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5 of Cups Combination Insights into Tarot Pairings

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The 5 of Cups is often seen as a card representing loss, regret, and dwelling on the past. However, when paired with other cards in a Tarot reading, new layers of meaning can emerge. This guide will explore the symbolism and interpretations when the 5 of Cups is combined with cards from the Major Arcana, as well as the four suits of the Minor Arcana.

Gain a deeper understanding of the 5 of Cups combinations and how it relates to different areas of life and personal growth. Learn how this card’s energy transforms when influenced by other archetypes in the Tarot deck. Discover new perspectives to apply to your own readings.

Table of Contents

Major Arcana

5 of Cups and The Magician

  • Meaning: Manifesting through grief, finding magic in loss
  • Explanation: The Magician represents harnessing one’s will and talents to manifest desires. Together with the 5 of Cups, this combination points to finding creativity and power in the midst of grieving. There is potential for vision and growth through the acknowledgement of loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The tools of the Magician bring new potential out of the spilled cups of the 5. Loss fertilizes the soil for future manifestation.

5 of Cups and The High Priestess

  • Meaning: Looking inward for wisdom through grief
  • Explanation: The High Priestess represents inner wisdom, intuition, and self-knowledge. Paired with the 5 of Cups, this points to finding deeper meaning and spiritual insights through processing grief or loss. Turning inward to seek understanding rather than looking externally.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The High Priestess’ scrolls contain intuitive insights to uncover through the introspective energy of the 5 of Cups. Grieving can lead to greater self-awareness.

5 of Cups and The Empress

  • Meaning: Nurturing oneself through loss; mothering energy soothes grief
  • Explanation: The nurturing, fertile energy of the Empress paired with the 5 of Cups suggests finding comfort through self-care and acts of creation. Grief requires slowing down to honor emotions. Like an empathetic mother, tenderness and patience for oneself can help process loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Empress’ natural landscape regenerates after hardship, just as self-nurturing leads to renewal after the 5’s sorrow. Her shield depicts the comfort of caretaking.

5 of Cups and The Emperor

  • Meaning: Taking control despite loss; providing stability through grief
  • Explanation: Upright Emperor energy is about structure and control. With the 5 of Cups, this combination suggests finding empowerment by imposing order on a chaotic emotional state. The Emperor encourages taking back authority over one’s life after loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Emperor’s throne signifies his sense of command and leadership. Paired with the 5, this points to managing grief through discipline and self-control.

5 of Cups and The Hierophant

  • Meaning: Seeking conventional support during grief; traditional healing methods
  • Explanation: The Hierophant rules over formal belief systems and institutions. Combined with the 5 of Cups, this points to finding comfort through traditional support structures like family, counseling, or spiritual guidance. Conventional healing methods help process loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Hierophant’s religious authority indicates established customs and rituals to process grief, as seen in the 5. His triple crown integrates mind, body, spirit.

5 of Cups and The Lovers

  • Meaning: Grieving a relationship; heartache but potential growth
  • Explanation: The Lovers card represents relationships and connections with others. When combined with loss in the 5 of Cups, this points to grieving a failed relationship or lost love. However, enduring heartache can lead to learning and renewal.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The angel above the Lovers is a blessing on relationships. Paired with the 5, divine love brings hope after relational loss. Cups symbolize emotional bonds.

5 of Cups and The Chariot

  • Meaning: Moving forward after loss; grief as fuel for purpose
  • Explanation: The Chariot’s forward momentum paired with the 5 of Cups suggests that grief can provide direction and motivation to carry on towards purpose. Loss is painful but transforming; it clarifies and propels us forward with inner strength.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Chariot’s rider harnessing opposing forces represents the dynamism created by integrating suffering into active movement. The wheels turn grief into progress.

5 of Cups and Strength

  • Meaning: Resilience through grieving; courageously moving through loss
  • Explanation: Strength tames raw emotions. With the 5 of Cups, the combination indicates drawing upon inner resolve and calm to bravely work through grief or loss. This points to developing emotional resilience as we compassionately acknowledge pain.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: Strength’s woman and lion depict grace and courage in facing suffering. Her infinity crown signifies eternal gentleness and bravery in processing loss.

5 of Cups and The Hermit

5 of Cups and The Hermit
5 of Cups and The Hermit
  • Meaning: Soul-searching through grief and solitude; inner light illuminates loss
  • Explanation: The introspective Hermit seeks wisdom and truth within. Combined with the 5 of Cups, this points to soul-searching through loss in order to find significance. Solitude and inner work help integrate grief into authentic meaning.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Hermit’s lantern illuminates understanding out of sorrow. His introspection pairs with the 5’s sadness to find wisdom.

