Two of Cups Explained - Upright & Reversed Meanings
Last Updated: November 7, 2023
The Two of Cups is the second 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.
Imagine two people coming together. They might be joined for a variety of reasons: friendship, business partnership, or even in the name of love. In such joinings, we envision joy and harmony, a balance between partners to carve out success in whatever venture we embark upon.
The suit of Cups connects us to our emotional, sentimental sides, and the 2 of Cups reminds us that there is strength in numbers, specifically partnerships. A pair of souls working together can prove a powerful and fulfilling bond, a sacred union that promises harmony, and this is why a lot of tarot readers associate this card with marriage.
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 Two 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 2 of Cups shows two figures, a man and woman on equal footing, sharing a drink with the eponymous two cups. They are roughly the same height, denoting balance in that they are of equal importance, especially since a circlet of flowers or a crown of laurel adorns each of their heads.
Their presumed oaths, the action of their joining is the feature of this card, and we believe in the strength and future success of this oath because of how equally represented each part is, even if visually different.
The feminine figure on the left is draped with long robes that cover her body with clean and light colours, while the masculine figure on the right is decked out in a fun and colourful pattern with a short style that reaches to above his knees.
Truly, the nature of either individual is irrelevant; the illustration demonstrates how opposite personalities or individuals can attract and prove as strong a union as any other. Additionally, the unique feature we see on this card is the lionhead attached to a caduceus symbol.
The caduceus staff (twin snakes entwining a single rod or staff) is universally acknowledged as a symbol of healing in the medical community. This might indicate that the relationship, union, or joining promised by the 2 of Cups can likewise prove as uplifting.
This is especially true when one takes a closer look at the true origin of the caduceus staff and how it received its wings with the Greek god Hermes, a messenger for the gods who travelled between the heavens and the earth.
With the lion affixed to the top of this, the union is given sacred and noble priority. The clear skies in the background of the card indicate a calm journey with few obstacles for the pair.
The Two of Cups key correspondences
union, balance, connection, promise, harmony, relationships, partnerships, equality
imbalance, separation, fracture, betrayal
|Yes or No|
What does the upright Two of Cups mean in the Tarot?
In the upright position, the 2 of Cups indicates a strong bond or partnership. This bond may be rooted in mutual respect or affection, but there is definitely a sense of equality among both parties in this coupling.
The typical interpretation of this card lends to a romantic partnership, but its meaning can also extend to include others that are steeped in similar values or sentiment, such as dark and light, freedom and restraint, you and I. Whatever the nature of this union, the card foresees a lasting bond.
What does the upright Two of Cups mean in a love reading
In a love reading, the upright Two of Cups radiates with the promise of a deep and meaningful romance, characterized by equality, open communication, and mutual attraction.
If you are currently unattached, the 2 of Cups eagerly anticipates the blossoming of a new relationship with a partner who resonates with you on a profound level. This could be the start of a beautiful connection where both you and your partner are in perfect harmony, appreciating each other’s perspectives, and building a strong emotional bond.
For those who are already in a relationship, the Two of Cups signifies a significant commitment on the horizon. This could manifest as a proposal, marriage, promise, or taking a leap of faith together into the unknown. It heralds a new milestone that you and your partner will embark upon as a united force, providing each other with the necessary support and companionship on this journey.
The Two of Cups also emphasizes the importance of communication and equality in relationships. It encourages open and honest dialogue, where both partners are heard and valued equally. It represents a partnership built on mutual respect, trust, and understanding, where each person’s needs, desires, and opinions are acknowledged and considered.
This card exudes a warm and empowering energy, signifying a loving relationship that is balanced, harmonious, and supportive. It encourages you to embrace the beauty of emotional connection and to cherish the bond you share with your partner, or the one that is just beginning to unfold.
What does the upright Two of Cups mean in a career reading?
Your current career venture is a reflection of your passion and the 2 of Cups signifies the presence of a business partner or colleague who shares that same level of enthusiasm and drive. With each other’s support and collaborative spirit, you’re propelled forward toward achieving your shared goals.
The Two of Cups suggests that this partnership is based on a deep sense of connection and mutual understanding. You and your partner or colleague are in alignment, sharing the same vision for success and working towards it with equal fervor. This partnership can bring about positive change and help you achieve your goals in a way that feels fulfilling and rewarding.
