I’ve written interpretations for every card in the Wild Unknown Tarot. As the box of the deck states, there are no rights or wrongs. These are simply my perspectives on the tarot card meanings. I hope you find them useful!
Click here for a directory of all posts in my Wild Unknown series.
Creator’s Keywords: loss, grief, regret
Carrie’s keywords: sadness, heavy emotions
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Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings in the Wild Unknown
A horse hangs her head dejectedly. Her posture is slumped, even her mane looks raggedy and depleted. Darkness seems to be cloaking her, and she is gazing down into the bleak abyss. The coloring is entirely black and white, accentuating the dreary atmosphere. All is not gloomy here, though. Above the horse things are getting lighter and five cups are suspended in the glow. She does not look to them, though. For now, she is mired in gloomy emotions.
The fives in each of the suits show challenges. In the suit of cups, the five shows difficult emotions. Feelings of sorrow, loneliness, despair and mourning dwell in this card. As much as you might wish to avoid these feelings, they are part of the package, just like more pleasant feelings.
This card can ask you to question the way you label your emotions. States of sadness are not inherently ‘bad.’ Sadness, regret, and loss are part of being human. They are pard of what gives life meaning. And often, if you can find a way to let yourself feel these feelings fully and completely without judging them, they begin to lift on their own.
There can be poetry and art within this state of emotional turmoil. These feelings drive you to reflect deeply upon yourself. They can lead you to seek ways to express yourself, to come to a greater union with the forces of the cosmos.
This card can also remind you not to set up camp in your sorrow. It is one thing to let yourself really FEEL what you are feeling, but it’s another thing to put your focus entirely on sadness without lifting your head to see the hope and light that is somewhere within your experience.
Five of Cups Tarot Card Meanings in General
The suit of cups is about the entire range of the emotional spectrum and the Five of Cups speaks to the heavier feelings in that holistic specrum. Decks based off the Waite-Smith tarot tradition usually show a person in a long black cloak, hanging their head. In front of the person are three toppled cups, representing the source of difficult emotions. Two cups remain standing behind the person, but for now they can only see what has been lost.
This is a delicate card to navigate. It is true that sometimes you can successfully re-route yourself from feelings of despair, turning to face what is good and hopeful. But this card can also be associated with very real experiences of depression. It is not useful to tell a depressed person to “just look on the bright side.” As mentioned above, the Five of Cups does not ask you to dwell in depression, but it can ask you to give validation to the hardships you encounter. Validation might be the first thing you need in order to find a path forward.
In a reading
In a reading, this card might ask you to hold space for your difficult emotions without judgement. Remind yourself that it is okay to be not okay! Remember that even if you feel alone, you are not alone. Difficult feelings are part of the universal human experience, and they can tap you into something transformative. Feel your feelings and stay energetically open to the return of the light.