Knight of Cups

Knight

Knight of Cups definitions

The Knight of Cups is an older man who is a dreamer or very creative. He may be difficult to ‘read’.

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Rider-Waite

Image of King of Cups in Rider Waite tarot deck
King of Cups

He holds a short sceptre in his left hand and a great cup in his right; his throne is set upon the sea; on one side a ship is riding and on the other a dolphin is leaping. The implicit is that the Sign of the Cup naturally refers to water, which appears in all the court cards.

Fair man, man of business, law, or divinity; responsible, disposed to oblige the Querent; also equity, art and science, including those who profess science, law and art; creative intelligence.

Additional meanings: Beware of ill-will on the part of a man of position, and of hypocrisy pretending to help.

Reversed

Dishonest, double-dealing man; roguery, exaction, vice, scandal, pillage, considerable loss.

Additional meanings: Loss.

Book of Thoth

Image of The Knight of Cups court card in Book of Thoth deck
Knight of Cups

The characteristics of the person signified by this card are nevertheless mostly passive, in accordance with the Zodiacal attribution. He is graceful, dilettante, with the qualities of Venus, or a weak Jupiter. He is amiable in a passive way. He is quick to respond to attraction, and easily becomes enthusiastic under such stimulus; but he is not very enduring. He is exceedingly sensitive to external influence, but with no material depth in his character.

When the card is ill dignified, he is sensual, idle and untruthful. Yet with all this he possesses an innocence and purity which are the essence of his nature. But he is, on the whole, so superficial that it is hard to reach this depth. “His name is writ in water.”

Golden Dawn – Lord of the Waves and the Waters, King of the Hosts of the Sea

Graceful, poetic, venusian, indolent, but enthusiastic if roused.

Ill-dignified

He is sensual, idle, and untruthful.

Mathers

A fair Man, Goodness, Kindness, Liberality, Generosity.

Reversed

A Man of good position, but shifty in his Dealings, Distrust, Doubt, Suspicion.

etteilla king of cupsEtteilla: King of Cups

Fair, Honest Man, Integrity, Equity, Art, Science.

Reversed

Distinguished, Honest. Dishonest Man. Exaction, Misappropriation of Public Funds, Injustice, Bandit, Swindler, Rogue. Vice, Corruption, Scandal.

Thierens

TRADITION
Fair and honest man; of business, law or divinity; responsible, disposed to oblige the querent; probity, equity, art and science, and those who profess science, art and law. Reversed: Honest or dishonest man equally (?); thief, brigand, rogue. Vice, corruption, scandal.
THEORY
This king is the chief of the kingdom of the soul, coming on the Ninth house, and consequently must indicate the teacher, prophet, man of law and divinity; the professor, inspirer and great traveller; sometimes a hunter, a wanderer, or a sailor, a yachtsman. Honesty and probity will be generally his characteristics, but some fantasy may be mixed with it and he may be less particular in details or accuracy. He may be exuberant or even excessive, and this may cause some excitement, but we see nothing of ‘scandal, vice,’ thievishness or anything of that kind in this card. There is a lively sentiment of justice in it and the person indicated by it will certainly be disposed to render justice to the querent, whether he be connected with the law or not. If the querent is himself a weak or vicious individual, the card may indicate the judge before whom he has to appear. At all events it may represent the idea of judgment of the querent’s actions or business. Further there is less of ‘science’ in this card than of philosophy, which is quite another department. There is the idea of promoting, inspiring, pushing. There lies promise for the future and likeliness of monetary advances in this Sagittarian card.
CONCLUSION
Honest man, philosophical or idealistic, doctor or professor, teacher, man of the law, traveller, promoter, inspirer, hunter, wanderer, sailor, etc. The querent’s actions, business or wants will be judged and brought to light. There may be some exaggeration, fantasy or want of accuracy, but there is certainly hope and promise for the future. Perhaps travelling on the sea. W. rightly observes under this head: “The implicit is that the sign of the Cup naturally refers to water, which appears in all court-cards” (i.e. of this suit.)

Paul Foster-Case: King of Cups

The YOD in the vesica refers to the attribution of all Kings to the Sephirah of Wisdom, and to the letter Yod. He represents the positive aspects of desire-force in the mental realm.

Time period

From beginning of last decanate of Genini to end of second decanate of Cancer, June 20th to July 10th, combining the rulerships of Saturn-Uranus, the Moon, and Mars. Subtle and secretive; crafty, psychic, artistic; strong, violent desires, but calm exterior.

Well-dignified

Friendly to the Querent, and really wise.

Ill-dignified

Evil and merciless, and likely to be attracted by occult studies promising power and wisdom for the satisfaction of desire without purification of character.

Appearance

Fair-haired and blue eyes.

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Summary
Article Name
Knight of Cups tarot court card meanings - creative
Description
The Knight of Cups is an older man who is a dreamer or very creative. He may be difficult to 'read'. Graceful, dilettante, with the qualities of Venus
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