Knight of Cups Explained - Upright & Reversed Meanings
Last Updated: November 7, 2023
The Knight of Cups is the twelfth 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.
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 Knight of Cups in various tarot reading contexts as well as the different symbols and nuances that can be found within this court card.
Pictorial Symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck
The artworks from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck contain deeper esoteric meanings that tarotists love to decipher.
The Knight of Cups in the Rider-Waite tarot shows a rider holding a cup. It is a young man riding a horse which does not show any anxiety, it remains obedient. Calmly and confidently, he stays in the saddle. His white horse represents purity and aesthetics. He wears armour, his helmet is decorated with wings. Every detail of the plot has its meaning.
Colourful dresses wrapped over the knight’s armour depict a good mood. The patterns on the fabric are the embodiment of love, happiness and beauty.
There are wings on his helmet and his feet, which mark him as the bearer of a wonderful message and represent his fondness for the beautiful sides of life. It is possible to see fish on his robe. They are linked to the element of water and symbolize creativity, abundance and fertility.
Palm trees, deserts and hills can be seen in the background. This is a wonderful oasis that can become a salvation. But a knight doesn’t need that. He strives to overshadow the sun, to become the centre of someone’s attention. He knows how to behave, and like the Ace of Cups, he’s looking for a new opportunity, even if it means facing a challenge ahead (with the mountains and cliff in front of him).
The Knight of Cups key correspondences
Creativity, romance, charm, imagination, and beauty
Having an overactive imagination, being unrealistic, jealousy, and moodiness.
|Yes or No|
Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio
What does the upright Knight of Cups mean in the Tarot?
The Knight of Cups symbolizes new relationships and emotional experiences, following dreams, idealism, creativity and strong intuition. It symbolizes the period when we have the strength to get rid of negative emotions that stifle our ability to control our own life.
The main message sent by the Knight is that there will be a period in which everything will go smoothly. He’s fantasizing or dreaming about a better time in front, something that he may not have the experience with, and so it’s a new opportunity to learn, to explore, and most importantly to this Knight, to love.
What does the upright Knight of Cups mean in a love reading
The Knight of Cups is a sign of positive changes in terms of love relationships. The tarot card, Knight of Cups, predicts new love and strength. For those in relationships, it may announce a marriage offer. For singles, it announces a new person with whom the sympathy will be mutual. A wonderful romance will knock on the door of lonely hearts, the kind they have been hoping for for a long time.
The card may indicate a younger married man or a friend attached to his family. Also love letters, messages, and reciprocated sympathy.
In general, the Knight of Cups represents friendly relations and a good atmosphere. The conflicting aspects of life will finally end. This is the right time to enjoy harmony, meditate and start a new romantic relationship. When it comes to an established partnership, this card speaks about an approach of reconciliation and mutual understanding. For married couples, the card promises an extremely pleasant period in the relationship.
The card also says that the person is emotionally ready for a new relationship and feels confident. But before starting a new relationship, they should make sure that their partner’s feelings are genuine and not just “head in the clouds” stuff lacking practicality. The period indicated by the Knight of Cups is ideal for new romantic encounters, falling in love and romance. However, do not forget that the intentions of an unknown new partner may not be very sincere.
Those who are in a relationship can expect a harmonious relationship with their partner, this card has strong connotations to a love celebration.
What does the upright Knight of Cups mean in a career reading?
The Knight indicates a period of financial inflow – a raise at work, an inheritance or winning the lottery. As far as finances are concerned, the Knight of Cups gives the possibility of a salary increase or some unexpected gain.
There will be progress at work, and if you are thinking about starting your own business, now is the time. On the business front, you can take advantage of all opportunities to prove your ability. Thanks to resourcefulness and especially to creativity, progress awaits you.
The Knight of Cups speaks of a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at work. The work process runs routinely, there are no urgent tasks or worries. Everything is going according to plan. The work does not spoil life and satisfies, at least at this stage. There’s not any rush.
If you are looking for a job, it is almost certain that you will find it, now is the time to dream big. Go where the dreams are.
What does the upright Knight of Cups mean in a health reading?
The Knight of Cups is a card that often represents a caring and nurturing attitude towards oneself and others. In a health reading, the upright Knight of Cups may indicate that it is time to focus on your emotional and mental wellbeing as well as your physical health. This could mean taking time for self-care, seeking therapy or counseling, or simply prioritizing time for relaxation and stress relief.
This card may also suggest that you need to listen to your body and intuition when it comes to making decisions about your health, as your inner wisdom may guide you towards the best path forward. Taking care of yourself is a priority and it is okay to ask for help when you need it. Trust yourself and your ability to heal and recover, and know that you have the support and love of those around you.
The Knight of Cups as feelings/emotions
The Knight of Cups seeks through the heart. They are emotionally hungry. They are also easily discouraged. This card speaks about a person who is sensitive and tender. This is usually a young person, a dreamer, who has strong feelings and is ready to take action.
This Knight usually represents karmic attachments in relationships. They can be afraid of commitments. It is a bad idea to push this person in the desired direction because they may get afraid and leave the relationship. This is why this card gets associated with “serial daters” or even “fkbois” at their worst.
The Knight of Cups as a person
The Knight of Cups usually represents a young energy but not necessarily like a teenager. They are hungry for knowledge and eager to learn. Such people are characterized by dreaminess and idealism. They are often creative individuals who choose appropriate professions. However, they often like to work with people and become good psychologists, doctors, consultants… it wouldn’t surprise me to find this person as a student counsellor.
