The king of cups sits on a throne that appears to be surrounded by water; we don’t know if the throne itself rests on solid ground or if it is floating on the gentle waves. We do know, however, that the king is so well-balanced he doesn’t even get his foot wet. In a manner of speaking, he has risen above the water at the same time he is immersed in it. In his right hand, he holds a large open cup that is the symbol of his domain (his suit), and in his left hand, he holds the scepter that is a symbol of his stature and rulership.
This king has completed the journey to mastering all the feelings, emotions, relationships, and psychic abilities in and around himself. He is in touch with all of these and rules over them rather than letting any of them rule him. If this card comes up for you, it means you can ride the waves, the ups and downs, of all these areas and remain clear and calm, not even getting your foot wet.
The only drawback to this position is that sometimes others who have not yet mastered their own “cups”areas become overly dependent on the king at the same time they try to paint him/her as lacking in feeling, compassion, and/or understanding. Others may be jealous or resentful of the king’s abilities, like in the corruption of Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If,” that claims, “If you can keep your head while all around you are losing theirs, you just don’t understand the situation.”