The Knight of Cups card showcases, you guessed it, a gallant knight. Our knight sits on a white horse, who has his front hoof in the air in a picturesque way – he's almost posing. The knight himself is fabulously adorned – his armor is covered in patterns of fish, his boots and his helmet both have wings, and even the reigns he holds on to are blue and composed of filigree. The knight holds a cup forward in a gentle way. His face seems to hold a mixture of pain and curiosity.
To start with, we'll want to disambiguate court cards. They are often the most difficult to read, due to their general nature. It is easier to remember that a court card often signifies a person or entity: the sex of the person may not match that of the court card, but the attitude and persona will seem familiar. If it's clear, however, that the court card doesn't refer to a person, remember to break it down further. First, define what the suite stands for – e.x. Cups generally refers to emotion. Then take the role of that court card and apply it to the suite – e.x. A Page of Cups would be a young juvenile in the world of emotion, just as the Page of Swords is the inexperienced lad of thought. This can help you to decide what the court card is trying to tell you.
Person: The Knight of Cups is the teenager of emotion – he is the over-emotional romantic young man. He is remarkably similar to Romeo of Romeo and Juliet: one moment he will be mourning his old lover, and the next he will be struck dumb by a new love. Teenagers are coming into their own in the world, and thus tend to swing back and forth between their positive and negative traits. He is the knight who will kiss your hand and vouch for your honor, but will be silly enough to enter a duel with the man who accidentally stepped on your foot. This young stallion tends to be withdrawn and introspective, but can focus inward a bit too excessively at times.
Metaphor: Poetry and romance are grand things to idolize, but be sure not to swing too far with it and become clingy and/or melodramatic. You can enjoy a daydream or a fantasy every once in a while, but if you go too far you can start forgetting to live in the real world. Be understanding of others plights, but don't let their emotions unduly cloud your own reasoning and feelings. Above all, the lesson of the knight is to keep all things in balance – have emotions, but don't let them control your existence.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you pull the Knight of Cups. How balanced are my emotions? Are you often closed off to your feelings? Have you ever let your emotions get the better of you? How can you continue your emotional life in a clear and balanced way?
In the Knight of Cup's more negative moments, he can be like the Four of Cups – withdrawn in a stubborn, blinded manner. These two cards have similarities in their shadow sides – they both share the fact that emotions can lead us to self-absorption and ignorance. In his best moments, the Knight of Cups shares many factors with the Two of Cups – love, connection, and a desire to understand their partner or their friends.