In this article Ten of Cups Symbols, I refer to the Ten of Cups card from the Rider Waite Tarot deck, also known as the Waite-Smith, or Rider-Waite-Smith, or Rider tarot deck. In the Thoth Tarot deck this card is called Perfected Success and esoteric name Lord of Perfected Success.
The symbolism found on this card is primarily drawn from mythology, numerology, I-Ching and occult.
- Ten of Cups: Key Symbols
- What Does The Number 10 Symbolize in The Ten of Cups?
- What is The Meaning of The Family in This Card?
- What is The Meaning of The Rainbow in The 10 of Cups?
- What is The Symbolism of The House or Cottage?
- What is The Symbolism of Trees?
- Does The River Have Any Significance in This Card?
- What Sphere Does The Ten of Cups Represent in Qabalah?
Ten of Cups: Key Symbols
Family, rainbow, cottage, trees and river
“Appearance of Cups in a rainbow; it is contemplated in wonder and ecstasy by a man and woman below, evidently husband and wife. His right arm is about her; his left is raised upward; she raises her right arm. The two children dancing near them have not observed the prodigy but they are happy after their own manner. There is a home-scene beyond.”A.E.Waite
The Original Rider Waite Pictorial Key to The Tarot
10 of Cups Imagery: symbol meanings, metaphors and allegory
What Does The Number 10 Symbolize in The Ten of Cups?
A man and woman embrace each other while gazing at a rainbow filled with ten cups. In Tarot, the ten cards depict the extremes of life. They reflect the way we encounter, respond to and cope with completions and outcomes. The Tens of Wands and Swords, the more masculine suits, are depicted more aggressively than the Cups and Pentacles.
The number ten has become a symbol for having a full set of something, like we have ten fingers and ten toes. Adopted in Tarot, this symbolism had much to do with and was taken from the ten Sephiroth of both Kabbalah and Qabalah, along with astrology and I Ching or Yi Jing, an ancient Chinese system of cosmology and philosophy.
The Ten of Cups reflects ‘completion’ of happiness. Life doesn’t get much better than this. In fact, life looks so perfect in this card, it could be Heaven. The land of eternal happiness and immortality.
Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with
themselves on a rainy afternoon.Susan Ertz
What is The Meaning of The Family in This Card?
Tarot cards which depict a family, signify that the central message of the card is meant to be a ‘shared’ experience. You are not experiencing your happiness alone, but others around you are also sharing those ‘good feelings’. There is happiness all-round. In contrast, the solitary figure at the center of the Nine of Cups, who is also happy, is experiencing that happiness in a more personal or private way.
Compare also Judgement card and The Hermit. Both cards refer to a spiritual awakening, but where the solitary Hermit represents a personal awakening, Judgement indicates a cosmic awakening shared with other people or humanity as a whole.
What is The Meaning of The Rainbow in The 10 of Cups?
The 10 of Cups is the only card in the Rider Waite deck with a rainbow. This signals the uniqueness and ‘specialness’ of this card.
The rainbow might signal a covenant, the promise between humanity and God of lasting happiness or a happy ever after. We all hope that such a place exists.
When you receive this card in a Tarot reading, it implies you are one step closer to understanding life and achieving a deeper sense of happiness. In Buddhism, the rainbow symbolizes the highest conscious state which can be reached before Nirvana or enlightenment.
Rainbows are also a symbol in Western culture as a sign of good luck and offer the promise of better times to come. Note that the rainbow is shaped like a bridge, a way of ‘bridging’ your old life and the new. Thus, this card becomes a symbol of hope.
Believe in Magic and chase rainbowsKarina Collins
What is The Symbolism of The House or Cottage?
The cottage in this card can indicate that owning or renovating a home is an important concern at this time. A place to ‘nest’ and raise your family, or to support parents and siblings.
It can also indicate that ‘home’, parents and childhood friends are at the back of your mind. If you have been considering moving ‘back home’, in a fortune telling reading this card signifies that such a move would be fortunate.
⭐A cottage also appears in this card: Six of Cups
What is The Symbolism of Trees?
The meaning of trees in Tarot is taken primarily from mythology and religious text. We know of the tree in the Garden of Eden, the Tree of Life in Kabbalah and the tree called Yggdrasil in Norse mythology. Trees are used to symbolize life, growth, wisdom, regeneration and prosperity.
The more trees in a Tarot card, the more ‘life’ and ‘prosperity’ is indicated. Trees suggest that the querent has plans for a new venture or phase in their life. How close you are to acting on, or achieving your plans depends on the proximity of the trees. The closer the trees, the sooner your plans are likely to be actualized or realized.
⭐Trees appear in 23 cards, including: The Empress, The Lovers, The Hanged Man, The Star, The Tower
Does The River Have Any Significance in This Card?
Rivers in Tarot can represent an obstacle that you need to get past, something blocking your path or progress.
However, the river in the 10 of Cups is calm and nurturing. The family could use it for watering their crops, washing their clothes or bathing. Rather than viewing the river as an obstacle, one feels we are being guided rather to go with the flow. Any problems or blocks you currently feel, will resolve themselves.
⭐A river also appears in these cards: Temperance, 5 of Cups, 8 of Cups, Knight of Cups, 4 of Wands and 8 of Wands
What Sphere Does The Ten of Cups Represent in Qabalah?
In Qabalah (Kabbalah), the 10 of Cups depicts Malkuth, the tenth sphere of earthly reality. Malkuth is positioned in Briah, the watery world of creation and fertility.
Complete List: Tarot Card Symbolism
Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.
The Ultimate Guide to Ten of Cups Symbols