The Meaning of The Queen of Cups Tarot Card
by Sarah Gottesdiener·
Every Tarot reader has a Tarot card or two that they immediately feel in deep kinship with: a Tarot card that they just “get.” The Queen of Cups Tarot card is one of mine. I love all of the Queens in the Tarot because they teach us the lessons of embodiment, boundaries, humanifestation, and balanced energy. The Queen Tarot cards can give and receive equally, which creates endless flow.
The Queens are the Full Moon energy of the Tarot Court cards: they are illumination and alignment energy. Queens humanifest from the inside out. They attract through embodiment. This is an important manifestation lesson in general: practice the energy you’d like to feel, most often. Integrate those emotions and sensations into your energetic field. All of the Queen Court Tarot cards ask us to turn towards what we want, to let it in.
Make it easy. Believe it’s natural. Over time, it will be.
These Tarot archetypes are about being in an autonomous state, not in one that is in reaction to someone or something else. Compelled by desire and intuition, they make moves from an instinctual, organic place. This is soft power. The Queen cards in Tarot create boundaries by focusing on their talents and gifts. The Queens of the Tarot tend to care for their interior, and as a result, become magnetic to their dreams and desires. Queens work is a lifelong practice; each individual Queen has specific gifts to share.
In the Tarot, The Queen of Cups helps us to honor a paradigm of care. She* exists in the realm of the heart. Her compassion is boundless. The Queen of Cups asks us to dive deep, trust our psychic ability, and dream. In order to care for others, we must care for ourselves first. We must value ourselves enough to understand we are worthy of protection.
In the Golden Dawn School of Tarot theory, the court cards are double elements, with the Queen of Cups being the element of water, doubled. Reflect on water for a moment: think about how powerful, yet how sensitive water is. When you pour a mere drop of toxicity into a bowl of water, the entire bowl is tainted, undrinkable. Water is a carrier, a transporter. It can penetrate just about anything: stone, skin, wood, the cracks in-between. Even when water doesn’t penetrate, it influences: water changes temperature, spreads, and dilutes. The Cups Tarot cards highlight that emotions, while unseen, are often the main motivators of human behavior. They are a strong force. They are demonized, feminized, and are often framed as inconveniences, but that belies their power. Even when we ignore them, even when we pretend they don’t exist, our waves crash underneath the surface, influencing our actions.
The Queen of Cups Tarot card illustrates that we need an expansive, strong container for our intuition. This archetype is a big cup of cool, freshwater to drink from, to do divination in, and to water the most important aspects of life. When you feel like your own metaphorical cup has got a leak, cue this Tarot Queen: She appears when it's time to go within, listen to our intuition, and value our heart-space. When we do this, we make serious moves towards our hidden, howling yearnings.
Queen of Cups Tarot Card Meanings...
When you pull the Queen of Cups Tarot card, you’re being cautioned not to over-give. You’re being asked to be careful before you throw all that water down the drain. Don’t over-explain yourself. So long as you know why you are or are not doing something, that’s enough. The Queen of Cups wants us to tend to our hearts and to fill our cups. This can be hard for people-pleasers, those of us who over-give, and those of us who are very sensitive. It’s challenging to put ourselves first, after lifetimes of thinking of others. It could be second-nature to tend to someone else’s needs and wants before our own, but is that our true nature?
One way to dive into this Tarot archetype’s energy is to prioritize one of those big changes you’ve been thinking about: make more time for you. What would happen if you stopped identifying your worth with what you can do for others? With how much you can give? The Queen of Cups is here to tell you that you are still worthy of being loved and considered when you simply are, when you just exist. Do you believe that?
The Queen of Cups wants you to connect with your desires and dreams, and keep them front and center through this next phase. Create a soft place to land within. Explore what it feels like to be intimate with yourself. Figure out what intimate, sensitive, vulnerable, core parts of yourself are ready to be shared, and how you will share them. Put them in a poem, a piece of clothing, a garden.
Some Keywords and Meanings of the Queen of Cups Include…
Psychic abilities, heightened intuition, answers from the within, parenting and re-parenting, care, heart artistry, the embodiment of water, flow and flow states, sensitivities, attunement, beauty, oceans, motherhood, daydreams, modalities that access the subconscious, abundance found through care and intuition, emotionalized magic and spell work, “the being of water”, and the Full Moon.
Shadows of the Queen of Cups Tarot Card...
This Queen can be overly sensitive, and unwilling to let things go. If you are holding a grudge, and the Queen of Cups shows up, question why. This could be a sign to communicate more clearly. Emotions could be murky, take time to process with a friend or therapist before saying something you might regret. Emotions could be overshadowing important decisions, clear those before proceeding. You also could be ignoring your intuition, and selling yourself short. The Queen of Cups retreats into escapism and can live too much in the past. Face fears instead of avoiding uncomfortable interchanges, and remember that the present is created in the present moment.
If this comes up with regard to a big decision, question whether or not another’s influence is coloring your dreams. You are greater than your worst day, or most recent mistake. Cut cords with the past and see what happens. Emotional manipulation could be afoot. So could power dynamics in close partnerships, as well as an imbalance in reciprocity.
What To Do When You Pull the Queen of Cups Tarot Card...
When you pull the Queen of Cups Tarot card, dive into your interior: not the pain, not the heartbreak, but your imagination. Spend time with the poems that live inside of you. See what happens not only when you make time for your intuition, but when you trust it.. Exist in relation to what you love, to what is interesting to you. Romance yourself through baths, massage, face masks, and fancy drinks.
Set higher standards when it comes to relationships.
Promise yourself you will no longer invest in extractive relationships.
The Queen of Cups Tarot card means you must trust yourself and to honor your heart.
What would happen if all the love, care, and attention you gave others, you gave yourself, first?
What makes you feel at home?
Queen of Cups Activities to Access Your Inner Queen of Cups:
Crying, hydrating, salt baths, days spent by the sea, listening to recordings of water, dream journaling and dreamwork of all kinds, tapping into sensuality, celebrating your inner child, listening to Frank Ocean and Amy Winehouse, reading bell hooks and Ocean Vuong, taking flower essences, tapping into your inherent value, self-confidence raising activities, Qi Jong, getting into flow, studying self-help books, sharing a secret glimpse into your inner sanctum with the world, writing yourself a love letter or two, joining a local mutual aid network or volunteering for a cause you believe in, and taking care of yourself to take care of your community.
Get to Know The Queen of Cups Even Better...
The kind of Witch the Queen of Cups is: A poetry witch, a water witch, a mermaid. When the Queen of Cups harnesses her potent emotions in her magic, she humanifests more quickly. In general, this Queen is intuitively and emotionally driven and needs to trust those parts of herself. She flourishes when others can see her clearly, like moonlight reflected on the black ocean waves. The Queen of Cups corresponds to water signs, most specifically the astrological sign of Cancer. Her spells thrive with moonstone, seashells, and other gifts from the sea, salt, labradorite, pearls, lotus, and swans. Her colors are all shades of blue, pink, white, black, pastels, and silver.
Best career choices for the Queen of Cups: Composer, poet, memoirist, playwright, pop star, sailor, psychic, aesthetician, stylist, elementary school teacher, psychoanalyst, boutique owner, nurse, marine biologist, professional witch, social worker, jewelry designer, animal communicator, watercolor artist, ice cream store owner, sound healer, and life coach to other sensitives and witches.
To learn more about this Tarot card, listen to the episode of my podcast Moonbeaming all about the Queen of Cups by clicking here.
*I know that the Court cards in the Tarot are not gendered in a stereotypical way; a Queen could refer to a non-binary person, woman, man, a gender-fluid individual, or how I tend to see them: as an energy. The Court cards of the Tarot are like verbs, they are like the cloak you can try on. I think of the Court cards of the Tarot in terms of gender in an energetic way: Queens are femme/feminine, Pages are non-binary/gender-fluid/no-gender, Knights are shapeshifters, and Kings are masculine/masc energy.