The King of Cups as tarot reader

The King of Cups keeps coming up around issues of tarot work, or when I have to do tarot readings, or I ask the never-ending questions around my vocation path. It’s been happening ever since I started contemplating working as a tarot reader and throughout my study year. It’s always puzzled me a little, to be honest.

I do know that in many ways, his attributes are fitting for this work: compassion, empathy, insight, kindness, warmth. My question is, why the King and not the Queen? Above we have him in the Fairytale deck, and I love this particular interpretation as it shows two people having some form of exchange. Even before I read up on the story, the visual struck me as very apt when I drew this card for my tarot work last week. Going further, the story tells of King Cormac who agreed to exchange anything in his kingdom for a silver branch with golden apples – who made a beautiful sound and looked very pretty but is completely useless and of no value.

In the end, the King regains what he lost and the card shows him exchanging the silver branch for the golden cup of truth – good advice for not giving one’s integrity and soul away for something that looks good but is of little value in the long run. On that note, I am drawing up the criteria and boundaries for my tarot reading sessions and working on the website for this. Why is it that it took such a long time to materialize the fact that, as a tarot reader, I decide what service I offer and to whom. Perhaps that is what makes a king, King: the time to gather wisdom and weather a few storms – and most importantly, harness his inner power.

Many blessings,


  1. Thanks for this thoughtful and thought-provoking post, Monica. I do think the King adds the much-needed qualities of firmness and “administrative” ability to the intuition and insight seen in the suit of Cups. In Book T, the King of Cups is linked with the section of the zodiac wheel between 20 deg. Libra and 20 deg. Scorpio. A fascinating combination, with Libra (ruled by Venus) being the sign of balance, fairness, and smooth relationships and Scorpio (ruled by Mars/Pluto) being known for passion, mystery, and volatility. Air and Water. How cool that the King of Cups keeps coming up for you!

  2. I agree, definitely manifesting more masculine energy could be a good thing. Take charge, and all that 😉 When we start something new it’s natural to go with the flow at first, and get our sea-legs before striking off in a new direction. You’ve taken the time to learn what typically goes on when reading for the public, now it’s your turn to put your own unique stamp on how you want to do things.

  3. I think the King of Cups is very fitting for you in relation to questions about you as a reader Monica, and the story behind this one in particular. Because you are such a very kind and compassionate person who is so empathetic and so in touch with spirituality, this is why you will have the success that kings as a whole represent, particularly the King of Cups. To me his story shows you are ready to balance all of those qualities with the strength and firmness of a true leader. Maybe you will be even firmer when you have to give less than favorable news, yet still have that sense of compassion. I love how you said he shows you that you are in the position of power to decide who you see and why. I can see where others may have mistaken your kind heart for a way to try to take advantage in some way. It also may be reminding you that you are in control of where you work and and to draw on your experience you just went through last month. Maybe he is even a spirit guide of loved one from the other side who assists you in your readings.

    I’m so excited for you and enjoy reading about your tarot journey!


  4. Good question. Why the king and not the queen? Maybe because the queen seems to always get put into the somewhat maternal role as nurturer? Maybe there just aren’t enough archetypes to go around for the courts? I dunno.

    To me, I’ve assigned the King of Cups to a ‘working artist’ label, which has a similar feel to the tarot reader thing. It’s someone who’s artsy who works in their trade. So I often see this card this way, although it has also meant secrets and emotional difficulty as well.

    Lotsa Hugs,

  5. Thank you! I never would have associated the King of Cups with Libra at all. Even Scorpio, since I assign the Kings with the cardinal signs, and the King of Cups goes with Cancer in my mind, but I have not done a thorough research on the astrological associations and your comment is food for thought. Many blessings!

  6. Thank you for your warm thoughts – it’s the most interesting/challenging/fascinating experience in my life he he. Completely out of whack with my previous comfy (but stifling) job but what can you do. Saturn return hits you and you have to heed that call, one way or another. 🙂 Blessings.

  7. Hello and thank you for your very warm thoughts and wishes. I think he represents both potential and lessons for me, so I do find him a welcome addition in my own readings. Blessings.

  8. Hello Mentha, yes the artist is his other side, the very creative one. Who knows, maybe one day I may get my head around photoshop and birth a deck or two 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend and many blessings!

  9. I like the idea of associating Kings with cardinal signs, Monica. So I assume that Queens are mutable signs and Knights are fixed in your system? (Or have I got it backwards)?

  10. The Knights are mutable since the mutable (changeable) element goes well with the adventurous spirit and restlessness of the Knights, and the Queens are fixed. It gets tricky and it’s not set in stone, of course, but I find that since it makes sense to me it’s the system I refer to.

  11. Wow I love, love, love this! So relevant to me right now. I think that with any spiritual work you have to have boundaries… in fact I think that the whole processes of connecting with your spirit is to learn about boundaries… what we should and shouldn’t let in and put up with. I am very thankful for this right now 🙂



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