The Ace of Cups

Tarot Treks: The Ace of Cups

If you want to learn to read tarot, and if you’re here I suspect you do, step one is to put yourself in the card. That’s the essence of intuitive tarot reading. Step into the card. What are your senses telling you? What do you feel when you look at the ace of cups?

Ghetto Tarot Ace of Cups
I feel the need to pee

When I look at the ace of cups, I feel calm. Serene. Like I’m sitting near a fountain at a botanical garden on a temperate day with just a hint of breeze. It’s a peaceful place to chillax and let the mind wander languidly, indulging in whatever fantasy pops into my imagination. Ew! I’m waxing poetic. Stupid emotional cups.

Perhaps the card reminded you of church communion with the dove and the wafer. Maybe you were remembering that time a seagull aggressively dive bombed your grandma at the beach and stole her sandwich. Whatever you’re feeling or seeing is fine. We’re making connections. 


In every tarot card there is heavy symbolism. Some might be instantly familiar, like the communion wafer. Some might be less obvious, like the five streams of water coming out of the chalice. What’s up with that? If you want to get deep into the ace of cups symbolism, or the symbolism of any of the cards, check out the books and blog posts from Mark K. Greer. For our purposes, I’ll just list some.

  • The dove- divine love, Holy Spirit, associations with Aphrodite
  • Wafer- communion
  • Cup/Chalice- womb/vessel, receptivity, the subconscious
  • 5 water streams- the 5 senses, 5 wounds of Christ, 5 points on a pentagram
  • The W or M on the Cup- there’s no consensus on this one. The “W” could mean Waite, water, woman, wisdom. The “M” could mean mystery, mother, Mercury. 
  • Hand in the cloud- Gift from the Divine
  • The pool of water- the soul

Ace of Cups Upright

So what does the ace of cups mean in a reading? Aces are beginnings, potential, and opportunity. The ace of cups is the beginning of an emotional, spiritual, intuitive, or creative journey. This is a card overflowing with love, harmony, compassion, and fulfillment. It can represent a new relationship, friendship, project, or renewed spiritualism. In any case, you feel contentment, excitement, giddiness, or full of emotions. Love. So much love. Find a way to express that love before you explode.

A Note on Reversals

So what is the ace of cups reversed? Is it bad? Is it hate? The meaning of the ace of cups reversed depends on how you interpret reversals. Many tarot readers don’t read reversals for various reasons like the potential of having more negative outcomes than positive. I think you need to look at the card in relation to the cards surrounding it in the spread because the cards will tell the story.

Ace of Cups

Ace of Cups Reversed

Reversed the ace of cups could mean you need to spend some time loving yourself. Have you been neglecting your needs? Are you experiencing creative blocks? Spiritual blocks? Are you being unrealistic? Are you feeling lonely? Are you hiding your true feelings? Have you been ignoring your intuition? Are you getting carried away with your ideas? The ace of cups reversed can mean any of these. Find a way to restore the upright flow. 

Sources/Decks Featured

Tarot for Beginners: A Holistic Guide to using the Tarot for Personal Growth & Self Development by Meg Hayertz
The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings by Brigit Esselmont
Ghetto Tarot by Alice Smeets
This Might Hurt Tarot by Isabella Rotman
Other sources linked in article

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