Tarot for the Modern Reader
Queen of Cups


Image of The Queen of Cups cardWhen a court card shows up in a reading, we need to determine if it represents another person, or an aspect of ourselves. It can indicate how we are acting or feel in a given situation, or suggest a personality to emulate.  Sometimes it's a quality we project onto others, and occasionally, they represent situations. However, I typically find that it represents either someone else involved the situation, or some aspect of the querent.
Queens typically represent the "mature feminine" of the court cards. Like Kings, they have reached a higher level of mastery, they are no longer learning as much as they are teaching.  They have advice to give, and are generally more introspective, meaning they don't project their qualities in an outward manner, as much as they do internally.  They are the mothers, leaders, bosses, and rulers. They have been given power and authority because they have earned it and know how to use it. Their long gowns connote wisdom, respect, authority and tenure. Also to note, the qualities of each queen can just as easily be seen in a male querent, they are not gender specific.
In the Queen of Cups, we see a woman in a lovely long blue gown and robe, held in place by a shell.  She wears a large crown upon her head and she gazes deeply at the large golden chalice she holds. She sits by the sea, on a large stone throne, decorated with water cherubs, mermaids, fish and seashells, all symbols for the watery suit of emotions. The sky and water around her are clear and a gorgeous deep blue. Her feet do not touch the water, but rest solidly on the rocks at her feet. The water swirls around her and her dress dips into the waves, implying that she is able to merge action with imagination. She stares very intently at the closed chalice she holds, symbolic of her strong will.
The Queen of Cups represents Water of Water (all queens are water), so she is the most introspective of all of the queens. She is the ultimate representation of the suit of emotions. She stares intently at her golden chalice, as if nothing else around her exists.  And indeed, at this time, she is deep in contemplation; nothing else DOES exist to her right now. The Queen of Cups is very passive and can spend plenty of time looking within herself for the answers she seeks.
She is both very creative and imaginative.  The cup she holds is the most ornate and elaborate of all of the cups in the deck.  According to other Tarot scholars, it is her own creation and shows what we can accomplish when we use our imagination.
The Queen of Cups is very much the artist.  She is the creative.  She also has an appreciation for the fine arts. When this card comes up in a reading, it could be that you are currently engaged in some highly creative project that you hold near and dear to your heart.  If you have asked for advice about a project or piece of work, then this card is advising you to use your creativity. Try to find ways to spark your imagination to get you thinking in new ways.
This card could also indicate it would be a good time to take a vacation to a water destination.  If you are working on something and need some inspiration, it advises taking a trip to the beach and just sitting and watching the waves rhythmically come in and go out, or staring at the sunlight as it glitters off of a beautiful lake.  Even if you are not working, this card invites you to get out to the water to rejuvenate your soul.
This queen embodies love in every sense of the word, be it in romantic partnerships, or the love of friends and family.  She is a committed person; she makes an excellent loving and caring wife and mother, showering those around her with her devotion.  Because of your ability to nurture anything that walks through your door, you must be careful not to lose yourself, or your own needs to the needs of others.  Be aware of what you want and need and don't be afraid to make that known as well.
She is extremely sensitive, in many ways.  First of all, this queen is known for her very sensitive abilities in communication.  She will hear what is not being said, sense the way someone is feeling, pick up on non-verbal cues and read their body language all before the other person says hello. This is part of what makes her a great listener; she knows instinctively when someone needs a sympathetic ear.
She also must be very careful to protect herself, as the water signs, symbolized by the Queen of Cups are said to be the most sensitive to psychic energy, so you may also FEEL what others are feeling around you, as an empath.  This is good to be able to listen empathetically to others, but you must be sure that you are not over-reacting emotionally to something based on someone else's feelings.  You are highly sensitive to the thoughts of others as well, many times the Queen of Cups will signify an ability to see or hear messages from others, either the living, or the dead.
The Queen of Cups appearing in a reading is a sign that you need to trust your gut and listen to your intuition.  She has the strongest connection of any other court card to a Marjor Arcana, the High Priestess.  She is a pure element, water of water, and as such, is very intuitive.  Even in matters of logic, it is not often that her intuition or gut feeling is wrong.
The full spectrum of emotions that the queen of cups feels also makes her a very sensitive individual, she takes almost everything to heart and can easily have her feelings hurt; she has difficulty using just logic, and almost always relies on her feelings for information.  She is also a people pleaser, always trying to be agreeable and wanting others to be happy.  Be careful not to drain yourself emotionally.
The Queen of Cups represents the mature qualities of the Water signs of the zodiac, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. She is the ultimate mother and caretaker of all things as a Cancer.  She is strongly devoted to her loved ones and will impart her nurturing qualities on her spouse, children, pets and plants just the same.  She tends to all and can be tenacious in preserving her family and its happiness.  Cancer is also the most intuitive sign of the zodiac.  As a Scorpio, the queen of cups is mystifying, mesmerizing, mysterious and magnetic. She can be quite alluring, drawing you in with the same intense gave that she is giving to her chalice in this card.  You cannot escape the enchantment of a Scorpio's gaze.  Although the Cancer is very creative, there is no sign more creative than a Pisces.  A Pisces will draw, paint, write poetry, books or music or just about any other creative endeavor to no end, and can spend endless hours a day imagining their next adventure or getting lost in their daydreams.

