Upright: Unified love, partnership, attraction, relationships
Reversed: Break-up, imbalance in a relationship, lack of harmony
The Two of Cups depicts a man and a woman exchanging cups in what appears to be a wedding ceremony with the caduceus of Hermes between them. The two-snake caduceus design has ancient and consistent associations with trade, negotiation, balance, duality (union of opposites), proper moral conduct, protection and cosmic energy. On the Two of Cups, the caduceus sends a positive message for new partnerships, and suggests that with honour, respect and balance, new relationships shall be rewarding. At the top of the caduceus is a lion’s head, a symbol of passion and fire energy suggesting that there may be a lot of sexual attraction between the people, although that may or may not be allowed to express itself. The two snakes that wind up the caduceus represent dark and light and their coexistence within us.
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The Two of Cups shows the beauty and power that is created when two become one. The card reflects balance, mutual respect and harmony in relations with one another. There is no ‘I’, just ‘we’, and both parties are focused on a mutually beneficial outcome or win-win situation.
The Two of Cups typically points towards a relationship that is based on mutual attraction and romantic inclinations. It reflects the clear, nurturing, supportive and heartfelt exchange of emotions that is the gift of a romantic relationship. The Two of Cups represents love that is nurturing, creative, clearly focused, inspirational and equally fulfilling. In a reading, this is often a beautiful start to a new romance in which you will experience understanding, harmony and deep love between two souls. The seed has blossomed into a tree of appreciation. Kindness and thoughtfulness will bind your two hearts together with the feeling of being simultaneously very special to one another.
In some cases, the Two of Cups can refer to marriage, proposals and engagements, particularly as this card portrays what looks like a wedding or hand-fasting. It is a reflection of commitment between two individuals, to say that they will go through life together, always considerate of each other’s needs and wishes.
Outside of love, the Two of Cups reflects a partnership of sorts, be it a business partnership, friendship or even a relationship between a person and their pet.
On first glance, the Two of Cups shares a similar message to the Lovers. However, the energy of the Two of Cups is slightly weaker than the Lovers card. Whereas the Lovers is the reunion of two complete beings, the Two of Cups is a less mature union that, stable as it may seem, does have the potential to come undone over a longer period of time. So, while the union is strong now, it is not clear whether the relationship shown by the Two of Cups can stand the test of time. Only the two people involved can decide that.
Despite the focus on the two beings shown on this card, the Two of Cups also points to what is happening within the individual. To be truly loved, deeply treasured and valued highly by others, you must first and foremost strive to create those feelings for yourself. That is, when you work toward loving yourself, you hold your inner spirit in high regard, treating it with deference and deep respect. When you see yourself in this positive light, other people cannot help but respond to your personal sense of value in an equally positive manner.
With the Two of Cups reversed, you may be struggling to form new partnerships and relationships due to a lack of trust or unfinished business from the past. You may also be reluctant to open yourself and expose your true feelings, resulting in disconnectedness from those around you or awkwardness. Your behaviour has become guarded and constrained.
The Two of Cups reversed may indicate a break-up or a lack of harmony within a relationship or partnership. You may not be seeing eye-to-eye and there is tension in your relations with each other. Each partner is finding it quite hard to be truly honest with each other and therefore the flow of communication is broken. There is a lack of mutual respect and understanding. Upright, the Two of Cups is a beautiful card to have because it shows balance and emotional connection. But reversed, it suggests that you are not on an even playing field and this is a fundamental issue. It is as if your partner thinks he or she is better than you or that his or her opinion matters more than yours.
Even if a relationship is going great guns, the reversed Two of Cups may be a sign that the relationship is more physical than heart-felt. It may be a fleeting affair rather than something more meaningful.