Court Cards: Queen of Cups

Updated on December 31, 2017
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A professional tarot reader with 18 years' experience, I have a resource-rich website and tarot reading service at

The Queen of Cups - Rider-Waite tarot deck. Copyright-free Pamela A version c.1909.
The Queen of Cups - Rider-Waite tarot deck. Copyright-free Pamela A version c.1909. | Source

The Queens of Tarot

The Queens of the tarot represent all the feminine aspects of humankind. They are well-balanced and in-tune with their suit qualities. They tend to be inwardly focused, and they are therefore able to understand what motivates others. Queens can see below the surface to look into your soul.

Queens are aware that no one is all positive or all negative. There has to be a mixture to make the whole. They are generally much more tolerant than Kings, making allowances for those of us who wander off the path occasionally. Queens forgive by telling us that there is nothing to forgive.

The tarot Queens can represent real people, characteristics, and events that are inextricably bound up in our personalities. Our lives reflect the people we are and the Queens understand this implicitly.

This article is an in-depth look at the Queen of Cups.

Description of the Queen of Cups

The Rider-Waite Queen of Cups sits upon a highly decorated throne right at the edge of the ocean. Her attention is fully focused on an ornate cup, that she holds in both hands. She wears silver and blue robes, with a touch of red to denote hidden passion. Her feet rest easily on the pebbles that have been washed up before her. Behind her looms a tall, sheer cliff face. Her throne is carved with images of cherub-like baby mermaids or sea nymphs. One of the babies is holding a fish. A large shell is carved into the head of the throne. The ocean is calm and barely moving.


Lidded ornate chalice
Vessel holding complex feelings
Sea nymphs/cherubs
Love, family
Need for solitude
Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio

In a Reading

If the Queen of Cups appears in a reading, the seeker is dealing with some emotional issues or there is an empathic, intuitive woman who has influence over their situation. The Queen of Cups may also represent aspects of the seeker.

The reversed (upside down) Queen of Cups can indicate a love rival, emotional blackmail or a woman with an addictive personality.

Queen of Cups from the Shadowscapes tarot.
Queen of Cups from the Shadowscapes tarot. | Source


The Queen of Cups is a fascinating character. It is difficult to see deep into her true personality because she is so pure that she reflects your own right back at you. If you have a Queen of Cups in your life, you may never really know her fully. She is emotionally balanced, deeply intuitive and always serene. She is not always practical or much good in an emergency—common sense is not her forte. However, she reads people well and feels what they are feeling. If you need a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on, she's your gal.

This Queen is emotionally secure. She acknowledges that she makes decisions based on her emotions and has recognized that this is not a bad thing for her. She also understands that her instincts and intuition are reliable guides in her own life—if something doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't.

In the Real World

The Queen of Cups is not sporty or very active. She loves to walk her dogs and play with her children. She has a penchant for floaty, pastel clothes and silver jewellery. She drives a small eco-friendly car and shops Fair Trade. She prefers to set an example rather than lecture. She is creative and has many hobbies – her art is gentle and heart-warming. She enjoys making and giving small gifts that express her love. She enjoys social gatherings and loves to soak up the atmosphere quietly.

The reversed Queen of Cups from the Revelations Tarot
The reversed Queen of Cups from the Revelations Tarot | Source

The Reversed Queen of Cups

The Queen of Cup's alter-ego is a difficult woman, who, at her best, is an over-emotional, illogical drama queen. She often displays signs of an addictive personality. She announces that she is a victim, that she is powerless or that life always treats her badly. At her worst she is an emotional blackmailer and devious manipulator. Her well-developed sense of empathy is used for ill, instead of good. She will pose as a friend for as long as it suits her, but will not hesitate to use you for her own purposes.

Love and Relationships

The Queen of Cups is a wonderful life partner. She is giving and always loving. You feel as though you have bathed in goodness when spending time with her. She always looks for the positive in people and usually attracts the best aspects of others to her. She can come across as fragile (although she is probably more stable than most) and men tend to want to take care of her.

She often marries young and looks for a partner, who appears strong compared to her, although, in truth, it is she who is the stronger.

As a mother she is loving and kind. She speaks softly and never has to yell like ordinary mortals. The Queen of Cups allows her children to experience the downs as well as the ups of childhood. She is the one who will arrange funerals for their hamsters and cry along with her children.


She is not terribly good with financial matters but she can be quite successful when making business decisions—again, her intuition is a valuable resource. She is drawn to working in a career where her caring nature is appreciated.

Questions & Answers

    © 2012 Bev G

    Have you ever known a Queen of Cups?

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      • Jean Bakula profile image

        Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

        OK, thank you! Decisions, decisions! It will be nice to check the cards out better.

      • theraggededge profile image

        Bev G 4 years ago from Wales, UK

        Jean, I think all the cards are viewable on the creator's site... I'll go look. Yep, they are all there: Check out how they look reversed -- you might have to twist your head a bit! xx

      • Jean Bakula profile image

        Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

        Maybe she was on a You Tube Video or something, she does a lot of that. I like mostly her archetype work, the wheel of your 12 "personalities" depending on the areas of your life reminded me of the 12 Astrology signs. I'm thinking about the Revelations deck then if you recommend it, I don't think I have a deck from this century yet!

      • theraggededge profile image

        Bev G 4 years ago from Wales, UK

        I remembered later that I used to listen to her. She has a deep voice. Can't remember *where or how* but there must be some audio of her somewhere. It may have been Hay House radio a long time ago.

        I don't know much about astrology, although I've made myself a Capricorn personality expert!

      • theraggededge profile image

        Bev G 4 years ago from Wales, UK

        I love the Revelations. I find it very good to read with, not necessarily because of the imagery but because it seems to deliver very accurate information. I like the built in reversals too. Thanks so much for your compliments, much appreciated. xx

      • Jean Bakula profile image

        Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

        I came back to read more, you are so astute. I like to try new tarot decks, do you recommend the Revelations one? I've been stuck on Motherpeace for about 2 yrs. now. I like decks that are somewhat based on Rider Waite, otherwise it just feels like the artist wanted a project but doesn't really understand the tarot. I like the pictures you show. Let me know when you have time. Thanks, Jean

      • Jean Bakula profile image

        Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

        I have a Capricorn Moon! So we have the same 3 signs in our trinities! I liked Carolyn Myss archetype cards and book, but she does a lot of medical analysis, sort of like Edgar Cayce. I'm glad I found you!

      • theraggededge profile image

        Bev G 4 years ago from Wales, UK

        Hi Jean, great comment. Thank you! I've heard of Carolyn Myss, but have never read anything by her... or have I? I'm not sure. I'll go check her out. I suspect you have a streak of the QoP in you! I'm a QoP with a dash of QoC - I am Capricorn with Cancer moon and Scorpio rising - basically, I'm a sea of mud!

      • Jean Bakula profile image

        Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

        As a tarot reader myself, I love to read what others have to say about the cards. I am Cancer with a Scorpio Ascendant, so I identify most with this Queen. In fact, I used to use her as my Avatar and still do on some sites! I never noticed that bit of red in her gown, amazing! See, we can always learn from others. I bet you would like Carolyn Myss, she is a medical intuitive but has a book and deck of archetype cards, and I consider myself a Seeker, among other things. People THINK I am always calm and serene, but it's often a front, lol! I just don't show it. I have back problems so all my life family has treated me like a fragile butterfly, when I am usually the one who is strong when it's necessary (I break down when it's all over). I married my husband because I thought he was strong, but as the years passed, realized I was the stronger of the two. Thankfully we have other qualities that mesh. You did a very good job here! I look forward to reading more!