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<Knight of Cups
King of Cups>


Queen of Cups Reversed

Image of The Queen of Cups card reversedWhen the Queen of Cups comes up reversed, she will often be displaying the less desirable qualities of her suit.  In the suit of emotions, this can happen when her feelings get hurt or she feels threatened or unappreciated.
Several older texts say that she cannot be trusted.  This could be because when her feelings are hurt, she is no longer making thoughtful loving decisions, but is acting irrationally out of hurt or out of vengeance.   If this is you, be careful that you are not re-acting instead of taking action.  Try to act with integrity as much as possible.
You could be denying your emotions in an attempt to protect yourself.  You could become cold and callous, shrewd and bitter, taking all emotion out of a situation and reacting as unemotionally as possible.  You could be stonewalling someone or giving them the silent treatment.
If you are feeling insecure, you can end up behaving whiny and clingy, displaying neediness and becoming co-dependent.  As a natural nurturer and caretaker, you must look after yourself as well and not give to others at the expense of your well-being.  As a reversed queen, there is the possibility that you make others feel guilty for all you do for them, or set unrealistic expectations of them in return.  Do not become a martyr, and do not make others responsible for your happiness or emotional well-being.
You could become embroiled in a state of jealousy. You become suspicious and your behavior reflects that.  Don't let your overactive fantastical cups imagination run away with you! As a cups person, it is difficult because your intuition is usually correct, so it will be important for you to pay very close attention to what is really going on and make some logical assessments before you start reacting emotionally.
While the Queen of Cups is a very sensitive person, the reversed queen can become overly sensitive.  Everything someone says to you is taken as a personal insult, or you feel you are being criticized, or neglected in some way.  There is a tendency to have your feelings hurt over something that you may be letting your emotions blow out of proportion.
One of my favorite associations for the Queen of Cups reversed is that of a siren or mermaid. A siren is beautiful, said to have such a beautiful song, she can lure a man in, in a trance, and then kill him.  Nothing sounds more like a Scorpio woman scorned than a Siren! This is one way the reversed queen manifests through the sign of Scorpio, using sexuality for leverage. A mermaid, a sea-creature herself, presumably a Pisces, is said to be the same.  As a drowned vixen, a beautiful mermaid was known to lure a seaman to his death.  This is vengeance for being wronged in love herself.
The Cancer will wallow in sadness and memories, or simply pout and sulk until you make them feel better.  A Queen of Cups will rarely forget hurts and will carry them around with her; this is the Cancer qualities of the card. If any of these are you, try to be mindful of how your emotions are affecting your actions when you are upset. The cups queens are also the ones most susceptible to depression.
Lastly, the reversed Queen of Cups could simply be feeling out of touch.  You may not be purposely stonewalling, but you are out of touch with your emotions.  You have lost your feelings in some way and are just kind of distant and unattached. You have hit a creative roadblock, and worse, you may not even care.  These things are almost always tied to a difficulty with a painful situation or emotion of some sort, and you would do well to try to be more introspective and identify it.  It can also signify a time that you are growing out of touch with your spirituality and need to re-identify with the faith of your choosing.

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      I'm Liza, professional Tarot reader, writer and mentor, and this is Tarot Liza. Everyday we're working to bring our mission of delivering more value and Tarot education to the Modern Reader to life! Welcome! Read more...