Eight of Cups

Element: WATER

Upright: Disappointment, Letting go, Self-discovery
Reversed: Stagnation, Fear of Moving on, Low Self-esteem

Symbology, Meaning and Interpretation


Disappointment, Letting go, Self-discovery.

The Eight of Cups portrays a man leaving eight cups behind in a lake or a riverside landscape. It suggests a moment of transition, maybe because of a sequential feeling of boredom or uninteresting routine. He realised that whatever he has been looking for in life is not as gratifying as he assumed it would be.

There was disappointment in past experiences, and he is abandoning his previous works of his own free will. The choice was not imposed, as he faced the many options from the Seven of Cups and decided to follow a more spiritual journey looking for more than material success – note that he also left his clothing.

The symbolism of the card reminds us of the story of prince Siddhartha who left his palace and riches to dedicate himself to an ascetic life that guided him to enlightenment. We can say that he left his heavier emotional luggage from the past and moved on to a new path of uncertainties, as the scenario suggests.

The rough landscape in his new way is, in fact, scary and mysterious but it is also a projection of our subconscious mind with our fears and doubts (the night and the moon). However, our lives needed a new purpose because the waters of our life were already stagnated.

For all of that, the card asks you to be courageous to leave your past behind and focus on new experiences and new challenges, embracing your adventurous side.


Stagnation, Fear of Moving on, Low Self-esteem.

Contrary to the upright position, it states that you are stagnating. You are accepting your life as it is, even if it is not your ideal concept of happiness and you probably feel lost.

Your fear to move on brings more anxiety to your life and grows feelings of insecurity, making your decisions even more difficult. Since you are not developing emotionally, this can be an indicator of low self-esteem or low self-worth.

The card prompts you to reflect about your long-term goals and think about your life right now. Be honest to yourself: if you find it incompatible, then you need to be strong and courageous to step forward into a new happier life.