In Focus: 10 of Cups

Cups 10 S 2In the middle of a field, a couple stand and look into the distance. Not far away, their dogs play together happily. The trees blow gently in the breeze as the sun goes down. The two people stand together and one puts his hand around the other. They are experiencing this beautiful moment as one.

When I started to design this card, I decided to make the couple mature. As the final card from the pips in this suit, why not? Contentment often reflects maturity and these two have reached a place of personal fulfilment, which has nothing to do with anything other than love, respect and care. The vision of the cups before them may be there or it may not? Most likely, it is simply a reflection of what is inside of them.

The 10 of Cups represents a time of emotional stability. When it comes up in a reading, it usually describes mature or unconditional love, rather than an intense affair or a new relationship. This is the kind of energy you experience when you care for someone, warts-and-all. It is about finding good within the bad, acceptance, and an enjoyment of family, loved-ones, and a life without stress or difficulty.

2 Cups 10 CupsIf the 2 of Cups came up next to the 10 of Cups, a new relationship would be well-worth pursuing. For example, if you or a client was considering whether a new partner is ‘in it’ for the long haul, then this combination would present a very clear yes. Not only does this duo suggest that the relationship has longevity, it also lets you know that the other person unselfishly puts your interests before their own.

10 Cups HermitAccompanying The Hermitthe 10 of Cups speaks of personal contentment. In this combination, we are reminded that we can experience this wonderful vision by our self. These cards might turn up for someone who has experienced some kind of realisation or revelation in their life or who has finally found them self after many years of feeling lost. These cards represent insight and an acceptance of who we really are.

10 Cups 8 CupsWhen we place the 8 of Cups after the 10 of Cups, things look quite different. In this scenario, the woman in the ‘8’ doesn’t embrace the couple; she walks away from them.

This combination could describe someone who decides to walk away from contentment or a relationship which appears to be good [on the outside] but is lacking for them. I think we have all heard of people who get up after forty years of marriage and leave their partner. Quite often, the person who is left had thought that everything was ok. It is likely that their spouse had been feeling discontented for some time and had been planning on making their move for a while. Contentment is underrated, but for some, it lacks the spark and excitement which it has replaced.

7 Wands 10 CupsThis final combination is interesting. Here, the man of the 7 of Wands battles with the couple in the 10 of Cups. He resists their contentment and pushes it away? What could this mean? Who would turn down being content?

In a relationship reading, this duo could describe someone who doesn’t wish to settle down just yet. It could represent someone who is choosy or who is happily playing the field. If this is the person you are reading for, it probably comes as no surprise. However, if the cards represent a potential or difficult partner, it could explain their distance or behaviour.




© Steven Bright Tiferet Tarot 2014

Illustrations by Steven Bright


4 thoughts on “In Focus: 10 of Cups

  1. Again a wonderful post and beautiful cards. I like it how you emphasize that the feeling of the ten of cups is also something which you can experience by yourself. After my husband had his stroke those cards (lovers, two of cups etc) all got very different meanings for me. it took me a quite long time to realize and willingness to accept, these card also speak about the relationship with our selves.
    And what a discovery that was: beneath the sadness I had found my first true love: me! 🙂


    • Thanks Ellen 🙂

      I am so glad that you brought this up. Even though the card has two people on it (or four traditionally, even though I replaced the children with dogs), it is the energy which is important. We all have access to it, whether in relationships or not. It is about how we feel within our self. And if it does come up in a relationship reading, then that contentment and fulfilment we understand could propel us towards feeling it with another person. It is not limited to relationships though.

      What you say about your own journey is beautiful. Thanks for sharing that here.


  2. Really like your take on this card! It is so open to interpretation – I didn’t see them as necessarily mature, and they could both be either gender. Yet, that sense of togetherness and contentment shines through 🙂


    • Thanks Chloe. This is exactly one of the reasons why I wanted to make the figures in this deck silhouettes. In many of them, I tried to make them immune to age, gender, ethnicity. In those which are obvious, they are more symbolic. Even though it is something I created, I’d say it is one of my favourite versions of the 10 of Cups. I ‘feel’ it more than many I have seen. There is a real ‘soul’ in those figures and the setting sun.


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