Five of Cups

Permission to grieve

The Five of Cups shows us a moment of pure sadness. There’s very little here, but a figure, standing sadly beside overturned cups.

What happened? It doesn’t really matter. Whatever those cups held is now gone, and this person is left to deal with it.

Though this isn’t really about ‘dealing’ with things. It’s about letting those feelings out. Loss is painful. Breakups are painful. Life hurts. It’s okay to feel sad: the Five of Cups offers us all permission to grieve.

In many illustrations of this card, two cups remain upright. They represent hope, and all of the positive, wonderful energy in the Two of Cups. For now, they are untouched, ignored. Hope is there in the background for when we are ready. For now, it’s okay to simply sit with our loss and feel our own pain.

In a reading…

Let yourself be sad. If you’re putting on a brave face or being strong for someone else (or for yourself), now is the time to drop the act. Really give yourself the space to feel what you feel. It may be simple grief. It may be a complex mix of things. Go with it.

You don’t have to be any thing for anybody. All you must do right now is feel. Healing can only take place when mourning is done – that might take a few days, it may take years, and both are fine.

Remember, though, that life goes on around you. Those two cups – symbols of so much possibility for joy, love and fulfilment – are right behind you. Whenever you are ready – and there really is no rush – they will be there for you. Hold that knowledge deep inside and let it support you as you work through how you feel just now.

This can also represent going back to an old wound. If there’s anything you have ‘stuffed down’ in the past, a grief, guilt or grudge that you carry, now is a good time to face that. Don’t be afraid of it – make some space in your life so that you can gently acknowledge what happened. This is about healing, and that begins with being truly honest about how you feel.