Under a bright, blue sky, a man on horseback is pictured. He wears a suit of armor. His silver helmet has its mask uplifted. The crest of Mercury adorns this helmet as well as the rider’s shoes, still in their stirrups. The armor is decorated with a fish pattern. The white horse is at repose, looking down at a small stream that it has yet to cross.
Sitting straight up, the man holds out a large gold chalice in his right hand. The landscape of the card is subtle, some forested hills and cliffs are on the far side of the river. The ground on which this Knight’s horse has taken him already is barren, almost a desert.
When you’re inspired but not productive, when you have champagne taste but a wine cooler budget, when a smooth-talking person in your life has big plans but no resources… In all these cases and more, look for the Knight of Cups to appear in your tarot reading to describe these phenomena.
Knight of Cups Meaning
Both the upright and reverse meaning of the Knight of Cups can be easily understood by analyzing both its suit and the card.
Suit of Cups Meaning
Cups are the suit of emotion and deal with love, feelings, and the connections we have with people and things. When you receive a tarot card with this suit in a reading, it often points to you embracing emotion over logic. That is, thinking with your heart instead of your brain.
Knight Card Meaning
Meanwhile, Knights represent things arriving with great speed and are often analogous to change. Knights belong to the tarot set known as Court Cards in the tarot deck. Court Cards consist of Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages. Court Cards may represent you, the person receiving the tarot reading, or represent someone in your life.
When a Knight appears in a reading, it’s often representative of the “New You’” or underscores the importance and impact of a person with whom you have become recently fascinated.
The white horse ridden by the Knight of Cups is unsullied by any experiences. This is your idealization of a new experience or a new person in your life.
Together, the Knight representing change and the Cups representing emotion underscore the intensity of a new passion or a new passionate acquaintance. The Knight of Cups is seeking the perfect quest, and as such, sees enthusiasm toward a new experience while neglecting the reality of it.
Knight of Cups Placement in Spread
Each tarot reading has cards laid out in positions representing the past, present and future. Think of them as foundation, current situation and expected resolution.
Knight of Cups in Past Position
When the Knight of Cups appears in the past position, you can look back at an intense change you underwent as the foundation of where you are now.
This often represents a lover who swept you off your feet and then left just in time to break your heart, or it illustrates a time in your life when the chaos of things made you too sensitive to get involved with someone; perhaps you can look back on it now and realize that you might have been scaring away some pretty good catches.
Knight of Cups in Present Position
When the Knight of Cups is revealed to be in the present position, consider all the possible passions you are juggling currently. Is one of these passions pulling you somewhere? Is a new love interest long on romance and short on paying for the flowers, wine, and candles? Many scenarios are possible, but it is usually quite easy to spot what or who the Knight of Cups is in your life when these descriptions arise.
Knight of Cups in Future Position
In the future position, this card indicates a coming passion. You may find a new hobby that overtakes your whole life. An obsession with a new partner can instantly turn passion into a dangerous addiction.
The Knight of Cups in the future position is a trampler of logic and planning; it is a coming bout with pure emotional ecstasy and the aftermath of losing that perfect pleasure. Forewarned is forearmed and you may have a little head start in separating a con artist looking to bed you from a true lover for the ages.
Knight of Cups Reverse Meaning
When the Knight of Cups is pulled in reverse position during a tarot reading, it can mean several things. Perhaps a new passion or passionate acquaintance is on the horizon but you’re letting your emotions or dreams take control.
Consequently, you either aren’t allowing logic to guide your decisions or you’re causing yourself indecision. Often, the reversed Knight of Cups represents one making premature judgments and conclusions without thinking them through.
For example, in your career, maybe you’ve quit your job with the expectation that a new one is just around the corner – but you don’t get the offer. In love, you meet a new person who – on the surface – is everything they say they are, but later you discover they’re not quite what they seem. You were blinded by the promise of the relationship.
Interaction with Other Court Cards
Whenever two Court Cards appear in a reading together, one is most definitely you and the other is another prominent person in your life. It is often difficult to confess to your Tarot reader that you are, in fact, the force in your life that a particular card is personifying. When two Court Cards appear in the same reading, it is easier for you to help your Tarot reader assess who is who, thus facilitating a clearer, more accurate reading.
Interaction with the Suit of Cups
When the Knight of Cups appears in a reading with lots of other cards from the suit of Cups, the lack of logic and structure are holding back a favorable resolution.
Interaction with the Suit of Wands
When the Knight of Cups card is present in a reading dominated by Wands, your passion for a creative pursuit or hobby is consuming everything.
Interaction with the Suit of Pentacles
Pentacles in numbers in a reading that includes the Knight of Cups reveals you are following your bliss and that the money will follow.
Interaction with the Suit of Aces
Court Cards mix particularly well with Aces. An Ace of any suit present in a reading with the Knight of Cups adds a positive spin to the groundbreaking swell of passion indicated by this card.
Interaction with the Major Arcana
When the Knight of Cups is paired with a female card from the Major Arcana (The High Priestess, The Empress, Strength, Temperance, The Star and The World), there is a definite personification in the Knight as a man in relationship to the Major Arcana card.
If you are a woman receiving the tarot reading, the Knight of Cups represents a man in your life. If you are male, the female card that is drawn represents a key woman in your development or present predicament.
The Knight of Cups combines quite well with The Chariot and indicates a smooth transition is already in the works. With The Tower card, the Knight of Cups only serves to underscore just how drastic and thorough the change you are going through is bound to become.
The Tarot’s Judgment card is one card to take seriously when it appears in a reading with the Knight of Cups. There is such a certainty of resolution and absolute finality to the Judgement card that when paired with such a passionate, electric, and emotional card as the Knight of Cups, the outcome of a reading involving these two is something life-altering of the permanent type: pregnancy being only one of those serious outcomes.
Is the Knight of Cups a Good Card?
The Knight of Cups is considered a “good” card to pull during a tarot reading, as it represents excitement, optimism, and change. A fresh experience is just around the corner, whether it’s a new career or job, a new romantic relationship, a new hobby, or even a new friendship.
But like with all tarot cards, it’s important to understand the full content of its meaning. The Knight of Cups symbolizes excitement without respect to reality. Consider all the facts when it comes to any change coming your way so you can make an informed decision instead of one fueled by emotion.