Weekly Tarot Card – Eight of Cups

This week’s card to study is the Eight of Cups.
Esoteric Title: The Lord of Abandoned Success


In the Eight of Cups from the Hanson-Roberts Tarot, we see a figure leaving at dawn, a very early hour just as the sun’s light is beginning to illuminate the sky. Their clothing and walking stick indicates they are ready for the challenging trek ahead over the mountains and through the water. What ever they are leaving, the challenge is worth it. Are they sneaking off, escaping, or are they simply on a journey?

Rider-Waite-Smith Eight of Cups for comparison:




The Eight of Cups card lies among the Minor Arcana, which represents day-to-day life and its ups and downs, challenges and opportunities.

Cups –

CupCups are associated with the element Water and represents all emotions, all different kinds of love, all kinds of relationships, feelings, receptivity, intuition, the subconscious, your dreams, your imagination, your vision, artistic creativity

Astrological Correspondences – Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces (Water signs)
The Golden Dawn correspondences for the Eight of Cups: Saturn in Pisces


number 8aThe Sevens are a time to look within and the Eights are a time to reach outward and expand. They are about power and abundance.  The Eight’s energy is strength (Major Arcana #8) and vision and seeing it through to the Nine. Keywords: Achievement, movement, authority, expanding, maturity, prosperity, mastery.

Card Keywords:

Sneaking off, needing alone time, escaping, abandonment, quest, journey, discontent, moving on, a turning point, saying good-bye.


  • Dawn – a new beginning
  • Mountain Range – challenges
  • Crescent Moon & Full Sun – there are many meaning behind this symbol. One is it represents the balancing of the energies of opposites, like the Yin/Yang.

General Meaning

This is a time to move on, move forward, and embrace your new transitional journey.

The Eight of Cups is either guiding you or confirming that your intuition is telling you to bring your difficulties/struggles to an end. Of course you may be scared and nervous to move forward, but this current path is not the best for you. You may know this deep down or you may not be able to see it clearly just yet however, trust in the Universe that not only will you be okay, you’ll actually be the better for it and that everything happens for a reason – both good and bad.

We have all been there, lead down the wrong path by our emotions or clouded thinking. We see what we want to see because we are blinded by love, faith, or naïveté. Our friends and family warn us, except we don’t listen or perhaps we do realize on some level that they’re right but we’re frightened of the unknown. However, this pain is no longer serving your needs and is bringing you down with it and this card is urging you to listen to them and yourself. Yes, it’s going to be hard and yes, you may feel alone, but this is signpost in the path of your life directing you down a different road, one that leads to transformation, healing, new opportunities as well as wisdom through hardships and experiences. Take this turn to higher ground.

It may be difficult to see now but in the future, when this experience is behind you and left in the past, you’ll be able to look back upon it with appreciation that you did take the turn. You’ll learn from it, grow from it, and be renewed.


On a lighter note, this card may instead indicate the need to deepen the meaning of your life by embarking on a new introspective journey. This may be spiritual in nature similar to the memoir/movie Eat, Pray, Love. You may find yourself wanting to do some soul-searching, to discover what your truth or purpose is (if you haven’t already), or to learn about other cultures possibly even traveling to see them first hand. This can be a wonderful time to unearth feelings, ideas, and thoughts that may have been lying just under the surface waiting to be discovered. It will be an enlightened, spiritual passage.

– The Eight of Cups suggests you may be working at a job or in a career that is no longer serving you well or satisfying you. It may be bringing down your spirits, burning you out, or even boring you. Whatever is causing this, if you cannot change the situation this may be a good time to look into changing your career or begin searching for another job or a different job. In the end, you may find it was the right decision for you.


If you are unemployed, it may be due to what I described above and now you are in the stages between leaving and finding your new job or new direction.  Once again, everything happens for a reason; one door closes and another one opens. It may take some time, but this card’s outcome is positive.

Romance – This is a Cups card therefore, it speaks directly to the emotions we experience concerning relationships and love.

If you are in a relationship, the Eight of Cups indicates this relationship is already in the process of ending or is nearing its end. It may be that both of you love each other but you just don’t get along and no matter how hard both of you try you still fight. It’s also possible that you are the only one trying and you are frustrated and feel like this is a one sided relationship. Regardless, it can be difficult to say good-bye and break things off or even worse get a divorce nevertheless, you know it’s the right thing to do.

This could also point to an abusive relationship; one of verbal, emotional abuse or the most unfortunate – physical abuse. This relationship needs to end and deep down you know it’s true but if it’s the latter, I’m certain you’re scared, frightened, and you feel isolated and if you have children, the fear is even worse. This is the extreme of the card, but in this case you literally need to escape in the middle of the night. There are underground, secret organizations who help women (and some men) who are in this seemingly impossible situation. You will have the support system you need to do this safely. The Eight of Cups indicates this is the time to leave and you possess the strength and fortitude to do it.

In either of these circumstances, the Eight of Cups represents a turning point in your life; one for the better. You will be free, feel relief, and in time you will heal and be able to move forward. You will have a better sense of self, your self-esteem will increase as will your self-confidence. The new you will glow from within.


If you are looking for love, this is a good time to take a break. This card suggests you may have been in a relationship that ended recently or that you have been through a difficult time. Regardless, you may not be completely past it just yet. Give yourself some time to be free of it so that olds wounds can be fully healed and don’t have a chance of creeping into the next relationship which would only cause problems.

Questions to ask –

What do you need to let go of?
Are you able to see your current situation clearly?
What lessons can you learn from this experience?

Affirmation/Quote –

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” – Theodore Roosevelt


Please Note:
This is my interpretation of this card. It may differ from other Tarotists, and yours as well, and that’s okay. Please work to create your own card meanings; learning the Tarot is not about memorizing.

In addition, remember nuances of the interpretation may differ depending on the Querent’s question, the spread, the surrounding cards, and what your intuition may be telling you at the time.

The Hanson-Roberts Tarot and the Rider-Waite is used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902.  c. U.S. Games Systems, Inc.  All rights reserved.  Rider-Waite is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems.


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