The Two of Cups shows two figures, usually a man and a woman, each holding a cup. They are sharing something unspoken between them. The wings and snakes form a caduceus, which is the staff carried by Hermes, the messenger god. Above it is the lion’s head, completing the image of a chimera, and suggesting that there is danger or heroism in the communication or transaction between them.
The Two of Cups is a simple card to read, and usually has similar meanings, regardless of its position in a spread. It is about a union, about combining powers and finding a common ground from which to seek a common goal – be it in a relationship or business, or any other aspect of the querant’s life.
Appearance and Symbolism
In the Rider Waite Tarot deck the Two of Cups features two people, usually a man and a woman (possibly lovers, this being the suit of Cups) each holding a cup and gazing into each other’s eyes. The caduceus symbol (not to be confused with the medical cross) is the staff of the Greek messenger god, Hermes. This signifies that some kind of message or communication is passing between the two figures.
The lion’s head completes the image of a chimera, which hints that there is some kind of danger, or at least uncertainty, in the meeting of these two characters. The cups represent the emotions and creativity that both parties bring to the table.
As any introduction to Tarot cards will tell you, twos in the Minor Arcana usually symbolise a kind of synergy or coming together of polar opposites or aligned forces in order to achieve something or further a purpose. The Two of Cups, being as it is the two of the suit associated with romantic emotions and creativity, is all about the power that is created when two people combine their emotions, creativity or love.
This could have two interpretations. The one is that it is time for you and your secret crush to start admitting your feelings for one another. The other is that, with the input of another creative soul, you can create something beautiful. It means that now is not the time to strike out on your own and strive for singular achievements, but rather to seek happiness through another.
If this card appears inverted, it usually only has one meaning: you are becoming too much of a couple person, and you need to look outside this dualism to reconnect with the rest of your life. Either you are completely involved in a project with someone, or you have fallen into the old trap of neglecting your friends because you have a new lover. Either way, it is time to put the brakes on, just a little bit, and take some time to devote yourself to the other aspects of your life.