five of cups

Tarot Treks: Five of Cups

Ouch. Welcome to the first five in our tarot treks series, the five of cups. The fives are universally shitty across the minor arcana. What do you see and feel when you look at this card?

Five of cups This Might Hurt
Well, shit…

The fives in tarot are change, challenge, conflict, uncertainty, and instability, and I think we can all relate to the five of cups right now. With the stay at home orders and quarantines (at the time of this writing), people are pretty bummed out. Planet Comicon and my brother’s wedding are postponed, concerts and other events have been canceled, birthdays have passed with no celebrations. It sucks, but it’s more than just an inconvenience. People are losing their livelihoods and businesses. Others are suffering and dying, alone, around the world. These are uncertain times. The five of cups speaks to both our superficial grief, and our extreme sorrow. The pouty hesitation and stagnation in the four of cups has led to missed opportunities and things not working out in the five. Now we’re sad. Happy Monday…


  • Grey sky: gloom, uncertainty, life’s troubles
  • Spilled cups: disappointments, failures
  • Upright cups: new opportunities that aren’t being acknowledged
  • Bridge: moving on, but only when you’re ready
  • Black cloak: a sign of mourning (fun fact: wearing black to funerals dates back to Roman times and it was supposed to hide you from the spirits of the dead.)

Five of Cups Upright

I touched on the various emotions that come with the five of cups above. They range from disappointment to outright grief and sorrow. Don’t push your sadness aside, or the healing process will take much longer. Some people never fully heal. There are sobering realizations that have come to you when you see the five of cups, but there is a silver lining. Once you give yourself the space to grieve, you will heal and be able to cross that bridge. We don’t stay in one energy forever. 

Five of Cups Tarot Mood

Five of Cups Reversed

The five of cups could represent that you are drowning in grief and need real help. If that’s the case, reach out to your support systems. If you can go to therapy, do it. It helped me through my darkest days and it could help you too. You don’t have to do this alone. On a more positive note, the five of cups reversed could signify a release or lessening of your grief. It may feel like you’re finally ready to move forward. In any case, examine your emotions and give yourself the space to process all of your feelings. 

Sources and Decks

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
This Might Hurt Tarot by Isabella Rotman
Tarot Mood by Natalie Meraki
Rider Waite Smith Deck
Other sources linked in article

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