5 of Cups and Wheel of Fortune

  • Meaning: Life cycles bring change after loss; grief is impermanent
  • Explanation: The Wheel of Fortune represents natural ups and downs. With the 5 of Cups, this reminds us that with time and cycles, grief changes and lifts. Loss is part of life’s ebb and flow. Let the Wheel turn sorrow into optimism.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Wheel eternally turns; the 5’s spilled cups represent just one low point on the Wheel. Fate brings new perspectives.

5 of Cups and Justice

  • Meaning: Making peace with the past; loss balances the scales
  • Explanation: Justice seeks truth, cause and effect. Combined with the 5 of Cups, this points to making sense of loss by viewing it as an attempt to bring equilibrium. While painful, grieving provides perspective to impartially weigh life lessons.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: Justice’s scales represent gaining deeper understanding of loss. Her sword discerns truth in grief’s complexity.

5 of Cups and The Hanged Man

  • Meaning: Surrendering to grief; new viewpoint through loss
  • Explanation: The Hanged Man’s suspended state represents surrender and gaining new perspectives. With the 5 of Cups, this symbolizes allowing oneself to fully experience grief without resistance. A new vantage point emerges when embracing the emotions of loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Hanged Man’s upside down state mirrors the 5’s emotional upheaval. His surrender helps transform grief’s power.

5 of Cups and Death

  • Meaning: Grieving as part of transformation; rise after loss
  • Explanation: Death represents clearing away the old for the new. Combined with the 5 of Cups, this points to grieving as part of a powerful process of change and letting go. Endings bring sorrow but make room for growth and rebirth after loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: Death’s skeleton represents the bones left after decay – a symbol of the 5’s grieving preceding transformation. The white rose signifies purity after release.

5 of Cups and Temperance

  • Meaning: Healing and patience through grieving; integrating loss
  • Explanation: Temperance blends emotions in a balanced, healing way. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this combination indicates allowing grief to run its course through self-care and grace. With time and integration, loss brings emotional maturity.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: Temperance’s angelic blending of water symbolizes the measured combination of sadness and meaning gained through the 5’s grief.

5 of Cups and The Devil

  • Meaning: Shadow emotions surface through grief; facing ‘demons’
  • Explanation: The Devil represents facing shadow aspects of oneself or situations. Paired with the 5 of Cups, hidden pain or destructive patterns may arise during grieving. This difficult combination encourages consciously facing fears roused by loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Devil’s materialistic chains parallel emotional entrapment. The 5’s grief becomes an opportunity for self-examination and release of limiting ‘demons.’

5 of Cups and The Tower

  • Meaning: Loss causing sudden upheaval; grief as a catalyst for change
  • Explanation: The Tower shows belief systems suddenly crumbling during times of upheaval and revelation. Alongside the 5 of Cups, a painful loss can similarly cause abrupt transformation by exposing vulnerabilities and forcing the creation of meaning.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: Lightning represents the Tower’s sudden destruction, like the abrupt soul-searching spurred by the 5’s grief. Starting over after beliefs collapse.

5 of Cups and The Star

  • Meaning: Hope and faith after loss; grief transforms into inspiration
  • Explanation: The Star’s shining light represents optimism after difficulties. Combined with the 5 of Cups, this points to rediscovering inspiration and vision after working through sorrow. With faith, loss gives way to renewal.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Star’s water flows to nourish new growth, despite difficulties symbolized by the 5. Her luminous guidance renews the spirit.

5 of Cups and The Moon

  • Meaning: Grieving imagined fears; loss illuminates inner shadows
  • Explanation: The Moon represents illusions, dreams, and the unconscious. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this can point to grieving imagined fears or unresolved inner wounds now being revealed for healing. Loss prompts re-examination of shadow aspects.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Moon’s celestial light uncovers shadows, just as the 5’s grief illuminates unacknowledged pain to be cared for.

5 of Cups and The Sun

  • Meaning: Finding joy after grieving; light follows loss
  • Explanation: The Sun’s radiance signifies warmth, positivity, success. Combined with the 5 of Cups, its energy indicates that optimism returns after grieving a loss. Hope follows sorrow; clarity comes after integrating the emotions.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Sun’s shining rays penetrate the 5’s darkness like joy alighting after despair. Its child celebrates new beginnings.

5 of Cups and Judgement

  • Meaning: Grief and rebirth; loss resurrects purpose
  • Explanation: Judgement represents resurrection and awakening. Alongside the 5 of Cups, a poignant loss can spur a powerful spiritual and emotional rebirth after time grieving. Suffering clarifies what matters most to be revived.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: Judgement’s angel blows the horn of rebirth, while individuals rise from coffins. Like the 5’s grief leading to renewal after reflection.

5 of Cups and The World

  • Meaning: Completion and wholeness through grieving; integrated loss
  • Explanation: The World symbolizes successful integration of all aspects of life into wholeness. With the 5 of Cups, this points to holistically integrating grief or loss into one’s identity and worldview. This brings acceptance and a sense of completion.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The World’s woman is whole and complete, with the seasons’ cycles surrounding her. The 5’s grief becomes part of her integrated experience.