Sometimes this card indicates a person who is in love with you or a person who is trying to seduce you. A pleasant and romantic person. They know how to listen to their heart, so their romances are usually unforgettable. They make decisions with their heart, which can sometimes lead to problems, but thanks to a well-developed intuition, they can solve them in a very elegant way. They are a knight who absorbs the beauty of the outside world and internalizes it.
The person is extremely mysterious and an artist in everything they do. They accept other people’s influences only to achieve benefits. The environment has a hard time understanding them and is afraid of them. In their shadow aspect, which is near impossible to change, they do not feel responsible for others.
The Knight of Cups is a jealous person, and this jealousy sometimes crosses the limits and threatens the danger that this type of person will turn into an obsessive or manic type. There is always a lot of emotions with this Knight. In any case, the Knight of Cups asks their partner to give themselves completely to them and share every bit of their soul with them.
The Knight of Cups as advice
The Knight of Cups is a gentle reminder to stay true to your heart and listen to your inner voice when faced with tough decisions or challenges. Trust your intuition and let it guide you towards the path that feels most authentic and aligned with your deepest desires.
Approach situations with an open heart and an open mind, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and receptive to new experiences, and try not to look at things so intensely or negatively. This card encourages you to embrace your emotions and express them honestly and authentically whilst seeking out the good in others. Stay true to your values, and keep an optimistic and compassionate outlook, and you will find success and fulfillment in all areas of your life.
What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with the Knight of Cups?
The Knight of Cups represents a fiery part of water because he is not only a dreamer but also an action-taker. They are usually astrologically linked to Pisces (likes to live dreams, intuitive) or Scorpio (highly intuitive, obsessive, intimate and charming).
Is the Knight of Cups a yes or no card?
This card is rather positive and always means yes in a yes or no type of reading.
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. This card announces positive news and an offer.
Querent Question: “Is this new person in my life good for me?”
- Card interpretation: Yes. They are a sensitive person however so bear this in mind if you wish for something light.
Querent Question: “Should I make the investment?”
- Card interpretation: Yes. The card announces short term positive times, but ensure all the research is done beforehand. I’d suggest only using money you’d be willing “to lose” so that you can go all for it without any anger or resentment if things don’t go the way you wish further down the line.
Querent Question: “Will I achieve my current goals?”
- Card interpretation: Yes. The card indicates good opportunities.
Querent Question: “Should I start my own business?”
- Card interpretation: Yes. It is a great time to start your own business, find ways to keep dreaming to make it happen for yourself.
What does the reversed Knight of Cups mean in the Tarot?
The reversed Knight of Cups speaks about fantasizing and daydreaming without being ready for action. They can lose themselves in daydreaming instead of living in the here and now. The card speaks about the person that allows their emotions to influence them. They may be too sensitive and not able to see logic through any emotional mists.
What does the reversed Knight of Cups mean in a love reading?
In a relationship, this card can indicate disappointments and setbacks. One of the partners might be emotionally immature and blame the others for their problems. Someone could be overly jealous which leads to a lack of trust. The Knight of Cups can indicate moodiness in the relationship which can be very exhausting for both partners.
For singles, this card is also not encouraging right now. It may indicate that the person has many one-night stands that are not fulfilling them. You dream about an ideal partner, with all the optimal physical and character traits, which correspond to an ideal that does not exist in reality.
If you have met someone new, the card speaks about the person who is a breaker of hearts. This person may see you as a challenge. Once they conquer you, they may leave you wondering what happened. They can be full of empty promises. You should not be fooled by their charm.
What does the inverted Knight of Cups mean in a career reading?
In a career reading, the Knight of Cups may indicate lost opportunities. The card warns not to envy others for their professional success. Jealousy about other peoples’ achievements leads to frustration and anger. We should use our energy instead, to find out for ourselves how we can boost our careers.
The reversed Knight of Cups is also a sign of daydreaming at work. You are often distracted and thinking about other things. Be more careful with your work. The card can also speak about your or someone else’s moodiness, which can affect the atmosphere at work.
Financially, the Knight of Cups may also indicate tough times and overborrowing. Find ways to not overstretch yourself.
What does the upside-down Knight of Cups mean in a health reading?
The Knight of Cups can have a negative connotation in a health reading. It can speak about the misuse of alcohol or drugs, especially as a crutch against emotions we are just not ready to face. The card may signify that our lifestyle is too hectic currently and jumping from one situation to another one, without solving the issues, may impact our health more than we would think. This card calls for some shadow work, and finding some inner peace without putting blame, anger, resentments etc on others.
This card could also indicate issues with body fluids. For instance, problems with the kidneys, ureters, absence of menstruation, and similar. If you are ever unsure, I’d always recommend working with your professional medical team for support.
In conclusion, the Knight of Cups card is a powerful symbol of beauty, romance, creativity, charm, sensuality, passion, secretive, and romance. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that you should follow your passion intensely, sure, but be so wary of your emotions getting the better of you and putting you in difficult situations that are hard to come back from.
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 Knight 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.
I have been reading Tarot for more than 15 years. I have always enjoyed using my intuition to provide clarity and insights to others. Tarot is one of my favorite forms of divination, and I love sharing that passion with like-minded folks.