Every suit of the Minor Arcana corresponds to an element. For the suit of Cups, this is Water. Water is said to govern the emotions, so all of these cards tend to reflect the querent’s relationships, feelings, sense of fulfillment, and general inner landscape.
About Two of Cups
- Keywords: Harmony, partnership, mutually beneficial relationships
- Keywords (Reversed): Mistrust, broken relationships, selfishness
- Yes or No: Yes
- Yes or No (Reversed): No
- Element: Water
- Zodiac Sign: Cancer
In the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck, Pamela Colman Smith’s artwork depicts a man and a woman looking into each other’s eyes. The woman wears a laurel wreath and is dressed in blue and white, while the man wears a wreath of roses and is dressed in black and yellow.
Each figure holds a cup, and you can see the man’s left hand extend toward the woman. Between the two, there’s a caduceus topped with a winged lion’s head. In the background, there’s a small house visible on top of a green hill.
While the caduceus is often used to represent medicine and healing, this is because it has been conflated with the staff of Asclepius (which has only one snake, and no wings).
In antiquity, the winged caduceus was actually the staff of Hermes and was often carried by messengers. It’s also sometimes used to symbolize Mercury, and is associated with negotiation, communication, messages, and trade.
The fact that the caduceus is topped with a lion’s head hearkens back to alchemy. C.G. Jung considered the lion a representation of one of the stages of the transformation of “Mercurius.”
He also refers to the lion having an erotic aspect. Elsewhere, the “red lion” is also used as a name for the Philosopher’s stone, which is said to turn base matter into gold.
The imagery here is complex but the message makes sense — the connection and communication between these two figures is a powerful transformative force.
Two of Cups Meaning (Upright)
When upright, the Two of Cups is a very positive message for anything related to a partnership of any kind. While it’s typically regarded as a love card, the relationship it describes doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic.
Regardless of where you are in life, or what you might be seeking, it’s likely that you will soon meet someone you will form a bond with. If you’ve recently met someone like that, this card is a sign that you may form a very close partnership.
No matter whether it’s for business, friendship, or romance, this relationship will be transformative, fruitful, and — above all — balanced.
Two of Cups Meaning (Reversed)
When reversed, the balance of the Two of Cups is thrown off. It can signify a falling out, or simply a negative change in what was once a harmonious relationship. The power balance has shifted in an undesirable direction, and things are no longer equal.
Just as you need the right balance of reagents for a chemical reaction, this imbalance has damaged the relationship’s transformative powers. Instead of becoming more than the sum of its parts, it is beginning to be a drain on one or both partners.
See also: Check out alternate Tarot decks here.
Two of Cups Meaning – Love & Relationships (Upright)
Even when it isn’t specifically in a love reading, the Two of Cups often indicates a very happy, loving relationship. It stands to reason that, when it’s in a love reading, it’s considered one of the most positive relationship omens in tarot.
It signifies a very good start to any romantic partnership. Both parties are on equal footing, with a mutual sense of attraction. They uplift, support, care for, and communicate honestly with each other.
If you’re single, this card encourages you to pursue a partner. If you’re with someone, it can signify a positive transformation in your existing relationship.
Two of Cups Meaning – Love & Relationships (Reversed)
When reversed, the Two of Cups is a sign that something isn’t the way it ought to be. When upright, the Two of Cups shows a relationship that works like alchemy — it can turn anything into gold. Reversed, this is no longer the case.
In some cases, it’s because of a shift in the balance of power. One partner is supporting the other to their own detriment. In others, it may be that both partners have become too dependent on each other. Something needs to change in order to restore the balance.
Two of Cups Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Upright)
In a career and business context, the Two of Cups indicates a profitable partnership. If you already have a job, then you may find that you’re getting along very well with your co-workers and supervisors. If you’re starting a new business, then you’re likely to forge a mutually beneficial partnership.
Financially, you can expect to have a good balance between your income and expenses. You’re not likely to bring in abundant wealth right now, but you’ll enjoy a degree of monetary stability and security.
Take the time to relax and enjoy some breathing room, but be careful to maintain this balance if you want it to last.
Two of Cups Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Reversed)
When the Two of Cups shows up in its reversed orientation in a career or business reading, it indicates that business relationships are beginning to circle the drain. This can range from conflicts to simple differences of opinion.
In many cases, both partners may just have different visions for how things should be done. It’s important to take an honest look at the state of the partnership now and evaluate whether it’s a good idea to continue. If both partners want something different from the business, it may be time to dissolve the partnership and go your separate ways.
In money readings, a reversed Two of Cups indicates a lack of balance. Your expenses are starting to outstrip your income. It may not be a large discrepancy at the moment, but it’s still there. If you ignore it long enough, it will drain your finances. Take steps to correct it now before it becomes a major problem.
Two of Cups: Yes or No?
For “Yes or No” readings, the Two of Cups is a “Yes.” This card emphasizes balance, harmony, and peaceful resolutions. You can anticipate a positive outcome to your query.
Reversed, the Two of Cups becomes a “No, but.” You may be allowing fear to keep you from forming strong connections to the people that would help you get a positive outcome. It’s not too late to fix this, but it will take work.
The Two of Cups is a partnership card, no matter what context it appears in. It represents the positive transformations that a balanced, healthy, caring relationship can cause.
In its reversed orientation, it warns the querent when things are no longer as they were. This gives the querent the opportunity to course correct before things become a problem.
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