Moreover, the Two of Cups indicates that your career and finances are currently in balance. This card reflects the importance of cultivating positive relationships in the workplace, and it suggests that you maintain good relations with your coworkers. This harmonious work environment can help to support your career goals and create a positive atmosphere in which to achieve success.
What does the upright Two of Cups mean in a health reading?
In a health reading, the Two of Cups is a positive sign that your body or health is in, or will soon return to, a state of harmonious balance. If you have been dealing with an illness or experiencing enigmatic symptoms that have caused you distress, this card suggests that your body will find its natural balance again, with proper care and attention on your part.
The Two of Cups exudes an optimistic energy, symbolizing a period of calm and serenity ahead. You can take comfort in the fact that your body is working to restore itself to a state of equilibrium, and this card encourages you to trust the healing process.
This card also highlights the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, taking care of your body, and seeking proper medical attention when needed.
The Two of Cups as feelings/emotions
If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling the 2 of Cups means a balance of your own feelings. The Cups are a suit of emotions and sentimentality, and the number two provides us with a pair. The feelings of this other person are a direct reflection your own—like a mirror into yours.
Additionally, if you’ve been going through a shadow work period, it shows (and not in a bitchy way). You’re on track, so keep working towards your goals as they’re providing you with some emotional support.
The Two of Cups as a person
As a personality archetype, the 2 of Cups represents someone who is either compatible as a romantic, friendly, or business partner with personality traits balance out yours, or they themselves are a well-rounded, balanced individual who takes active steps to provide comfort and support in all aspects of their relationships.
We won’t necessarily say “soulmate” but if you wish for more descriptions on a specific individual then I would suggest to check out accompanying cards.
The Two of Cups as advice
If you are asking the tarot for advice regarding a specific situation in your life, pulling the 2 of Cups is a reminder that balance and equity is of prime importance in whatever conundrum you are facing.
Perhaps one area in your life has seen too little of your time and attention, and you should consider reorganising your efforts to give it the focus it needs. Perhaps a relationship in your life feels neglected; it might be opportune to devote time to this person in order for them to feel valued and respected as an equal person in your partnership.
Whatever your position is, the sentimental side of this card feels strongly about clearly communicating your heart and your needs in order to make yourself more easily understood, clear the air, and find balance in an otherwise disproportionate arrangement.
What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with the Two of Cups?
it is often associated with the zodiac sign of Cancer. This is because Cancer is a water sign, and the Cups suit is also associated with the element of water, which represents emotions, intuition, and relationships.
Cancers are known for their high emotional intelligence, nurturing nature, and compassion, all of which align with the themes of the Two of Cups. This card represents a deep and meaningful emotional bond between two individuals, built on mutual respect, trust, and understanding, which are all qualities that Cancers value in their relationships.
The Two of Cups is also ruled by Venus in Cancer, which is an astrological placement that is associated with themes of love, beauty, and emotional connection. Those born between June 21st and June 30th, when the Sun is in Cancer’s first decan, may feel a particularly strong connection to this card’s energy and symbolism.
Is the Two of Cups a yes or no card?
The 2 of Cups is a promise of harmony and equality, and it readily flies to agree with any of the querent’s questions. However, when considering “yes or no” questions, it’s always important to recognize the values that make the affirmations of this card so successful. Consider some examples in the following questions
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: If this is a job or workplace where you feel like you would be respected or heard, then this is the job for you. The 2 of Cups values equity in the workplace. You may have a supervisor, but your supervisor is one who listens, who puts employee needs before their own. This should be quite clear from the initial meeting or interview.
Querent Question: “Is this new person in my life good for me?”
- Card interpretation: The 2 of Cups eagerly anticipates all relationships in a positive light. However, trust in your own instincts as you interpret the motives of this person entering your life.
Querent Question: “Will I achieve my current goals?”
- Card interpretation: Before investing, consider if you have a backup plan in place or assurances from a 2nd party. Sometimes an investment tied to another’s interest can ensure a profitable outcome.
Querent Question: “Should I start my own business?”
- Card interpretation: The 2 of Cups is a firm believer that two heads are better than one. Partners can help share the burdens of starting a business in terms of finances and labour. Be sure to be a good partner as well; assume a fair share of responsibilities for a smoother process for everyone.
