KING OF CUPS
Essence: A wise, kind, mature man comfortable in the emotional realm. He is a good father, counselor or teacher who views change philosophically. He sees transformation and change as a necessary manifestation of the order in chaos.
The King of Cups represents a wise older man. He is full of love and kindness prompted by his ability to feel deeply and empathetically. His being twinkles like sunlight on water. The dove of the Goddess is in his heart. The dolphin dances in his hand and the moon’s phases float like bubbles in and out of his cup-shaped crown. He is immersed in the sensitive chaos of life. Emotions are under his control so he’s not swept away with their tides. Being a good husband and father, he behaves toward others in a warm and supportive way. A good advisor and counselor, with a loving and nurturing manner in his relationships, the King represents a mensch (fully responsible ethical human being).
The archetype embodied in The King of Cups expresses the manifestation of the loving Father God and his creative life of compassionate, sustaining energy. This is the masculine counterpart of the Queen of Cups. Like her, he also is a sensuous and sexual being.
Where The Queen is the constancy and the unity at the hub of the changing emotional seasons, The King is the alert compassionate observer who evaluates and helps each find its rightful place in the whole.
When the King of Cups is reversed, it may indicate one who is too moody or lacking adequate emotional control. Like the Queen in reversed position, he may be a dangerous narcissist using his empathic awareness of other’s emotions to manipulate them for his own ends. Or, this card may indicate one who is emotionally immature, over-sensitive, possibly an alcoholic or addict. Either way, it indicates one who can drag others down with his moods or withdraw into his own depths, becoming unreachable until his inner storms clear.
Buffeted about by acute sensitivity, he can be over-protective of self or others. He can be vengeful, arrogant and conceited. In either case it is the result of the mistaken attempt to control forces that by their nature need freedom to flourish and grow.
The King of Cups reversed may also simply indicate that the person manifesting the qualities of the archetype (of the upright or reversed card position) is female rather than male.