The Knight of Cups and Death: There’s No Way to Run from Destiny 

​Every once in a while I do a reading for myself that is so striking that I have to break it down and share it because the relationships between the cards hold deeper meanings that reveal a lot about the essence of a card combination.


There was a platonic partnership in my life that was very special to me. It began on the first day of  Venus Lucifer last Venus Retrograde and seems to have come full circle, at least for me, during this Venus Retrograde. 

Relationships that begin during Venus Retrograde are often fated to fail and this one was no exception.  After developing an incredibly close friendship with this person, my friend and I had a bad falling out over what he considered an irreconcilable difference. And although it’s been almost 9 months since we’ve talked without hostility, no matter how hard I try, I still miss him terribly.

I have no idea what he thinks or feels. I stay away from his social media because it hurts to know he wants nothing to do with me. It seems like he’s moved on completely,  which hurts too because even though I’ve come to a place of acceptance, I wish he missed me like I miss him. Perhaps he checks on me, maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. I have no way of knowing expect for tale-tale signs in my analytics that he may have stopped by. But he still refuses to speak to me so it’s pointless to speculate.

So alas, I decided to do my best to move on in January because you can’t make someone like or forgive you. When it gets to the point where you’ve said “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me,” in as many ways as you can but your words fall on deaf ears, you’ve gotta try to move on no matter how hard it is.

 I think about him less and less but something still pulls at my heart strings every time he crosses my mind.

When that happens, distractions are no good so sometimes I have to sit with it and honor my feelings without getting sucked into that place where working on accepting something becomes a slippery slope between working past the feeling and getting tied down by it. But even when I’m doing well and I haven’t thought about him for a few days, he seeps into my dreams.

I’ve been ill and not able to do much so the idle hours and lots of sleep have left plenty of time for my conscious and unconscious minds to stumble upon fond memories.

The Relationship Between Death and The Knight of Cups

So I asked the cards, “How can I move past this?”

The first card I drew was the Death card. It was actually the card I was thinking would come up so it’s interesting it found me. I stared at it for a long time and took in the scene.

Death in a tarot reading means finality. Done. Finished. It’s also interesting because the concept of Death brought my friend and I together in the first place over our books centered around the theme.  And ironically, my friend’s father fell ill and passed away within a week or two of our meeting.

Now it’s Venus descent again, when the goddess is in the Underworld. I heard my friend is preparing to release the book that brought us together during the last Venus Retrograde and although I’m not sure of the date, I suspect it will happen before Venus stations direct, which I also find ironic. He’s always intuitively followed the stars although he denies their influence.

So in this case the card has a multidimensional meaning but the basic meaning still holds true. However, my question was how to move on so I drew another card: The Knight of Cups.

Side by side, the Death card and the Knight of Cups look similar in a way. Whereas the knight is a young man on a journey of love that could last the rest of his life, Death is, inevitably, the final outcome for the knight and the outcome for us all. The Knight’s quest for love is sometimes read as a metaphysical quest with no ending because you can never really “catch” the Divine. You can spend your whole life looking and you may have glimpses of what you seek. But ultimately, the true end of a quest to reunite with Divine love is on the other side.

If we take a look at the Death card, we see the horse, who was also once young and spry, is now skinny with scraggly hair. Death is dressed in armor, like the knight, reminding us that the knight can’t live forever, he will be ashes and dust like the skeleton one day.

If we compare what the figures are carrying, we notice the Knight carries a chalice, perhaps to symbolize his quest for the Grail. Death carries a flag with a five petaled rose on it: a symbol of the hidden goddess. Both the chalice and the rose flag are symbols of Her — Venus, Aphrodite — and symbols of love, proving once again that the pursuit of Divine love is eternal and reaches beyond the grave. And death is the thing that reunites.

I sometimes move cards around and play with how meanings change depending on which way the cards are facing. If we look at the cards in the opposite order with the Knight first, then Death, then the 2 of Cups, we find that the entire process is cyclic. Just as life becomes death, death becomes life. Love and death/weddings and funerals. Endings become beginnings become endings but something eternal remains. That eternal thing brings people together time and time again. Lovers meet and part and meet again and again through the centuries and across the stars. Death, life, rebirth. Death, life, rebirth.

Flipping the Death card and the Knight of Cups card back and forth, it shows the fact that my friend and I have done this dance many times before in our soulmate relationship. We’ve known each other many times and hurt each other many times and until we get this right, we’ll never move on from the cycle of death and rebirth together.
Somewhere, at some time in the stream of existence, love will have to triumph over death if we both want to truly be free. But at the same time, we act as one of the greatest teachers to the other. The root of the fatal folly happened long ago and locked us in this dance with death and life and love until the spiritual rift can be repaired through the death of the ego.

Perhaps it will require another spin on the Wheel of Life. The pen is mightier than the sword and as writers, we stabbed each other to death with words because we both felt betrayed for different reasons. In a way, we killed each other metaphorically and perhaps only literally dying and being reborn will be the only way we can wipe the slate clean.

Until then, the message is that I’ll just have to live with the fact that nothing in this world is forever, not even separation from people we care about because we’re always connected in spirit. That things end and things begin and that’s just life and you have to keep moving forward. The time will come to get it right, but it’s not right now.

Mantra: “And if we just can’t get it right, maybe we can try in another life.” — “Destiny” Marcus Schultz

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9 thoughts on “The Knight of Cups and Death: There’s No Way to Run from Destiny 

  1. I pulled a similar spread today. Knight of cups, death reversed, and the devil. I’m so confused 😦 we’ve been friends since we were teens. We’re both now in our 30s, have been on and off for years. I do sense that we have played this game in the 5d multiple times. I know I must let him go 😦 but it’s so painful. Thank you for this article and insight. 🙏

    • I think that’s what your spread says too. Every time you go back nothing changes. Thank you for reading. Time will heal this for you, I’m certain ❤

  2. Okay, so I’m oddly in a very similar situation. I have a close platonic friend that I have feelings for. We sorta bonded over death as well as his grandfather passed away a month after we met and my cat died a month after that. We got in a really bad argument recently and I’m not sure we can mend our relationship. When I asked about it today, I drew death, knight of cups, and the two of cups (and drew more cards later). I wondered about it though because of all the cards I drew, death was the only negative one. But seeing you break down the meaning of those three cards combined also makes me wonder if it’s simply wishful thinking.

  3. I’m stunned by the amount of times this combination happens to people in a romantic reading. I also drew the knight of cups + death + 2 of cups + the world. This seems like a never ending karmic bond like you said. I’m glad you brought this up for discussion as clearly there’s a pattern here and the universe wants to tell exactly that. The similarities between the two cards, the number 2 and the symbols of duality, comparison or binary thinking (life and death/ light and darkness/ divine masculine and feminine) all leads to a single pattern of unity within the cycle of life. “Life is the time off of death” Nietzsche said. Is there really a duality? Or are they just parts or partners (2 cups) of a whole universe (the world). One thing stand out: meetings with this combination seem meant to happen in our spiritual journey (whether they stay in the dark for another lifetime).
    Btw my question was about the intentions of a waiter I just met. Apparently they are quite intense to begin with!

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