The Five of this suit traditionally portrays the mess that is left after an emotional upheaval, such as a tantrum or fit of rage. Consequences run the gamut from a hangover and lost wages, to abuse and ruined relationships.
This card is also sometimes called Inheritance, suggesting the cross-generational legacy of such tragedies. Violent family patterns magnified to a much larger scale can become war.
In the Advice Position
Loss happens on the material plane. Yet what truly belongs to you cannot be taken away.
The card in the Advice position suggests a course of action which will harmonize what you want with what is currently possible.
The Five of Cups in this position advises you to tighten your belt, make do with less and show more appreciation for the things you do have. If something is truly yours, it cannot be lost. When you are experiencing feelings of loss, it may be because of an inappropriate emotional attachment. If you promise things that you cannot deliver, then you might be setting yourself up for disappointment to follow. In overestimating our abilities, we are forced to face our limits.
Be grateful that as the cups fell, you lost only three of the five. Two are still intact, pristine and full of sacred energy. Do not cling to the setback. Focus on the potential.