Awwww. It’s a sad kinda card is this, at first glance, with the person all hunched over, gazing sadly down at their spilled cups. They held such promise…and now? It’s all ruined. The Five of Cups suggests the querent, or someone close to them, is feeling the weight of failure, and that’s really getting them down.
I don’t mean to trivialise the effects disappointment and failure can have, but there are other cards to represent pain and suffering. And whilst the Five of Cups does point out that a person is hurting, I think the really important idea in this card is what’s in the foreground (in the Waite-Smith image at least, and in the picture above, up on the shelf): that is, two cups, upright, still full. Message: all is not lost, yo! And the two cups to me suggest the Two of Cups card – reaching out, building relationships, support and love.
The message I get from the Five is to remember your friends. No matter how sad things get. There are people who love you, who care for you, who can help you to pick yourself up and get back on your feet. You feel alone in the world, like everything’s gone to shit, someone let you down, or you failed to meet your goal? Phone a friend. Make a connection. Share the pain, and it soon won’t seem so bad.