Four Of Cups – Rider Waite Tarot Deck

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I. Four of Cups Rider Waite image description

The Four of Cups depicts a young man sitting under a tree separated from everyone around, in a posture that looks like he is doing meditation. While he was meditating, he did not know that an arm was giving the cup to him. There are three other cups at his feet, depicted the temptations of the world but he did not pay attention either. He thought he needed to concentrate on contemplating himself to find the answers he was looking for. External influences can distract him and lead him astray from his goal, even though it is only a spiritual aspect.

Four of Cups Rider Waite image description

This young man and his persistence remind us of the Buddha’s story of meditating under the Bodhi tree until he has attained the truth of the Universe. He did not take the cup as well as pay attention to it so he missed the gift of love and opportunity.

Those who interested in Kayak and other river sports know that there are dangerous whirlpools around the river. Instead of moving forward, the water flows automatically backward. Similarly, we may also have difficulties or problems in our own emotional system.

In some cases, you have to focus on yourself. When life is too stressful, you need to spend time and energy for yourself otherwise you will feel bogged down. The Four of Cups can represent a positive phase of self-reflection and self-renewal. By taking time to think about your dreams, reflecting and imagining, you will gradually restore your emotional balance.

This card is sometimes a sign of indifference. You do not really care too much about anything. Your life seems boring and depressed because you are no longer interested in activities that bring you joy. You do not have the motivation to find the effort in any direction. At times like these, it mean that you are stuck in your own emotions. You need something to focus on, that will help your mind and heart find the way back to the flow of life once again. Be open to the surrounding environment. Soon you will be back on the road to be yourself again.

Keywords related to the Four of Cups Tarot card:

II. Four of Cups Tarot Card Meaning

Only care about yourself, Indifference, Enter the inner.

Only care about yourself

  • Focus on your own feelings;
  • Want for yourself;
  • Not care about anyone else;
  • Give away little;
  • Hold your emotions;
  • Just see your point;
  • Ignore gifts and blessings.

Feeling indifferent

  • Passive acceptance;
  • Loss of interest;
  • Feel free;
  • Made little effort;
  • Find that life is safe and unchallenged;
  • Lack of motivation;
  • Feel less desire.

Enter the inner

  • Introspective;
  • Meditation;
  • Dreamy;
  • Thinking
  • Pause to reflect;
  • Lost in delusion;
  • Get out of trouble;
  • Loss of awareness outside.

III. Opposite and Support Tarot cards to the 4 of Cups

Opposite cards

  • The World – Participation, interest;
  • 4 of Wands – Excited, energetic, optimistic;
  • 2 of Cups – Connect, share with others;
  • 8 of Pentacles – Efforts, hard work.

Support cards

  • Hermit – Withdraw, introvert;
  • 4 of Swords – Plan, spend time alone;
  • 6 of Swords – Absent-mindedness, depressed.

IV. 4 of Cups Upright Card Keywords

meditation, contemplation, indifference, re-evaluation

Words and Keywords

Depressed, tired, withdrawn, isolated from society, refusing the invitation to gather, re-evaluation, reconsider, apathy, separated, lost in thought, silence, distract, distance, feeling down, lack of something, an empty feeling inside, feeling depressed and sad, resentment, sorrow, bored, introverted, look inside, lack of motivation, no one understands me, the honeymoon was over, I never promised good things, the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, the miserable time was over.


The Four of Cups is a card of wishful thinking. It warns us to pay attention to the reality and the gifts we receive, instead of worrying about things that are not going to happen.


Make sure that you are grateful for what you have. Do not spend too much time regretting or wanting your life to be different. Life will change a lot if we put our focus and concern on it. You should pay attention to the things and people in life that you must be grateful for. You can consider writing a “gratitude diary”.


You may not like your job very much, but at least it gives you money. Remember that no one is really completely deadlocked.


You should think seriously about whether you are realistic about your love line. Is your heart eliminating all those who are going to come to you? Who does not really give you much love or is almost absent whenever you are in need?


You should focus on your strengths, on what you have and can do, not what you can not do and not have. If you do not know where your finances are going, set up your specific goals and plans, and then outline the steps that will help you achieve them. You should consider realistically your financial situation in order to control it.


The Four of Cups in the upright tells that you should focus on positive things. If you have a physical problem, remember that things are not always the same, so stay healthy and do not forget to pay attention to diet, exercise, and take time to rest/eat healthily. You may need to talk to a trusted advisor or doctor or friend to get support in the process of improving your physical condition at the moment.


Delusions can be harmful to the spiritual aspects of life, such as when we are caught up in the mindset of inferiority “I am weak” or “I wish that everything will be different”, it tends to make us blind to see the beauty of the real things in our lives, at the moment. Be confident and stick to reality. If you can not write a “gratitude diary” and write down what makes you feel grateful every day, then at least make a list of twenty people/situations/things that you feel are the best things that have ever happened in your life at this time. This meditation can help improve your mental awareness very quickly.

Situation and advice

The Four of Cups often appears when you are bored or dissatisfied with the present situation. You may have withdrawn yourself because of dissatisfaction with some aspects of life. You have a feeling of depression or shortfalls. Everything seems boring and unsatisfactory. The disadvantage in this situation is that you do not see the good things around and can refuse the recommended help. To overcome this, this Cups card suggests that you need to re-evaluate the situation and look deeply into your own soul to find out the meaning of life. You should stay focused and stay away from distractions to find out the truth you want.