5 of Cups and Ace of Wands

  • Meaning: Fresh start after loss; new creative spark
  • Explanation: The Ace of Wands represents new beginnings, inspiration, and creativity. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this combination can indicate finding a sense of renewal through engaging in new projects or passions after experiencing grief. Loss makes room for fresh starts.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Ace’s sprouting wand reflects the potential for growth following the 5’s period of sadness. The divine hand offers creative inspiration.

5 of Cups and Two of Wands

  • Meaning: Future planning after loss; vision through grief
  • Explanation: The Two of Wands represents planning and vision for the future. Paired with the 5 of Cups, this points to making goals and dreaming new dreams after sitting with loss or heartache. Suffering can clarify what is truly meaningful to build.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure’s globe symbolizes broad plans made after the 5’s introspective mourning. Expanding horizons come after loss.

5 of Cups and Three of Wands

  • Meaning: Taking action after loss; grief as fuel for efforts
  • Explanation: The Three of Wands shows initiative and action towards goals. Alongside the regret of the 5 of Cups, this combination suggests taking concrete steps forward, using the motivation of past suffering to find meaning. Plans take shape through action.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure’s ship arrives with results, like hands-on efforts birthing new direction after the 5’s sadness. Progress flows from loss.

5 of Cups and Four of Wands

  • Meaning: Celebration after grief; joy returns
  • Explanation: The Four of Wands reflects celebration, happiness, and harmony. Paired with the 5 of Cups, it points to coming together in community and ceremony after a period of mourning. Joy gradually returns after integrating the lessons of loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The decorative gateway represents entering into enjoyment after the soul-searching of the 5. Reasons for gratitude emerge from sorrow.

5 of Cups and Five of Wands

  • Meaning: Conflict arises from unresolved grief
  • Explanation: The Five of Wands portrays conflict and disagreement. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this can suggest painful strife resulting from unprocessed emotions around loss. Inner work is needed to settle the unrest and move forward.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figures’ sparring mirrors quarreling to avoid facing sadness in the 5. Their wands fight rather than build.

5 of Cups and Six of Wands

  • Meaning: Victory and recognition after loss; achieving success through grief
  • Explanation: The Six of Wands reflects triumph, acclaim, and confidence. When combined with the difficult 5 of Cups, it points to overcoming loss and regret to attain hard-won achievements deserving of praise. Grief strengthens resolve.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure’s victory parade contrasts the 5’s sorrow. His laurel recognizes rising above to success despite adversity.

5 of Cups and Seven of Wands

  • Meaning: Standing ground amidst grief; defending in the face of loss
  • Explanation: The Seven of Wands shows conviction and defensive stance despite opposition. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this combination reflects maintaining composure and resolve when faced with Loss or heartache. Emotional strength sustains us.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure atop the hill defends his position, just as inner fortitude helps weather the 5’s storms. Remaining steady amidst strife.

5 of Cups and Eight of Wands

  • Meaning: Fast change after upheaval of loss; movement through grief
  • Explanation: The Eight of Wands reflects swift change and forward motion. Paired with the 5 of Cups, significant shifts may come on the heels of painful loss and upheaval. Though destabilizing initially, movement ultimately reenergizes.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The wands fly through the air amidst transition, as loss leads to transformation in the 5. Speed break stasis.

5 of Cups and Nine of Wands

  • Meaning: Resilience despite grief; persisting through loss
  • Explanation: The Nine of Wands symbolizes strength and resilience through challenge. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this combination reflects drawing on inner reserves of endurance to move forward when worn down by sorrow or trauma. Faith empowers perseverance.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: Despite his wounds, the figure stands ready to engage, like summoning courage after the 5’s heartbreak. His wall signifies withstanding trials.

5 of Cups and Ten of Wands

  • Meaning: Burdened by excessive grief; overwhelemed by loss
  • Explanation: The Ten of Wands shows being overburdened and overwhelmed. Paired with the 5 of Cups, this combination can reflect the heavy weight of all-consuming, exhaustive grief that feels impossible to carry. Seeking help is advisable.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The man’s burden of heavy wands mirrors being crushed by grief in the 5. Unmanaged mourning becomes unbearable.

5 of Cups and Page of Wands

  • Meaning: Curiosity and passion help overcome grief
  • Explanation: The Page of Wands represents curiosity, exploration, and enthusiasm. When combined with the 5 of Cups, this points to childlike curiosity and passion helping to lift heavy grief by engaging with the world and new interests.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Page sets out eagerly like one rediscovering joy. His wand becomes a compass guiding beyond the 5’s remorse.

5 of Cups and Knight of Wands

  • Meaning: Taking action towards recovery; grief motivating progress
  • Explanation: The Knight of Wands shows confident, daring action towards goals. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this knight encourages boldly moving towards healing and recovery after loss. Failure spurs him to try again with passion.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Knight rides steadily forward, letting nothing obstruct his aims, like loss driving determined advancement in the 5.

