The Meaning Of The Five of Cups Tarot Card

 Why Trust Us

Five of Cups Tarot Card

New to Tarot? Just pulled the Five of Cups? If the regretful Five of Cups was pulled out of your deck and you want to know what it means, keep reading!

The Five of Cups shows a person who is crying over three spilled cups, looking down and despairing over what has been lost, looking away from two full cups still beside them. This symbolizes being so unhappy over missed opportunities that you continue to miss more

The Five of Cups is a card of disappointment and loss and isn’t people’s favorite card to see in a reading, but it has its silver linings. The Five of Cups helps us to turn our perspective away from what we don’t have to be grateful for what’s still ours.

Want to know what else this card wants to share with you? Read on!

Key Facts

UprightSadness, loss, despair, loneliness, focusing on what you’ve lost, misplaced focus
ReversedFinding peace, acceptance, appreciating what you still have, healing, gratitude
Yes or NoNo
PlanetPluto and Mars
Astrological SignScorpio
Key Facts: The Five of Cups Tarot Card

Upright Meaning of The Five of Cups

The Five of Cups is an emotional and unhappy card, grieving the past and avoiding the future. You might be focusing too hard on what you don’t have, and because your focus is on what you don’t have, you’re completely missing what’s yours.

This can mean that you need to take inventory of what’s going on in your life and pay attention to what’s been evading your gaze. It’s necessary for you to take responsibility for your perspective and shift it to what’s better for you.

If you tell yourself that you are lacking, that you have missed out and will never recover, then you may become a self-fulfilling prophecy! While this is unlikely to be something that you want, unconsciously, you could create more loss by feeling sorry for yourself for too long. 

The Five of Cups encourages you to realize and address the feelings of regret that you may be experiencing and take responsibility for the directions they’re going. When they get to a place of despondency, it’s up to you to shift your mindset and uplift your thoughts. 

While missed opportunities or unfulfilled dreams are painful, you still are alive and kicking, and this means that you’re not done. Instead of continuing to despair over what never was back then, experience life now by living in the moment. 

This card wants you to process your emotions to the fullest so that you understand what led you to where you are now. Still, once you find this closure, it’s important to move on physically and emotionally in order not to become mired down in stagnancy.

Upright Love
Upright Career MeaningUpright Health Meaning
Emotional loss or disappointment in relationshipsCareer setbacks or feeling unmotivatedEmotional stress affecting health; seek support and healing

Love and Relationships – Upright, The Five of Cups

In love, the Five of Cups brings to mind disappointment, the ones who got away, regrets that you have with a past partner, or the words you never said to someone you had a crush on. While you have regrets, you shouldn’t stop living your life because of it.

First loves and lost loves are always going to have a place in your heart, but you might want to move on and experience love again someday. It’s okay if the map to healing starts with grieving the past, moving on to spending time with friends, and ends with dating again.

Communication is also key when you’re in a relationship and feel that you may be losing it. If you keep all of your feelings inside and give up on them before they are over without giving the two of you a chance to heal, that is selling it short.

Career and Work – Upright, The Five of Cups

On the career side of things, you can see the Five of Cups encouraging you to move on from the past and avoid feeling like your glory days are behind you, that the heyday has already come and gone for you, or no more recognition or exciting opportunities.

The Five of Cups knows that while it can feel like you’ve been tossed aside or overlooked, it might be time to reinvent yourself and point your outlook to a career that’s more invigoratingmore progressive, or just a place you feel comfortable working.

It can represent your sadness about not getting that job you wanted or not going to college when you had the chance, and now you feel trapped in a corner career-wise. The two cups still standing remind you that there’s still time, so be the master of your destiny

Health and Wellness – Upright, The Five of Cups

The Five of Cups is not the best sign in a health reading, indicating that stressgrief, and emotional upheaval are likely affecting your health and that you need to make a conscious change to your mindset in order to improve your energy.

The Five of Cups wants you to take it easy and know that you need to restrefrain from stressing yourself out all the time, and slow down when you’re starting to get worn out

If you need to seek out assistance or professional help with your health, then it’s best to do so now rather than worrying that they will tell you bad news or shame you. Remember, with this card, there’s no time like the present to make a change.

Try not to dwell or beat yourself up for positive health habits that you still haven’t solidified or if you’re only doing one or two healthy habits. You’re meant to focus on the progress that you’ve already made, even if it’s small, and continue on a good path slowly.

Spiritual Context – Upright, The Five of Cups

In your spiritual life, the Five of Cups can encourage you to be more introspective because there might be a disappointment or a regret that is causing you to be at a standstill. It’s difficult to confront past traumas, but it is necessary to heal.

The Five of Cups wants you to be aware of what’s going on in reality because your perspective can be skewed when you’re only paying attention to what you’ve lost. In reality, there are more avenues to take and more positive paths to follow. 

