Exploring the King of Cups

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the King 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 King of Cups is card number 49 in the deck, the fourteenth card of the Cups Suit, and the fourth card of Cups’ Court in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot.

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

Card Examples

L-c14Notice 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

In each of these cards, a king reigns over his kingdom with his cup. He is ever present and watchful of his domain. His waters remain undisturbed by his observations as he calmly makes his decisions.

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:

  • WISE
  • CALM

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:


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

What this Card Means to Me

Kings represent the maturity of the masculine aspects with an individual. They have fully come into power of their aspect and reign supreme of their domain. With the Cups, the king here has control of his heart. He knows what he wants and how to get there. He also understands what others what and how best to help them get there. And it is in this that most fathers do instinctively. They have a desire for their families to do well and they commit to give it their all to see it happen.

In stories, these are the people who know deep down what it is they desire and have made the commitment to see it through. Their hearts aren’t swayed off the path that leads them to their goal. They just keep going no matter what.

The key phrase I choose for this card is: MASTER OF THE HEART.

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 King of Cups

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

  2. Pingback: Exploring Setting with King of Cups – The Art of Chaos

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