International Tarot Day ~ King of Cups

July 8th is International Tarot Day in 2018, and I am delighted to be a part of it. I am joining other writers to celebrate the day by investigating a single card. Links to other articles can be found on the main page of the host blog at  International Tarot Day 2018.  You may find new blogs of interest or discover something new about the cards that peaks your interest or discover something new about a card that you’ve been working with. You know tarot. It’s a never-ending path, and each reader brings something new to the table. I will be digging into the King of Cups and his many associations.

Included in this article

  • The Many Faces of the King of Cups
  • Fitting into the Tarot Hierarchy
  • Astrology of the King of Cups
  • Discovering the Numerology of the King of Cups
  • Making Magic with the King of Cups: Colors, Crystals, Essential Oils, and Flowers

The Many Faces of the King of Cups

How do you describe an idea? Rather than focus on the King of Cups from one deck, I decided to show you many. Here are a few that I’ve collected on a Pinterest board. The most commonly shared symbol is the cup, but there are cards without one.

Is your perfect King of Cups to be found among these?

Fitting into the Tarot Hierarchy

King of Cups Hierarchy

This graphic from my work in progress, Tarot Nations, Tarot Clans, illustrates the close connections that the King of Cups makes to other cards of the tarot and the realm he rules, so to speak. It’s presented as a tool for meditation and not as the be all and end all of tarot connections. These connections work for me. I urge you to develop a system that works for you and go with it.

  • His element is water: sensitive, empathic, moody, emotional, dreamy, protective
  • His direction is south. Directions vary greatly depending on which system is being used. This system uses the four cardinal directions as read on a map and the placement of the rising Sun which represents fire.
  • His season is summer, which he shares with the Queen of Wands (Leo) and the Knight of Pentacles (Virgo).
  • He is influenced by The High Priestess (the Moon) and the Chariot (Major Arcana Cancer card) and has dominion over the 2, 3, and 4 of Cups.

The King is also connected to the rest of the water Court: the Queen and Knight who preside over their own realm/zodiac sign and the Page who acts as an envoy, or messenger, of the Ace.

Astrology of the King of Cups

The King of Cups is associated with the cardinal water sign, Cancer. He is initiating, emotional, protective of his family, tribe, or clan, and nurtures those under his care. When negative, this King is needy, overly moody, clinging, and isolating. He is ruled by the astrological Moon, represented by The High Priestess, and is under the dominion of The Chariot (Cancer). We can see the starry night sky canopy atop the chariot and the lunar cycle depicted on the charioteer’s shoulders.

Discovering the Numerology of the King of Cups

The Court Cards are the 16 cards in the deck that are unnumbered, but there are way to associate numbers with them. Here are three ways I know of to connect The King of Cups with numerology.


The first is to assign all the court cards ascending numbers beginning with the Page (11/2), following the 10s. Knights would carry the energy of 12/3, Queens of 13/4, and the Kings would complete the series as 14/5. The 5 energy is Mercurial in nature: changing, flexible, adaptive, intelligent, communicative, witty, and social. Combined with his sensitive, watery nature, the King seems utterly charming.


A second way is to assign a sequential number to all of the cards. In the book, Numerology and the Divine Triangle by Faith Javane and Dusty Bunker, this King is assigned the number 37/1. They assign a number to each of the cards up to number 78. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy combining numerology and the tarot. Here’s a snippet of their description of someone whose Life Path number is 37/1:

“As a personal number vibration: You are a mature, reserved individual whose calm exterior belies your desire to rule…A slight militancy emerges into a dedicated defense when you feel the institution of the home and family is under attack either physically or intellectually.”

Their descriptions of the numbers as temporary vibrations are superb. A “temporary vibration” might refer to the number for your Personal Year. Here’s a snippet for the King:

“Friendships, partnerships, love, family. During this calm, happy period, a friendship with an influential person can help you to achieve the results you desire…You will be drawn to your family…Business prospers…”

The authors go on to associate the King of Cups with the first ten degrees of Cancer and note the Moon’s influence on his character.


A third way to associate numerology to the tarot is by using the number that best describes the sign. The King of Cups, as Cancer, is strongly aligned with family, the arts, emotional bonds, and familial and platonic love. In a romantic relationship, he is loving, loyal, and caring.  When expressing negative traits, he can be bossy, interfering, and emotionally manipulative. Those are a few of the keywords associated with the number 6.

Making Magic with the King of Cups: Crystals, essential oils, and flowers

All colors of the sea are representative of the King of Cups. The darkest blues, seafoam greens, the white of waves and pearls, the soft sand beiges, and the silver glow of the moon on his midnight waters, all serve to embellish and decorate this King’s watery realm.

Pearls, Rubies, and Moonstones are crystal allies to the King of Cups. Moonstones harness the power of the Moon and can be worn to increase intuition, psychic ability, and a connection to feminine energy. They vary in color from milky white to iridescent blues.

Rubies are the stone of July and the last two thirds of Cancer. They are a stone of love bringing passion, tenderness of heart, and healing from past hurts.

Pearls are the stone of June and the first third of Cancer. They represent purity and union. Coming from the sea, pearls can help us adapt to the ebb and flow, the ups and down, of life by calming our emotions. They are a wonderful stone for meditations taken to balance the heart chakra.

Jasmine is the King of Cups signature essential oil. Uplifting and balancing, Jasmine is an antidepressant and an aphrodisiac. Called “Moonlight of the Grove” or “Mistress of the Night,” this exotic oil helps you access your intuition and heightens spiritual awareness. (Always dilute essential oils properly and keep them away from animals.)

White roses and waterlilies are flowers belonging to the King of Cups. Waterlilies are hard to come by unless you grow your own, but white roses are available throughout the year. Place some white roses in a prominent spot so you can carry his energy in a truly beautiful and subtle way.


This link will take you to the main page where you can follow more links:  International Tarot Day 2018

Have fun, and Happy International Tarot Day!

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