomy. A cloaked figure is standing with his or her back to us, and color of their cloak indicates he or she is in mourning, perhaps for his or her soulmate. There are three cups on the ground in front of the figure, with what looks like a spilled liquid, like wine or even like blood, which shows loss. The figure is gazing at the spilled cups, ruminating over the loss and possibly rather depressed.

However, there are still 2 cups upright behind the figure, as well as a bridge over water which means that there is the potential to move on. All is not quite lost as yet. All the figure has to do is turn around and leave the regret and wounds behind.

Five of Cups in the Past

This is the best place to receive this card. When we have the Five of Cups in the Past position, we have recently grieved a loss around a relationship that was important to us. We have spent a great deal of time in regret and felt deeply sad, perhaps as if we have failed. However, we have probably left that behind and moved on by now.

Five of Cups in the Present

When we receive this card in the present position of a 3-card tarot spread, then we may be dealing with the painful loss of a very important relationship in our lives, and we might be finding it hard to move on. We need to try and focus not just on what we have failed at, but on what we have also succeeded at, and try and look at what good things are still available to us. If we don’t, we can wallow for far too long.

Five of Cups in the Future

It could be important to work on your primary relationship or marriage when this card appears in the future position of a Tarot Reading. Otherwise, we may be faced with change that we don’t really desire and possibly even regret at how we could have done things differently. If we work on our relationship in the present, then this card will be easier to handle in the future position. It will be important not to dwell too much on what has been lost, but rather what can be saved in a difficult situation.

Reversed Five of Cups

reversed five of cupsThe Five of Cups reversed indicates that we have suffered a loss, but that we are not moving on at all, that we can feel very stuck, depressed or overwhelmed. We may need to reach out to a friend and ask for support rather than sitting in our own loneliness and depression.

Five of Cups Tarot One Card Meaning

When you get this card in a One Card Reading, you are experiencing regret, sadness, and sorrow over the past, and it is hard for you to stop ruminating over what has gone wrong. It is time for you to move on, as painful as it feels, and to look at what you do have rather than grieving over what you have lost.

Five of Cups Yes/No Meaning

Doing a Yes/No Tarot Reading to gain clarity on your decisions can be a lifesaver and help you in difficult times to come to the right choice. When you get this card facing up, your answer is Yes – your situation might be difficult at the moment, and you could experience loss, regret or disappointment going forward. Do your best to not dwell on what has been lost, rather than what has been gained, and try to move forward emotionally. It is time to move on from a challenging recent emotional change.

When you get this card facing down, your answer is No, you won’t suffer any regrets over this decision. Nor will you find that it is necessary to ruminate or grieve over the path ahead. You should move on with ease now and be able to emotionally let go of the problem. Acceptance of the past is key now.


Whether it is your relationship that needs work or your marriage, now is the time to try and make an effort. This card may indicate a breakup or a divorce if you keep dwelling on the past and what you or someone else has done wrong. Don’t look at your failures; try and look at what you succeeded at. Make the difficult journey of moving on, however hard it is to leave the past behind.

Affirmations for the Five of Cups

“I will let go of the past”

“I will move on”

“Regret does not deserve my time”

“I will focus on my successes rather than my failures”

“I choose to work on my relationship”

“Loss and change are a part of life”

More on the Meaning of the Five of Cups

5 of CupsIt’s hard to go through the emotions of loss, regret, and doubt, especially when it comes to your relationships. Chatting to an empathetic advisor can be extremely helpful in these moments of crisis. The Psychics at Keen and Kasamba are well known with many years of experience and excellent ratings.

Try a FREE Online Love Tarot Reading

For extra support and insight check out our free online Love Tarot Reading to help guide you in tough times, or perhaps call on the angels for assistance using our online Angel Oracle Reading.

Article Info

Date: Feb 27, 2019
Amelie Rose Estrela is an experienced psychic and recently published, esteemed lead author for the Psychic Guild since 2003. She has written hundreds of articles for the website on a range of topics covered within the psychic niche, including Psychics & Mediums, Tarot & Angel Cards, Astrology & Horoscopes (the topic of her newly-released e-book), Love & Relationships, and Spells & Magic. You can find out more about Amelie on
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