The cups in the tarot deck became hearts in the modern playing deck. They are associated with the element of water and represent feelings. emotions, relationships (the context within which feelings and emotions are exchanged), and psychic abilities, where people feel and experience things that are not readily apparent to others.
Many of the cups hold water or wine, and others have some rather unusual contents. Although the cups are containers. they are are vessels that transport their contents, and the feelings and emotions are meant to flow rather than remain stored and stagnant. When feelings are blocked and/or repressed, they can cause big problems. Just like water that has been blocked by a dam, feelings that cannot or do not flow double back on themselves and get deeper and bigger, sometimes threatening to drown their owner.
Without flow, love becomes possessiveness, envy becomes jealousy, anger becomes rage, fear becomes panic and paranoia, and grief becomes depression. The Academy Award-winning song this year is from the movie “Frozen” and is entitled “Let It Go,” something everyone seems able to understand. A friend of mine once said that letting go was easy; it’s trying to hold on that hurts so much.
If there are three or more cups in any single reading, these are some of the issues highlighted in that reading. The tarot always encourages the movement or flow..