Four Of Cups Tarot Card Meaning: Upright & Reversed

The Four of Cups calls for a time of contemplation. It shows a man contemplating three cups (the opportunities in front of him, he will miss if he doesn’t act), with a fourth cup being offered from a cloud (The universe or divine guidance offering more opportunities). It’s about thinking through your options, but also remembering not to dwell for too long. In its reversed form, it’s more about a shift in perspective, where you’re opening up to new possibilities.

If you’ve drawn the Four of Cups, then you know it’s going to have significant meaning, especially for your inner world. If you really want to know what it means for you, then keep on reading to find out!

NumerologyRepresents the number 4, symbolizing leadership, intelligence, and knowledge.
Zodiac SignOften associated with Cancer, reflecting introspection, emotional withdrawal, and contemplation.
Ruling PlanetThe Moon, the ruling planet of Cancer, emphasizing themes of introspection and emotional reflection.
ElementWater, symbolizing the deep, reflective, and sometimes moody aspect of emotions.
Yes or NoOften considered a “Maybe,” suggesting a need for contemplation and reevaluation of one’s emotional state before proceeding.
CrystalsBlue Lace Agate and Smoky Quartz are often associated with the Four of Cups, promoting emotional clarity and grounding.

Symbolism Of The Four Of Cups

  1. The Lone Figure: The man sitting under a tree, is looking contemplative or sometimes disinterested. While most of the time he symbolizes introspection and reflection sometimes he symbolises dissatisfaction. His seated posture also suggests a pause or a period of contemplation.
  2. The Three Cups: Three cups stand before him, representing the opportunities, relationships, or situations that are currently available to him. However his lack of interest in these cups can symbolize he’s not sure what to do, he’s feeling stuck or simply apathy, and discontent.
  3. The Offered Cup: Often, a hand (similar to that in the Ace of Cups) is shown offering a fourth cup, symbolizing a new opportunity, emotional offering, or a different perspective, from the universe itself. But now, even the figure’s reluctance or hesitation to accept this cup can show at the moment he’s unwilling to change or recognize new possibilities.
  4. The Tree: The tree under which the figure sits typically symbolizes protection, stability, and a connection to nature. It also represents growth and the potential for personal development, even during periods of introspection.
  5. The Sky and Landscape: The background is often sparse or nondescript, highlighting the introspective mood of the figure. The open sky can symbolize the limitless potential, yet the figure’s gaze is turned inward or downward, showing a current focus on internal thoughts and feelings.
Four Of Cups Symbolism

The Four Of Cups Upright Meaning

The Four of Cups upright in a tarot reading shows now is a time of introspection and contemplation. It’s a time to evaluate what you have in your life but also not to forget considering new options. It can also mean there are currently feelings of indifference or disconnection, and a sense that you might be overlooking important opportunities.

But at its core, the Four of Cups represents a state of deep contemplation. You may find yourself in a reflective mood, pondering your life’s path and questioning your choices. It’s okay to take a step back and look at your situation from a different perspective, in fact, it’s actually encouraged. Now is a time for internal exploration, so you can understand your true feelings and desires.

If you’ve drawn this card, I often see it as a good time for meditation, even if you’ve never done it before. You may need a break from your routine to reconnect with yourself on a deeper level. By practicing mindfulness or meditation, you can clear your mind, and find peace within. So, listen to your inner voice!

Four Of Cups Upright Meaning

As you can see, this card really is about introspection, and re-evaluation is another significant idea of the Four of Cups. Think about what’s important to you and considering whether your current path aligns with this. You may even need to change your priorities and make adjustments that better serve your personal growth and happiness.

However, the Four of Cups can also warn us not to fall into indifference or apathy. Remember, just because right now you may be feeling disconnected from your feelings and opportunities, it doesn’t mean there aren’t valuable possibilities right in front of you, you may just be too absorbed in your own world to notice them. So open your eyes to the blessings that surround you, even in times of introspection.

So, the upright Four of Cups symbolizes a period of contemplation, meditation, and re-evaluation. It represents a time to pause and reflect on your life’s direction, and try to consider your true feelings and desires. However, it also cautions against becoming too disengaged or indifferent, reminding you to stay open to the opportunities and experiences that life offers.

Love and Relationships

If you’ve drawn the Four of Cups when it comes to love, it’s time to have a good think about what you want. You might be feeling indifferent or disconnected in your relationship, so you need to understand these feelings, before communicating them with your partner and moving forward. If you’re single, it means now is a really good time to think about what you want in a partner. But also make sure you don’t miss opportunities by being too wrapped up in your own thoughts.

Career and Finances

In terms of career and finances, the Four of Cups shows now might be a good time for reflection about your job satisfaction and financial goals. You might even be questioning if your current career path aligns with your true aspirations. Financially, this card can point to indifference or a lack of enthusiasm about your financial state, so it might be a good idea to re-evaluate your financial goals. It’s also a call to not overlook potential opportunities that could improve your career or financial situation.


Spiritually, the Four of Cups DEFINITELY signals a time for deep internal exploration. Reflect on your spiritual journey and contemplate what truly resonates with you on a deeper level. Practices like meditation or mindfulness to reconnect with your inner self and gain clarity are probably the best things you can do right now.

Yes or No

For a yes or no question, the Four of Cups leans towards a ‘no’ or at least suggests a pause. Now is a time for thinking rather than taking action. Reevaluate your situation and consider your true feelings and desires before making a decision.

Book Recommendation – The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle

If you feel like you’re struggling with your thoughts, and you can’t escape them, then I’d definitely recommend The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It will help you practice mindfulness and being present in the moment without becoming too obsessed with thoughts. However, I will warn you, it’s definitely a book that needs to be read twice!

