Four of Cups Tarot Card Meaning Explained

four of cups thothKeywords

  • Withdrawal
  • Reflection
  • Sulking
  • Apathy
  • Boredom
  • Meditation
  • Retreating


General Meaning of the Four of Cups in a Reading

When it comes to the numerology in the Minor Arcana Suit, the four always talks about something that is stable, be it a situation, relationship, career or home. Stability can, however, turn to being stuck, and the four often appears when things are about to change in the future. Whether we are consulting the Angels as a guide for this reading, doing a Celtic Cross spread or simply pulling a card for the day, this card says that we should be aware that although things are quiet now, we should be prepared for a shift in the future.

This card could indicate that we are feeling more withdrawn and reflective. The cups often talk of emotions as well as our closest relationships, whether personal relationships or friendships. So, we may take a step back from our relationships at this time to gain a new perspective. We do need to beware of apathy and not seeing what good things are on offer here. We may get stuck in an emotion and forget to be appreciative of our relationships.

Symbolism of the Four of Cups

four of cupsLooking at the symbolism of this card, we can see a man under a tree, arms folded, as a cup is offered to him, with three cups standing before him. His eyes are closed and he seems to be quite detached. Either he doesn’t want what is on offer, or he is not seeing it.

This may relate to a particular relationship that he/she is in. He may be considering a breakup or divorce or taking some time out to figure out what he wants. It’s important to note if he is sulking or simply retreating.

Four of Cups in the Past

When we receive this card in the Past position, whether we are doing a live or an online 3 card spread, then we know that we have recently been through a period of withdrawal or even apathy. During this period we have felt the desire to say “no” to things, even the good things. We may have needed some time alone to isolate. We may have even been feeling a lack of motivation or simply bored with life.

Four of Cups in the Present

This card in the present means that we are withdrawing from life, either because we feel a need to isolate or retreat, or because we have lost our zest for life. We could be bored with our relationship, we may be experiencing problems with our marriage, even contemplating giving up. It’s important to treat this time as a period of reflection rather than a period in which we turn even the good things in our lives down.

Four of Cups in the Future

However we may be feeling now, when we get this card in the future in a Tarot Reading we know that a period of boredom, apathy, or more positively, meditative reflection is coming up. It’s important to know when we are withdrawing for no reason, or if we are going within for a good purpose. Maybe to contemplate our relationships or to think about who our friends versus foes are in our lives.

Reversed Four of Cups

reversed four of cupsWhen we get this card reversed, we may withdraw with a less constructive purpose, shutting out those who care about us. We may not want to open up our hearts or feelings, and we could feel quite stuck. However, we may also feel that we need to withdraw and reflect, but are fighting it – maybe now is the time to reflect in a constructive way rather than pushing everyone away because we need space.

Four of Cups Tarot One Card Meaning

When you get this card in a One Card Reading, you may feel emotionally withdrawn, stuck or passive at the moment, despite the emotional comfort on offer to you. Be careful to not appear sulky or ungrateful for the love you do have in your life. Do, however, take the time you need for yourself at the moment; just don’t get too comfortable, because change is on the way.

Four of Cups Yes/No Meaning

We love the online Yes/No Tarot Reading! When we get a card facing up, it means “yes”, and when we get a card facing down, it means “no”. If yes, then this decision may create a sense of emotional withdrawal for you or from the people in your life. You could experience some emotional stagnancy in this decision, and although it could be beneficial, you may feel somewhat alone or isolated because of your choice. Try and see where people are offering you help and support.

then you will move out of this feeling soon, so don’t withdraw now, and try not to get too stuck in a particular emotion. The chances are that you will not receive an offer of assistance, but perhaps this is what you need right now. Try not to sulk in order to get your way.


This card can indicate feeling stuck, bored or apathetic but it can also mean retreating or withdrawing from the world a little. It can mean saying “no” instead of yes, and taking time to figure out your emotional needs.

Whether it’s a family situation or a personal relationship we are contemplating, it’s important to know that change is coming and that we won’t feel as stuck anymore. For better or for worse!

Affirmations for the Four of Cups

“I acknowledge and appreciate the support around me”

“I will try and not miss an opportunity for connection”

“Rest and retreat is good for my soul”

“I will find a way through these feelings of boredom”

“I will try and not hold onto toxic emotions”

More on the Meaning of the Four of Cups

Four of Cups

If you’d like to know more about this card, or perhaps receive some advice around our personal relationships, then chatting to a psychic advisor at Purple Garden or Kasamba can be a game-changer!

Try a FREE Online Love Tarot Reading

Our Love Oracle Reading is an excellent one to give insight into any relationship situation. It can help you make the best decision for yourself!


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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