Additionally, if there is a spiritual path that you are following that is too critical and constantly causes you to feel shameful or guilty, it may be that you need to reevaluate your beliefs and align them with who you are now.

The Five of Cups is despairing, regretful, and disappointed instead of realizing the good things that are still with us.

Reversed Meaning of The Five of Cups

When you see the Five of Cups flipped upside down, it helps to shift your perspective to one that is more hopeful and encouraged. You may have the grief in your past now, and of course, you may always carry some of it with you, but you’re ready to move forward. 

You might have been focused on your shortcomings and your losses up until now, and you’re being asked to let go of these lingering self-doubts. You’re meant to forgive yourself for what you didn’t know at the time and forgive others for not understanding.

The Five of Cups reversed is telling you to rejuvenate your spirit, to engage in happiness consciously, and to pursue new growth because you never know how long your opportunities are here and when they will be gone. 

This card may even be asking you to rekindle relationships with the people who have meant most to you but who have fallen out due to issues of insecurity or because of being overwhelmed with work or family. Embrace forgiveness.

Let go of past disappointments and accept yourself for who you are. You deserve it!

Reversed Love MeaningReversed Career MeaningReversed Health Meaning
Healing and moving on from past hurts in loveCareer recovery and finding new motivation.Overcoming emotional struggles leading to improved health

Love and Relationships – Reversed, The Five of Cups

When the Five of Cups appears reversed in a love reading, it can mean that you’re ready to love again after a period of grief and despondency. It could be difficult sometimes to open up after a period of heartbreak, but work through it and find a way back to love. 

You might still be guarded at first, which is normal, but it is most likely that you will begin to open up again once you start connecting with the people you’re meant to be around. You’re able to rebuild trust and harmony with them. 

Now is a time to embrace forgiveness with your partner as well, but this is if you can truly see a positive future with them. If not, it might be time to be honest about the direction that you feel the relationship is going.

Career and Work – Reversed, The Five of Cups

When it comes to career, the reversed Five of Cups is alerting you to the fact that a new job opportunity could be on the horizon for you. You’re likely able now to let go of the stagnant career or the boss who does not appreciate you or even work for yourself.

The reversed Five of Cups also could indicate that you lost a job or had to move away, and because of this, you feel as if you will not receive another opportunity like this, and you are now going to struggle. This is not true, however, as a new opportunity is around the corner.

It could also mean that there is someone in your workplace who is grieving a recent loss or feeling down, or the job may require you to encourage yourself and look on the bright side or show other people the bright side of things.

Health and Wellness – Reversed, The Five of Cups

The Five of Cups reversed in a health reading can mean that you are experiencing a positive shift here, either in self-care, in your mindset, in exercise, or your diet. There may have been a past history of struggling with your health or body image as well. 

If you’re able to find time to work out and to eat well, then you’ll be on the right track since the Five of Cups doesn’t ask for perfection from you; it just wants you to keep trying and refuse to give up even when the going gets tough. 

When you’re resilient about improving your health, your hard work is more likely to be rewarded when you see this card. You are likely to be moving from a time of confusion and stagnancy in your health into a time of clarity and more energy, so get going!

Spiritual Context – Reversed, The Five of Cups

When the Five of Cups appears reversed in a spiritual reading, it may be that you are no longer depressedworried, or regretful in your spirit after a long period of hardship. 

This type of new spiritual freedom feels like there was a weight dragging your spirit down to the bottom, and then suddenly, let it go and let your spirit rise back up to the top. You may be letting go of past grudges or doubts now and opening up your heart. 

If you’re not grounding yourself or meditating, then you might be seeking out quick fixes and superficial teachers who may then make you feel worse about yourself or insist that there’s even more that makes you unforgivable. Seek out mentors who give you positivity.

You’re finding new ways to invigorate your life and to be the person that you want to be rather than living in the shadow of the past and refusing to leave it. 

When the Five of Cups is reversed, this is your cue to see growth and inspiration after sadness.

The Five of Cups: Yes or No

The Five of Cups is a no; unfortunately, this card indicates that this opportunity has already passed or that you need to stop focusing on the past, which is not returning. It’s time to let go of the past while still honoring it.

Whatever your feelings are at this time, whether you’re grieving, feeling anxious, or lost, it indicates that you are meant to pick yourself up and engage with some entertainment or rest. You’re not meant to stay in these negative feelings for long periods. 

This card asks you to process your emotions and let go of what cannot be changed.

When the Five of Cups is here, the answer is no, or unfortunately.

The Five of Cups and Astrology

In astrology, the despairingregretful Five of Cups is associated with Scorpio. Ruled by Mars and Pluto, Scorpio shares the same emotional depth and connection to their inner voice that the Five of Cups champions.

The Five of Cups’s energy will likely feel more natural to you if you’re a Scorpio. Similarly, if you are a water sign, as Cancer will understand emotional reactions and griefPisces will align with emotional confusion and a need for healing. 

The water signs Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces will emotionally identify with the Five of Cups!

