Element: Water

Sign: 1. decan of Scorpio

Planet: Mars

Tree of Life: Geburah

Light: disappointment, unfulfilled expectations, imbalance, and potential for transformation

Shadow: coping skills, lessened, not doing anything about the disappointment

Lord of Disappointment

The Five of Cups, also known as the Lord of Disappointment, signifies a sense of lethargy and the feeling of missing the target of our goals.


The transition from the Four of Cups (Lord of Luxury) to the Five of Cups signifies a shift from contentment to disillusionment. It prompts us to learn from these experiences, reassess our goals, and find opportunities for growth and transformation.


The Five of Cups serves as a reminder that not all expectations will be met and that disappointment is a part of life. However, it also encourages us to learn from these experiences and to see them as opportunities for growth and transformation.

Joe’s Divine Guidance : Five of Cups in a Tarot Reading



When the Five of Cups appears upright, it suggests a time of disappointment and unfulfilled expectations. It could indicate a situation where you had high hopes, but the outcome was not as anticipated, leading to a sense of loss. This card encourages you to learn from these experiences and see them as opportunities for growth and transformation.

In its reversed form, the Five of Cups can suggest a period of recovery from disappointment. It can indicate a time when you are starting to see the silver lining in a situation that previously caused you disappointment. It suggests a time of healing and learning to let go of past disappointments.

Mystical Symbolism - Five of Cups Thoth

Image of the Five of Cups in the Thoth tarot deck.

The Five Empty Cups: The card features five empty cups arranged in the shape of an inverted pentagram. This represents the dominance of the material world over the spiritual realm, leading to a sense of disappointment and overwhelming emotions. It signifies a loss or a focus on what is lacking rather than appreciating what remains.


Dry Lotuses: The lotuses on the card, typically associated with life and vitality, appear dry and lifeless. This symbolizes a desolate landscape where growth and flourishing seem impossible.


Ouroboros or Infinity Sign: Below the cups and in the center of the sea, there is an Ouroboros or an infinity sign. This symbol suggests that despite the turbulent emotional seas represented by the card, there is still infinite love and potential at the core of the situation. It reminds us that even in times of disappointment, there is always the potential for healing, growth, and renewal.

Tree of Life: Geburah and the Five of Cups

The Five of Cups is associated with Geburah on the Tree of Life. Geburah represents strength, courage, and a fiery energy. However, it also symbolizes disruption and conflict. 


In the context of the Five of Cups, the influence of Geburah’s fiery energy can overpower the more nurturing and receptive qualities of the watery cups. This imbalance can lead to a loss of emotional fulfillment, as depicted by the empty cups on the card. It suggests that when forceful and assertive energies dominate over the gentler aspects, it can result in feelings of disappointment, loss, and a lack of emotional satisfaction.

Astrology Insights

The Five of Cups is associated with the planet Mars in the sign of Scorpio. Mars is a planet that symbolizes action, drive, and desire. It represents our capacity for assertiveness and taking initiative. Scorpio, on the other hand, is a sign known for its intensity, depth, and transformative qualities. When these energies are not in balance, it can lead to feelings of disappointment and unfulfilled expectations. 


The combination of Mars and Scorpio can amplify emotional intensity and the potential for emotional upheaval. It suggests that if the assertive and passionate qualities of Mars are not tempered by emotional awareness and understanding, it can result in a sense of loss and emotional dissatisfaction, as depicted by the Five of Cups.