Eight Of Cups Tarot Card Meaning: Upright & Reversed

The Eight of Cups is a card about transition and moving on. It shows someone walking away from a stack of cups, symbolizing their decision to leave something good behind in pursuit of something more meaningful. This is a period of self-discovery, letting go, and seeking deeper truths. But in its reversed form, the Eight of Cups can suggest avoidance, fear of change, or reluctance to leave the comfort zone.

To find out more about what it means in general, and in your particular circumstance, then keep on reading to find out everything there is to know!

NumerologyRepresents the number 8, symbolizing balance (especially materialistic), will power, and determination,
Zodiac SignOften associated with Pisces, reflecting emotional depth, introspection, and the journey to find personal truth.
Ruling PlanetNeptune, emphasizing themes of disillusionment, escapism, and the quest for something more meaningful.
ElementWater, symbolizing emotional journeys, introspection, and the need to move on.
Yes or NoOften considered a “No,” suggesting leaving behind a situation in search of something more fulfilling.
CrystalsLapis Lazuli and Aquamarine are often associated with the Eight of Cups, aiding in emotional clarity and the courage to seek truth.

Symbolism Of The Eight Of Cups

  1. The Eight Cups: The cups are arranged in two rows, with one cup missing from the upper row, it shows a sense of incompletion or unfulfillment. They represent emotional attachments and achievements that are being left behind.
  2. The Departing Figure: The card shows someone walking away into a barren landscape of mountains, symbolizing the decision to leave something behind in search of something greater. They represent the journey towards self-awareness or spiritual enlightenment.
  3. The Red Clothes: The figures clothes are red, showing that they’re walking away through choice, and they’re taking power and passion with them. They are confident in their decision.
  4. The Moon: The moon symbolizes intuition, the subconscious, and the journey into the unknown. The moon’s presence suggests that the journey is guided by inner wisdom and intuition. You’ll also notice all phases of the moon are present, showing that things are in alignment.
  5. The Rough Terrain: The landscape is usually rocky or mountainous, indicating that the path ahead is challenging. This symbolizes the difficulties and uncertainties encountered during a period of transition or personal growth.
  6. The Element of Water: A lot of the card is taken up by rivers and a small waterfall. This shows the importance emotions play in this journey, and how they’re going to be a guiding force. And remember, people often follow rivers to get back to civilisation and safety.
  7. The Solitary Journey: The solitary nature of the figure’s journey emphasizes the personal and individual nature of this path. It’s a journey that must be undertaken alone, driven by personal realization and introspection.
Eight Of Cups Symbolism

The Eight Of Cups Upright Meaning

If you’ve drawn the Eight of Cups it means a poignant journey of self-discovery is occurring or will occur. However, so will the difficult decision to leave something behind in pursuit of something greater. It’s all about walking away, letting go, and searching for something more meaningful in life.

The main premise of the Eight of Cups is the concept of searching for more. It normally presents itself when you are feeling a deep sense of restlessness or dissatisfaction with your current situation. Right now you’re looking for something more fulfilling, whether that be emotional, spiritual, or intellectual. It’s about the brave choice to follow this desire, even if it means stepping into the unknown, and leaving things behind.

And with that in mind, walking away and letting go are the other significant aspects of this card. It represents the difficult decision to leave behind familiar circumstances, relationships, or comforts in pursuit of a deeper purpose. It’s a period of transition and change, where you consciously choose to abandon what no longer serves your growth or happiness. You’re encouraged to trust in the journey and the new paths that will open as a result.

But sadly, leaving things behind can often involve feelings of abandonment and withdrawal. You need to distance yourself from certain aspects of your life or from people who are not in alignment with your path. This act of withdrawal is not without its challenges, but it is driven by the need for deeper emotional or spiritual fulfillment.

Eight Of Cups Upright Meaning

However, beware, escapism is another theme that can be associated with this card. It may in fact be the card showing you have a tendency to avoid facing difficult realities by walking away. Remember, it’s important to distinguish between leaving a situation for genuine self-growth and using escapism as a means to avoid confronting issues.

