The Suit of Cups Card Meanings

 Vampires and sex rule this emotional suit about relationships.


Ghosts and the undead rule in the most depressing of the suits.

Ace of Cups

Element: Water (Blood); vampires

+ My cup overflows with adoration; sex and love; home is where the heart is

– Denial; putting up walls to emotional connections; lack of a place to call one’s own, unstable

Vampires have been stalking the halls of our imagination for centuries. They are monsters who indulge in the hunt for food and sex, passionately consuming what they will for as long as they can avoid a stake to the heart. Like all monster myths they reflect what we fear the most—which I argue is a repackaged version of our own darkest impulses and desires. Our base instinct is to fear death but eternal life becomes its own punishment. 

Over time the vampire myth has exposed our fear of disease and foreign customs. Now the vampire is a Byronic hero of our current age, a brooding sexpot that allows us to embrace some version of sexual kink.

As a baby goth, the vampire was the brooding loner that I aspired to be—brimming with misunderstood creativity and emotions. They seemed to openly feel things so deeply but also remain powerful and in control —my teenaged self was incredibly jealous. Growing up in then rural Virginia, emotional honesty was rewarded with ridicule. Showing interest in things outside of narrowly defined parameters simply made you a target. Seeing the few brave openly gay people in my school go through harassment from students and teachers alike, I learned to hide my still unexamined queerness with great effectiveness. Taking the hiding to the extreme, I managed to be missing from at least three out of four high school year books, opting to jump through only the most mandatory hoops required to get out of town and never come back. It was the Doom and Gloom night as the local gay club that saved me while I still lived at home. Meeting people, who were doing their own hiding, come out once a week to just be ourselves and jump around on the dance floor was the community I needed. 

These vampires are a sensitive and sensual lot and this suit captures their unabashed passion and creativity.


Two of Cups

Pronouns: She, her (both)

+ That first crush or infatuation; a flirt; tenderness and togetherness 

– Bickering and fighting

Should I ever put pen to paper and craft a retelling of Dracula it would be Lucy and Mina together against Bram Stoker’s monster. Apologies to Jonathan Harker but his storyline was just a way into the Transylvanian castle. 

Lucy and Mina as the two of cups balance one another’s personalities and share an enviable bond. It’s this relationship that needs to be explored further. Their chemistry is especially evident in the 1992 film adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola.  Lucy is a bawdy flirt who brings out the good humor in shy and reserved Mina. They look over a book of what appears to be the Kamasutra (introduced to Victorian England in 1883) and tease each other about sex while preening. When Lucy becomes ill it’s Mina who stays by her side until being pulled into battle the vampire who targeted them. 

Mina is depicted here as a vampire with Lucy as her trusted blood donor.


Three of Cups

Pronouns: She, her

+ Joy; mission accomplished; orgasm

– Distracted; too many outside opinions

While company can be nice, there is a pleasure in entertaining oneself. Solitude is not always a punishment. 

This card celebrates when all the right ingredients come together and we are allowed to celebrate  life’s simple pleasures. Enjoying the little victories is arguably the key to enjoying daily living. 

While the vampire myth was born from fear and an obsession with death, the stories have evolved into ones about indulgence and romance. Our supine figure is blissed out and in repose but a new fire has been started—a loving relationship with the self.

The vampire myth has branched out and evolved beyond tales of fear and death to become a new genre of paranormal romance. I can’t help be see that as an embrace of what used to be cast out as “other” and is now a celebration of “us”.


Four of Cups

Pronouns: She, her

+ Copious amounts of sex or pleasure

– When too much of a good thing numbs you out; obsessed with the material and ignoring the emotional

The Four of  Cups reaches for the cup that’s spilling over for another drop while still experiencing the ecstasy of the last sip. For the figure in this card there is so much more left to be enjoyed and she is soaking it up. Her tattoo reads, Delicious as Hell.  

Like anything, it can’t last forever but while it’s here try and revel in it. Why not? Unlike the vampires of this suit, we don’t get to live forever. At times the existential pressure of this life and its fleeting nature can be such a bummer. This card can be a reminder that for every valley there is another hill to climb.


Five of Cups

Pronouns: He, him

+ Loss of life; mourning a passing; empathy for those who are suffering

– While time can heal the body doesn’t forget; living with past trauma; transgenerational trauma 

The five of cups features a brooding Byronic hero as vampire. The five cards mourns a loss or reversal of fortune and the Five of Cups marks that emotional toll. 

Vampires live forever and because they do not appear to age they carry the marks of loss somewhere deeper. As humans we carry a similar burden that is only now emerging in the social conscious—the legacy of transgenerational trauma. The study of this topic is still quite new but art (the release valve of fear and trauma across time) has been made about this throughout history. The path we are on was carved by those who tread before us and it isn’t a stretch to think this same path leaves an impression on the traveler. 


Six of Cups

Pronouns: She, her

+ Thinking of the past through rose colored glasses; holding on to nostalgia; satisfied

– A warning to not rest on your laurels

This young vampire is pulled directly from True Blood where newly turned “baby vamps” are all energy with a sever lack of foresight. 

She has accomplished her mission of feeding for the evening and in fact, she’s collected more than her share. She sits back and is “having a think” while looking off into space with rose colored glasses. 

This card is about nostalgia—a word that conjures equal parts sadness and fondness for the past. While it seems harmless, holding on to things can have an affect on our present actions. In a reading this might be perception check: “Was it really that great?,” “Is this having an impact on the present?”


Seven of Cups

Pronouns: None

+ Options; many paths ahead

– Inability to commit to a choice; hesitation

The Vampire Oracle of the Seven of Cups floats before you with options. You can take a sip from any one cup before you, the choice is yours and yours alone. Once you head down that path however, you can’t go backward. The indecision can make you sweat but the Seven of Cups is patient. The truth is, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Instead of sweating about the choice, take your time, make a pro and con list, ask for help, and realize that no matter what, you are going to learn something.

Which path will you take?


Eight of Cups

Pronouns: She, her or They, them

+ When you’ve achieved that goal you have been working towards, what comes next? 

– Love on; even love ends

As we work our way up the suit of cups the explosive energy of the hunt and lust begins to taper. The Eight of Cups get downright reflective. Once the all the item on the list have been crossed out, what is next?

This is the moving on card. After the choice of the Seven of Cups is made, the next steep is to hit the road. 

Take note of the other cards around this one when it’s chosen. It seems like a solitary card but not so when in between two very different cards. Maybe it’s time to reflect before taking the next step or your are stuck in the middle of something and this is the reminder you needed to piece out. 


Nine of Cups

Pronouns: She, her

+ A skewed perspective

– Abundant; “I have everything I need”; mature enough to understand your strengths and content

This card meaning is flipped from the traditional orientation of the card in other decks. I changed it up to address head on how hard it is to get over ourselves. When the card is reversed, the cups are emptied out and we are left with ourselves and no other distractions. Without judgment, can you be left alone with yourself? 

Upright we are distracted by what we think we should be in order to attract sex, money, and power—whatever it is we’re supposed to be craving. It could be argued our culture trains us to think of our own bodies and thoughts as a distraction. 

Whether full-blown Body Dysmorphic Disorder or something less severe, talking to someone (including a mental health professional) helps to relieve the anguish caused and normalizes conversations about these topics.


Ten of Cups

Pronouns: She, her

+ Taking your comfort; indulging in a guilty &n

August 30, 2022 — Genevieve Barbee-Turner