Court Card Thumbnails: The Queen of Cups

The Minor Arcana: The Queen of Cups


Water of Water; The Queen of the Thrones of the Waters

Astrological Correspondence:

21°Gemini to 20° Cancer


Golden Dawn “Liber T” (S.L. Mathers):

She is imaginative, poetic, kind, yet not willing to take much trouble for another. Coquettish, good-natured underneath a dreamy appearance. Imagination stronger than feeling.”

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot (A.E. Waite):

Good fair woman; honest devoted woman who will do service to the Querent; loving intelligence, and hence the gift of vision; success, happiness, pleasure; also wisdom, virtue; a perfect spouse and a good mother.” When reversed, “perverse woman; not to be trusted.”

The Book of Thoth (Aleister Crowley):

. . . principally dreaminess, illusion and tranquility. She is the perfect agent, able to receive and transmit everything without herself being affected thereby. If ill-dignified, everything that passes through her is refracted and distorted.”


As a person involved in the situation, the Queen of Cups is normally the epitome of superficial charm and grace, but her calculated self-interest runs deeper than that of the King of Cups, who would give the shirt off his back without a second thought (and then wonder where his favorite shirt went). This Queen paints on a vast emotional canvas crammed with every nuance of empathy and expressiveness imaginable. She can be docile to a fault and wholly impressionable, but can also have a stormy side once belatedly realizing that she has been deceived. With a primarily Cancerian nature, she excels at nurturing and mothering of the “enabling” rather than “empowering,” character-building variety; the “velvet glove” trumps the “iron fist” in most situations. Her Gemini side brings more of a “hindsight is 20/20” contrition to her typically spontaneous response to stimulus. “Look before you leap” is not her style.

As an attitude or behavior of the seeker, the Queen of Cups encourages keeping a gentle but steady hand on the wheel and cultivating an intuitive sense of what is best for all concerned.

As an impersonal influence upon one’s life, it ushers in a period of fair weather and smooth sailing; just keep one eye on the emotional barometer.

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