Those who enjoy kayaking and other river sports know that there are areas of the river where the water flows in a dangerous circular motion. Instead of moving forward, it turns back on itself. In the same way, we can get stuck in emotional hydraulics. The Four of Cups represents such periods of self-absorption.
If you are self-absorbed, you tend to refer everything back to yourself – your own interests and desires. On this card, we see a man who is unaware of the cup being offered to him. He misses this gift because he’s turned within. In readings, the Four of Cups can indicate that you are wrapped up for the moment in your own world.
In some situations, you must focus on yourself. When life is too stressful, you need to devote time and energy to yourself or you will feel swamped. The Four of Cups can represent a positive period of self-reflection and renewal. By taking the time to go within to dream, muse and reflect, you restore your emotional balance.
The Four of Cups is sometimes a sign of apathy. You don’t really care much about anything. Your life seems stale and flat because you’ve lost interest in the activities that used to bring you pleasure. You’re not motivated to make much of an effort in any direction. At such times, the Four of Cups can show that you’re stuck emotionally. You need something to focus on that will so engage your mind and heart that your path down river becomes clear again. Open yourself to your surroundings. Soon you will be on your way again.