5 of Cups and Queen of Wands

  • Meaning: Warm strength and passion; uplifting hope after loss
  • Explanation: The vibrant Queen of Wands represents courage, joy, and determination. Combined with the 5 of Cups, she radiates warmth and faith that better times lie ahead, if one moves towards growth with passion. Her spirit uplifts grief.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Queen’s sunflower symbolizes her ability to lift the 5’s spirits and illuminate potential, like the sun after rain. Her strength stirs hope.

5 of Cups and King of Wands

  • Meaning: Paternal motivation and guidance through grief; leadership after loss
  • Explanation: The King of Wands denotes leadership, vision, and mentoring. Alongside the 5 of Cups, he provides motivation and direction to work through despondency and find new meaning. His wisdom guides recovery.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The King’s commanding pose reflects the steady leadership that lifts others from the 5’s sorrow. His crown signifies integrity guiding the way forward.


5 of Cups and Ace of Cups

  • Meaning: Renewed relationships after loss; opening the heart
  • Explanation: The Ace of Cups reflects new love, compassion, and relationships. Paired with the 5 of Cups, it points to grief and loss preparing the heart to receive affection again, healed and more open to bonding deeply with others.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The cup’s water flows out like love after the 5’s period of solitude and inner work. Divine blessing renews emotional bonds.

5 of Cups and Two of Cups

  • Meaning: Shared sorrow; honoring loss together
  • Explanation: The Two of Cups symbolizes close, reciprocal relationships. Alongside the 5’s grief, it represents shared mourning and leaning on loved ones for empathy and comfort during times of loss. Bonds deepen.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The two cups form a continuous flow of care, as when those joined uplift each other through the 5’s hard times. Individual loss becomes shared.

5 of Cups and Three of Cups

  • Meaning: Celebrating life after loss; joyful community
  • Explanation: The Three of Cups reflects friendship, community, and celebration. Combined with the 5 of Cups, this points to the revitalization that comes from being with others again after a period of grief and solitude. People reflect back joy.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The three dancing women come together in harmony, like feeling whole around loved ones after the 5’s heartache. Joy links them.

5 of Cups and Four of Cups

  • Meaning: Boredom and apathy stemming from grief; emotionally closed off
  • Explanation: The Four of Cups represents apathy, discontentment. With the 5 of Cups, this can point to ongoing disengagement and emotional boredom resulting from previous loss. The heart closes to avoid further pain.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: Open cups surrounding the figure ignored reflect being closed off after the 5’s hurt. Disconnection limits joy. New offers go unseen.

5 of Cups and Five of Cups

5 of Cups and Five of Cups
5 of Cups and Five of Cups
  • Meaning: Compounding grief causing isolation; detachment
  • Explanation: Both Five of Cups cards represent deep sorrow and loss. Their combined energy suggests extended, reinforced isolation and melancholy resulting from multiple losses. The road to recovery is long but possible.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: Two figures grieving alone emphasizes the paralyzing despondency of the 5’s energy doubled. Two sets of spilled cups doubly represent loss.

5 of Cups and Six of Cups

  • Meaning: Nostalgia and childhood comfort soothe loss; finding innocence
  • Explanation: The Six of Cups shows happy nostalgia and childhood joy. Alongside the 5 of Cups, memories and simple comforts can help ground after loss by recalling beginner’s mind. There is solace in gentle play.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The children’s exchange reflects the sweetness of simpler times that can lift the 5’s sorrow. Flowers symbolize the inner child.

5 of Cups and Seven of Cups

  • Meaning: Fantasy distracts from grief; disengaging through imagination
  • Explanation: The Seven of Cups portrays fantasy, wishful thinking, and illusion. Paired with the 5 of Cups, this combination can reflect using daydreams or fantasies as escape from a painful reality of loss. Imagination temporarily disengages.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The cups’ visions reflect imagined scenarios that divert attention from the 5’s emotional work. However, distractions do not fill the central cup.

5 of Cups and Eight of Cups

  • Meaning: Leaving behind grief and emotional baggage; seeking sustenance
  • Explanation: The Eight of Cups shows leaving disillusionment to seek fulfillment. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this reflects walking away from sorrow, regrets and emotional burdens in order to nourish oneself and start anew. Renewal requires release.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure journeys from the spilled cups towards better horizons, representing departing loss to nourish the soul.

5 of Cups and Nine of Cups

  • Meaning: Wish fulfillment and comfort after loss; integrating grief
  • Explanation: The Nine of Cups symbolizes comfort, gratitude, and harmony. Combined with the 5 of Cups, it points to wishes fulfilled and sweet satisfaction through appreciating life’s gifts after processing grief. Comfort integrates loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure has everything he needs, like achieving contentment after the 5’s difficulties. Cups uplift the spirit beyond sorrow.

