The Suit of Cups deals with the emotional aspects of the individuity; the Arcana of the Suit of Cups are generally related to expression and processes of feelings, connections, romanticism and creativity. Ace of Cups, being the first Arcanum of the Suit of Cups; signify new beginnings in respect to the emotions.
The Ace of Cups depicts a white hand as appearing out of the clouds and holding a cup. The cup is plain; apart from the W or inverted M inscription on it, it bears no decoration. A white dove is diving into the cup, carrying a token which shows a cross (with arms of equal length) in his beak. Five streams are flowing from the cup to the body of water beneath it. The body of water, which also hosts several water-lilies, seems to be tranquil and clear. Around the cup, water dribbles shaped like the Hebrew Letter Yodh (י) can be discerned.
The hand appears in Aces of all the suits of Minor Arcana and symbolize the connection with the essence (aether) and aspects of individuity or; in other words, the mundane reality. The cup represents the emotional aspect that is addressed in the Suit of Cups; the five streams show the flow from the essence to the subconscious, and from there to the experiences of five senses. The dove is the most common symbol of the Holy Ghost in Christian belief, and that symbolism is strengthened here with the token in his beak. As such, he corresponds to the reflection of the essence of Infinite Oneness (Divine) in the mundane world and represents purity, hope, aspirations and peace. The body of water symbolize subconscious; and the water-lilies on it symbolize the awakening of the human spirit, as well the life and love. Thus; the flow becomes a cycle, as the experiences of five senses move the subconscious, which in turn reaches out the Divine. Interpreting this together with the Yodh (‘), which symbolizes the Creation; one can suggest that the human participation in the process of Creation is also to form and accommodate this circle.
The Ace of Cups represent the beginning of a love or passion; meaning that emotions are at the centre of the situation. A person represented by this card; therefore would be at ease with expressing his emotions; his feature would almost never be neutral. In a relationship context, this card indicates that either a new, promising relationship is budding or the existing relationship is enlivening again. In any case, the feeling in this card relationship-wise can best be explained by the metaphor “butterflies in the stomach”. Nonetheless, although this card notes the high romantic potential of the relationship; it is silent about the course of it. Career-wise, this card indicates taking a new direction where the need for inner peace and happiness is the priority; a direction in which one would be passionate, motivated and express his creative self. It basically implies that through trusting the heart, one would grasp success.
Love springs from the inside. It is the immortal surge of passion, excitement, energy, power, strength, prosperity, recognition, respect, desire, determination, enthusiasm, confidence, courage, and vitality, that nourishes, extends and protects. It possesses an external objective – life.-Ogwo David Emenike
Summing up, this card stands for new beginnings and awakenings which would either relate to or be rooted in the world of emotions.