The Five of Cups is known also as the Lord of Loss in Pleasure and is aligned astrologically with Mars in Scorpio. It represents bitterness, setbacks and regrets.
The Five of Cups brings feelings of sadness over past decisions during events that did not end well. There is a realisation that you have not been true to your own heart and now the price is being paid.
A sense of lost opportunities that has resulted from a failure to act on your part. The action is generally based in some emotion that is not being dealt with, but rather hidden or not acknowledged for fear of the pain if would cause, either to yourself or others. The result unfortunately, is having to face the pain anyway, perhaps in a different guise, but face it you must.
Sometimes this card means love that you have withheld, to your detriment. It does not seem so at the time, and yet with hindsight you see what it has cost you. There is a conflict of emotions at work that revolve around denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance of the reality of the situation.
There is a saying "You don't know what you've got till it's gone" and similarly this card can point to a situation where you have taken someone or something for granted and the situation has now moved on so that it seems unlikely to make amends.
There is huge potential for personal growth delivered with this card - in the realisation that you cannot always have what you think you want, by clinging to the past you hold back the future, and the future will always come, whether you are prepared for it or not. So don't ever fear the future, only fear what letting the past drag you back will do to your peace of mind.
Best to reflect on what lessons there are to be had from the events that led up to this current situation so that you are not taken unawares again, and can instead say "Yes, I have seen this before and I know that I will come out at the other side stronger, more resilient and that better times are ahead of me."
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