Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week, April 18-24, 2016: King of Cups

Kindness and faithfulness keep a king safe; through kindness his throne is made secure.

King Solomon


This week, after an absence of three years, the King of Cups comes calling.

The Kings of the Tarot are the overt, assertive personification of the suit’s energy. They are the builders, fathers, and rulers. They represent maturity, discipline, and mastery. They point to our own capacity to realize our full potential.

And of course, the suit of the Cups presides over the realms of emotions, dreams, intuition, and love.

So of all the Kings, the King of Cups would the most gentle and compassionate leader.

For instance, the Dalai Lama, a watery Cancerian, comes to mind. The leader of his nation as well as his ancient spiritual tradition, he embodies gentleness and tolerance. Yet he is a fierce opponent as he works to end the destructive occupation of his country by China.

The King of Cups is a tender-hearted person (male or female) who has hidden depths and intuitive understanding. While at times they can tend towards moodiness or even melancholy, as the King, they are successful, outwardly directed, and possess great power in the more aggressive, assertive “real” world.

This is in contrast to, say, the Queen of Cups, whose vast empathy can sometimes drift off into impractical dreaminess.

Even in the most hectic or stressful situations, the King of Cups is a person who radiates peace. If there is ever a crisis, this is the person you want to have around, lending a strong, calm hand. This person has an innate talent for cool-headedness, creativity, and balance.

Someone with the King of Cups energy would be a very successful practitioner of the healing arts (either traditional or esoteric). A very sensitive soul, they also make wonderful teachers, counselors, spiritual leaders, and artists.

They may also be found practicing law, or in advocacy for those who are unable to defend themselves, for their heart-centered orientation often compels them to seek justice. And their maturity, empathy, and ability to go with the flow give them an edge in all matters of diplomacy.

The Taurus-Scorpio Polarity

This week, the Sun leaves Aries and moves into Venus-ruled Taurus. It also brings us this month’s Full Moon.

As you know, the Full Moon is always in the sign of the zodiac opposite from where the Sun is, so this week, we’ll be feeling the combination the Sun in Taurus, and the Moon in Scorpio.

Annie Heese in Café Astrology writes:

While Taurus deals with matter, personal values, material goods, possessions, and security, Scorpio rules the destruction of form, shared possessions, change, and transformation.

The Sun in Taurus wants us to be happy with the simple, tangible things in life, while the Scorpio Moon draws our attention to complexities, intangibles, and mysteries.

Neglecting either end of the axis will surely backfire on us. Ideally, a balance should be found between the two energies, and this is what the Full Moon invites us to do…

This Full Moon is about emotional declarations. Something has been building inside of us, likely of an intimate nature, and now is the time when the energy of the cosmos fairly demands that we let it out.

Over the next two weeks, we will discover what this declaration means for us. For now, we can’t sit on our feelings. We need to express them. The Full Moon illuminates this conflict between collecting and sharing.

The King of Cups, who is, like Scorpio, ruled by the element of Water, strikes me as an especially adept guide for dealing with the hidden depths and transformative impulses of the scorpion, while also encouraging abundance, security, and the other gentle values of Taurus.

In the Days Ahead

In addition to the Full Moon influence, Pluto has just turned retrograde this week (joining Saturn and Mars, who are also now moving in reverse, from our perspective here on Earth).

With the King of Cups as our advisor, we might heed the words of astrologer Lynn Koiner. “My most frequent observation of Pluto retrograde is that many people do seek some form of regenerative activity. I have seen people undertake a series of internal cleansings, detoxifying diets, Eastern disciplines that put them in touch with the inner self and even intense psychological reforms.”

I am fascinated, also, that the King of Cups returns in this week of the critically important New York primary election. With the candidates for leader of the United States in a tight and increasingly rancorous contest, the quote from King Solomon rings down through the centuries.

Considered one of the greatest, wisest rulers in history, it is interesting that he would advise kindness to be the most important component of a strong ruler. Which of the candidates now running would publicly declare that compassion is the most important thing he or she would want to be known for?

What if we elected our leaders, not for their bellicose, aggressive behavior, but for their faithful, practical know-how? How would it look if those who would be in power did so in a spirit of humble commitment and service?

What if our policies, both national and personal, were based on the understanding that we can never build a safe, secure life until kindness becomes our highest priority?

Lead From Your Heart

Perhaps this is the time for you to seek care from a healer, counselor, or wise listener. Who, in your current situation this week, balances both the cup of dreams and love in one hand, and the scepter of power in the other?

How might you be called upon to find this power in yourself? Consider how compassion may be required from you, especially in matters of great significance.

In what ways are you called on to exercise mature restraint when emotions run high? Who is in need of your kindly, wise guidance?

In our ability to be flexible and fluid, there is great power. With forgiveness, profound change is possible. Lead from your heart, with love and kindness.

For all of us, the world will be better when you do.

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  • April 18, 2016, 1:54 pm Acquafortis

    Just in time for my work resignation tomorrow….at the end of this long story I let myself be guided by my heart….

  • April 18, 2016, 2:37 pm Beth

    Wow! That is HUGE, Acquafortis! May the King of Cups bless your new beginnings, and your heart ever guide you truly.

  • April 19, 2016, 10:37 am kd

    I read this after praying on the New York primary (it is voting day as I write this)…and all I can think about is how my candidate has energized millions in this country (esp young people) with a message of compassion for the poor, the immigrants, and the working class who have been marginalized by a corporate class that funds other candidates & buys their influence. Yet as arguments between voters gets heated, I find myself stepping back to stop that energy from darkening my own. I get tempted into such arguments. I want to defend the candidate I’ve become excited to support. But I need to also protect my own center of peace. Then I am able to focus on sending my energy into productive activities like campaign phone banking, along with intentional prayer, releasing attachments to the outcome, and expecting Source to respond in ways I cannot even imagine. This political season has been a faith-building experience for me. So it was truly wonderful to see the King of Cups arrive this week…!