The Etteilla Tarot: Cups Meanings

In the Etteilla system of reading Tarot, the Cups suit is rather positive. The most striking difference between Etteilla and modern interpretations which newbies notice is The Ace of Cups; it is not read as love but as a party. The 5 of Cups is also different. However, you will notice trends which blend seamlessly with modern Tarot.

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    How to read the Cups in a Grand Etteilla Tarot card deck! Also known as the Book of Thoth. Post includes all of the upright and reversal Cups interpretations and is suitable for beginner and experienced Tarot card readers!

Ace of Cups

The Ace represents socializing and attending parties. The seeker will frequent places associated with pleasure: clubs, restaurants, etc. They can expect to meet new people.

Reversed, the seeker will go through a period of change and inconsistency. The appearance of this card can be a positive thing, but it depends on surrounding cards if the changes the seeker is going through are for better or worst.

2 of Cups

The 2 of Cups is said to represent true love in the Etteilla method. There will be understanding and commitment between two people.

Reversed, the seeker will experience dis-ease with their relationship. There will be unhappiness and possibly even temptation.

3 of Cups

The seeker can expect success in all endeavours. There will be a turn for the better which will last some time. They should look forward to a new job, relationship or anything which they want to change for the better becoming a reality.

Reversed there will be happy endings and battles won. Often, there will be travel. The seeker can expect things to happen rather quickly.

4 of Cups

A person in the seeker’s life is going to cause them stress. They will be giving energy to others which they don’t have to give. It is sure that they can expect trouble.

Reversed speaks of expansion of horizons and it is a good card for education. Situations will turn for the seeker’s benefit. A set of circumstances which may appear to be negative to begin with, but which will result in opportunities you may not have had without a pitfall.

 5 of Cups

The seeker may experience an increase in riches and personal wealth. Often this card is associated with inheritance. There will be a concern about legacy which will affect a family for generations.

Reversed there will be a return of someone who is missed by the seeker. They can expect good news and surprises.

6 of Cups

The 6 of Cups in the Etteilla method of Tarot is the card of that which is the past and the influence it has on the presents. Usually, it can signal history repeating itself. It can also be a warning not to let that which was created in the past fade away due to neglect.

Upright the card is concerned with the past whereas reversed the future is the focus.

Reversed the card speaks of maturity and the gain of experience. The seeker can be reassured, also, that dilemmas of the past and present will be corrected in the future.

7 of Cups

This card is interested with the mental state of the seeker; surrounding cards will give a clue as to what they are feeling, their mental state and why this is relevant. The seeker must use their mental power and intelligence to make their goals a reality. The seeker may spend much time reflecting and daydreaming.

This card reversed is a positive omen. The seeker will create a plan which will help them achieve their goals. Time will be spent designing the future instead of just daydreaming about it.

8 of Cups

The 8 of Cups signals the appearance of a blonde woman. The seeker will receive the support of a woman, or the seeker will give support to a the woman.

When reversed there will be a time of happiness, joy and contentment which will last a long time. Situations will turn out better than expected.

9 of Cups

As in other systems, the 9 of Cups predicts wishes fulfilled. The seeker will see success and triumph against great odds. Luck is on their side.

Reversed the card is still positive but the seeker will encounter small setbacks on the road to success. Eventually, they will achieve what they want.

10 of Cups

The family and home will dominate the seeker’s life. Cities will be significant; surrounding cards can give clues to how and what role they will play. Also, the seeker can expect some type of recognition.

Reversed, there will be a disruption in a family. Mourning is a strong possibility. The seeker will find themselves at the center of conflicts.

Page of Cups

The Page of Cups represents a youngster who can offer a fresh perspective to the seeker. The Page is valuable, useful and their ideas can benefit the seeker in some way.

Reversed, the Page of Cups represents a shady youngster in the seeker’s life which they should keep a distance from in order not to cause conflict. This Page reversed will be emotionally insecure.

Knight of Cups

The Knight of Cups represents a young individual, typically a man, who brings gifts to the seeker. There is also the possibility that they bring offers (as in business offers or trades).

Reversed, this Knight represents someone who offers help but then doesn't follow through. Sometimes, it can represent someone who just disappears from the seeker's life.

Queen of Cups

The Queen of Cups represents either the seeker’s mother, girlfriend, etc. This character is who the seeker goes to for emotional support and a sympathetic ear (or they will be in the future).

Reversed, this card represents a woman who does not wish to help the seeker emotionally. If anything, they only want to see them fail. The Queen will meddle too much in the seeker’s business.

King of Cups

The Cup of Cups represents a man who wishes to support the seeker emotionally in some way. He has been through similar things to the seeker so can speak from experience. He has the seeker’s best interests at heart.

Reversed represents a man who is a terrible enemy to make. This King is in conflict with the seeker and wishes to destroy their reputation. It is best if the seeker stays away from the King.

Last but not least, if you would really like to advance your ability to read Etteilla Tarot, then you can sign up below to receive the PDF cheatsheets which highlight the main differences between regular and Etteilla Tarot. They're fun, they're free and they can be accessed on mobile, tablet and computer!

Cards in this post are from the Grand Etteilla Tarot Deck which you can snap up here! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to 

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 Illustration: Illustration: This post explains how to read the Grand Etteilla Tarot Cups, one of the most ancient and vintage types of Tarot deck in the world. The cards have minimal style illustrations compared to other Tarot art. Here, you can learn the meanings for these cards, which differ from the modern Raider Waite Smith style of reading. This article explains.  

Illustration: Illustration: This post explains how to read the Grand Etteilla Tarot Cups, one of the most ancient and vintage types of Tarot deck in the world. The cards have minimal style illustrations compared to other Tarot art. Here, you can learn the meanings for these cards, which differ from the modern Raider Waite Smith style of reading. This article explains.