Four of Cups Artwork Description
“A young man is seated under a tree and contemplates three cups set on the grass before him; an arm coming out of a cloud offers him another cup. Even so, his expression is one of discontent with his environment.” 1
Four of Cups Associations
- Four: Stability. Security; Authority. Control; Four legs on a table.
- Element: Water.
- Timing: Autumn; slothy; dynamic.
- Direction: West/indirect; continuity.
- Keywords: Relationships; family, friends, strangers, enemies; coworkers; romance/lovers; emotional attachments to other sentient beings or highly valued things.
Four of Cups Basic Meaning
The Four of Cups is about stagnation. Things come to a halt they become jaded, have no spark, or are unsatisfying. Boredom. Reclusive.
“Too much of a good thing; emotional indecision; apathy; making the wrong choice due to emotional dissatisfaction or emotional baggage; weariness; histrionics (making a mountain out of a molehill); boredom; refusing to see the good in a situation and concentrating on the negative.” 2
“Water is about movement and flow, making the stability of the ‘fours’ contrary to this element. Which is why it’s a card about dissatisfaction. A man sitting under a tree with three cups is offered a fourth by a hand from a cloud. He seems to be staring at the three cups he has, the fourth from the cloud suggesting that he feels unhappy with those three. This is sometimes called the ‘grass is greener’ card. It indicates discontent. What we thought was wonderful when our feelings were new is now taken for granted. We might even start to find fault with it, become irritated by what we imagine is lacking or wrong with it.
The man under the tree is still, comfortably seated even, but it’s clear that his feelings are restless. Think of those who stew in their emotions, grumbling and grousing, maybe wasting their time drinking or spending too much time on the internet. He’s too locked in habit and routine to move, but habit and routine no longer give him comfort. He is dissatisfied and bored.
The querent might be on either side of this stagnant relationship, the man under the tree or the unappreciated cups. Either way, something must be done to bring these feelings out into the open and change them. There is still time to salvage the relationship, but that time is running out.” 3
“Meaning: Weariness, disgust, aversion, imaginary vexations, as if the wine of this world had caused satiety only; another wine, as if a fairy gift, is now offered him, but he sees no consolation in this. This is also a card of blended pleasure. Contrarieties.
Reversed: Novelty, presage, new instruction, new relations.” 1
Axank’s Dream Recollection
September 14-15, 2011