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

The Five of Cups tarot card drawn in a yes or no reading

Interpreting the Five of Cups in a “yes or no” tarot reading can be quite challenging. Not only is this card not completely straightforward, but even the positive answers tend to come with some element of hardship and negativity.

Read this guide to gain a better understanding of what this card means for you.

Five Of Cups: Yes Or No?

In simple “yes or no” readings, the Five of Cups is classically considered a negative answer. Just looking at the imagery of this card will often hint that it’s a firm no, but it can help to take a deeper look into the symbolism behind this particular part of the Minor Arcana.

If you’re not already familiar with the tarot’s suits, the suit of Cups is its representation of the element of Water. That means that this is the suit that usually describes things in terms of emotions, the subconscious, intuition, and so forth.

Every suit in tarot tells a kind of self-contained story with a pretty classic plot. The action opens up with the Ace, ramps up in the middle, and finishes with the Ten. This means that the Fives are where things really get going — they’re right in the middle, so they outline the climax, where the action reaches its peak. This is also generally the most challenging part of any story, where the hero faces the problem that they have to overcome in order to reach the ending.

So this means that, right off the bat, the Five of Cups is a card about emotional struggle. In the suit of Cups, it’s the card with the most tension and difficulty. Even without looking at any of the artwork, you can tell just by its numerical position that it describes a situation full of challenging, negative feelings. You can also use the numerical associations of the Minor Arcana cards to read tarot using decks with unillustrated pips cards, or even just regular playing cards!

With that in mind, take a look at the artwork. Every deck portrays its cards differently, so we’ll use the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot as an example for simplicity’s sake. In this deck, the Five of Cups depicts a figure in a long black cloak. Their face is hidden, and their posture suggests that they’re crying.

Before them, you can see three spilled chalices. There are two more to the right that are still upright. In the distance, a river meanders past a castle, under a bridge beneath a gray sky.

The imagery backs up the numerical and elemental interpretation of the Five of Cups. The cloaked figure appears to be mourning, and this is a card about grief. This isn’t necessarily an all-encompassing grief — the cloaked person still has two unspilled chalices left, after all — but the sense of sadness is still pretty intense.

In a “yes or no” reading, the Five of Cups is a no. Since it signifies a time of deep loss, sadness, and disappointment, it says that you’re not likely to get what you want right now.

Does A Reversed Five Of Cups Mean Yes Or No?

Reversed, the Five of Cups becomes a yes for “yes or no” readings. But be warned, this yes may not be all it’s cracked up to be.

The upright Five of Cups is all mourning, disappointment, and grief. While its reversed orientation still contains shades of that meaning, it’s changed somewhat.

The reversed Five of Cups is a tarot card about emerging from sadness. It describes a period of mourning or grief that is being resolved. It often shows up when you’ve gone through a stretch of emotional hardship and are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

In this sense, it’s associated with both positivity and negativity. It depicts grief that’s coming to an end, but that only happens when there was considerable grief to begin with. It’s a positive card that comes out of a negative situation.

For this reason, the reversed Five of Cups is interpreted as a yes for “yes or no” readings. While it still refers to sadness or disappointment, it’s a pain that’s now behind you. This tarot card has more hope and optimism than it does grief. Even though it’s a bit of a mixed bag, it has more good than bad.

While it can be tempting to read any yes card as a positive answer, it’s a good idea to take the card’s full meaning into account. The Five of Cups can indicate that your situation will turn out in your favor, but this may only happen after a very difficult, emotionally trying period. You may want to look at the surrounding cards for more information here.

Does Five Of Cups Mean Yes Or No For Love?

For “yes or no” readings about love, the Five of Cups is a no. The suit of Cups deals very heavily with love and feelings, and this card is not a positive one.

This card indicates grief. It can point to breakups, deaths, or even just feelings of loneliness and isolation within your current relationship.

If you’re with someone, you may struggle with feelings of disappointment. It’s possible that your relationship isn’t what you’d hoped it would be. It’s also possible that you or your partner are pulling away from each other. The Five of Cups can describe a lot of different situations — not all of them are dire, but none of them are very good.

If you’re single and have done a love-related “yes or no” reading, the Five of Cups can warn that you’re in a lonely period. You may have recently lost a loved one, have trouble overcoming feelings of isolation, or struggle with seeing happy couples around you.

Regardless of your current romantic situation, it doesn’t appear to be favorable. The situation that you’re asking about isn’t likely to end positively.

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

If you’ve done a “yes or no” tarot reading about love in your life, the reversed Five of Cups is a yes. However, this is a yes that may be very hard-won.

This tarot card can represent an extremely difficult time with your partner or love life. If you haven’t endured this yet, be warned — it may be coming soon.

If you’re with someone, you may have dealt with loss together, heartbreak, temporary separation, or other challenges. You’re both entering a happier, more healing period right now. In this context, the reversed Five of Cups is a card of forgiveness, acceptance, and moving forward.

If you’re single, then you may have gone through the loss of a lover, or another tragedy that’s caused you serious emotional harm. The reversed Five of Cups can represent your emergence into release and healing.

While the Five of Cups always describes heavy emotional difficulties, no matter how it appears, the reversed Five of Cups places these difficulties in the past. It shows that you’re moving forward into the future in a happier, healthier, and lighter way. That’s why this card is typically considered a yes for “yes or no” readings related to love.

Example Questions

Knowing the right questions to ask during your “yes or no” tarot reading will make it easier to determine what the Five of Cups means for you. Here’s what this card means for you if you have asked these common questions.

Will I Finally Get Together With My Crush?

If you’ve drawn the upright Five of Cups, it’s unfortunately unlikely that this will happen. This card represents disappointment, so you may wish to prepare yourself for some bad news on this front. Lean on your friends for emotional support and take care of yourself until you feel ready to move on.

On the other hand, a reversed Five of Cups means that you may. However, this is likely to come after a period of hardship. You may endure heartbreak before you experience happiness. If you’ve already been through a lot, then it looks like you’ve healed enough to have a good relationship with this person. If you haven’t hit that rough patch yet, focus on taking care of yourself before trying to start a new romance.

Will My Partner And I Ever Get Married?

For this yes or no question, the Five of Cups means it doesn’t seem likely. At best, this card warns of hardship and disappointment. At worst, it may indicate a breakup or other loss.

The reversed Five of Cups indicates that this is likely, but this may only happen after a time of great difficulty. There may be some repressed emotions in your relationship that need to be released and dealt with before you and your partner heal enough to have a healthy marriage. It’s also possible that some kind of loss or other hardship may initially interfere with your wedding plans.

Will I Meet A New Lover Soon?

The upright Five of Cups means that the answer to this yes or no question is that it doesn’t look good at the moment. You may be going through a difficult time emotionally, but it isn’t the right time to look for a new partner just yet. You should focus on yourself and your emotional healing, and seek the support of friends. Let yourself work through this before you jump into the dating pool.

However, the reversed Five of Cups means it’s definitely possible! It looks like you’ve endured a lot and have come out better and stronger for it. You’ve most likely been putting in the necessary work to overcome your past emotional wounds, so you’re ready to enter a happy relationship with a lucky new person.             

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, drawing the Five of Cups in response to a “yes or no” question can come with many different meanings. This isn’t a tarot card that’s rooted in overwhelming positivity, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!

If you’d like a little extra help interpreting this card during your yes or no readings, let us know. We’ll gladly lend a hand.

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