5 of Cups and Ten of Cups

  • Meaning: Family harmony and community heal grief
  • Explanation: The Ten of Cups reflects lasting contentment, familial bonds, and community. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this points to the healing power of family connection, unconditional loving support, and community in moving through loss towards wholeness.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The rainbow connects happy home life and society. Togetherness transcends the 5’s isolation. Inherently interlinked.

5 of Cups and Page of Cups

  • Meaning: Childlike wonder soothes loss; innocence renews
  • Explanation: The Page of Cups denotes curiosity, imagination, and optimism. When paired with the 5 of Cups, he brings childlike joy and creative vision to renew the spirit after times of grief. Beginner’s mind uplifts loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The young Page sets sail freely on seas of emotion, unrestricted by the 5’s sorrow. His fish symbolizes unlimited imagination.

5 of Cups and Knight of Cups

  • Meaning: Compassionate action eases grief; emotional sensitivity
  • Explanation: The sensitive Knight of Cups acts with compassion and romantic charm. Alongside the 5 of Cups, he represents responding tenderly to others’ grief and seeking to soothe sorrow through compassionate deeds, while honoring emotions.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Knight’s flowing cape reflects gentleness. His helm shows he carries grief’s lessons as he offers empathetic support flowing from the 5’s insights.

5 of Cups and Queen of Cups

  • Meaning: Compassion, emotional wisdom; maturing through grief
  • Explanation: The Queen of Cups denotes deep compassion, emotional intelligence. Combined with the 5 of Cups, this Queen becomes wiser and more understanding of sorrow, loss, and the human heart. Grief cultivates maturity and care.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Queen’s gaze reflects intuitive empathy after the 5’s spiritual education in loss. Her throne signifies both feeling experience and detached understanding.

5 of Cups and King of Cups

  • Meaning: Emotional balance and calm; mastering loss and attachment
  • Explanation: The King of Cups represents balance amidst emotions, grace under pressure. Alongside the 5 of Cups, he has mastered grief and loss, while remaining caring and open. He integrates loss with equilibrium.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The King sits anchored on his throne despite churning waters. Like the 5’s sorrow, emotional storms surround him but cannot shake his composure.


5 of Cups and Ace of Swords

  • Meaning: Mental clarity after loss; renewed way of thinking
  • Explanation: The Ace of Swords reflects intellectual breakthroughs and clarity. Combined with the 5 of Cups, grieving and emotional work give way to enhanced clarity, insight and decisive new thinking following loss. The mind revives.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The sword slices through the clouds like clarity after sorrow. A hand offers this gift of insight born of the 5’s terrain.

5 of Cups and Two of Swords

  • Meaning: Denial and indecision in grief; avoidance through reason
  • Explanation: The Two of Swords portrays difficult decisions and inaction. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this can reflect indecision or even denial when faced with loss. The mind rationally avoids confronting complex emotions.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The blindfolded woman holds still between choices, much like avoiding emotion through logic in the 5. However, true sight comes from acknowledging.

5 of Cups and Three of Swords

  • Meaning: Deep heartbreak and sorrow; emotional wounding
  • Explanation: The Three of Swords shows raw heartbreak and pain. When combined with the grief of the 5 of Cups, this pairing reflects profound, inconsolable heartache resulting from trauma, separation, or loss. Deep, tender care is needed for healing.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The piercing swords represent suffering cutting to the core, intensified by the 5. However, only by opening can the wound eventually mend.

5 of Cups and Four of Swords

  • Meaning: Silent introspection to process grief; contemplative retreat
  • Explanation: The Four of Swords represents rest, introspection, and meditation. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this combination suggests a period of silent, deep inward reflection is needed to recover from sorrow or trauma. Retreating facilitates insight.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure rests in contemplation like one slowly restoring through solitude after the 5’s crisis. Quiet reflection allows for mental realignment.

5 of Cups and Five of Swords

  • Meaning: Unresolved grief causes conflict; lashing out in hurt
  • Explanation: The Five of Swords can reflect conflict. When paired with the 5 of Cups, arguments and aggression may arise as the result of unresolved grief and loss. Pain turns outward rather than being dealt with.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The smug victor contrasts feelings of defeat in the 5. Lashing out reflects an attempt to externalize inner hurt. However, empathy resolves more than attacks.

5 of Cups and Six of Swords

  • Meaning: Transition and recovery from grief; loss releases the past
  • Explanation: The Six of Swords depicts transition and moving on. Alongside the grief of the 5 of Cups, this combination reflects a gradual movement towards recovery after loss. Though vestiges remain, the worst is releasing as one sails towards the future.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The boat leaves choppy waters, like departing pain to more tranquil vistas after integrating the 5’s bereavement. A rite of passage nears completion.

