Finding Balance in a Partnership: A Guide to the Two of Cups

The two of cups is a sign of balance and mutual admiration in a relationship. Read this guide for more info!

Two women sit on a couch and exchange tarot cards.

There are over 70 cards in a tarot deck, it can feel like you’ll never learn enough. However, the minor arcana, which makes up the majority of the deck, follows a pattern that you can learn by looking at the numerology and suit.

However, if you need a bit of support and need to know a specific card, the Kellee Blog has numerous explanations of different tarot cards that you can read. This article will focus on the two of cups (or goblets, depending on the deck), and how to interpret it during a reading. This will cover specifically:

  • What is the minor arcana?
  • Two numerology
  • Upright two of cups
  • Reversed two of cups

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Woman with a crow on a table and spread of face-down cards.
The two of cups is a member of the minor arcana, a subsection of the tarot deck that focuses on everyday conflicts, rather than overarching themes.

Minor Arcana

Like a deck of playing cards, tarot cards have four suits. Unlike playing cards, there is also a selection of major arcana cards that don’t fall under a specific suit– the major arcana. The major arcana focuses on overarching, life themes. Cups is one of four suits within the minor arcana, the category focusing on day-to-day, individualized conflicts. Despite the name, the minor arcana is no less useful or impactful than its major counterpart. When you encounter a card in the minor arcana during a reading, it is likely referring to something that is actively occurring in the querent’s life.

Two in Tarot Numerology

Whenever you pull a card, it is important to look at the suit, but the number is also of value– it tells a story about who pulls the card. Each number has a different symbolic meaning so it can feel daunting to memorize them. Luckily for you, two is an easier number to remember. The number two represents the duality of life. Think Yin and Yang, black and white, good and evil, day and night.

Despite the dualities, each option perfectly opposes and compliments its counterpart. This conflict allows you to open yourself up to possibilities and potential that isn’t obvious on either individual side. As the two sides fight one another, their energies shift and you can find a new space to belong to.

A spread of all the cards in the suit of cups.
The suit of cups focuses on emotions and the more creative aspects of life. Image courtesy of Witchy Spiritual Stuff.


Of the four minor arcana suits (cups, pentacles, swords, wands), each is associated with a different element– earth, water, air, fire. You may not be surprised to find that cups are associated with the water. The element of water is synonymous with fluidity– it can be gentle like tides on a beach or intense like the waves in a rushing river.

If you compare to a deck of playing cards, the suit of cups, sometimes called goblets, most corresponds with the suit of hearts. The cups imply you are thinking with your emotions, rather than logic. Cups are associated with creativity, romance, and imagination– all dreamy aspects of life that aren’t confined by reality.

The negative implications of the suit of cups is that you may be feeling overly emotional or have unrealistic expectations about what may happen. If one pulls primarily cups in a reading, they are likely an artistic, emotional, creative-type (or a water sign).

2 of cups

Classic depiction of the two of cups. Two figures exchange goblets with one another.
The two of cups features lovers exchanging cups with one another to confirm their love for each other . Image courtesy of AlizonTarot.

Image Analysis

The images on tarot cards can help guide you if you forget the definition. The two of cups depicts two figures (often a man and woman, though not always) trading goblets and pledging their love to each other. In the two of cups, there is also a Caduceus of Hermes– a staff wrapped around by two snakes. This is a symbol of trade and exchange. Occasionally, there will also be a chimera above the Caduceus of Hermes. This animal-like creature represents passion. Essentially, there is a partnership, existing or in the works, that is built on balance, respect, and devotion.

Nontraditional depiction of the two of cups. Two goblets on either side of the card hold either side of a rainbow that crosses both sections.
An upright two of cups is a sign that your connection with your partner (romantic or otherwise) is solid, steady, and based on mutual respect. Image courtesy of Liminal11.

Upright Two of Cups

When you pull a tarot card, there are two options of its orientation– upright or reversed. If you pull it rightside-up, or upright, you generally receive the positive interpretations of the card. For the two of cups, combine what you know about the two numerology, the suit of cups, and what you’ve gathered from the image on the card.

