Knight of Cups
Function: Emotions, love, spirituality, imagination
A calm young man in shining, white armor rides a calm horse. He a cup in his right hand, either as an offering, or to drink from it. He has come to a stream. Perhaps he’s going to fill his cup? There are wings on his helmet, symbolizing transcendence. His armor is white, the color of purity, and there are red fish on his cloak, symbolizing passion and creativity. There are also wings on his ankles, like the god Hermes, the messenger of the gods who moves between the world of the divine and the word of the incarnate. The knight has a swift mind and an active imagination, moving easily between dreams and reality.
It appears that he’s come to a river in a valley. The only vegetation is the trees, making it appear as if he’s come to an oasis. The knight knows that he has a long road ahead of him, so he will fill his cup now. Or, this oasis is in fact his destination. After all, people do establish civilizations around oases. This may be him coming home, his finding the source of water that allows him to flourish. We know that he’s close enough to the oasis to know that it’s real and not simply a mirage.
The knight itself is a romantic image, and perhaps out of the four knights of the minor arcana, this one is the most romantic. It may be the one who is most idealistic, too. After all, no one just shows up at an oasis; it takes a lot of traveling the desert, without water, dying of thirst, before one gets there. The Knight of Cups can be deceiving like that, since it doesn’t show the journey to the oasis, the creative blocks, the insecurities, the rejection from others, and the loneliness of following one’s most sacred dreams.
Of course, the Knight of Cups can be the dream and the hope of finding the place where creativity flows, the most sensitive parts of our psyche, and our deepest imagination. The Knight of Cups is ready to drink from the wellspring of imagination and to be creative. It’s little known, but when knights were not involved in campaigns for their kings, they were landowners and farmers. Thus, the Knight of Cups is ready to take off his armor, be vulnerable, and grow good things.
When the night of Cups is Reversed:
When the Knight of Cups is reversed, the querent is uncomfortable or unready to focus on their deeply held creative desires. They may not think they’re creative, or they may lack the time, space, and support to be creative. They may also be so emotional that they can’t handle the possibility of rejection, and may run away from things that threaten their feelings.
The Knight of Cups reversed can also indicate a querent who thinks their emotions are the only ones that matter. They’re so enamored with their own feelings and emotions that they fail to take into account that others have feelings.
In a three-card reading, this card means…
Past: In the past, the querent found their inspiration and followed it to a place where they could make it grow, which has brought them to the present time.
Present: Currently, the querent is enamored with their own imagination and emotions, laying the groundwork for something bigger.
Future: In the future, the querent will follow their inspiration to a place where they can indulge their imagination and emotions.