Knight of Cups: The Champion / Dependent

offer love in support of another

Knights take action + Cups represent our emotional lives and how we relate to others

from the Deck of the Bastard, by Tarot by Seven

Where the Page brought the water element inward to explore, the Knight’s external nature expresses it outward. Peaceful and charming, diplomatic and chivalrous, the quest of this Knight is to bring out the best in others by supporting and cheerleading, making amends and offering gifts. It’s almost as if the cup he is holding contains within it the encouragement that is needed at any given time. Who provides that for you? The champion acts on behalf of others because they believe in them. What part of you encourages and supports others in their endeavors? Ready to gallop in and save anyone, they are the only Knight in the Smith-Waite deck without gloves, a sign of their open and outwardly giving nature.

This Knight always seems to be labeled as a romantic lover, but to me that’s too superficial and limiting of the nature of a court whose role is to take action in an element of compassion and in relationship to supporting others. All of the Cups courts — even the introspective ones — consider those outside of themselves.

In fact, borrowing from personality typing, all of the Cups are NFs (iNtuitive Feeling), and the ENFP is the inspirer who tends to bring out the best in others. They’re affirming, loyal, and optimistic with a good sense of humor, but they are driven to meet the needs of others.

In resistance, they rely on the affirmation of others and may become dependent — or co-dependent, enabling another’s addiction, emotional dysfunction, or irresponsibility.

In excess, their attentions or loyalty may be smothering. A darker side of this type may be manipulative — and quite good at it, as they understand the needs of others.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this court comes up include

  • In dark times, who can you count on to lift you up?
  • What part of you is supportive of others? Is this from a genuine desire for their well-being or the need of their favor, attention, or affirmation?
  • Do others tell you they need some space?
  • Do you become involved in causes or cases for others’ gratitude or indebtedness? What need or internal part does this serve?
  • Do you enable another’s self-sabotaging behavior?

What else? Court cards are complex and can be seen in many different ways, and you may have other insights. Who is this Knight in your life?

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