Skip to: site menu | section menu | main content

Currently viewing: Cups » Four of Cups

Four of Cups

The Lord of Composed Pleasure

Cups, 04

The Moon in Pisces. The card shows the Argentine novelist Julio Cortazar sitting near what appears to be the Seine river. Although he is sitting in a relaxed position and is well dressed (implying a certain material comfort), his mind is far away and on other matters.The stone seat on which he rests cannot be very comfortable and does not really invite one to stay seated for a long time. It is merely a stop, not a final destination.

The river is full of symbolism. Not only is it a large body of water (and water confined in a specific place and path much like a cup, with the shores being the sides of the cup), the river is also a symbol of travel, perhaps of life's journey itself. The river curls away from the photo and out of sight. To travel on this river is to travel toward distant and unknown goals. The bridge seen in the background is another symbol of a crossing and the road and barges seen in the photograph indicate that there are several ways of making this voyage.

The pylons on which the bridge rests divide the river in four, and yet the waters eventually meet up again becoming a single river. The implication is simple: much as we can be divided, the journey is always the same for all of us.


Boredom and dissatisfaction, a routine lifestyle is becoming stifling and it's time to start looking around for alternatives. Maybe we need to find new goals, or a new lifestyle.


Satiety and excess. Boredom leads to an endless search of new (and ephemeral) pleasures.