TWO OF CUPS you will die

Placement: The Minor Arcana


The winged lion of Saint Mark and a caduceus* float between a couple who ignore them in favour of gazing into each other’s eyes. Each holds a goblet. One wears a laurel wreath as a crown, and the other wears roses in the same way. There are gentle rolling hills in the background.

In many versions older than the famed Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the couple, the lion and the caduceus are all invisible, leaving only the two cups. In the Jean Dodal signature version (shown above) the lion is a flower and the snakes appear to be wearing chicken masks.


Right side up:

Oddly, this is the only Two in the Minor arcana that features two people. This is a meeting of the hearts. Some say that this is the ideal card to appear in one’s spread if one is in love, but lions, winged or otherwise eat hearts. This lion is likely luring the lovers towards a deadly illusion, in the way an angler fish will deceive minnows with a delicious wormlike head growth.

Alternatively, this card right side up indicates a need for truce if you find yourself in conflict with another. They will poison your wine. Or perhaps, to be crafty, they will poison their own wine and demand that you choose between the two, as a battle of wits. True wit, of course, hires a taster.


Upside down:

Yes yes, we know how nauseatingly adorable you two are together. Your honeymoon phase will result in longtime friends dropping into diabetic comas from your irresponsible sweetness. Get a room and stay there, you repulsive, slobbering idiots.**


*two snakes winding their way up a staff, a symbol of the god Hermes, commerce, trickery and reptile veterinarians.

**And no, I do not say this because my own love life is mangled beyond recognition. The card says it all by itself.


Classic Two of Cups deaths:

  • A picnic infested with venomous snakes
  • Slashed with a Saskatchewan switchblade***
  • A production of Pyramus and Thisbe gone terribly, terribly wrong
  • Pierced in the heart with Cupid’s treacherous corkscrew.


***A weapon fashioned quickly from the remains of a broken bottle. Also called a drunkard’s dagger, recycler’s despair, racial slur knife or permanent ban from all drinking establishments.