Tarot card spells are becoming more popular as time goes on. These cards have transformed from handy divination tool to a means of working magic, from simply a way to discover information about your life to a way of actually impacting it. Having these incredibly specific archetypal energies at our disposal can be empowering but it can also be paralyzing.
How do you actually choose which cards to use for your spells? Do you stick to only using the Major Arcana? You can, but then you’re leaving a full 56 cards and all of their power on the table, completely untapped. Today, we’re going to take a look at the ways you can use the Minor Arcana to work magic, specifically focusing on the emotional realm of the cups cards.
(Psst, if you want the FREE expanded reference book of cups card spell uses complete with reversals, stick around until the end of the post!)
King of Cups
This card is about balancing emotions, not suppressing them, about creativity and the mind — a connection between thought and feeling. This is a strong card to use in spells contacting spirits and asking for guidance. It’s also useful for bringing clarity where there is confusion in terms of spirituality. This card is heavily associated with Pisces, and those born under the sign of the fish will find this card unusually helpful.
Queen of Cups
If you work in a field that focuses on helping others, like nursing for example, the Queen of Cups is your patron and can be carried with you to remind you to take care of yourself as well as you take care of others. In spells, the Queen of Cups can be used to summon a nurturing woman into your life when you need it the most, or perhaps rebuild a crumbling relationship with your mother. She can also be used in spells to help take care of your inner child, an energy many of us tend to ignore as we grow older and more consumed with our strenuous day-to-day.
Knight of Cups
This knight is a romantic at heart, and in spellwork, can be used to summon a new lover. If you’re done with all the nonsense and immaturity of other suitors, call on the Knight in a love spell and make sure to add a bit of gold — preferably a ring. As a messenger, the Knight of Cups traditionally represents the arrival of good news, specifically news that will make you very happy, further adding to his association with new love. The Knight represents creativity and can be used in motivational spells when starting a new, heartfelt project — particularly writing. For romance writers, he is an essential companion and brings that special touch to make your readers swoon.
Page of Cups
This is another Cup with a strong link to inspiration, creativity, and new ideas. However, where the Knight is a romantic, the Page is more light-hearted — one who lives in dreams and fairytales. A generous assistant for all fantasy writers and abstract artists. Keep the Page of Cups in your pillowcase and seek out inspiration for projects in your dreams — the playground of your subconscious. Because of this card’s association with fish and happy surprises in general, it can be used in spells directed at women and couples hoping to become pregnant.
Ten of Cups
This is a happy card that symbolizes contentment, joy, and wishes coming true. However, this isn’t about material things; this card represents personal fulfillment and feeling at peace with what you already have. This makes it a great card to use in gratitude spells and on your altar as a way to show you are thankful for all you have in life. Brew your favorite coffee or tea or hot chocolate — something warm. With the Ten of Cups close, fill a cup a little each time you think of something you’re grateful for. Once the cup is full, and you have acknowledged all the good in your life, drink the liquid and let the warmth of gratitude wash through your whole being.
Nine of Cups
The wish card. This card represents satisfaction and success after a struggle. In spellwork, this card can be paired with The Star to make wishes come true. Place under your pillow with a little mugwort and pin The Star card above your head wherever you sleep. Before you go to sleep, focus on what you really want. When you wake in the morning, reanalyze your wish and if it has not changed, hold the Nine of Cups and make your wish. This should be the first thing you say that day. Keep an eye out for manifestations of this wish coming true, like seeing the same time whenever you look at the clock, or suddenly hearing people talking about what you want in everyday conversations.
Eight of Cups
This card can represent two things; letting go of the material and moving onto more spiritual aspirations or letting go of something in your life that no longer brings you satisfaction. That makes this card excellent for spellwork focused on yourself.
Gather together symbols of your current life, especially those things that have gotten old or useless to you, like a job or relationship. Tie these symbols together with a cord and hang them over the Eight of Cups. Now it’s time to let go! Cut each one free with a knife until these old symbols are scattered around the Eight of Cups. Now create a new chain of symbols that represent things you want to replace what you’ve just cut free. A new job? Tie on a business card or application. A change of scenery? Add a picture of where you want to travel to the chain. Hang this chain some place you’ll see it every day and keep the Eight of Cups close as a reminder that you must change in order to grow, and let old things go so new, better things can come in to your life!
Seven of Cups
In the Seven of Cups, a dreamer sees seven options and fantasies in front of him — everything from victory and riches, to snakes and monsters representing the dreams we chase, or the demons we let haunt us — constantly living in the clouds instead of reality. Because this card is focused on our thoughts more than reality, you’ll only need to work with mental magic for spellwork with this card. Look at the symbols in each of the seven cups and personalize them. Maybe the castle represents having a space of your own. Maybe the dragon represents a bad memory or fear. Do you want to take the time and finally face the things that bother you? Or maybe it’s time to focus on how to make one of your most sought after dreams a reality. Meditate on this card. Let it speak to you and make sure you listen to your own winding thoughts for the answer. It’s time to focus.
Six of Cups
This card represents family, stability, home, and happiness. It can be used to bring a reunion between old friends or family you’ve grown apart from — or even re-establish a connection with the person you used to be. Gather photographs of an old acquaintance and shuffle them together with the Six of Cups. Light a yellow candle and flip through the photographs. Pick a photo that best represents this person’s true self, and place it on top of the Six of Cups, then add a lodestone on top of the photo. Let the yellow candle burn while you envision different ways this person could re-enter your life. If you can’t think of any available options, ask for new pathways to make this possible during the spell.
Five of Cups
This suit is an emotional one, and the Five of Cups represents our worst feelings of grief, loss and disappointment. In times of strife, it’s hard to remember that we have choices. We can wallow and allow sadness to keep us down, or we can learn and become better.
Four of Cups
Another emotionally heavy card symbolizing apathy, depression, and stagnation. This card is useful, though, as a reminder that if we don’t move forward we don’t get anywhere and worse, we may miss opportunities that could truly make us happy. Pair this card with anise and go someplace peaceful. Allow yourself to feel your emotions. Vent if you need to, journal, or just sit and reflect on whatever’s causing you pain in this moment. Then return home and put this card away. The goal is not to block out painful things, but to feel them, re-evaluate, and grow more resilient in spite of them.
Three of Cups
This is a card of celebration, good times with friends, and victory. Use this card in spells when you feel like having fun or want to make a party great — particularly weddings, where many of your family and friends will be in attendance. Light an orange candle and place this card before it. Sprinkle some oregano into the flame and say a date to ensure the party is a blast. Pair with turquoise in spells to bring about a personal victory.
Two of Cups
This card depicts a ceremony between two people and represents a union or harmony in a partnership. Many see this card as a representation of love, and it certainly can be read that way — used in spells to strengthen marriages or romantic relationships. However, I believe that limits this card’s potential. The Two of Cups is about a strong connection, equality, and mutual respect. So I suggest using this card to strengthen any kind of bond between two people, paired with another card or symbol to clarify your intention. If you’re working a friendship spell, add the Three of Cups. If the spell focuses on a business partnership, pair this card with the Emperor.
Ace of Cups
The Ace in any suit embodies the pure strength of that suit. The Ace of Cups is emotional fulfillment, stability and happiness in its most powerful form. A card to use in spells when you need to find balance, peace or instant joy. This is also the card of intuition and listening to your inner voice. When paired with a water element and labradorite, this card will heighten your intuition and make your divination skills stronger.
Now, when this article was being written we got a little excited and came up with way, WAY more information that we originally intended. There was no way to cram it all in one blog post!