Sitting comfortably, his body oriented towards to the left and his head to the right, wearing a crown, extended boldly to the left and right with material blue on the inside and red on the outside, the King of Cups holds in his right hand a tall cup with a small opening to show that every effective achievement must be accompanied by a passive state which permits Being to orient itself towards what is Above through the extension of his psyche, such as prayer or any other form of mystical elevation.
The extensions of his crown are animistic impulses, energies driven by feelings to open themselves up to the Universal and characterizing great psychic activity with a very impersonal feeling.
The crown, firmly placed on his head and covering it completely, shows that the extent of its influence embraces his whole mind and enables him to communicate directly with the Universal.
His white hair under the crown is a synthetic element interleafed to establish a transition between his mind and his means of expression (the crown and its wings). The part which covers his ears serve as protection for him to avoid the mixture of currents and shows that he will not allow himself to be distracted in his mission. The black lines drawn on it represent his resistance, and the white material which runs from his neck to meet the cup indicates the impersonality which, as a last resort, synthesizes his contribution. His white moustache and beard separate into two points, characterizing his impersonal judgement.
The comfortably-seated posture of the King is meant to affirm the passivity which the nature of the cup has imposed on him, but his head, turned towards the right, indicates the obligation of an activity in his internal thought, which he affirms by the fact that the cup is held in his right hand.
The cup is tall to underscore the period of incubation of altruistic or mystic sentiments and the extent of what Being has to give by itself; the cup of the Page was equally tall, bearing nothing but hope, and it was receive it instead of give it.
The Page and the Knight only were bearing the cup, while the King and the Queen hold it firmly to indicate that the previous two receive it: the Page to incubate it, the Knight to bear it somewhere; while the latter two represent, for the Queen, a capturing force ensuring intuition and, for the King, a force of diffusion making his psyche manifest.
His left hand, resting on a golden belt, implies an interior effort to establish through his mind and equilibrium between conscious sentiments (his chest) and instinctive ones (stomach).
The four buttons on his blue thorax indicate the four stages of elevation, going from the psychic to the spiritual, while passing through the animistic and the mental.
The red of his mantle represents his psychic activity, and the yellow border and lining represent the intelligence behind this activity, directed towards psychic realization. The black stripes are the resistances which he encounters.
The bottom of his seat, flesh-colored, with its numerous black stripes, represents the obstacles which the King encounters in the domain of his nervous system before materializing in the physical his psychic contribution underlined by the blue color of his feet.
The yellow ground, oddly covered with black lines in all directions, confirms his passivity.
Meanings As They Relate To The Three Planes
MENTAL Security in judgement.
ANIMISTIC. Very extensive love, very comforting (like Saint Vincent de Paul), very dynamic, like feeling. Psychic protection.
PHYSICAL. Rapport with the two Major Arcana XVII and XXI. Abundance. Major business, going well, or rather social or general importance, like an international exposition.
INVERTED. Very heavy weight, with great difficulties in unloading it after a long time.
In its Elementary Sense, the King of Cups represents the renouncing of personal will in order to open up with confidence to the Universal.