leading by emotion

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Intro: Knight of Cups Tarot Card Meaning - leading by emotion

Tarot Alley uses the Rider Waite type of deck for our meanings, symbols, interpretations, etc.

When determining the Knight of Cups tarot card meaning, you should consider that it’s a Cups card and a Knight. The Suit of Cups represents emotions and relationships. Knights represent ambitious, action-oriented leaders.

In this way, we can determine that the Knight of Cups represents leading by emotion. The Knight of Cups wants to lead the way to deep emotional understanding, however, this can result in urgency, unreasonableness, or extremes.

Take a look at the Rider-Waite Knight of Cups displayed to the left (or above).

What is your first impression?

Is the cup empty or full? Where is he going? Where is he coming from?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, just your interpretation.

Common Symbols

  • Cup Held Aloft: to represent carrying emotions carefully

Keywords & Concepts

  • Fervor
  • Illumination
  • Moodiness
  • Zeal

The Knight of Cups for Personal Growth

Affirmation: I translate my passions into actions.

Learn to temper your extremes. Seek balance and the middle ground in all things.

Ask Yourself:

  • How can you inspire others without inciting a riot?
  • To what extent are you tip-toeing around in an effort to avoid confrontation?

Interpreting the Knight of Cups

Generally, the Knight of Cups represents leading with emotion. Knights get deeply involved and committed to all manner of things. They bring strong emotions (from excitement to depression) and often act on intuition instead of reason. They may base their decisions on feelings and ideals instead of realities.

The Reversed Knight of Cups

How you read reversals is a personal choice. You can ignore reversals and read them as if the card is upright (this is what I often choose to do) or you can interpret reversals as variations of what they would mean upright. There are 3 common ways to read reversals: as a negative interpretation, as an opposite interpretation, or as a block on the upright interpretation. Check out How to Read Reversals for more information.

Typically, a reversed Knight of Cups represents occupying the extremes. Some examples include:

  • Being fanatical about something
  • Rejecting information and facts that suggest intuition is wrong or misguided
  • Being controlled, completely, by emotions
  • Embracing jealousy, confrontation, and peer pressure

Examples of the Knight of Cups

Specific Interpretations

Specific situations are the general interpretation (from above) used for a specific situation (love, career, etc). There is no need to memorize these (or even look them up) if you understand the general interpretation. However, here are some basic interpretations for some specific situations:


Love can be passionate without being harmful or overwhelming. If your relationship is leaving you upset and/or exhausted, it may be time to consider ending it.


Keep your feelings in check. Check with your mentor when feelings seem to be leading rather than facts.


Try to find your spirituality in your everyday experiences, not just the extremes.

the Knight of Cups Tarot Card Meaning

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The Knight of Cups tarot card meaning is all about leading by emotion. Emotions are powerful & important but be wary of the wildness of emotional extremes.

Once you feel comfortable with the Knight of Cups tarot card meaning, check out the next card in the tarot deck: the Queen of Cups Tarot Card Meaning.


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