Ace of Cups tarot card

Ace of Cups Explained - Upright & Reversed Meanings

Last Updated: November 7, 2023

The Ace of Cups is the first card in the Suit of Cups (also known as the suit of Goblets or Vessels) and one of the fifty-six suit cards from the minor arcana. In divinatory tarot, the Suit of Cups is typically associated with the element of water.

It traditionally represents emotions, intuition, relationships, and creativity. Each card of this suit can provide insight into different aspects of our lives such as love, friendship, family, and emotional well-being.

The Ace of Cups begins the Minor Arcana suit of cups, which is associated with the element of water and the characteristics that go with it – emotions, relationships, connection, feelings and love. In tarot the aces represent a seed, an idea or a spark; an offering to act upon to bring it into the physical world. The Ace of Cups is all about universal love and allowing love to flow to you and through you.

Divination practices such as cartomancy can help us make decisions, offer guidance, and help us tune into our intuition when we are at a crossroads in our lives. Understanding the meanings of each tarot card can help you sharpen your interpretative skills so you can get the most out of your readings.

In this article, we will discuss the meanings of the Ace of Cups in various tarot reading contexts as well as the different symbols and nuances that can be found within this court card.

Table of Contents

Pictorial Symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck

Ace of Cups Rider Waite SmithThe artworks from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck contain deeper esoteric meanings that tarotists love to decipher. 

The Ace of Cups shows an outstretched hand appearing from a white cloud holding out a cup as an offering. There are five streams of water flowing from the cup into a body of water below, depicting the universal and unlimited flowing of love, to and from you. 

A white dove is seen above the cup, seemingly delivering a coin, representing divine support and faith. The water is still and scattered with lotus flowers and the sky is clear, symbolising good luck, a smooth journey and ease of life.

The Ace of Cups key correspondences

Upright Keywords

Love, compassion, happiness, connection, pregnancy, celebration, the start of something emotional

Reversed keywords

Introspection, self-love, disappointment in love, disconnection, repression, depression, bad news, miscarriages or abortions, cancelled events

Yes or No

Yes

Numerology

1

Element

Water

Ruling Planet

Mercury

Astrological Sign

Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

What does the upright Ace of Cups mean in the Tarot?

The Ace of Cups serves as a reminder of all the love that surrounds you. You have access to universal love and limitless compassion and connection. Trust in the universe to support you, and trust in your intuition to guide you. 

This love is not limited, it flows naturally to you, and then through you back into the world. The more love, gratitude and compassion you show, the more that comes back to you. 

In terms of general messaging, it’s a good sign to receive the Ace of Cups in a reading, with a positive warm hand to pat you on the back to encourage you on this lovely journey ahead.

upright Ace of Cups
When pulled in the upright position, the Ace of Cups is associated with love, compassion, happiness, connection, pregnancy, celebration, and the start of something emotional.

What does the upright Ace of Cups mean in a love reading

Pulling the Ace of Cups in a love reading can signify a new beginning or new relationship. It is an invitation and asks you to follow your heart and get in touch with your emotions. Now is a great time to open yourself up to new opportunities or connections. 

If you are in a relationship you might find yourself seeing a new perspective or conflicts melting away and feeling more connected to your partner. There is an element of a new warmth in your relationship that helps you as your journey continues together, and maybe cause for celebration. 

If you are single and considering opening yourself up to new connections or getting out of your comfort zone, this is a sign to get out there. Trust your intuition and explore the potential of new relationships by staying open and embracing softness as the Ace of Cups confidently proclaims loving energy towards your situation.

What does the upright Ace of Cups mean in a career reading?

Good news and positive shifts in your career. Follow your heart and stay open to your emotions in your career. Staying soft and in touch with your emotions will be a strength, and you will naturally attract the right opportunities and new projects. 

Your career can be a source of joy, passion and fulfilment, creating balance and abundance in your life. It can also lead to new acquaintances, new peers, new friends in the workplace. 

Be receptive to new possibilities and remember that this is just the beginning and may still require ongoing work to reach your goals. 

What does the upright Ace of Cups mean in a health reading?

Pulling the Ace of Cups in a health reading is a sign of a positive shift in your health. Rest and rejuvenation, allowing yourself to heal, enjoy the new lease of energy. Embrace the positive shift and continue to look after yourself to keep the positivity going. 

The Ace of Cups can sometimes signify pregnancy, so look to surrounding cards for clarification. It can also signify good news relating to an outcome you’ve been waiting on, and would suggest positive support from a surprise source.

The Ace of Cups as feelings/emotions

If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling the Ace of Cups suggests this person loves you, whether it’s romantic or platonic, and that they feel a deep connection with you. This is a card of mutual respect and compassion, so there are strong positive feelings here and they are naturally drawn to you. 

The Ace of Cups as a person

The Ace of Cups as a person is someone who is spiritual and intuitive, who leads with their heart and allows their emotions to flow. They are often drawn to creative endeavours or careers and spiritual practices. 

They might appear hard to pin down or like they don’t live in the ‘real world’ because they lead with their heart, daydream often and trust in the universe. They will do great things and be an inspiration to others if they continue to be themselves authentically.

The Ace of Cups as advice

Embrace love and abundance, see this card as an invitation to surrender and get into the flow of life. Trust in the universe and the forces around you, they are on your side and things are working in your favour. This is your sign to follow your heart, follow the joy and go for what you want.

