The King of Cups denotes an emotionally intelligent older gentleman, oftentimes with artistic talents. The individual represented by this card is seldom single. They are either in a committed partnership, married, or have been married in the past.
Commonly, this card is taken to signify a water sign man (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces). This watery element can be interpreted as a person who is ruled by their emotions, feels deeply, has phenomenal intuition, and is socially astute.
If one looks carefully at the facial expression of the King of Cups in the Rider Waite deck, his face can be seen to be slightly contorted, as though he is restraining his feelings. His brow is furrowed, suggesting that he has numerous concerns on his mind. His lips and jaw show a mild grimace which hints at his tendency to feel and perceive a great deal although he is hesitant to speak openly.
This King is also depicted as having one of his feet close to the edge of the water surrounding his throne, signifying that he is metaphorically always attuned to the undercurrents of any situation. Indeed, for the King of Cups, his senses and feelings are his compass in life. He can hone in on a person’s character traits and intentions with startling accuracy.
The ship in the background of the card is shown on turbulent waves. This can be taken as a visual cue for the qualities that this King possesses. He may be outwardly sturdy and composed, but inwardly his emotions can veer towards the untamed and passionate. Since this card represents an archetype who is so in rhythm with their emotions, it can warn you that you are dealing with an individual who can use their intuitive talents to mislead and manipulate you.
In a love reading the King of Cups portrays someone who has a great deal of feeling for you. He is attached to you to the point of obsession and is very devoted. If you do not have someone in your life who matches this description, rest assured you will find a man who is willing to make you his priority. In a negative light this card may warn you that you are being emotionally duped by a man who is already committed to another person and you ought to be on your guard not to invest too much importance in his attentions towards you.
In a work or career reading, this is a slightly peculiar card to receive. It can signify that you will have a gentleman who is happy to mentor and guide you in your advancement but more so on an emotional level. Since the suit of cups is not directly connected with finances, this may indicate that the role you are in may be more short term, or that it will be emotionally rewarding but not necessarily lucrative.
Key Words: emotional intelligence, steadfast affection, married man, intuitive, manipulative, highly emotional and artistic, self-restrained