Similarly, it shows disappointment of someone or in a particular situation. You may feel tired and bored with the difficulty that has lasted for too long in the past. As a result, you slowly retreat to seek peace and quiet. If you are becoming depressed and desperate, this card is a call to take action. It is time to wake up, stay alert and open up to new experiences to achieve a more positive result.  

The Four of Cups sometimes speaks of defensiveness. This can be seen through the body language displayed in the posture of sitting cross-legged and folding arms of the man in the card. He chooses to ignore the potential of the available cups. Maybe he had been hurt emotionally, because this is the Cups, and he was afraid of failure again, so he closed his heart to this opportunity. You should consider the opportunities that you are ignoring, and ask yourself whether this really does not work for you or you are scared, do not dare to take it. And be careful when you decide to close your heart to something.

The worst meaning of this Cups card is the ungrateful and stubborn person. Whether you are hiding in your own little world, depressed, selfish, or nurture a wound from a previously broken relationship, the causes of isolation are that you are self-imposed. You only care about your own troubles and problems and that you ignore the needs of others. Be awake, and remember, there is always a chance for you to connect with the world around.

Usually, this card implies that a recommendation has been made for you but that you are delaying making a decision or finding out about the opportunity. It should be noted that, although not accepting the offer being presented to him, the man in the card did not completely deny it. The cups will still be there and await his decision at any time. Now, it is time to ponder, research and meditate, so you do not have to rush to make any decision.

The Four of Cups is a reminder not to lose your life. In terms of arithmetic, the number four represents a solid foundation for the self and a strong sense of stability and safety. However, this can sometimes be a disadvantage. It warns you that there is a lot of love in your life but if you do not keep nurturing and cherish, you will lose everything. Most of the time, people do not realize they have too much. They always care about what they want and do not have time to look at how much they have in life. A lot of frustration in life comes from the bottomless cupidity when you have all you need. The key to overcome this frustration is simply to cherish the good things in life and to be grateful to them every day.


A person who is not satisfied or must re-evaluate the problem, the hermit.

V. 4 of Cups Reversed Keywords

depressed, missed opportunity, reserved lifestyle

Words and Keywords

(+) Relationships with others are renewed, expecting something, accepting an invitation to gather, motivation, initiative, get on well with social, enthusiasm, ready for new challenge and motivation, re-energize, feel energetic, extroverted, out of the shell, Lower the wall separating yourself from others, satisfaction, no longer feel bored.

(-) Self-pity, believe in destiny, boring, redundant, indifference, apathy, despair, depressed, exhausted, not interested, lost the opportunity.


The Four of Cups reversed is a card that implies breaking the self-imposed path. You want to see yourself moving forward once again. It is a good thing.


When getting this reversed card, this is the time to start over. Start with the present, and always remember that if something goes wrong, you still can make a difference, acknowledge the blessings and gifts that you have.


You finally find the motivation and help yourself out of the bad situation. That is good for you. You can master your life by your strength, believe in yourself.


You may finally be ready to overcome the shadow from the past and move towards a brighter, happier prospect with love in the future. You should spend a lot of time thinking about what and who you really need in your life. Let’s look forward to the future ahead, not the past behind.


If you look closely around, you will see the opportunities you have never noticed before. Take a moment to explore them. Your motivation must be higher than ever to get good things and earn money. You can do it.


When you get the Four of Cups reversed and consider the aspect of health and body status, this card says it is a great time to make some positive changes to your health. Take care of yourself. You should consider whether you need extra exercise, or a better diet, or both. You can also find a doctor for treatment at this time if you are required to have a medical examination.


In terms of mentality, this reversed card tells you that you are living outside of the box and that is a very good thing. Stay positive, explore new ways to study and care for your spirit, pay attention to the speakers and writers who bring a spiritual message, then consider whether what they write or say means to you personally or not. You do not necessarily have the tendency to take on spiritual life like everyone else.

Situation and advice

The Four of Cups reversed show that there is an opportunity as expected, but you have to work hard to take it. It was right in front of you there, do not ignore! You are too focused on their own problems and miss this opportunity or even do not know that it exists. Likewise, you should open to receive every opportunity and focus on your own ability to seize them.

It also reflects the time when you do not want to open your heart to someone or express your true feelings, instead, you withdraw and isolate yourself from others. You should notice that this can affect people who are close to you. Therefore, you should be dedicated to their needs as well as to your own.

On the positive side, things are getting better. You feel awake and waiting for new challenges. Life is bringing satisfaction again after a period of depression and discontent. You have something to look forward to. You may find yourself wanting to make new friends, perhaps as a result of attending a party or accepting an invitation. Now it is the time to renew your old relationship and re-evaluate what that relationship means to you.

On the negative side, the Four of Cups in reverse indicates that you may experience a significant period of stagnation. Do not let your self-esteem control you.


People who are getting out of boredom or getting rid of a period of withdrawal from social activities.

The Four of Cups Tarot card represents the phenomenon of self-withdrawal before everything. If you withdraw yourself, you tend to bring things back to yourself, including your own interests and desires. On this card, we see a man who does not care about having a cup being given to him. He missed this gift because he pointed his mind to the inner. In a Tarot spread, this card can indicate that you are being covered by your own world.

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