What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with the Ace of Cups?

The Ace of Cups represents the water element and is associated with the water signs Pieces, Scorpio and Cancer. This collection of signs are known for being in touch with their feelings and being highly intuitive and creative. The Ace of Cups is an expression of love, emotion and creativity, and matches this energy that is seen in the water signs. 

Is the Ace of Cups a yes or no card?

The Ace of Cups is generally a yes card and is a green light for you to take that first step. It doesn’t always show you what the long term future holds, but it encourages you that this is the right direction.

Below are some of my interpretations, as an experienced tarot practitioner, based on different types of questions:

Querent Question: “Will I get the job?”

  • Card interpretation: Yes, a new opportunity arrives to bring clarity and ease in your work. New connections can also help you on your job-hunting journey!

Querent Question: “Is this new person in my life good for me?”

  • Card interpretation: Yes, be open to the new relationship and open to your feelings.

Querent Question: “Will I achieve my current goals?” 

  • Card interpretation: Yes, things are moving in your favour right now.

Querent Question: “Should I start my own business?” 

  • Card interpretation: Yes, follow your heart, lean into creativity and embrace joy in your work.

What does the reversed Ace of Cups mean in the Tarot?

Pulling the reversed Ace of Cups can mean you need to use all the love and compassion from the upright card and focus it inward. Stop focusing on what you can do for everyone else, or looking for external validation, and start allowing yourself to feel love for yourself. 

Make time for things that bring you joy and make you feel most comfortable in yourself, and set boundaries with things that challenge your relationship with yourself. The reversed Ace of Cups can also mean you’ve been disappointed or faced challenges recently, particularly in your relationships, but this card is a sign to take a step back from these disappointments and focus on yourself and nurturing the love and compassion you can create for yourself. 

Sometimes you need to really sit with the feeling of disappointment, so that you can move on from it properly.

Reversed Ace of Cups
When pulled in the reversed position, the Ace of Cups is linked with introspection, self-love, disappointment in love, disconnection, repression, depression, bad news, miscarriages or abortions, cancelled events

What does the reversed Ace of Cups mean in a love reading?

Pulling the reversed Ace of Cups in a love reading suggests things haven’t been going smoothly in your relationships. If you’re in a relationship you might be struggling to see things from the same perspective, and experiencing conflicts or disagreements from it. Utilise new ways of communicating in an honest, non-blame space, and see how you can work together to move forward. 

If you’re single you might be frustrated in your lack of connections and be tempted to shut yourself off from any potential feelings. Whatever your situation, a solution can’t be forced and you won’t find your happiness in someone else’s approval. Focus your attention inwards and get to know your emotions and what you want from a relationship. 

Try to keep your heart soft and open, but your relationship to yourself is the most important one right now. 

What does the inverted Ace of Cups mean in a career reading?

Pulling the reversed Ace of Cups in a career reading suggests you’re feeling stuck or blocked in your career. You might have a stable job but it isn’t fulfilling you creatively or bringing you joy. This can leave you feeling frustrated and unmotivated at work and lead to further challenges. 

Shifts in your career might be needed to feel more motivated and fulfilled by your work. Look at how you can nurture your creativity and bring more inspiration into your life, and it’s okay if that starts outside of work, just try not to let your stuckness at work seep into other areas of your life. 

What does the upside-down Ace of Cups mean in a health reading?

In a health reading, the reversed Ace of Cups suggests recurring health challenges and the frustration that goes along with it. Stress and repressed emotion can be held in your body and cause health issues. 

When looking after your health and dealing with any ailments, make sure you look after your mind and emotions too. Make time for healthy and constructive ways to deal with stress and express your feelings so they don’t stay stuck in your body. 

This card can also mean delays for good news, so practice patience and contact your medical team when you can for honest communication. If you’re pregnant, things may not be going as well as you’d hoped, and whilst this card can sometimes indicate complications (even to the point of miscarriage or abortion) then what this card is really trying to say is get that peace of mind from your medical professionals, and ease any feelings of anxiety or delays you’re putting on yourself “because it’s silly”. 

There’s never a silly question when it’s pregnancy, and it’s always worth getting checked over. Any pain you have been trying to block out could also be an indication it’s worth being checked over from this card coming up in a reversed position.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Ace of Cups card is a powerful symbol of love, compassion, happiness, connection, pregnancy, celebration, and the start of something emotional. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that you have been presented with a new relationship, new emotions, new dreams, all of which starts a new journey for you.

Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot practitioners, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Jungian archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.

The 56 lesser arcana cards relate to the day-to-day events of our lives, the more mundane aspects of our existence. Even though that part of the tarot is about the “smaller picture”, it symbolizes the constant choices we make that shape our lives, our characters, and ultimately our destinies.

Have you ever had a reading where the Ace Of Cups appeared? What was the outcome? What does that card mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice?

Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below. Additionally, If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out my complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.

Charlotte H.

Written by Charlotte Hamilton

Charlotte Hamilton is an artist, tarot reader and founder of Sugar Storm Studio, a creative studio that empowers weirdos, rebels and outsiders through alternative fashion, creative workshops and tarot. Find out more at www.sugarstormstudio.com and follow on Instagram @sugarstormstudio.

Learn more about the Suit of Cups

This page is part of our comprehensive list of the 56 minor arcana tarot cards & their meanings. If you enjoyed the read, then you’ll love the following articles.