The 2 of Cups is hands down one of my favourite Minor Arcana cards, and I’m always glad to have it make an appearance whether I’m inquiring about a romance question or not. Seeing this card crop up in a daily spread evokes a feeling of incredible faith and good-will, and even though by the end of the day I might not have crossed paths with a dark and dashing stranger, something would have happened to remind me of the joys to be found in friendship, camaraderie, and the magic that those near and dear to you imprint upon your life. Romantics and the more jaded alike will both agree that having the 2 of Cups pop up in a spread can only augur good things, be it in your personal or professional life.
Just as no one wants to see the 3 of Swords or 5 of Cups turn up in a love reading, everyone hopes for the 2 of Cups to put in an appearance. 2’s are indicative of partnership, cooperation and harmony, while the suit of Cups are emblematic of emotions, in particular those pertaining to friendship and love. Oftentimes, the 2 of Cups is more akin to a true love relationship than The Lovers as the former suggests an attraction built on mutual similarities while the later speaks of a connection established through differences, replete with complexities and challenges. Perhaps one of the most important meanings of this card is emotional balance, and a relationship based on a spiritual, emotional and sexual union. Friendship and companionship are emphasized, and while sexual attraction does figure strongly in this association, emotional, spiritual and intellectual rapport are given precedence over baser instincts. Romance, courtship and passion are natural precursors to a deeper level of commitment, often leading to engagement and/or marriage.
The 2 of Cups from Lisa Hunt’s gorgeous ‘Fantastical Creatures’ Tarot is probably my favourite in all the decks I’ve perused so far. While I must admit a fascination with mer-people and other such nautical beings, the colours in this card evoke such a feeling of peace and tranquility in me. A merman and his mate, drifting against a background of shimmering blues and greens, their hands entwined as they reach for a single cup drifting just beyond their reach. Shared visions and mutual goals, commitment, and a deep abiding respect and kinship are but few of the things that come to mind when I gaze upon this card. In keeping with the Rider-Waite tradition of two people ‘toasting’ each other with their goblets, this card represents an acknowledgment of mutual values and belief systems, an accord of mind, body and spirit that form the basis for a deep and enduring love.
Here, love begins on an instinctive rather than physical level, and is representative of a powerful soulmate connection. Upon first meeting, a sense of deja vu could surface, replete with past life memories or a sense of kinship that transcends the rational mind. More esoteric interpretations of the 2 of Cups include the reunion of soulmates who have come together in this lifetime to fulfill commitments begun in previous lives. An almost immediate friendship blossoms into romantic love, and a committed relationship soon progresses to discussions about living together or marriage. This is a love that is reciprocated on all levels and in all ways, without the complications of pride or ego involvements.
Astrological Association: Venus in Cancer.
In the Thoth tarot, the 2 of Cups is titled Love. This encompasses all types of love spanning romantic, familial and platonic forms of affection, and is representative of a connection that exists on both an internal and external level. Strong communication and commitment are indicated by the entwined red dolphins, indicating a love that is extended to another through an awareness and acceptance of one’s own flaws and foibles. Love, as represented by the 2 of Cups, is equal and in balance, with both individuals sharing the twin goals of inspiration and expression between themselves to create a nurturing, fulfilling relationship that not only takes into account the needs of the other, but also the needs of the self. For what meaning can there be in love when there is no special other to share in the experience?
Venus in Cancer combines the inspirational, creative qualities of Venus and merges it with Cancer’s ruler, the Moon, symbol of feminine healing, comfort and support. The sign of Cancer has dominion over our roots, our earliest childhood experiences, and determines how comfortable we are in mothering others and allowing ourselves to be cared for in return. Due to Cancer’s association with the home and family, the 2 of Cups in this context points to the most instinctive, primal source of love….that of a mother to her child. For most of us, our earliest experiences of love were birthed in the simple act of suckling at our mother’s teat. Comfort and nurturing are important keywords when thinking about the 2 of Cups, whether it be the act of caring for another or self-care. Even the simple act of investing in a new set of satin sheets for your bed is self-love in action. And isn’t that where the most powerful sense of love begins…with ourselves?
“It is at the edge of a petal that love waits.” ~ William Carlos Williams.
“I believe love produces a certain flowering of the whole personality which nothing else can achieve.” ~ Ivan Sergeevich.
“Stimulate the heart to love, and all other virtues will rise of their own accord.” ~ W.T.Ussery
In terms of finance, this card serves as an indication that your income will benefit from a partnership or a friendship. This is a good time to think about going into business with a best friend or spouse. Trust is paramount to such a relationship, and group associations look to yield positive benefits. A loan, gift or financial assistance finds you in a time of dire need. With regards to work, this points to congenial relationships with colleagues and those in your immediate working environment. A harmonious, cooperative work environment and support from bosses/ team members are but a few of the possible manifestations of the 2 of Cups in a career-related spread. This also points to a successful completion of a team project, or a contractual agreement that has been accepted. The 2 of Cups indicates that support will be extended should you choose to seek it.
In terms of health, because of this card’s association with the heart chakra (our center for the giving and receiving of love), it can point to a feeling of general happiness and well-being brought about by significant relationships and supportive friendships in life, as well as a healthy sense of self-love. In keeping with the theme of emotional balance, it is also useful to examine our attitudes in how we choose to give and receive love. Overall, the 2 of Cups is concerned with the emotional and spiritual aspects of health rather than physical manifestations.