8 of Cups Tarot Card Meaning

8 of cups tarot card with eclipse, hiker, mountains and 8 cups

The 8 of cups tarot card represents moving forward. Of releasing what is no longer serving you, and being content to move on. This might be a difficult decision, but know it is the right one.

I suggest, while looking at this card description, you have your tarot deck in front of you and decide for yourself if you agree with the feelings on this page or if the card represents something entirely different to you.

*The image at the top of the page does not depict all of the feelings represented by a specific tarot deck! You can find other tarot card meanings here!

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8 of cups tarot card

A few words to describe the card:

Transformation, moving forward, letting go of the past

8 of Cups Tarot

The 8 of cups is about moving forward after putting a lot of effort into what you were previously doing. This is a hard decision. But it’s the right move to leave and continue on your journey. You will feel the better for it, once you have walked away. It’s a freeing experience.

This tarot card typically depicts the 8 cups in the foreground, a person with their back turned to them, and walking towards the mountains during a solar eclipse. (All 3 of my decks are very similar in imagery with this card – Rider, Triple Goddess, and Healing Light). These are all very important aspects to understanding the card.

The first item to mention are the cups. There are 8 cups, all neatly stacked in the foreground. This represents the hard work that it’s taken to get there, and how much effort has been put in to what you were working on.

Second, the person in this card has their back turned on the cups. They have given up on what they are working on and are moving away from the cups. They are not sparing a second glance, and they are now on a path towards the hills beyond. This is for the better, as they are leaving what no longer served them.

The final aspect in the 8 of cups card to highlight is the eclipse. This is unlike the other tarot cards. Having this solar eclipse on the 8 of cups tarot card signals major transformation, and change happening. Entire lives are being flipped upside down. This is a great article depicting general eclipse meaning, and can relate to this tarot card.

When you find the 8 of cups tarot card in your spread, think of it as a positive sign. As a symbol that it’s time to let the past go, and move forward. You may have spent a lot of time and effort on something, but it’ll be better to release it and move forward than try and make it work for you now. As the cups tarot cards are typically associated with emotions, this can be the feeling of deflation and peace. One part of your life is over, and you have accepted that and are moving forward.

If you’re thinking about leaving something (a job, person, project…) and going to something else, this card can represent that it’s worth it. Now is a good time to make that break and change. It’s likely no longer helping you on your life journey, and may even be holding you back.

8 of cups tarot card with a simple definition - let go of the past, moving forward, release

Still Confused?

Are you still confused about the meanings of the cards? A few tools that have been really helpful for me have been: practice, taking the time to look at each card, and reading books like Tarot: Learn How to Read and Interpret the Cards by Kim Arnold. Or try out tarot spreads! Try doing a simple reading every day. The Labyrinthos app is really helpful too. Or try some that I’ve created by looking here: Tarot Spreads. (Drawing these out and writing down what I thought of the cards has been really helpful with understanding my ideas towards the cards too).