So, the upright Eight of Cups symbolizes the journey of leaving behind the familiar in search of something more meaningful. It represents the challenges of walking away, letting go, and the emotional complexities of abandonment and withdrawal. It encourages a thoughtful and introspective journey, urging you to seek deeper fulfillment and to trust in the path that lies ahead.

Love and Relationships

In love, the Eight of Cups is a signal that you may need to reevaluate and possibly change some things. If you’re in a relationship, this might mean contemplating whether your emotional needs are being met or if it’s time to move on. For singles, it could indicate a period of self-reflection, understanding what you truly seek in a partner, and possibly walking away from people right now who may not be fulfilling you. It’s about making tough choices in love, guided by the search for deeper emotional connections and fulfillment.

Careers and Finance

In your career, you may be going through a turning point where you’re considering leaving your current job or career path for something more meaningful. There may be a general dissatisfaction with your present situation and the desire for a role that aligns better with your personal values or passions. Financially, now is a good time to look at your money and possibly letting go of material pursuits that no longer bring you satisfaction, focusing instead on what truly matters.


Spiritually, the Eight of Cups represents a profound journey inward, searching for deeper truths and meaning. It might be a time where you’re leaving behind old beliefs or practices that no longer resonate with you, in pursuit of a more authentic spiritual path. It encourages embracing the unknown in your spiritual journey, trusting that it will lead to greater understanding and fulfillment.

Yes or No

For yes or no questions, the Eight of Cups suggests a ‘no’ or a redirection. It implies that the current path may not lead to the fulfillment or answers you seek. Think about your direction and considering whether a different path might offer more meaningful outcomes. Trust in your intuition and be open to exploring new possibilities that align more closely with your true desires.

Book Recommendation – The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Everyone should read this book at some point in their lives. And in fact, this is one of my favorite books. It’s about a boy who is on the hunt to find a treasure he keeps dreaming about. Just by going on this journey, he learns so many things, and actually ends up coming to some conclusions he wouldn’t have been able too without stepping outside of his comfort zone.

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The Eight Of Cups Reversed Meaning

The Eight of Cups reversed is a sign that you may be struggling with stagnation and aimlessness, you may have a reluctance to move forward or an inability to let go of unfulfilling situations. It points to a fear of change, avoidance of necessary transitions, and the difficulty of walking away from familiar yet unsatisfactory circumstances.

Stagnation is a key theme when the Eight of Cups appears reversed. You may currently be feeling stuck in your current situation, unable to move forward despite recognizing that change is needed. This could be caused by a general sense of aimlessness, where you are unsure of where to go or what to do next, causing you to feel trapped in a state of limbo.

Avoidance and fear of change are also pointed out by the Eight of Cups reversed. The card can show a reluctance to confront the reality of your situation or to make tough decisions that will eventually lead to personal growth. This can stem from a fear of the unknown or a reluctance to leave your comfort zone, even if it means staying in a place that no longer serves you.

And with that in mind, staying in a bad situation is another common interpretation. Unlike the upright position, which shows you have the courage to walk away, the reversed version shows a tendency to cling to what you know, even if it’s detrimental to your well-being. Think about why you’re resisting change and to consider whether your reluctance is preventing you from finding true fulfillment.

Eight Of Cups Reversed Meaning

However, it’s not always bad, the Eight of Cups reversed can also show that you’ve made the decision to try something one more time or to give a situation another chance. In some cases, there may still be something worth salvaging or exploring before you make the decision to walk away completely. However, it still reminds you to re-examine your circumstances and to make an informed choice about whether to stay or go.

In short, the Eight of Cups reversed shows the challenges of stagnation, aimlessness, and fear of change. You may have a reluctance to leave behind unsatisfying situations and be struggling with moving forward. However, it also opens the possibility of reassessment and the choice to give a situation another chance before making a final decision. So, confront your fears, and find out the reasons behind your resistance, so you can make choices that align with your true path to fulfillment.

