The Eight Of Cups: How To Tell If It Means Yes Or No

Eight of Cups tarot card in a yes or no reading

Understanding what the Eight of Cups means for “yes or no” tarot readings can be quite challenging. Unlike some of the other cards out there, the meaning of this one isn’t always straightforward!

This guide will help you interpret this card accurately during your next reading.

Eight Of Cups: Yes Or No?

The Eight of Cups is a no for “yes or no” tarot readings.

In general, Eights indicate decisions. In every case, there’s a choice to be made and an outcome to resist. The Eight of Cups indicates introspection and re-attuning yourself to your innermost desires. This can result in some tough choices.

The suit of Cups is inextricably tied to the element of Water and all that it represents. Cards in this suit typically appear when emotions, intuition, and the inner self are involved.

The Eight of Cups, then, is usually seen when you’re at a kind of emotional crossroads. You may have been investing your time and energy into something that you’re beginning to realize wasn’t worth it. It can be tempting to keep going and hoping that things will turn around, but this card warns that that isn’t likely to happen. You may be feeling disappointed and afraid to leave at the same time.

You can see this reflected in Pamela Colman-Smith’s artwork for the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot. This card shows a red-cloaked figure walking away from a set of eight golden chalices. There’s a moon in the sky, and the figure appears to be walking along a river that winds through some mountains.

Mountains are a visual shorthand for obstacles. In tarot, the moon commonly represents anxiety, illusion, and the inner mind. This figure is facing the mountains and the moon, indicating that they’re prepared to cut their losses and leave their old situation — even if it brings uncertainty, anxiety, and hardship. The things symbolized by the moon and mountains seem to be less unpleasant than whatever this person is walking away from.

Have you been spending your time on a relationship that isn’t fulfilling to you? Are you in a job that makes you feel stagnant or stressed-out? Have you dedicated yourself to a project that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere? These are the situations described by the Eight of Cups.

In a “yes or no” context, the Eight of Cups cautions you that the thing you want may not be what it appears. You may think that your efforts will eventually pay off, but it doesn’t seem so. Therefore, this tarot card indicates a negative answer to your query.

Does A Reversed Eight Of Cups Mean Yes Or No?

Reversed, the Eight of Cups’ meaning doesn’t change much. It usually still indicates a no for “yes or no” readings, though it can sometimes represent a maybe.

In this case, things are somewhat less clear than in the upright Eight of Cups. The sense of anxiety and illusion is heightened. This card represents a fear of the unknown — rather than cutting their losses and walking off into the mountains, the cloaked figure has chosen to stay stuck between the mountains and the eight chalices.

There may be an element of resignation or escapism at play here. On one hand, you might have chosen to stay stuck because you’re afraid of wasting the time and effort you’ve already put into the situation. (This is called the “sunk cost fallacy.”) On the other, you may have found a way to mentally escape your situation without actually leaving it.

In other words, the reversed Eight of Cups means the same thing as the upright Eight of Cups. The only thing that changes is the figure’s perspective. The eight chalices still represent a waste of time and effort, and a situation that it’d be healthier to walk away from. The only difference is that the cloaked figure in the reversed Eight of Cups has chosen to remain in place.

This is why this card is still a no in “yes or no” tarot readings. It only becomes a maybe when you’re able to recognize the situation that you’re in and voluntarily choose to leave. Escapism and resignation won’t improve things. The only way out is to recognize the reality of your situation and make a conscious choice to embrace the unknown.

Does Eight Of Cups Mean Yes Or No For Love?

For “yes or no” readings about love, the Eight of Cups is a no.

This card is all about leaving bad situations, and it’s explicitly from the suit that deals the most with emotional matters. That means that it’s highlighting the need to walk away from an unpleasant emotional situation.

For people in relationships, this tarot card warns that someone is (or should be) considering walking away. This could be an exhausting situation that started out good, but now doesn’t really have any redeeming virtues left. Sometimes, love alone isn’t enough. It can be hard to admit that a relationship has failed, but it’s better and healthier than trying to cling to a love that’s a shell of its former self.

For singles, this card can appear when there are unaddressed abandonment issues at play. You may have had a partner who left you, or you may have stayed in a relationship for longer than you should have. These things can leave lasting emotional scars, and you may need to work on them before entering the dating scene.

In any case, the upright Eight of Cups isn’t a good omen for anything related to love. It indicates exhaustion, wasted time, and feeling like there aren’t any solutions left. When your best option is to walk away, the answer to your “yes or no” love query is probably a no.

Does A Reversed Eight Of Cups Mean Yes Or No For Love?

When the reversed Eight of Cups shows up, the answer is still no.

The Eight of Cups is a challenging card to interpret in a simple “yes or no” context, because it has so much underlying emotional complexity. The upright Eight of Cups represents the pain of having to walk away, but the reversed Eight of Cups describes the pain of staying when it’d be better to leave. It’s pretty much a no-win situation here.

For people in relationships, the reversed Eight of Cups wants you to honestly ask yourself why you remain in the position that you’re in. Is it a fear of being alone? Social pressure? Financial concerns?

Sometimes, this card can appear to point out that someone is refusing to engage with the relationship. It’s possible that there are serious underlying problems, and one or both partners have elected to ignore them and pretend that everything’s fine. This isn’t going to work for very long, though.

For singles, the reversed Eight of Cups points to abandonment issues and a fear of commitment. You may want to meet someone new, but, when it comes down to actually starting a relationship, it just doesn’t work. Something makes you want to run, and you may want to explore this further with a therapist to help identify the root cause of the issue.

Example Questions

To help provide you with some additional clarity, here’s what the Eight of Cups means when drawn in response to specific questions. You might find that they apply to you!

Will I Get With My Crush Soon? Do They Feel The Same Way About Me?

When you find the Eight of Cups when asking this “yes or no” question, it doesn’t seem likely. You may have been carrying a torch for this person for a while. It could be a good idea to recognize that things aren’t likely to pan out at this point, and dedicate your energy elsewhere.

If the Eight of Cups is reversed then it’s also doubtful. You might really like this person, but something is keeping you apart. Someone here may have commitment issues, or feel that the only way they can keep from being abandoned is to avoid entering a relationship in the first place.

Will My Partner And I Marry In The Near Future?

An upright Eight of Cups means it’s not likely. It seems more like it’s time to either try intensive relationship counseling or acknowledge that things have run their course. Some people get married as a last-ditch attempt to save a relationship, but this doesn’t work. It’s better to end things on a good note rather than drag out the inevitable.

And if reversed, the Eight of Cups means it doesn’t seem so at this time. There may be serious issues at play here, and someone’s hoping to avoid them until they go away. This isn’t a good strategy for a healthy marriage and long-lasting relationship. If a marriage does happen, it may be marked by resentment, frustration, and resignation.

Will I Meet A New Partner In The Coming Days?

For this “yes or no” question, the Eight of Cups means this is unlikely. You may want to meet someone in the abstract, but balk at the reality of it. There’s some healing that needs to happen first before you find a new partner.

And if reversed, this tarot card is a sign that it’s probably not going to happen. There’s likely to be some deep emotional trauma here that’s gone unaddressed. It’s likely that every time someone tries to get close to you, you may push them away or talk yourself out of wanting them. It may be a good idea to work on discovering and healing the underlying problems before trying to find a new partner.             

Closing Thoughts

The Eight of Cups is often a negative or unclear card to be presented with during a “yes or no” tarot card reading. But even so, it provides useful and instructive information!

If you’ve recently been presented with this card during a reading and need some help figuring out what it means, let us know. We’re more than happy to lend a hand and assist you in your journey.

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