When you are 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 of these cases and more, look for the Knight of Cups to appear in your Tarot reading to describe this phenomena.
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.
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 is 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. Cups are the suit of emotion. The Knight of Cups underscores the intensity of a new passion or a new passionate acquaintance.
Meaning in Past, Present and Future Positions
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. 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 actually 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.
When the Knight of Cups is revealed to be in the present position, consider all of 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.
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.
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.
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. When this Knight card is present in a reading dominated by Wands, your passion for a creative pursuit or hobby is consuming everything. Pentacles in numbers in a reading that includes the Knight of Cups reveals you are following your bliss and that the money will follow.
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.
When the Knight of Wands 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.