Queen of Cups

Queen of Cups from Anecdotes Tarot, covered in seaweed on a throne of sand, holding a squid in a cup

Webs of seaweed are swaddling.
And you call upon of the dusk of the
musk of a squid:
shot full of ink, until you sink into your crib.

Joanna Newsom, “Only Skin” (Ys, 2006)

Image Description

A woman sits up and looks toward the left side of the card, partially buried in sand, with her left toes poking out at the bottom of the card. She is covered in different types of seaweed, with wavy leaves of green, red, pink, and purple. A curved canopy of seaweed also hangs over her head. Her left hand holds a silvery twisted narwhal horn that rests on her shoulder. In her right hand she holds a large gold cup with a white seashell on its stem and a purple squid sitting on top, raising its tentacles. She wears a crown with a band of white mouth-shaped cowrie shells and thin threads of green seaweed tangled in its tall gold points. She also wears a collar of gold seaweed and gray snail shells. The sky behind her is warm gray.


The Queen of Cups is a stewardess of the sea, the guardian of the shores where the Page and Knight walk. She is covered in seaweed, and we can imagine that she appears only at low tide. For a scepter she holds a narwhal horn, an icon of purity. In the other hand, her cup supports a squid, who can obscure and entangle when necessary.

On the positive side, the Queen of Cups offers security and inner calm. In a negative light, she can be dishonest, evasive, and undisciplined.