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Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings Keywords

Upright: Meditation, contemplation, apathy, reevaluation

Reversed: Retreat, withdrawal, checking in for alignment

Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings and Description

The Four of Cups shows a young man sitting under a tree with his arms crossed, deep in contemplation and meditation. He is so engrossed in his meditation 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, but again, he doesn’t seem to notice or care about these new opportunities that have been presented to him.

NOTE: The Tarot card meaning description is based on the Rider Waite cards.

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Upright Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

When the Four of Cups appears in a Tarot reading, new invitations and opportunities are flowing to you, but for now you're saying “no” and turning them away. Perhaps the opportunities do not interest you or your cup is full and you already have too much on your plate. You are using your discernment to decide on what is truly important to you and you are not afraid to decline new projects that are not in alignment with your future path.

The Four of Cups can also indicate a time when you are now bringing your attention and your energy within, to create a new sense of alignment at this new phase of your life. You know that you need to be fully grounded in who you really are before you can decide your next steps. While you may need to decline some very alluring opportunities, you do so knowing that soon, you will be in a better position to say 'yes' to the opportunities that are a better fit for you. You are creating the space within yourself so that you are ready to accept new opportunities later and give them the best possibility of success. Use this time for inward reflection, grounding, and contemplation so that you are fully aligned before accepting the next 'big thing'.

Sometimes this card brings the message, “Not now, but maybe later.” While the man in the Four of Cups doesn’t accept the cups offered to him, he doesn’t completely reject them either. You may be waiting for a sign or further information before accepting an invitation or new project. You may also be checking in emotionally and spiritually before saying ‘yes’, to make sure the opportunity is indeed a good fit and that you can commit to it in the long-term.

The Four of Cups can appear when you are bored or dissatisfied with your everyday life. You may be feeling disengaged, apathetic or unmotivated, and life has become dull. The invitation from the Four of Cups is to bring your attention inward and re-evaluate your situation to find a deeper understanding and meaning to what you do. You may have found yourself disconnected from your emotional self and inner truth, and need to re-establish this connection so you can feel a greater sense of purpose and direction. This may also be a good time to switch off from the distractions of the external world – social media, the news and other people’s stories – to allow you the space to listen to your own voice and inner knowing, and gain more clarity.

The Four of Cups may also indicate that you have shut yourself off from new opportunities because you have been hurt or rejected before. The man in this card has his arms crossed, as if protecting himself and closing himself off from the external world. You may have been hurt in a relationship or experienced failure in your career, and now want to avoid getting in the same predicament again. However, the cost of doing this is that you may miss out on new opportunities that are actually a great fit for you. Check in on a soul level as to whether shutting yourself down is the best course of action, or if it’s time to open up more to the possibilities that are available to you.

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Reversed Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings

Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings tarot card meaning

The Four of Cups reversed reflects a period of introspection and withdrawal. You are retreating into your own inner world so that you can reflect on what is truly important to you and what grounds you. Others may be wanting to spend time with you or are inviting you out, but you'd much rather stay in and read a good book or meditate in your sacred space. Just be careful that you don’t completely shut off your friends and loved ones or appear disinterested in their lives. Let them know that you simply need some alone time and that you’ll reach out again when you’re ready to re-emerge.

If you are feeling withdrawn, don't force yourself to go out. Just 'be' in this space, and when you're ready, start to re-integrate with the world around you. You won't be a 'hermit' forever – it's just a temporary state of being for now. Appreciate it and make the most of it.

You may also be using this time of introspection to go within, so you can check in with your inner being to make sure your upcoming projects and endeavours are a fit for you. Instead of saying ‘yes’ straight away, you’re taking a step back and evaluating the situation first. That said, be careful that you don’t completely lose this opportunity as you wait for an answer from within. Check to see if there is an expiry date or when you need to make a final decision and be sure not to miss it.

At times the Four of Cups reversed suggests that you are feeling uninspired, disillusioned, or disappointed with the world around you. Everything feels hard and instead of dealing with it head on, you’re choosing to withdraw and go within. You may be avoiding the challenges of the external world hoping that if you step out of it, the problems will go away. But let’s be real – they may still be there when you return and will need your attention eventually.

The Four of Cups reversed may suggest you are reluctant to open your heart to someone or to express your true feelings, instead choosing to withdraw 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.

Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings tarot card meaning

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