Exploring the Five of Cups

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the Five of Cups and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.

Introduction of the Card


The Five of Cups is card number 40 in the deck and the fifth card of the Cups Suit in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of Five of Cups below.

Card Examples

L-c5Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.

My Analysis of These Cards

Just like in the Four of Cups, this set of cards have a distinct set of differences. In the Mythic Tarot, someone has said good bye and is now leaving. In the Dragon Tarot, it appears that the dragon is no longer with its companions. Meanwhile, the last two cards it appears as though the individual is suffering from either regret or grief. Whichever the case may be, something has been lost to them.

Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • LOSS

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • LOSS

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

What this Card Means to Me

We all have regrets in life. We have loved ones that leave us in one way or another. It’s hard. There are things we wish we could have said or done differently. We’re left with wanting just one more day. One more moment to make it better. To make it right. But the truth is, it will never be enough will it? Our hearts will always want more. What we really want is forever.

And just like with the Four of Cups, there are times when we do need to show in our stories this pain and struggle. Our hero will then find the means to look beyond what has been lost and treasure the good memories to fuel them forward into building a better future. Again, I’ll reference Ichigo from Bleach here with his memories of his mother. He didn’t allow his loss of her destroy him. Instead he used his memory of her to inspire him to be a better person. And in the same story, Sado did the same in regards with his grandfather. When crafted well, stories can serve as a vessel of inspiration.

The keyword I choose for this card is GRIEF.

Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.

The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.

I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!

Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

2 thoughts on “Exploring the Five of Cups

  1. Pingback: Exploring Emotions with Five of Cups | The Art of Chaos

  2. Pingback: Chaos Pen NaNo Bite July 2019-31 – The Art of Chaos

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