Upright: Love, compassion, creativity, overwhelming emotion
Reversed: Blocked or repressed emotions
The Ace of Cups shows a hand holding a cup or chalice that is overflowing with five streams of water. The hand that appears from the clouds represents our consciousness of spiritual energy and influence. Radiating from the hand are rays which symbolises that you must always trust your inner feelings and your heart to lead the way. This is your intuition and inner power talking to you. The five streams represent the abundance and power of the spirit and the effect of spiritual energy upon our five senses. A dove holding a wafer or small disc in its mouth descends from above, signifying the incarnation and appearance of the spirit in the material world. Below the hand is a great sea covered with lotus blossoms, symbolising the awakening of the human spirit. The cup has an upside down M or a W inscribed on it.
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In the Ace of Cups, a huge cup is being offered to you and you are being invited to reach out and drink from it. This is a symbol of fulfilment, not just emotionally but also spiritually. The opportunity for fulfilment is there – will you take it? Whether you are going to reach out now and take up this opportunity will depend on how much you need emotional and spiritual fulfilment in your life right now.
The Ace of Cups represents the beginning of love, happiness and compassion. It can indicate the start of a new relationship, be it a friendship or a romance. This is one of those relationships where you feel butterflies in your stomach and you are so pleased to have met someone with whom you can share a special connection. The water in the card reflects the flow of emotion and thus the Ace of Cups suggests that positive emotion and energy will be created between two people in a way that leaves you feeling good about yourself and life in general. You need to experience the feeling of new love or of giving and receiving unconditional love. Give and accept love on a new level and open your heart to what is around you. Your loving ways will magnetise love to you.
This card often means that love is the essence of the situation. It may or may not be romantic love. Look for ways in which you can begin to connect with others. Do you have someone to forgive, or do you want to ask for forgiveness? Can you set aside your anger and find peace? Would you like to drop your reserve and let your feelings show? This is a peaceful time in your life so use it and make peace with friends or yourself.
The Ace of Cups is also about creative expression, particularly where there is an opportunity to allow your emotions to shine through. You are very open to experiencing your inner feelings and sharing them with others. You may be inspired to start a new creative project, take up an art class or two, or even engage in interpretative dance. You are at that point in your life where you feel comfortable with who you are and what you feel and you are not afraid to express that part of yourself to others. You see new potential in allowing your creative juices to flow and as such, you are open to new possibilities and stimulating your imagination to allow your talent to unfold.
There is certainly a generous, compassionate component to the Ace of Cups. This is a time of giving, not taking, and offering yourself to a new opportunity to help others. You have the power to bring great happiness to others and to share your contentment and positive energy. You will also find that the more you give, the more you receive on multiple levels.
The Ace of Cups often points to fertility. From a very literal point of view, this means that the Ace of Cups can indicate conception, pregnancy or birth. Look to other cards in the reading to confirm that there is indeed a chance of new life (typically the Empress and Page of Cups). On a more metaphorical level, there may be the ‘birth’ of a new idea or a spark of new inspiration. It can represent the beginning of a project in which a great deal of loving and creative energy is invested.
The reversed Ace of Cups may call on you to curb your emotions somewhat for your greater benefit. For example, ending a relationship may spur you on to wanting to cry and cry for days on end but what the Ace of Cups reversed tells us is that in order to heal, you really need to push back the tears and fight on in order to retain a balance. Try not to let your emotions get the better of you or take an unhealthy hold of your life. Sometimes it is possible to express ourselves TOO much, and in doing so, share our vulnerabilities or worse, attack the vulnerabilities of others. Find ways to constructively express what you feel so that you can continue through life with a more balanced perspective.
Alternatively, the reversed Ace of Cups could suggest that you have repressed your feelings too long and it is now the time to release them. You may have bottled up so many emotions that you have become almost void of feeling true emotions and instead feel a general ‘numbness’ inside. In a relationship reading, the reversed Ace of Cups can indicate that you are withholding your emotions, for fear of getting hurt. You know that in order for the relationship to move forward and flow freely you must eventually trust in your partner but for the time being, you are holding back.
You may also be experiencing a roller-coaster ride when it comes to your emotional well-being. There are so many ups and downs in your life that sometimes you do not know if you are coming or going. Life has become emotionally exhausting and now your energy is running out. You need to look after your emotional health. Be conscious about how you are feeling and how this may be impacting your responses and reactions.