The beautiful artwork by Julia Jeffrey features a soft color palette incorporating blues and grays, colors often associated with the element Water, the element of emotions, creativity, and relationships. A silver cup in the foreground seems to capture the Knight’s undivided attention.
The tone for this card is aptly set by Barbara Moore’s leading paragraph in her description of this knight in the guidebook for the deck, Journey into the Hidden Realm: “He sits in silence with his uncertainty, his senses deadened. The physical world has almost ceased to exist for him as he explores the strange, abstract worlds within his heart.” Moore goes on to comment that the Knight of Cups “may seem otherworldly or unrealistic, but once understood, his motivations are easy to see. He needs to feel something in his heart or be moved by it in his soul for it to be true or worthy of his attention.”
In The Tarot Court Cards: Archetypal Patterns of Relationship in the Minor Arcana, Kate Warwick-Smith suggests ways in which the Court Cards can represent Supporters, Resources, Detractors, and Challenges. For the Knight of Cups, her keywords are:
Supporter: Lover...............................................Resource: Desire
Detractor: Possessor..........................................Challenge: Rejection
In her section The Knight of Cups Speaks, Warwick-Smith writes: “I am visions, dreams, hopes, and desires. I often come at a crossroads where a leap of faith over an unknown depth must take place.”
In the guise of Possessor, the Knight offers a cup filled with “brackish water that does not quench thirst but binds others to him and holds them prisoner to a growing thirst. What I cannot have I reject or seek to destroy.”
Words that come to my mind as I gaze at this Knight are “pensive, reflective, distracted, troubled, wistful, lonely, depressed.” Many Tarot systems associate Knights with the element Air, the element of communication, thought, and challenges. This knight’s expression certainly encompasses all of that. He may not appear as “active” as a knight on a galloping horse, but rest assured, once he decides how and when to act, he will direct the full force of his heart and mind towards his goal.