Four of Cups


Sometimes, you just feel stuck. Not because of obstacles, not for any practical reason that can be solved, but just… stuck. It’s like your heart gives up, you can’t seem to get going or get excited about things.

The Four of Cups is about that moment. It represents an emotional inertia, grinding to a standstill. It’s being apathetic (as in, ‘without feeling’).

In Pamela Colman-Smith’s illustration, a girl sits beneath a tree, looking fed up. Three cups sit before her. Apparently, she is not interested in what is in them. She has become bored with her own heart, bored with herself.

It’s a rut, but a momentary one. A lapse in imagination, a lack of curiosity. From the side, a fourth cup is offered as if by magic. Resembling the Ace of Cups itself, it’s another opportunity, something new. She only has to turn her head to see it – but will she?

In a reading…

You’ve got a choice. You can sit there being grumpy or bored, accept the way things are just now and feel uninspired. Or, you can make a change. When you see this card, it’s really up to you.

Adopt an attitude of curiosity. Let your imagination wander. Try something new. Be creative – literally, get out some paints or make a collage or whatever. Walk in the woods or go to the beach. You get the idea! It’s up to you to give things a shake and awaken your imagination – by doing so, you open up new possibilities in your life that can help you get back on track again.

This might point to a relationship becoming stale. Or you losing interest in something you once loved. Or just feeling bored with it all. It’s time to shift the energy, shake things up a little. If things really are over, well – it’s time to accept and deal with that, you can’t just sit there forever pretending this isn’t happening. But think also about whether there’s something new or positive you can bring in to this situation to enliven it.

On the other hand, this can be about saying no for positive reasons. Maybe the ‘right’ person hasn’t come along yet? Maybe you’re gonna hold out for a better job? There’s a passivity in this card that could be just what you need right now, if you have faith that that something better is just around the corner. Just be careful not to get stuck here.