A tall tree with draping branches stands on a mound. At the base of the tree, a young man sits with arms and legs crossed before him, facing the viewer. He looks slightly downhill where three large chalices are lined up at the bottom of the card. At his right a cloud hovers, from which a hand emerges offering the youth a fourth cup. The youth is not amused. In the near distance under the cloudless sky are a clump of trees and the peak of a roof. Mountains are seen from afar.
This card signifies that pivotal moment when we are disgusted by that which used to give us pleasure. Whether the source of delight is food, drink, sleep, movies, social networking, reading, sex, or even work, is irrelevant. The Querent is dulled to the stimulation and wants nothing more to do with it. This card can also indicate a vacation gone sour, a relationship being taken for granted, or the loss of personal leisure time. On some occasions it indicates a long fallow period in the Querent’s life, much like the doldrums of the open seas.
By itself, the card is somewhat negative, but its effect relies on how long the Querent will allow themselves to remain captive to the situation. We choose what to entertain ourselves with, and we have the freedom to change that choice at anytime. The Querent should examine themselves to find why they continue performing an action that no longer has any positive result for them. Is it habit? Addiction? Have they lost sight of other things? Are they using the situation to willfully blind themselves from other more painful relationships? What cards accompany the 4 of Cups will detail if this fallow period is necessary or should be ended quickly.
Ill-dignified, a sour card becomes intolerable. This can indicate forced unemployment, or continued working in unpleasant circumstances. The Querent becomes trapped with no means of changing the situation. However, it can also indicate a sudden reversal of circumstance. Something new comes to rescue the Querent, but it will be so overwhelming that outwardly the Querent appears the same, unmoved. What cards are paired with it, and the initial query will give the context for reading this card.