5 of Cups and Seven of Swords

  • Meaning: Deception around grief; dishonesty and avoidance
  • Explanation: The Seven of Swords can reflect deception, avoidance. Paired with the 5 of Cups, this points to dishonesty with oneself or others about the extent of sadness and loss. Denial circumvents truth essential for healing.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The thief stealthily takes swords, like stealing away from sorrow rather than facing it through the 5’s vulnerability. Slipping past without reckoning.

5 of Cups and Eight of Swords

  • Meaning: Trapped in grief or mindsets; feeling powerless due to loss
  • Explanation: The Eight of Swords represents being trapped by limiting beliefs. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this combination can reflect feeling stuck and powerless due to grief or rigid patterns of thought following loss. However, escape is possible through time, compassion.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The bound woman mirrors believing oneself captive due to the 5’s bereavement. If the blindfold of perception shifts, bonds loosen.

5 of Cups and Nine of Swords

5 of Cups and Nine of Swords
5 of Cups and Nine of Swords
  • Meaning: Anxiety and trauma from grief; sleepless worry
  • Explanation: The Nine of Swords reflects anxiety and suffering. Combined with the 5 of Cups, this pairing indicates tremendous anxiety resulting from unresolved trauma and grief. Peace seems far off; time and care can restore what loss broke.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure’s restless unease mirrors the churning anguish of the 5. Swords pierce like barbs; repose comes through working through wounds.

5 of Cups and Ten of Swords

  • Meaning: Devastation through loss; grief’s darkest before dawn
  • Explanation: The Ten of Swords depicts utter defeat preceding renewal. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this symbolizes grief’s darkest hour right before daybreak. Though loss cuts to the bone, hitting bottom means the only way now is up into wholeness.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The prone figure mirrors devastation through the 5’s bereavement. Swords pinning reflect pinned by sorrow. Yet light shines – rebirth comes at the bleakest point.

5 of Cups and Page of Swords

  • Meaning: Curiosity and intellect stimulate renewal; analyzing grief
  • Explanation: The Page of Swords represents curiosity, mental vigor. With the 5 of Cups, his energy introduces fresh mental perspectives when grieving, analyzing loss from new angles and questioning assumptions for insights.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Page sets out to discover, like approaching the 5’s grief with beginner’s mind. His sword cuts through stagnation for breakthroughs.

5 of Cups and Knight of Swords

  • Meaning: Decisive action after grief; charging ahead after loss
  • Explanation: The headstrong Knight of Swords acts boldly and decisively. When paired with the 5 of Cups, he can sweep away second-guessing and charge forward after a period of loss or life changes, propelled intensely by grief’s catalyst.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Knight rides swiftly, like taking the reins after the 5’s pause to grieve. His sword clears obstacles; grief spurs undeterred action.

5 of Cups and Queen of Swords

  • Meaning: Emotional wisdom after difficulties; understanding born of grief
  • Explanation: The perceptive Queen of Swords has earned emotional insight through pain. Alongside the 5 of Cups, she develops deep wisdom about loss, psychology and the human experience through intimate acquaintance with grief. Empathy is born of wounds.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Queen’s tear signifies equipoise – emotional mastery despite sorrow. Her crown shows she reigns over the 5’s terrain; honesty yields insight.

5 of Cups and King of Swords

  • Meaning: Logical mastery over grief; leadership through loss
  • Explanation: The King of Swords denotes intellectual control and leadership. When combined with the emotional 5 of Cups, he comes to rule through reason over grief, though remains compassionate. Loss shapes his balanced governance and integrity.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The King sits securely enthroned, signifying mastery over the 5’s bereavement. He wields his sword judiciously – logic governing sentiment.


5 of Cups and Ace of Pentacles

  • Meaning: New life path after loss; fresh start over grief
  • Explanation: The Ace of Pentacles reflects prosperity, opportunity, new beginnings. Alongside the 5 of Cups, it points to emerging chances for creating stability and a purposeful new lifestyle after loss prompts reflection and reevaluation of life direction.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The potent coin offers vitality to counter the 5’s depletion. Fertile soil allows for planting seeds of intention towards security.

5 of Cups and Two of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Adaptability during change and loss
  • Explanation: The Two of Pentacles represents balancing change, flexibility. Next to the 5 of Cups, this combination suggests distress can be managed through adaptability, resourcefulness and staying open to new solutions for creating stability amidst grief and transitions that emerge from loss.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure dances across waves, remaining steady as life fluctuates like the unpredictable currents of the 5’s sorrow. He flows with ups and downs.

5 of Cups and Three of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Rebuilding meaning through work after loss
  • Explanation: The Three of Pentacles centers on diligent teamwork towards achievement. Alongside the 5 of Cups, it represents collaborating with community to reconstruct purpose, security and meaning through dedicated effort in the wake of loss or life shifts.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The builders work together to erect the cathedral, like united to build anew after the 5’s world quakes. Creativity arises from the ground up.

