In the Two of Cups we see a man and woman facing each other. Each holds a cup. The man seems to be taking hold of the female”s cup, possibly swapping or sharing cups. Above them is a Lion with wings. A staff with two snakes entwined around it hangs above them. In the distance we can see a house or home.
Two’s in the Tree of Life are about creation. Duality is necessary for creation so we have common themes of light and dark, left and right, matter and anti-matter. In the Two of Cups, we see that duality represented by two people. Two people are necessary for a third to be born so it is possible that creative energy from the two”s manifests itself in the male and female depicted in the card.
The male and female are possibly lovers. Both carry a cup as if bringing it in exchange or sharing. The male has his hand out towards the female cup, possibly in a stance of exchange. Cups are a symbol of emotions in the tarot and that the male and female are exchanging cups would indicate shared emotion or love. The act of exchange signifies a level of trust or balance, a willingness to give and take in our relationships.
The staff with two snakes entwined around it is the Caduceus of Hermes. Hermes was a Greek god, son of Zeus. A god of transitions he was seen as an intercessor between mortals and the divine and also credited with bringing souls to the afterlife. One day when traveling in Arcadia, Hermes came across two snakes intertwined while in battle. He placed his staff between them and brought peace. The caduceus is therefore seen as a symbol of peace.
It is an apt reminder embedded in the two of cups that even though we fall in love, share emotions and go through all of life’s joys and sadness, the connection to the divine is always there. Here in this card, we possibly have two lovers exchanging their emotions (cups) yet above them is the Caduceus of Hermes, a symbol of connection to the divine and of balance. Not only are the two lovers in balance, but we must be in balance with the divine.
The lion”s head with wings could be a further continuum of this theme. Wings are seen as divine or spiritual while the lion is earthly and natural. Balance continues between this world and the next.
The Two of Cups in readings signifies love, balance, relationships, emotional connections and exchange. We should be aware at this time of ensuring balance within our relationships that may involve some give and take. We should be on the lookout for hidden emotional feelings that may be upsetting our relationships, either on our part or on the part of those we love.
In business, the exchange of contracts or business is indicated. We should approach these with caution, ensuring the exchange fulfills our needs in a fair manner.
In a broader sense, the two of cups urges us to remember the connection to the divine. The divine manifests itself in all love, in all creation for without the divine, no creation or love would be possible. That the divine manifests itself in love, an emotion so common in humankind, yet at the same time so sought after by us, is fitting.
Reversed: In love, the two of cups reversed warns us that emotions may be endangering our relationship. We may not be emotionally engaged in the relationship or distracted elsewhere. We may be ignoring the emotional needs of our partner and forgetting the ”give and take” that is necessary in relationships.
In business or material matters, we should be wary of our emotions influencing our actions. We may be rushing into contracts or exchanges based on fleeting emotional feelings and we should take time to reflect on what we are doing first.
In relation to the divine, we may be so caught up in life that we are forgetting our connection to the divine. The Two of Cups reversed reminds us to make time for the divine in our lives during both the good times (the love scene depicted) and the bad. The connection is always there as depicted by the caduceus of Hermes. We just need to look up and remember it.