Love and Relationships

For love, the Eight of Cups reversed shows you might be holding onto a relationship that’s no longer fulfilling. If you’re single, you may be lingering on past relationships instead of moving forward. For those in relationships, it might reflect an unwillingness to address issues that are preventing deeper emotional connection, and progression your relationship. Honestly assess the connections in your life and consider if they are contributing to your well-being, and if not, how can you improve them?

Careers and Finance

In your career, the reversed Eight of Cups can indicate feeling stuck in a job that no longer brings satisfaction. But you might be hesitant to leave due to fear of the unknown or uncertainty about the future. Financially, security may be keeping you in an unfulfilling situation. Weigh the value of financial stability against personal happiness and to consider if a change might bring more fulfillment in the long run.


Spiritually, the reversed Eight of Cups suggests a reluctance to leave behind outdated beliefs or practices. You might be feeling stagnant in your spiritual growth but hesitant to explore new paths. With these matters, looking inwards to understand what’s holding you back is always best and don’t forget to consider embracing new spiritual perspectives that align more closely with your current self.

Yes or No

For yes or no questions, the reversed Eight of Cups suggests a ‘no’ and a reconsideration. Staying the course may not lead to fulfillment and a change of direction may be needed. It advises taking time to reflect on your current path and to consider whether a different approach might offer greater satisfaction and purpose.

Book Recommendation – Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers

If you feel like you’re being held back, then this is the book you need. It’s not so much about feeling the fear, but more about knowing whatever happens to you, you have what it takes to handle it! If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, then I’d highly recommend it!

Journaling Prompts For The Eight Of Cups

Now that you know what the Eight of Cups means, here are some helpful journaling prompts you should consider thinking about:

  1. Is there anything in your life you like you currently need to leave behind. What’s making it difficult, and what might you gain by moving on?
  2. Think about a moment in your life when you felt a strong urge to seek deeper meaning or purpose. What prompted this feeling, and where has it led you?
  3. Write about an area of yourself you’re currently focused on improving. How are you working on this, and what challenges are you facing?
  4. Consider what true fulfilment means to you. How does your current path align with this vision?
  5. Think about changes you can make to pursue greater fulfillment in life. What steps can you take to align more closely with your true desires?
  6. Reflect on a time when you showed courage to make a significant change. What drove you to take this step, and how do you feel about it now?

Final Message Of The Eight Of Cups

Release what no longer nourishes. Clinging to the past, to situations or relationships that have run their course, is like carrying a heavy cloak that hinders your journey. Acknowledge what needs to be left behind, not with bitterness, but with gratitude for the lessons learned and the strength it has given you.

Listen to the whispers of your soul. Deep within you lies a compass, a quiet knowing that guides you towards what truly aligns with your highest good. Heed its nudges, even if they lead you into the unknown. Remember, it’s often in the darkness that the brightest stars reveal themselves.

Embrace the courage to walk away. Letting go takes courage. It means facing fear, the uncertainty of the future, the ache of saying goodbye. But remember, the greatest journeys often begin with a single step away from what is familiar. Trust that the universe will catch you, that the path unfolding before you is paved with potential and possibility.

Don’t mistake retreat for weakness. The Eight of Cups is not about cowardice, but about strategic withdrawal. It’s about creating space for introspection, for renewal, for gathering the strength and clarity needed to step into the next chapter. See this pause not as stagnation, but as fertile ground for new beginnings.


The Eight of Cups upright is about the journey of self-discovery, urging you to seek deeper meaning and fulfillment. Right now you’re probably feeling restless or dissatisfied, and leaving the familiar may be the best solution for you.

Reversed, it shows stagnation but also a reluctance to move forward. It points to feeling stuck, avoiding change, and clinging to unfulfilling situations out of fear. It reveals the struggle to leave the comfort zone, highlighting avoidance, fear of change, and staying in negative situations.

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About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio, Owner & Editor of the Fools Journey!

I've been reading Tarot Cards/Getting my tarot read for over 10 years now! For me, what started out as a bit of fun and scepticism, has since grown into such a passion for me.

Tarot Cards are not just a great source of inspiration, but also comfort, and I love using them to help get in touch with the higher powers that are here to guide me through life!

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