5 of Cups and Four of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Attachment to grief and past; stagnation from loss
  • Explanation: The Four of Pentacles indicates clinging to what one has, resistance to change. Combined with the 5 of Cups, it can suggest becoming stuck through excessive attachment to grief, refusing to let go of the past and stagnating as a result. Moving forward requires release.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure grasps pentacles tightly, like clinging to the 5’s sorrow. Open hands invite flow, while clenched hands cause depletion.

5 of Cups and Five of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Destitution from loss; exclusion and scarcity
  • Explanation: The Five of Pentacles shows poverty, lack, isolation. Alongside the grief of the 5 of Cups, this points to extreme destitution following significant loss or tragedy. One may feel stranded, lost, hopeless. Support uplifts.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The impoverished pair are left out in the cold, just as devastating loss isolates like the 5’s exclusion. But the church beckons – help awaits.

5 of Cups and Six of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Reciprocity and giving aid healing grief
  • Explanation: The Six of Pentacles reflects balanced giving and receiving, charity, support. Combined with the 5 of Cups, this suggests healing and recovery from loss comes about through both accepting and giving help from a loving community, as well as acts of service.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The generous, prosperous figure mirrors the benefits of giving and receiving care in navigating the 5’s grief. Sharing resources redistributes hope.

5 of Cups and Seven of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Personal growth from patience with grief
  • Explanation: The Seven of Pentacles represents patience leading to progress. Paired with the 5 of Cups, it reflects the inner growth that results from patiently sitting with and processing grief over time without necessarily seeing external rewards yet. Trust enables unfolding.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The figure invests trust without guarantees, as when staying with sorrow in the 5. In time, the planted seeds flourish, like wisdom borne of loss.

5 of Cups and Eight of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Diligence towards recovery and mastery
  • Explanation: The Eight of Pentacles symbolizes skill cultivated through diligent practice. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this combination suggests applying oneself to the incremental daily work of healing and building new life skills after loss causes a life redirection. Step-by-step mastery lifts spirits.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The apprentice hones his craft through repetition, like practicing resilience day by day to move forward from the 5’s grief. Consistent devotion brings results.

5 of Cups and Nine of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Healing self-worth after loss; renewed confidence
  • Explanation: The Nine of Pentacles reflects self-sufficiency and confidence. When paired with the 5 of Cups, it represents regenerating self-worth through self-nurturing practices after loss or trauma. Independence and resilience together empower moving forward.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The graceful woman enjoys her abundant garden, like cultivating thriving through self-care following the 5’s crisis. Her falcon represents self-command and nobility reclaimed.

5 of Cups and Ten of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Family legacy comforts grief; security supports healing
  • Explanation: The Ten of Pentacles shows lasting prosperity and family heritage. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this combination suggests family history, traditions and shared values help comfort and situate grief when loss destabilizes. Roots provide ballast.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The family looks on at legacy, like deriving continuity from lineage’s gifts that persist beyond the 5’s temporary sorrow. Their home stands solidly.

5 of Cups and Page of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Learning through loss; curiosity fuels recovery
  • Explanation: The Page of Pentacles denotes curiosity and desire to learn. Alongside the 5 of Cups, this reflects asking questions and broadening understanding diminishes grief’s power. Loss becomes a wellspring for discovery.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Page inspects his coin attentively, like examining loss closely turns it into a tool for insight in the 5. His rapt awe transforms burden into treasure.

5 of Cups and Knight of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Determined progress after loss; devotion to healing grief
  • Explanation: The Knight of Pentacles reflects dedication, patience. Combined with the 5 of Cups, this points to devoted, step-by-step perseverance to ride through emotional lows and build security again no matter how large the task. Tenacity triumphs over trials.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Knight rides his bull steadily forward like committing to the incremental work of overcoming the 5’s heartache. Slovenliness leads to success.

5 of Cups and Queen of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Nurturing supports grieving process; care anchors through loss
  • Explanation: The caring Queen of Pentacles provides nourishment and support. Alongside the 5 of Cups, her energy suggests that nurturance, nutrition and tender care help ground and support people to process grief in its multiple stages until renewal is reached.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The Queen’s fruitful garden symbolizes the sustenance she offers during the 5’s bereavement. Her rabbit represents comfort and care protecting through vulnerability.

5 of Cups and King of Pentacles

  • Meaning: Staying steady despite loss; pragmatism guides through grief
  • Explanation: The pragmatic King of Pentacles is reliable and stable. Next to the 5 of Cups, his energy represents maintaining responsibility, providing security and making practical plans during times of grief or life changes in order to stay anchored in reality, moving step by step.
  • Imagery and Symbolism: The King sits on his stone throne grounded like an oak unshaken by the 5’s winds of misfortune. His castle stands sure. Reason rules emotion.


How can I move on from grief after loss or failure?

The 5 of Cups represents natural grief after loss. Allow yourself to fully experience the emotions as part of the healing process. Support from loved ones, establishing a routine, finding purpose through helping others, practicing mindfulness and generating gratitude lists can all help foster acceptance and meaning over time. Have faith that positivity returns.

