Ace of Cups – Rider-Waite

Ace of Cups - Rider-Waite Minor Arcana

Ace of Cups Keywords 

House of the true heart, joy, content, abode, nourishment, abundance, fertility; Holy Table, felicity hereof.

Additional Meanings: Inflexible will, unalterable law.

Reversed Ace of Cups Keywords

House of the false heart, mutation, instability, revolution.

Additional Meanings: Unexpected change of position.

Rider Waite – Ace of Cups description

The Ace of Cups suggests the birth of emotions and feelings. Potential for creation. Stirrings of love, or looking for love.

The waters are beneath, and thereon are water-lilies; the hand issues from the cloud, holding in its palm the cup, from which four streams are pouring; a dove, bearing in its bill a cross-marked Host, descends to place the Wafer in the Cup; the dew of water is falling on all sides. It is an intimation of that which may lie behind the Lesser Arcana. 

Paul Foster-Case

Ace of Cups – Desire-force

In the Vesica is a radiant crown, from which ten rays descend, for the Ace of Cups represents the power of the Qabalistic Kether, or Crown (No. 1 in the system of 10 Sephiroth), in the Creative World. It is the will to differentiate, or the will to specific manifestation. The Rose- Cross on this card reminds us of the essential Rosicrucian doctrine: Let your heart’s desire be unified with the basic pattern of creation. This is symbolized by a rose (desire) fastened to the center of a cross (the cross representing the fundamental pattern of cosmic manifestation).

Time period

Astrologically the Ace of Cups governs the time-period from Cancer 0 to the last degree of Virgo, June 21st to September 22.

Occult title

The Root of The Powers of Water.


The general meaning of the card corresponds to the time-period it controls, during which, in the temperate zone, all the fruits of the ground come to ripeness and perfection. This, also, is vacation time, and the period when the weather is most favorable to pleasure out-of-doors.

Fertility, productiveness, development, multiplication; happiness, pleasure, gratification, fruition of desires; cheerfulness, geniality, gayety.



Etteilla – L’as de Coupe





Table, Meal, Feast, Reception, Treat, Food, Edibles, Nutrition. Guests, Service. Invitation, Prayer, Supplication, Convoking. Host, Hotel, Hostelry, Inn. Abundance, Fertility, Production, Robustness, Stability, Steadiness, Constancy, Perseverance, Continuation, Permanency, Duration, Regularity, Persistence, Confidence, Courage. Scene, Painting, Image, Hieroglyph, Description. Tablets, Portfolio, Desk, Secretary. Simple Table, Bronze Table, Marble Table, Law. Catalog, Table of Contents. Sounding Board, Garden Table, Holy Table.


Mutation, Permutation, Transmutation, Alteration, Vicissitudes,
Varieties, Variation, Inconstancy, Weakness.—Barter, Exchange, Purchase, Sale, Deal, Treaty, Agreement.—Metamorphosis, Variety, Changeability,
Reversal, Disruption, Revolution, Reversion.—Version, Translation, Interpretation


Ace of Cups – Tradition

Table, first as the symbol of the bearer of food, alimentation, etc., then also as ‘table of the law’; catalogue, tabulation; the Holy Table. Meal, feast, gala, and invitation for the same. Hotel, restaurant, etc. Picture, painting, image, description. Production, fertility, abundance. Stability, fixity, constancy, etc. Reversed: Mutation, change, transmutation, inconstancy, etc. Buying and selling. Metamorphosis, reversal, revolution, translation, interpretation. Another version says: “House of the true heart, joy, contentment …” (W.) Reversed: “House of the false heart …”


The Cups, representing the element of Water, Jovian and lunar by nature, start their cycle on the Ninth house, the house of Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter, the lawgiver. The element Water has its two polar effects in the soul, so we need not look for particular ‘weak cases’ to demonstrate a more or less benefic and malific effect at the same time. The house of Sagittarius, however, does not bring much evil to the soul and is generally uplifting, inviting, pushing towards progress and development, journeying and hospitable reception of strangers. There is little or no stability or fixity in it, but on the contrary always a good deal of ‘mutation’; also the magic power of the true transmutation. Further we find a tendency to teach, to translate, guide, interpret. It may, too, lead to extravagance as regards dissipation or at least spending. There is sanction or even holiness in it, inspiration, idealism. The latter, of course, may lead to more or less well-directed actions.


Sanction, permission, inspiration, idealism, enthusiasm, blessing. May denote a leader, teacher, guide or any influence of this nature. Legislation, direction, instruction; hospitality and sympathetic reception. Driving, hunting, travelling; planning for the future. Invitation, convocation, appeal. Mutation and transmutation. Translation and interpretation.

Similar Cards

Ace of Cups – Golden Dawn

Ace of Cups – Golden Dawn

Pleasure and happiness. The influence of the Great Mother, who creates freely through the subtle pressure of the waters.


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