The Five of Cups

The key phrase for the outer meaning of the Five of Cups card is GOOD FORTUNE IN LOVE.  Other interpretations might be:

A deep seated attachment

Steadfast affections

Benefit from hidden influences (Neptune)

Domestic Illusions (Neptune)


The astrological inner meaning of the Five of Cups is based on the Pieces decanate of Scorpio, sub-ruled by Neptune.  Pictured in the heavens as an altar burning with the smoke and flame of a sacrifice, here we find the aggression and self-centeredness of Scorpio, ruled by Mars, tempered with the self-sacrificing aspect of Pisces.  This decanate reminds us that there usually comes a time in one’s life when personal gratification must be sacrificed at the altar of duty and devotion to others.  The key word for the inner meaning of the Five of Cups is RESPONSIBILITY.

We are all familiar with the story of Cain and Abel where Cain, angered by his brother’s fortune, was taken over by the lower side of Scorpio known as jealousy, and killed his brother, Abel.  This story might have found its origins in the far older Egyptian story of Set and Osiris who were also brothers.  Set ruled lower Egypt and Osiris ruled upper Egypt.  However, it was Osiris who brought the knowledge of growing crops to his people.  It was Osiris who then brought law to his people, and his people flourished.  Set, who later became known at the god ruling the barren desert, was jealous of his brother’s fame and fortune and wanted to rule all of Egypt himself, and so he killed his brother, Osiris.  Abel and Osiris are both remembered and revered today as perhaps the first martyrs for good, and Cain and Set are both considered as the first murderers or the ancestors of evil.  The message and the spiritual text of the Five of Cups is: By sacrificing one’s animal thoughts, desires and pleasures upon the altar of aspiration to higher things, it is possible to posses intellectual and spiritual pleasures that yield a far keener delight__C.C. Zain

For a deeper understanding of Egyptian tarot, read The Sacred Tarot and Spiritual Astrology by C.C. Zain.  These books and many others are available at the bookstore at







About letstalktarot

Allyn McCray began reading Tarot in 1971 after discovering a deck in an occult shop in San Francisco, California. In 1999, the American Tarot Association recognized her as a Certified Tarot Reader. During her experience as an Internet reader between 2000 and 2002, Allyn’s readings were regularly featured on the websites, Psychicnut and Roadtalk. In 2002, Allyn joined The Church of Light, aka Light.Org, a non-profit international school of esoteric studies, where she is now a Hermetician, Certified Teacher, and Minister. Allyn also serves as the Communications Director of The Church of Light and is a Section Advisor in The Order of the Sphinx.
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4 Responses to The Five of Cups

  1. Fredmichael says:

    The Scorpio – Pisces decanate has a sub rulership of Neptune (lower left of the five of cups card). Your post has a “typo” indicating Uranus (oops). How “Neptunian” lol

    Life, Light, Love

    • Thank YOU!!!! It’s nice to know someone’s not only reading my blogs, but actually paying attention!! Thanks for pointing out my error, which I am going to quickly edit. In Life, Light, and Love Allyn McCray

      • Fredmichael says:

        you’re welcome !! ..and thank you.. we’re almost there;

        Benefit from hidden influences (Uranus)

        Domestic Illusions (Uranus)

        don’t wish to be the bearer of bad news (my natal Sun is the 15th degree of Virgo) but two more Uranus”s need to be changed to Neptune.
        I think your Tarot blog is great — I will be a regular reader. Great work! And the new Egyptian color cards look so nice, I’ll have to order some soon! My first Tarot deck was the Brotherhood of Lights’ Egyptian deck which I bought in 1970 from Shambala Book Store onTelegraph Ave., Berkeley.
        I’m looking forward to Christopher’s next class on the Decanates This Thursday.

        in Life, Light, Love,

      • Thank you…again! Guess I’m movin’ too fast these days (lol). I have a tendency to mix up Uranus and Neptune, even when I”m talking. (That must mean something.) Looks like we’re both from the Bay Area. Stumbling across a BofL Egyptian deck in 1970 was a real find! Way back then, usually the only tarot deck available was the Universal Waite.
        Glad you like my blog, and enjoy Christopher’s class.

        In Life, Light, and Love,
        Allyn McCray

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