What does the 5 of Cups mean in a relationship reading?

In relationship readings, the 5 of Cups can symbolize grieving a relationship’s end, loss of trust, disappointment or abandonment issues. However, it reminds us relationships undergo ups and downs. With forgiveness, understanding and renewal of shared commitment, many relationships can be healed stronger after expressing the grief within the 5 of Cups.

How do I regain confidence and enthusiasm after the 5 of Cups?

The 5 of Cups represents depletion of spirit. Reclaim passion by pursuing goals unrelated to the loss at hand, infusing positivity through inspirational music/people, traveling somewhere uplifting, volunteering to help others, or expressing emotions creatively. Activities renewing inspiration help regain vibrant energy over time.

What does the 5 of Cups mean in a career reading?

In career readings, the 5 of Cups can signal disappointment, layoffs, project failures or unfulfilling jobs. Feel and validate the grief over what didn’t work out. Then use the experiences to propel envisioning the ideal career path aligned with passion. Allow reversal to clarifying and redirect towards meaningful work.

What does combinining the 5 of Cups with Death mean?

The combination of the 5 of Cups and the Death card is reassuring. Death reminds us that grief and loss lead to transformation. While the 5 of Cups is painful, Death promises cycles of change bring renewal; the old must fall away to make space for the new. Lean into the transition towards regeneration. Light follows darkness.

What does combining the 5 of Cups with the Lovers mean?

When the 5 of Cups combines with the Lovers card, the cards point to heartache over lost love or an ended relationship. However, the angel’s blessing indicates love lost makes room for special love in the future. Grieve fully; then know that meaningful relationships enrich life again in time. Cherish the gifts of intimacy gained through loss.

How can I help a loved one grieving the loss implied in the 5 of Cups?

Gentle listening without judgment or attempts to fix their grief is key. Offer practical help like meals, rides, childcare without being overbearing. Share positive memories and reassuring mantras to boost their outlook over time. Suggest counseling if grief persists. But mainly provide steadfast companionship through the stages of their mourning.

What does the 5 of Cups combined with Strength mean for moving through difficult emotions?

Paired with Strength’s bravery, the grief of the 5 of Cups can be seen as an opportunity to develop emotional resilience and wisdom. Approaching feelings with compassion allows understanding and maturity. Summon courage to sit with sorrow patiently. Express vulnerability; draw strength by mastering anguish. Growth emerges.

How can I reframe the 5 of Cups’ grief when it appears in readings?

Though the 5 of Cups represents loss initially, remember three of the five cups remain upright, full of blessings. Find gratitude for what remains. Let go of what cannot be changed. Look ahead with hope, using lessons learned to imagine how to reconstruct your life’s cup anew. Loss makes room for deeper meaning and joy in time.

Key takeaways:

  • The 5 of Cups combined with different Tarot cards takes on new shades of meaning related to loss, grief, letting go and moving forward.
  • Paired with Major Arcana cards, the 5 of Cups can represent finding insight from grief, withdrawing for deep reflection, feeling grief’s darkest hour before renewal, and ultimately integrating loss into wholeness.
  • When combined with suit cards, the 5 of Cups can reflect using loss as creative inspiration, bonding more deeply with others through shared grief, re-establishing security through diligence, and cultivating emotional mastery over time.
  • Certain card combinations offer glimpses of how to navigate grief – shedding denial, reframing thoughts, accepting support, finding hope and taking slow steps forward. With compassion, grief gives way to wisdom.
  • Let the 5 of Cups remind you that by fully processing grief’s emotions, you clear space for moving ahead into a new chapter of meaning, purpose and joy. Loss fertilizes future growth.


The 5 of Cups is one of the most poignant cards in the Tarot deck, encapsulating the grief, regret, reflection and eventual renewal that loss and change initiate. Exploring this card in tandem with others across the Major and Minor Arcana offers a nuanced roadmap for navigating the complex landscape of mourning.

Sitting with sorrow and acknowledging pain opens pathways to emotional and spiritual lessons. Hardship becomes the foundation of deeper empathy and insight. By fully exploring the 5 of Cups’ meanings, we uncover strategies and hope for integrating life’s hurts into wholeness. Loss creates room for finding new possibilities and appreciation for what remains.

Like the grieving figure reflected on its surface, the 5 of Cups reminds us to look within. There in the spaces opened by grief, we reconnect to inner light guiding us forward with wisdom and compassion earned through life’s most difficult experiences. What seems an ending becomes a powerful beginning.

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Derek Le
Derek Le
Derek Le, the passionate founder of Numerology Hub, is a respected figure in the numerology community. With a profound understanding of numerology's applications and significance, Derek is dedicated to providing invaluable insights and resources for self-discovery and personal growth. His multicultural background and love for badminton bring a unique perspective to his work, ensuring accessible and relatable content that empowers individuals to harness the transformative power of numerology.

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