Ace of Cups Tarot Card Meaning

By Charrette Vachon

The Ace of Cups is the first card in the suit of Cups in the Minor Arcana. The suit of Cups is associated with the water element which represents the astral or spiritual world and Cups symbolize emotion, spirituality, and love. The Ace of Cups represents new or fresh beginnings, especially regarding interpersonal relationships, but it also signifies emotional fulfillment, joy, happiness, inner peace, abundance, satisfaction, instinct, and fertility. As such, Ace of Cups is considered a positive card to draw in readings.

Element: Water

Planet: Mercury

Astrological signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Key dates: Spring

Visual Elements and Symbolism

In the widely used Rider-Waite deck, the card shows a hand holding forth a chalice filled and overflowing with water above a sea with lotus flowers floating on it in varying states of bloom.  A dove holding a wafer with an even-armed cross on it descends towards the chalice.

The chalice is a symbol of our subconscious mind. It is filled to the brim, denoting spiritual abundance and flowing emotion, and five streams overflow from it representing the physical manifestation of this abundance through our five senses. The hand presents the chalice, as if bidding you to drink. The dove is a symbol of divine love as it flows through our subconscious mind to conscious awareness. The sea of lotus flowers indicates spiritual awakening and good fortune. The lotus flowers are in varying degrees of bloom, some are open, and some are still buds, as if to signify that some fortunes or messages are yet to be revealed.  The sea itself is the shared consciousness of humanity. The background is a serene blue sky, embodying eternity and the infinite. It can be interpreted that the hand, the dove holding the wafer, and the chalice are the message, the messenger, and the receiver, and they are all Divine.

Ace of Cups as a Person

A person that embodies the Ace of Cups is emotionally and spiritually connected and emanates positive energy. They’re deeply in tune with their instincts, their intuition, and their emotions. They will radiate feelings of creativity and inspiration that are reflected in their confidence and high sense of self-worth, and can even inspire and motivate those around them as well. Since this type of person is so in tune with their inner voice, they tend to be wise beyond their years, and some are even healers or psychics. Ace of Cups personalities also love deeply and whole-heartedly, and once they have found their home they are loyal and content to stay there. They also tend to be open to new experiences and beginnings, and are highly creative or artistic.

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The Ace of Cups Upright

Regardless of a person’s current situation, an upright Ace of Cups is a welcome card to draw. It symbolizes fresh starts and new beginnings, especially when it comes to relationships, whether romantic or platonic.  This card can mean that if you’re open to new prospects and opportunities, you can find fulfillment, true joy, pure love, and divine inspiration. This can also signify a time of healing and abundance spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Love and Relationships

Ace of Cups is one of the happiest and brightest cards to draw in a love reading. If you are single, this card can signify that a new, deep connection with someone is coming and can lead to a lifelong commitment. If you’re already in a relationship, this card predicts that your bonds will grow even stronger and that you might be approaching a new level in your relationship. Drawing this card can be a sign to let your decisions and judgments be based on your instinct and your emotions.


This card can mean new things are on the horizon for you in your career.  There may be new opportunities at work, or you may meet new colleagues. This could be a good time to take on new challenges or tasks that you’ve been putting off. Ace of Cups could also mean you find a newfound sense of satisfaction in your work.


Financially, good things are coming. This is a good time to focus your efforts on the goals you’ve set financially, it’s likely to lead to successful monetary investments. Good news may also be on the way if you are waiting to hear back about a loan or mortgage. It’s also important to note that in this time of abundance, giving back will also lead to emotional satisfaction. If you aren’t doing well financially, Ace of Cups means your finances may turn around soon.


This is a time of joy, love, and healing. If you’re struggling with bad health, recovery and release from illness could be in your future. You might notice an increase in your overall health and energy levels. This card has prominent elements of new beginnings and positivity, so there is considerable alignment with fertility, conception, and pregnancy.


Ace of Cups Reversed

Where an upright Ace of Cups symbolizes abundance and happiness, reversed it can mean loss and dissatisfaction. Normally the cup is full but reversed it is emptying instead, symbolizing emotional instability or a decline in enthusiasm. You could be feeling dragged down or dissatisfied with your current situation. The reversed Ace of Cups also has social implications, a deeper connection could be blocked or you may feel like isolating from friends and family. This can be a call to reconnect with your subconscious and intuition if you’ve been out of touch with yourself. That’s why when this card is drawn reversed it’s best not to make any decisions or moves until you’ve been cleansed of pessimism and negative energies.

Love and Relationships

This is a sign you’re withholding or possibly suppressing your true emotions. You might also be feeling sadness or emotional upset.  If you’re single, this can mean you’re afraid to show your true emotions or make new connections. If you’re in a relationship, this can mean you’re feeling dissatisfaction or disappointment in your relationship. It can also mean you’re setting unrealistic expectations or not fully opening up your heart. This can mean the end of a relationship, but it doesn’t have to. It’s important to view this as a call to fix the unresolved issues that are holding your relationship back.


The reversed Ace of Cups in a career reading can indicate feelings of unfulfillment or unhappiness with work. There could be bad news coming, or conflict with colleagues or supervisors. This can also imply that you’re feeling uninspired, unmotivated, or creatively blocked leading to disruption in your productivity. This could be a sign to get in touch with your creative and artistic side to get positive energy flowing again.


There might soon be bad news about your finances. Investments might not be going well or giving fruitful returns. If you’ve asked for support from family or friends, it may not yield the results you hoped for. This draw could also just mean you’re feeling ambivalent or pessimistic about your finances in general. This probably is not the time to be making big financial decisions.


If you draw a reversed Ace of Cups in a health reading, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in bad health. Instead, it might just be a warning that you need to deliberately initiate more self-love and pay more attention to areas where you’re neglecting your health. This can be through diet, exercise, or addressing your mental health. It can also denote fertility issues or miscarriage. In any case, it’s a sign to start constructively releasing your feelings and reviving your positive energy levels.


Your Past, Present, and Future

In a past placement, the Ace of Cups can refer to a former love interest or passionate relationship. It mignt have ended but it was very important to you at the time.

In the present position, it can mean there’s a new love interest or emotional connections in your life. Your intuition is giving you strong signals that “the one” is near. A lack of anxiety and a rise in inner peace will give you a sense of happiness with the card in this position.

In the future position, Ace of Cups can mean you’re seeking a deep, meaningful, lasting love. However, this is not necessarily a good position for this card as it can indicate you’re being overly picky, questioning motivations, or idealizing love. It can also mean there’s a possible struggle or threat in the future, but you should continue with positive energy and persistence.

Important Card Combinations

Ace of Cups is about emotion, spirituality, and love. This is important to keep in mind when paired with other cards as an interpretation is sought.

Ace of Cups and Three of Cups

When water is paired with water, emotion can overflow and become uncontrolled. Be aware of this when interacting with others.

Ace of Cups and Knight of Pentacles

This represents a strong, long-lasting love. The Knight embodies the masculine and the Ace embodies the feminine. He deliberately plants seeds of love and she helps them thrive and prosper.

Ace of Cups and Ace of Pentacles

This is fairly clear, this pairing is a strong indication you’re about to move in with someone.

Ace of Cups and Fool

This signals the arrival of new love with an enthusiastic partner. It can also mean a new beginning or adventure is about to start. You have a strong sense of self-confidence.

Ace of Cups: Yes or No?

This card is synonymous with satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness. This is a strong yes. You will experience success through your intuition and creativity. There’s a positive outlook for new beginnings or fresh starts.