The Eight of Cups is all about abandonment. This card can mean you’re successfully moving on from the past and walking away from a disappointing situation, or that you’re trying to escape from dealing with a stressful or draining situation.
When The Eight of Cups card is reversed, it can mean you’re having a hard time deciding whether to deal with a situation or abandon it. You’re not sure if you want to put in the work to fix things, and you don’t know if it’s even worth the effort.
Look inward and follow your intuition, but also use your head to decide if this is a lost cause. Sometimes it’s worth it to stick things out, and sometimes it’s better to move on.
The reversed Eight of Cups card can also show you’re in a place where you feel stuck. Maybe that’s because you can’t decide between a few options, or maybe it’s because you’re afraid of the consequences.
Either way, you know what the right choice is, but something is keeping you from making a move. What must you do to bring joy and purpose back into your life, and how can you overcome the obstacles in your way?
Reading this reversed card using the “blocked/restricted” meaning
Alright, let’s jump into how to read your reversed Eight of Cups card. First, you can use the “blocked/restricted” reversed card meaning.
When you read your cards this way, you look for an obstacle standing in front of the card’s upright meaning. So for The Eight of Cups, this means something is keeping you from leaving a situation you’re ready to move on from. What’s keeping you in a place you don’t want to be, and what changes can you make?
Say you pull the reversed Eight of Cups card thinking about your education. You’re a sophomore in college, majoring in accounting.
Your dad is an accountant, and he’s always pushed the same on you because you’ll make a good living and have career stability. But now that you’ve walked this path for a couple of years, you see it’s not a good fit.
Let’s be honest – you knew it wasn’t a good fit from your first day on campus. Still, you’re not making a change because you’re afraid of what your father will think, and you don’t want to give up a “sure thing.”
Here, the reversed Eight of Cups card shows that the thing holding you back is your indecision and apathy about your own life. YOU are the one in control, and you’re the one who has to live your life.
It’s hard to live up to our parent’s expectations, and difficult to break out of the mold they put us in. But if you don’t shift your major now, you’re going to be stuck with a career (and a life!) that doesn’t suit your interests and natural skills.
Reading this reversed card using the “opposite” meaning
Another way to read your reversed Eight of Cups card is by using the “opposite” reversed card meaning. When you look at your cards like this, you use the opposite of the card’s upright meaning.
For The Eight of Cups, instead of abandonment and walking away, you’re embracing a difficult situation. Even though others may not understand, you’re standing by what you think is right.
For example, say you pull the reversed Eight of Cups card thinking about a kitten you recently adopted. She’s a beautiful long-haired beast you got from the humane society, and you’ve had her for a couple of months.
Unfortunately, it turns out she has some destructive tendencies, and she’s been wreaking havoc on your furniture. You’re also having a hard time with litter training, so there have been a handful of accidents.
Your boyfriend hates the cat, so he’s encouraging you to find her a new home. But, even though she’s a handful, you take your adoption seriously and won’t consider abandoning her.
Here, the reversed Eight of Cups card guides you to stick to your guns. It’s wonderful you’ve given this kitten a loving home and are committed to raising her. Don’t give up just because your boyfriend or anyone else doesn’t understand.
Her temperament will even out with age, and there are a lot of things you can do to help train her. The bond you’ll develop will make all the hard work worth it.
Reading this reversed card using the “worse” meaning
You can also use the “worse” reversed card meaning to read your reversed Eight of Cups card. When you read your cards like this, you take the card’s upright meaning and put it in a negative light.
So for The Eight of Cups, this means you want to give up on a situation, but maybe it’s better if you stick it out. Sometimes it is worth it to put in the effort, even when things seem grim.
Say you pull the reversed Eight of Cups card thinking about your living situation. You own a house, and the mortgage is very expensive.
You’re struggling to make ends meet, and you really can’t afford to live there on your own. So, you placed an ad for a roommate and a woman in her 20s just moved in.
You two get along well enough, and she’s respectful and works hard. But now that you’re living together, you see she’s very messy, sometimes eats your food, and leaves her clothes in the dryer.
You haven’t lived with anyone in years, and these issues are driving you crazy. You’re wondering if you made a mistake and should ask her to move out. Here, the reversed Eight of Cups card tells you to try adjusting to this situation first.
Talk to your roommate and express your concerns. Concentrate on her good qualities and appreciate what she brings into your life.
Roommate etiquette takes time, and you might need to revisit your original roommate agreement, but expressing yourself honestly and with love is the key.
Don’t give up before you’ve given the situation a real chance. Maybe she’s not the one who needs to change, after all.
Reading this reversed card using the “no/not” meaning
Finally, you can use the “no/not” reversed card meaning to read your reversed Eight of Cups card. When you read your cards this way, you put a “no” or a “not” in front of the card’s upright meaning.
For The Eight of Cups, you have “no escapism” or “not moving on.” This means you’re feeling stuck and stagnant. What do you need to do to reclaim the power and purpose in your life?
For example, you might pull the reversed Eight of Cups card thinking about your career. You’re a civil engineer, and you’ve been working for the city for years.
You get up each morning at 6 am, have your coffee, go to the office, and are home by 5:30. Sometimes you go out into the field, but mostly, your days bleed into one another.
Things are so repetitive, you’re having a hard time finding the fun in life, and you can’t remember the last time you actually enjoyed a day at work. Here, the reversed Eight of Cups card tells you that the key is to shake things up.
Talk to your manager to see if you can get into the field more. Are there any interesting projects in the works that you can help with? What about training or classes you could take? Can you transfer your skills to a different organization, position, or field?
Even if you do change some things up at work, try finding ways to escape in your personal life, too. Can you plan a trip for the summer? What about just taking a long weekend to go camping? Take a new wine-tasting class, join a local softball team, and rope your friends into trying a new restaurant.
Sometimes all we need is a little time out of our normal routine to rejuvenate us and put things back in perspective.