Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings
Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings Keywords
Upright: Meditation, contemplation, apathy, re-evaluation
Reversed: Boredom, missed opportunity, being aloof
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Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings and Description
The Four of Cups depicts a young man sitting under a tree far away from others in what looks like deep contemplation and meditation. In fact, he is so engrossed in deep contemplation that he does not appear to notice the cup being presented to him by an outstretched arm. A further three cups stand at his feet, symbolising the world and its attractions but again, he pays little attention to these. In this sense, he indicates the need to look deep into our Self to discover the answers we seek. External influences can be distracting and may not lead us to the goal we seek even if those influences purport to be of a spiritual nature.
This young man and his predicament suggest the story of the Buddha under the Bodhi Tree, contemplating the state of the Universe and unwilling to rise until he has reached the Truth. He is not taking the cup and indeed appears to be paying no attention to it whatsoever. He misses this gift of love and opportunity because he’s completely tuned within.
Upright Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings
The Four of Cups often appears when you are bored or dissatisfied with the status quo. You may be feeling disengaged, apathetic, or unmotivated. Life has become stale or ‘flat’ and there is little that excites you anymore. To overcome this, the Four of Cups suggests a need to re-evaluate your situation and to look deep within your own psyche to find understanding and meaning. Turn your attention inward to find the Truth for which you are searching. Avoid distractions and examine your heart and mind to gain clarity.
Similarly, the Four of Cups signifies disappointment in someone or in a situation. You may be growing tired of the same old struggle that has been carried on too long in the past. As a result, you have started to withdraw and go within yourself to seek greater peace and tranquillity. If you are becoming particularly ‘pouty’ or sulky about your predicament, the Four of Cups is then a call to action; it is time to wake up, be alert and to be open to new experiences that offer a more positive outcome.
The Four of Cups can sometimes point to defensiveness. This can be noticed in the body language displayed in the crossed arms and legs of the man on the card. He chooses to ignore the possibility of what the cup has to offer. Possibly he has been hurt emotionally before, as this is the Suit of Cups, and he is fearful to expose himself to that again, hence he is closing himself off to this opportunity. Consider what opportunities you are ignoring or declining, and ask yourself whether this is because you truly believe you would not benefit from it, or whether this is because you are fearful of what may follow. Be mindful of any defensiveness in your responses and reactions.
At its worst, the Four of Cups is a stubborn, ungrateful and self-absorbed card. Whether you are off in your own little world, depressed, selfish, afraid to reach out or are nursing wounds from a bad relationship, the isolation in your world is self-imposed. You may be only concerned with your own troubles and problems, neglecting the needs of others. Be mindful that your detachment from being part of the world is becoming an issue. Remember, there is always an opportunity for you to reconnect with the world around you. Look at that cup being offered to you!
Often, the Four of Cups indicates that an offer has been presented to you but you are holding off making any sort of decision or evaluation of that opportunity until you have had more time for reflection and consideration. Notice that while the man in this card has not accepted the offer being presented to him, he has not completely rejected it either. The cup will continue to be there and the decision to accept or reject it can be made at any point. For now, though, it is the time for contemplation, research and meditation. When all of the answers are in, and it feels right emotionally, then you can take action but in the short-term, you do not need to make an immediate choice.
The Four of Cups serves as a reminder not to take life for granted. Numerologically, four signifies that you have created a solid foundation for yourself and a strong sense of stability and security. However, sometimes this can play to your disadvantage, where you feel so content, safe and secure that you begin to take your relationships and other aspects of life for granted. Thus, when the Four of Cups appears it must be taken as a cautionary note. It bears the message that there is a lot of love in your life but it can and will slip away if you do not continue to nurture it and demonstrate your appreciation for everything that you have gained so far. Most of the time, people do not realise the abundance they live in every day. They are too concerned with what they want, and they have no time to look at their lives and see how much they already have. A lot of the disappointment in life comes from people who want more but who already have all that they need. The key to overcoming this disappointment is simply to see all the good that is in your life already, and be thankful for it every day. So open up your eyes and look for yourself!
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Reversed Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings
The Four of Cups reversed suggests that there is a good possibility that an offer will come your way but you must work hard to go out and get it. It is sitting right under your nose, so make sure you snap it up before you miss out! You may also be too focused on your own issues that you completely miss this opportunity or are unaware that it even exists. Keep your eyes and heart open to new possibilities, and release some of the focus on yourself to allow new opportunities to appear.
The Four of Cups reversed also reflects a time when you may be reluctant to open your heart to someone or to express your true feelings, instead withdrawing and isolating yourself from the other person. Be mindful of how this may be impacting those who are close to you and be considerate of their needs as well as your own.
On a more positive note, if you have been going through a period of stagnation, boredom or apathy, you will begin to feel restless with this state of being, and will want to break free from this rut. Put aside any negative thoughts or sulky behaviour. Embrace the opportunities that are already being offered to you. Reconnect with others and let them know how much you appreciate them.