Love what you’re reading? Make sure you check out Tarot Made Easy: A Beginners Guide To Rapid Understanding, now just $11.99!

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The Four Of Cups Reversed Meaning

The Four of Cups reversed in a tarot reading often means there’s been a shift in perspective, and you’re actually moving towards clarity, and awareness. But, it can also show potential challenges such as depression, negativity, and withdrawal, and it truly highlights the complexities of emotional introspection and personal growth.

When reversed, the Four of Cups most often shows a moment of awakening or realization. You may suddenly become aware of opportunities and even missed opportunities especially now you’re seeing things in a new light. So, the original contemplative mood of the upright card is turning into action, as you become more open to the possibilities around you. Embrace your newfound clarity and make conscious decisions based on your current understanding. Remember sometimes just heading in a direction is better than waiting to figure out what the right direction is.

Acceptance is also prominent in the Four of Cups reversed. It’s time to move past feelings of discontent or dissatisfaction and come to terms with your current circumstances. This is a time for emotional maturation, where you can learn to accept things as they are and find peace within. Remember acceptance is often the first step towards positive change.

Four Of Cups Reversed Meaning

However, the Four of Cups reversed does sometimes point to potential difficulties such as depression, negativity, and emotional withdrawal. If introspection becomes too inward-focused, it could cause you to become isolated and feel despair. Try not to get too caught up in negativity or withdrawing from the world. Try seeking support and finding healthy ways to process and express your feelings.

As you can see, the Four of Cups reversed symbolizes a journey towards clarity, awareness, and acceptance, but it also cautions against the pitfalls of negativity and emotional withdrawal. It suggests a time to embrace a new perspective, to accept your reality, and to be open to the opportunities that life presents. However, remember to be mindful of your emotional well-being and to seek balance in your inner and outer worlds.

Love and Relationships

The Four of Cups reversed for love and relationships shows a shift towards understanding and clarity. You may start recognizing missed opportunities for connection or realize the need for a new approach in your current relationship. It’s about becoming more open and responsive to love, and closing the gap between you and your partner. Be aware, though, that this card can also hint at potential emotional challenges like withdrawal or negativity, so it’s important to stay engaged and communicate your feelings.

If you’re single, it shows that you have a clearer understanding of what you’re looking for in a partner. Now would be a good time to throw yourself back into the dating pool.

Career and Finances

For your career and finances, the reversed Four of Cups shows a newfound awareness of opportunities you may have previously overlooked. You’re now ready to take action and make more conscious choices in your career. It’s a time to break free from dissatisfaction and to embrace the possibilities that lie ahead. However, be cautious of feelings of negativity or apathy, and make sure to approach your career and financial decisions with a balanced mindset.


Spiritually, the Four of Cups reversed shows a period of acceptance and emotional maturation. You’re learning to accept and make peace with your journey as it is, which can lead to significant inner growth. This acceptance can be the foundation for positive change and deeper spiritual understanding. Remember to keep an open mind and heart, as this card can sometimes indicate a tendency to withdraw or focus too much on the negative aspects of your spiritual path.

Yes or No

For a yes or no question, the Four of Cups reversed generally leans towards a ‘yes.’ It suggests that you’re moving out of a phase of contemplation and into one of action and acceptance. You have a readiness to embrace new opportunities and to make decisions based on your current perspective. However, be mindful of maintaining a positive outlook and not letting negativity cloud your judgment.

Book Recommendation – Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With The Heart Of A Buddha by Tara Brach

If you’re moving away from a phase of contemplation, it’s really time to start enjoying life, not as you want it to be but as it is. With that in mind, this book can help you achieve that by practising mindfulness and meditation. If you’ve found doing this hard in the past, then this book might be exactly what you’ve been looking for!

Journaling Prompts For The Four Of Cups

The Four of Cups is so full of themes of introspection and self understanding, which makes it a great card to journal about. With that in mind here are some great journaling prompts you should consider.

  1. Has there been a recent opportunity you overlooked, or straight up ignored? What was it do you think that caused you to not go after it?
  2. When was the last time you felt disconnected and apathetic in your life? What was it about this period that caused it to happen, and what can you do in the future, to shake yourself out of it?
  3. Think about your current situation right now. Which areas do you feel a lack or just a general disinterest, and what are the things you can do to change this?
  4. What is it in life that truly fulfils you? How can you seek more of this out in your life, and nurture it?
  5. How do you practice mindfulness in your life day to day? And how does being present affect you – do you feel more or less content?
  6. Think about your current priorities, are they aligned with your true desires and values?

Final Message Of The Four Of Cups

Reflect on your journey thus far. What chalices have you tasted, from the sweetness of success to the bitterness of loss? Each has left its mark, shaping your palate, your perspective. Savor their echoes, for they whisper wisdom you cannot hear in the midst of the storm.

Ask yourself, what truly nourishes your soul? Is it the pursuit of ever-newer experiences, or the deep well of gratitude for what you already hold? Look beyond the glittering surface of desire, and into the quiet chambers of your heart. There, amidst the silence, you will find the answer.

Don’t fear the pause. It is not stagnation, but fertile ground for renewal. Let go of the need to constantly fill the void, and allow the space to reveal its hidden treasures. In the stillness, you may hear the whispers of your intuition, the gentle nudges of your true path.


So the Four of Cups is about introspection and contemplation. It’s a time for self-reflection, pondering life choices. It asks you for mindfulness and a re-evaluation of your life’s path, while warning against overlooking opportunities due to indifference.

Reversed, the Four of Cups shows you’re actually having a shift towards clarity and awareness, highlighting an awakening to new possibilities. It’s a call for acceptance and moving past discontent, yet cautions against depression and emotional withdrawal.

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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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