The Five of Cups and Numerology

In numerology, the Five of Cups is represented by the number 55 represents change, freedom, struggle, and liberation. 

The number knows that being free isn’t easy, and sometimes you have to struggle when you’re trying to make it to a goal or when you’re trying to preserve something worth keeping. While it’s nice to be free, taking care of yourself in the wild can be difficult. 

Unpredictability, isolation, and adaptability are key themes for the number 5, so make it known what you want and let the universe support you.

Number 5 can help us to fight for what we want, even though it can be challenging. 

The Five of Cups as a Daily Card

The Five of Cups as a daily card can be worrying, but don’t fret! This card can mean that today will be a bit more disappointing or emotional than most, but wouldn’t you rather know it’s coming than be caught off guard? 

This card wants you to be honest with yourself about what you can do, and when you start working too hard, it’s time to reevaluate your work/life balance and if it’s healthy or if it’s dragging you down. 

It’s very important to stay grounded when you see this card and to be realistic about how and what you’re spending your time on. If you’re sitting around thinking about all the terrible things that have happened in your life, then it’s time to make a change!

The Five of Cups wants you to be grounded and aware of the present, not focused on the losses and regrets of the past.

The Five of Cups in Relation to Other Cards

All tarot cards have other cards in the major and minor arcana that back them up by complementing their energy, or that challenge them by contrasting their energy. Are you doubling down or finding a balance? Let’s find out!

  • Five of Cups’ sadness + The Empress’s nurturing Creative endeavors and emotional growth
  • Five of Cups’s grief + The Tower’s chaos = Grief after upheaval or sudden shocks
  • Five of Cups’s worry + The Hierophant’s spiritual guidance = Spiritual guidance that relieves your worries
  • Five of Cups’s doubt + The Devil’s attachment = A need to break free from emotional attachments, negative habits, or self-doubt
  • Five of Cups’s focus on the negative + The Sun’s joy Turning away from negativity to find happiness

Complementary Cards

  • The Three of Swords: The Five of Cups shares the paingrief, and need for healing with the Three of Swords
  • The Ten of Swords: The Five of Cups has the same need for resta new perspective and healing as the Ten of Swords
  • The Five of Pentacles: The Five of Cups has a shared sense of loss and disappointment with the Five of Pentacles
  • The Nine of Swords: The Five of Cups shares fearworry, and despair with the Nine of Swords
  • The Four of Cups: The Five of Cups has a similar negative outlook and lack of gratitude to the Four of Cups

Contrasting Cards

  • The Sun: The Five of Cups isn’t as joyful or enthusiastic as the Sun, indicating a need to cultivate joy and enthusiasm in your life
  • The Star: The Five of Cups isn’t as optimistic as the Star, indicating a need to be balanced with positivity and negativity
  • The Four of Wands: The Five of Cups isn’t as celebratory or successful as The Four of Wands, indicating a need to celebrate the little wins
  • The Three of Cups: The Five of Cups isn’t as celebratory or happy as the Three of Cups, indicating a need to be cheered up by friends after a time of grief
  • The Ten of Pentacles: The Five of Cups isn’t as secure or proud of past choices as the Ten of Pentacles, showing a need to create new security or a mix of pride and regret

When the card in the Five of Cups is with a complementary card, it might be telling you to go for it, but in a specific way! If a card in the Five of Cups is with a contrasting card, figure out what needs balancing out.


The Five of Cups is a card of sadness and regret but also lets you know that it doesn’t have to be that way. When you’re able to turn around after grief and thank the universe for what you do have rather than cursing it for what you don’t, you’ll be on the road to success. 

This card knows that if you focus on what you don’t have, that will take up your mental space and direct your footsteps in life. Try to shift your perspective to the positive, and see if it changes your world!


What does the Five of Cups tarot card symbolize?

The Five of Cups symbolizes disappointment, loss, and grief. It suggests that one should acknowledge their emotions and seek healing and acceptance.

What is the reversed meaning of the Five of Cups tarot card?

The reversed Five of Cups indicates a time of healing and moving on from past disappointments. It signifies finding closure and embracing new opportunities.

How can the Five of Cups tarot card be interpreted in a love reading?

In a love reading, the Five of Cups suggests a period of emotional turmoil or heartbreak. It advises focusing on self-healing and learning from past relationships.

What does the Five of Cups tarot card indicate in a career reading?

In a career reading, the Five of Cups signifies setbacks or disappointments in one’s professional life. It advises finding ways to overcome challenges and seek new opportunities.

How can the Five of Cups tarot card be interpreted in a health reading?

In a health reading, the Five of Cups indicates emotional stress or grief affecting one’s well-being. It advises seeking support and finding healthy coping mechanisms.

Related Stories

Share the Article

Want 3 Free Spirituality eBooks?

Your Daily Dose of Spiritual Guidance, Personality Quizzes and a glimpse of what the future holds for you – right in your Mailbox.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *