In Focus: 4 of Cups

Cups 04 small 2The 4 of Cups shows a man at a table. It looks as though he is sitting beside the sea or a river, which reminds us that the element of this suit is water. Resting on his hand, he looks at the three cups in front of him.

A waiter stands before the young man and offers him a fourth cup but he is not interested. He’s had enough. He’s bored with the same old thing and waves the waiter away.

This card is quite the opposite of the card which precedes it. Rather than being excited, this man is apathetic and feels that the fourth cup will not bring any new surprises.

Water needs to flow to remain fresh, so when the element meets the number 4 (which is stable and sturdy), it becomes stagnant. Therefore, when this card arrives in a reading, it can regard discontent. When we feel down or emotionally under the weather, we can often miss out on things which could be beneficial in the long run. Our apathy or reluctance to accept the fourth cup from the waiter could be something we eventually regret in the long run.

4cups aceswordsSometimes, when paired with other cards, we can receive greater understanding by looking at which card sits on the side from which the new cup is being offered. In this example, it is the Ace of Swords.

This ace represents information and clarity. It could be news or something which another has to sayIn a reading, this combination might describe a situation where someone has closed them self off to others. Maybe they feel as though they know better or are currently not ready to hear the opinions of those around them. However, they may very well be missing out on something which could really help.

4cups 2cupsThis pair describes a relationship which has lost its spark.

If we want to know what the feelings of apathy and despondency in the first card relates to, then we need look no further than to the card which sits beside it, the 2 of Cups

Maybe one (or both) members of a relationship have become bored or their relationship has lost its zest. This is not uncommon as people mature and change. Is this a bad thing to see in your reading? Not really. Being given this information could help someone to reconnect with their partner before things get any worse. Maybe a weekend away together or a heart-felt gift would be enough to draw them back to one another and get things on track. When this kind of combination comes up, it is the job of the reader to help their client find ways of opening up again and discovering new things (symbolised by the cup on the waiter’s tray) in an old relationship.




© Steven Bright Tiferet Tarot 2014

Illustrations by Steven Bright


4 thoughts on “In Focus: 4 of Cups

  1. What love about your deck is the contemporary feel it has ( like the Gay and the pagan tarot)
    I was wondering, do you journal a lot now you’ve changed the content of you blog?


    • Thanks Ellen. I was going through them with my parents this morning, looking at them next to the RWS. The silhouettes have a modern feel and apply to modern situations, but hopefully, they transcend time to some extent. I find them very easy to read; more so than many other decks I have used recently.

      I don’t journal so much. Mainly down to school teaching, sewing orders, creating this deck, and preparation for tarot teaching (which I have a venue for and will be coming up next month). I have been pulling cards and making small notes but not much more than that.


  2. Glad you finally found a venue–butterflies in the stomach time.

    I find the silhouettes on the 4 of Cups really get the message across. Nice one.


    • Yes, you’re right. Butterflies indeed, but I am getting more used to talking to groups of people and running things. It’s a small shop, so not a big crowd, but a good handful to start with, should people book.

      I like this one too. I am also happy with my 6 of Cups. Probably my favourite so far. Sometimes, the lack of features actually provoke more feeling and emotion within me. You can see them all if you click ‘The Deck’ on the bar under my banner. I’ve been adding new ones there.


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