Tarot Card Series: Two of Cups

Two of Cups, Rider-Waite deck

Two of Cups, Robin Wood deck

Element: Water

Number Importance: Two is the number of duality, of both opposition and balance.  Similar to the Asian concept of yin and yang.

Important Aspects of the Card: The two people are important, as is the fact that they are man and woman; two cups in the center; and the spiraling snakes and the lion head with wings (all a form of the caduceus) rising above the cups.  There is no particular color symbolism in this card.

Interpretation: The Two of Cups is a card of partnerships.  It has similarities to The Lovers card in the Major Arcana, but is a lesser-strength version of sorts.  Based purely on the picture on the card, this card suggests an external relationship between two people.  This is the most common reading of the card: a relationship between two people, the card of the “soulmate”, and harmonious unions or combinations.  On the flip side with this reading, the card also has some negatives.  The union implied by this card is a less mature union than that spoken of in The Lovers card, and this union here does have the potential to dissolve.  There is no indication from this card alone that a relationship or union will last–it is only an indication that the union is ideal, but the people involved will need to decide whether the partnership will last.  It is not a guarantee.

However, there is another interpretation for the card, though it’s not as common.  Rather than the union of two people, it could also signify the union of two parts of one person.  It could be the combination of the male and female halves, the yin and yang, the union of differing elements, etc.  When this card doesn’t seem to signal a relationship, it could signify that work needs to be done internally in oneself.  The Two of Cups is about love, ultimately, whether that’s about the love for another person which creates the union pictured, or the love for oneself that would create an ideal union internally.

The caduceus (the snakes and wings) represent health, balance, duality, and cosmic energy.  It is a good symbol for partnerships, whether internal union or external, as it is an ancient symbol of balance.  The lion head is said to represent the material world, but I’m sure there are more interpretations available.

*Please remember, my interpretation may not be the same interpretation you or another person will have for this card every time in every reading.  Interpretations can vary according to what the card means to you.*

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One response to “Tarot Card Series: Two of Cups

  1. The caduceus, specifically with two snakes, has strong ties to Hermes/Mercury, both of which have an important element of duality – although I believe the theme to be more along the lines that the two people are separate parts of the same soul; people bound by a higher power to be united in some form, whether it be love or something else.

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