What does the reversed Two of Cups mean in the Tarot?
In a reversed position, the Two of Cups suggests that there may be issues within a partnership that are preventing it from reaching its full potential. Disloyalty, lack of integrity, and power imbalances are all potential obstacles that can shatter an otherwise compatible union.
This card warns that there may be an imbalance in the relationship, where one party is giving more than the other, or that the partnership may be impractical or unsustainable in its current form. It’s possible that you have invested too much in the partnership, making it one-sided, or that the other party is draining your resources and energy.
If you are in a relationship or partnership or collaboration, the reversed Two of Cups suggests that it may be on the verge of breaking down and requires immediate attention. It’s important to reevaluate the relationship and determine whether it’s worth repairing or if it’s time to move on.
In a broader sense, the reversed Two of Cups can indicate a lack of harmony or balance in your personal or professional life. You may be struggling to find common ground with others or feeling disconnected from those around you.
The reversed Two of Cups generally flags up an imbalanced or impractical relationship that needs to be repaired, reevaluated, or abandoned entirely in order to restore harmony and balance in your life.
What does the reversed Two of Cups mean in a love reading?
If the Two of Cups appears in reverse in a romantic or love-based reading, it may indicate that you are in an incompatible relationship.
If you are single and considering a potential partner, the person in question may not bring harmony to your life. You may find their involvement in your affairs disruptive because they lack the necessary communication skills and qualities of mutual respect and equality that this card extols. If you’re single but don’t have anyone in mind, this reversed card here shows that more love needs to be balanced inward before putting it out there.
If you are already in a relationship, you may have already noticed signs of it deteriorating due to an imbalance. It’s important to determine whether you or your partner is the source of this disparity. A lack of balance can indicate a number of things, from controlling behavior to unhealthy codependency. It may be time to have a frank conversation with your partner about any issues in your relationship, and work together to address them.
If you are experiencing any form of abuse or manipulation in your relationship, it’s crucial to reach out to a professional or support network for help. Remember that you deserve to be treated with love and respect, and should never tolerate any form of mistreatment or abuse.
What does the inverted Two of Cups mean in a career reading?
If the Two of Cups appears in reverse in a career reading, it suggests themes of control and imbalance, particularly with regards to communication. A once fruitful and profitable business partnership may be reaching its conclusion due to a breakdown in communication and collaboration. You or your business partner may have acted independently of each other, making decisions without consulting the other or attempting to control the majority of the operations. This can lead to resentment and conflict, ultimately damaging the partnership.
In a workplace setting, the reversed Two of Cups can indicate a supervisor who is exercising an abuse of power, or a coworker who believes they are in a position of authority and attempts to exert controlling behavior over others. This can create an unhealthy and unproductive work environment, with tensions and conflicts causing stress and anxiety.
If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to address any imbalances and conflicts as soon as possible. Try to open up lines of communication with your business partner or coworkers, and work together to find solutions that benefit everyone. If necessary, seek the advice and guidance of a neutral third party, unbiased witness or mediator to help resolve any disputes.
What does the upside-down Two of Cups mean in a health reading?
The reversed Two of Cups in a health reading suggests that there may be imbalances in your body, with abnormal patterns or deviations from your usual routine. One of the potential causes of such imbalances could be increased stress levels in your life, as stress can have a significant impact on the body and hormonal system. It’s important to seek the guidance of a medical professional to address any health concerns.
In addition to medical advice, it’s also crucial to examine your surroundings and find positive ways to relate to them in order to help ease stress. This may involve making lifestyle changes, practicing relaxation techniques, seeking support from loved ones, or seeking professional help such as therapy or counseling. We don’t like to preach being all “love and light” at Backyard Banshee but taking steps to reduce stress and restore balance in your life can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being, and we only want what is best for you.
Remember to prioritize self-care and make your health a priority. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help and support when needed, and take proactive steps to address any imbalances or health concerns that may arise.
In conclusion, the Two of Cups card is a powerful symbol of union, balance, connection, promise, harmony, relationships, partnerships, and equality. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that you are experiencing a moment of balance and a moment of flux that is mutually beneficial.
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 Two 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.