The upright two of cups is a symbol of partnership. A strong, balanced, even partnership with another. This can often be interpreted romantically, but it can simply mean that you are so close with someone your emotions are starting to become intertwined with each other. The two of cups can represent mutual admiration and respect. With this card, you are forging serious, mutually beneficial relationships that can develop into completely fulfilling connections.

Upright Love Spread

The two of cups is based on relationships, so in a reading with a romance focused, the two of cups is a glorious pull. In the beginning of a relationship, this card suggests that you and your partner have the ability to evolve into a serious, gratifying relationship. It also suggests that the relationship is mutually beneficial. So in any stage of a romance, both parties are reaping the benefits and feeling joy about the relationship.

As the relationship or connection progresses, you may find that you’ve developed better communication and that the two of you perfectly balance each other out. It could allude to a wedding (exchanging of cups to an exchange of rings), but it could also represent a commitment to one another.

If you’re single, the two of cups could mean that a relationship is starting to bud, or that your crush has similar feelings for you. Remember how the number two is a symbol for balance? The two of cups is a symbol that your relationship is balanced: what you feel, your partner feels.

Upright Work/Finance Spread

In your career, an upright two of cups is a sign of harmony. You may feel at ease or supported by your coworkers. It symbolizes that partnerships of any kind will be successful. If you’re starting a business together, or simply working together on a minor project, the two of you work well together– balancing out each other’s needs.

As for finances, it is important to stay aware. The two of cups can mean you have achieved financial stability, but it does not imply long term financial success. You may have enough to get by and cover expenses, but that does not mean that you should be spending excessively. Two can represent balance and stability, but  make sure to manage your money so it lasts.

Nontraditional depiction of the two of cups. Two mermaids float in the stars as the exchange bowls or cups of fluid.
A reversed two of cups is a sign that your relationship with your partner, job, or finances is not balanced. Image courtesy of Cocorrina.

Reversed Two of Cups

If you pulled the card upside down, or reversed, usually the opposite of its upright counterpart is true. Therefore, a reversed two of cups is a sign that you are not experiencing balance in your life, or there is some kind of block. It can also mean that you will/are experiencing some form of abuse, bullying, or injustice. Your connections with others may be failing. Perhaps you are experiencing arguments with loved ones, or like one party is putting in more effort than the other.

Because the cup is upside down, it is recommended that you pour your heart or feelings out. You need to put effort into the things that you love, attempt to restore balance, or learn when the equilibrium can or can’t be fixed.

Reversed Love Spread

If you are in a relationship, the reversed two of cups is a particularly bad sign to receive. You and your partner are out of step with each other. Perhaps there is an uneven power dynamic, maybe your partner is extremely passionate one moment and cold the next, or that one of you has not been putting in the work to make the relationship last. The two of you are not on the same page and it is harming your bond with one another.

If you are single, the reversed two of cups may be a sign the person you’re interested in doesn’t reciprocate the feelings. Or that the person you’ve started seeing doesn’t help you feel secure in yourself.

Reversed Work/Finance Spread

As for your career, a reversed two of cups means that you and your business partner/colleagues are not seeing eye to eye. You and your team members may not be putting in the same amount of effort in your work. It could also represent bullying or being taken advantage of in the workplace. If this is the case, pour out your feelings (in a professional manner) and speak to them, your supervisor, or HR.

In a financial setting, you may be finding that you don’t have the balance you thought you did. Be sure to track your actual expenditures against your earnings to ensure that you are not spending above your means. Whether the instability in your finances comes from overspending or a sudden change of income, make sure that you are paying attention and not falling into debt.

That’s it for this guide to the two of cups!

The two of cups is very similar to the lovers in a tarot deck. They both revolve around a strong connection with a partner. Keep researching the cards and giving out as many readings as possible– that’s the best way to practice.

Lydia Rosenstock

Lydia Rosenstock is a writer, fashion-lover, and theater nerd based in Pittsburgh, PA.
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