Upright, the Five of Cups is about loss, regrets, and feeling abandoned. Even worse, it can be about wallowing in a place where you feel stuck and without hope.
When you see this card, it can be a sign that you’re so focused on failure and hopelessness that you’re blind to the surrounding opportunities. This card shows up when it’s time to move on, but it tells you that the first step is to go through the stages of loss and grief.
When you see The Five of Cups card reversed, it can mean you’ve suffered a personal setback and you’re having trouble coming to terms with it. You may be ashamed to admit your mistake, and you’re bottling your feelings up inside.
This reversed card comes as a reminder that you can’t move on until you’ve accepted the situation and taken the time to heal. Talking with others about how you’re feeling can help you make sense of what went wrong and prepare you to build something better.
Along those same lines, the reversed Five of Cups can show that you’re coming out of a period of regret or loss. You’ve analyzed the situation and have a clear idea of where things went wrong, and you’ve done the work to forgive yourself and others so you’re ready to move on.
This reversed card can show that you appreciate what happened and the lessons you learned. Now, it’s time to rebuild and create a new life for yourself that aligns with your passions and values.
Reading this reversed card using the “blocked/restricted” meaning
Okay, let’s jump in to how to read your reversed Five of Cups card. First, you can use the “blocked/restricted” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards like this, you’re looking for an obstacle standing in front of the card’s upright meaning.
For The Five of Cups, this means that something or someone (possibly even you, yourself) is blocking your experiencing feelings of failure or disappointment. Remember, you need to feel these things to understand the situation fully and do the work to move on. Ask yourself what’s keeping you from accepting the circumstances and finding peace?
Say you pull the reversed Five of Cups card while thinking about a contest you were in last weekend. You’re in a folk group, and you took part in a battle of the bands.
The prize was significant—some cash, new equipment, and an opportunity to play a big show next month. But even though the crowd loved your set, you didn’t win.
You still haven’t accepted this fact because you’re convinced the judges favored the most popular band. You’re feeling jealous and feel like the whole situation is unfair.
Here, the reversed Five of Cups tells you to come to terms with the reality of the situation. No matter the circumstances, you lost, and feeling resentful won’t change that fact. Even if things weren’t fair, it’s out of your hands.
You must accept this before you can move on to bigger and better things. What’s something you could’ve done to level up your performance? Could you do more networking next time to make sure you’re as well known as the other bands?
Remember, new opportunities will come your way, but you won’t have better success unless you learn from this situation. Talk to your bandmates to come up with new ideas to keep things fresh and look for other opportunities to get your name out there.
Reading this reversed card using the “opposite” meaning
You can also use the “opposite” reversed card meaning to read your reversed Five of Cups card. When you read your cards this way, you’re looking for the opposite of the card’s upright meaning.
For The Five of Cups, instead of failure and feeling let down, you have success and satisfaction. Maybe you went through a tough experience, but you’re making the best of it and using the skills you gained to launch into an exciting new chapter.
You might pull the reversed Five of Cups card thinking about your career. You were working as a grocery store manager up until a month ago, but cutbacks caused you to lose your job.
In truth, this was a good thing! Your schedule was erratic, the pay was bad, and you didn’t receive the respect or appreciation you deserve. Your friends and family were shocked to hear about your lay-off, but after working through your emotions, you’ve decided it was for the best.
Here, the reversed Five of Cups card shows you’re on the right track. Looking at the bright side is exactly what you should be doing, so don’t let the concerns of your loved ones bring you down.
Have you been looking for a new position in management? Maybe now is the time to try your hand in a new field, or opt for an office environment rather than working at another grocery store.
Review your skills and revamp your resume. Also, try talking to some friends who have management experience and learn where they apply their skills. Now is the time to try something fresh and figure out your true calling.
Reading this reverse card using the “worse” meaning
Another way to read your reversed Five of Cups card is by using the “worse” reversed card meaning. When you read your cards like this, you take the card’s upright meaning and put it in a negative light.
For The Five of Cups, this means your failure, regret, and disappointment are growing and festering. You’re not able to come to terms with reality, and it’s keeping you in a very bad place.
Say you pull the reversed Five of Cups card while thinking about your finances. You made an investment earlier in the year that didn’t pay off. In fact, things went so badly that you lost all the money you had – several thousand dollars.
You made this investment on a whim, and now you’re in despair over your lost funds. You can’t afford the trip you wanted to take with your family, and you’re feeling less secure about the future. This is keeping you in a cycle of shame and regret, and you can’t seem to pull yourself out of it.
Here, the reversed Five of Cups card tells you that wallowing in your loss will only lead to more despair. The truth is, things are the way they are. You can’t go back and change the situation.
All you can do is learn from this experience and work to improve. Being more careful with your funds will teach you a lot about money and how much you actually need.
You might also learn to appreciate the little things more and uncover simple joys. You can always earn more money, but you can’t buy success. Try taking this loss as an opportunity to spend time appreciating every single thing you currently have, tangible and intangible. You’ll come out of this experience even stronger.
Reading this card using the “no/not” reversed card meaning
Finally, you can use the “no/not” meaning to read your reversed Five 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.
With The Five of Cups, you have “no regret” or “no disappointment.” Maybe you made a radical decision that others in your life are questioning, but you’re standing by your choice with no apologies.
For example, you might pull the reversed Five of Cups card when thinking about a recent breakup. You lived with your partner for six years, and to the world, you were the perfect couple.
You took great pictures together, and you went on lots of trips and always seemed so happy. But behind closed doors, things were all wrong. You didn’t see eye to eye on a lot of topics, and even worse, your partner had a horrible temper that often turned violent and scary.
Finally, you reached your limit and moved out without warning your friends and family. Everyone is shocked by the breakup and telling you that you made a mistake.
Here, the reversed Five of Cups card tells you to stick with your decision. If you were unhappy for any reason, you had full authority to leave. You don’t owe anyone an explanation either.
When you’re ready, you can talk more with your friends and family about what was really going on, but for now, rest easy. It’ll take time to recover from this sudden change and adjust to your new life.
Take things one step at a time and look inward to understand your emotions. Don’t feel pressured to change your mind just because other people don’t get it. You made the right choice.