Card Meanings,  Cups,  Sacred Circle

Journey Into: Knight of Cups

Written by: Emma Sunerton-Burl

Continuing her series, Emma Sunerton-Burl looks into the cards of The Sacred Circle Tarot, by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason, published by Llewellyn:

I look at the card and notice the knight has his feet in the river and is quite comfortable with it – also there are red fruits on a tree in the background that seem to be heart-shaped almost. I think I like the look of this knight – he seems open and honest..

I walk into the card…

As I walk into the card the knight is standing directly in front of me and feels almost challenging in his stance – the challenge to be honest and real. I find it slightly unnerving but also recognise the beauty and release in this. ”Hello“ I say ”Welcome to my world.“ he says – ”You will need to get your feet wet to get the most out of this journey“– he says and I notice I too am standing in the river – the cool water rushing past me and once I leave the fear of getting wet behind me it is a lovely feeling, refreshing and cool. ”Allow the energy of the water to cleanse you,“ he says ”it will wash away all the unwanted energies you have carried with you all day from those around you and those you communicate with.“ As I relax into the water I feel there is a soft cool breeze too which seems to flow along with the rive and cleanse the parts of me out of the water, as I am only ankle deep this is quite a lot!

I notice the otter at my feet and ask him what he represents. I am at home in the water and on the land, I love to swim effortlessly in the river, dancing and playing. The water is emotions to you, and I symbolise the ability to play and enjoy your feelings all of them allowing them to wash over you – when they are calm and gentle, as much as when they are ferocious and dangerous feeling – it is all the river, and all valid and a wonderful experience if you hand yourself over to it . As you have been working on being in the moment doing what brings you joy –what you have the passion to do, you have found yourself in the river – going with the flow. You still take your path but you don’t fight the river in order to do it. Things flow much more easily do they not?” “Yes indeed they do!” I say as I have noticed this in my life recently in particular.

Then I ask the knight – “What of the times that are hard emotionally?” – “Yes even those if you go with where you are headed, you just find you are going through rapids or are falling as a waterfall does, it feels scary but there is always a pool at the bottom to hold you for a moment before traveling onward. ”

“Yes I see” I say.

“Why do you hold out that cup to the side?” I say – “I am offering the joys of being all of yourself, a whole emotional being, to all those who pass. They choose whether to take up the cup and drink from it or not. It is their choice I merely offer the chance of transformation through drinking deep of the emotional land. I am not going to be pushing any one into anything I understand to go with the flow. I will not settle myself as I am with the now. I may represent people who are emotional and able to be in their emotions though also I can seem fickle to others, as the flow takes me this way and then that. I am exploring the world in the way that is right for me at this stage – so often I am considered a young person – with the world to explore before settling down. I can be fun to play with as I am willing to try anything and go anywhere the flow suggests… none of it is resisted, all is embraced!”

“Wow thank you!” I say –“It sounds fun indeed!”

I then walk down stream a little as I am drawn to the tree in the background and want to ask it of its message to me. “Hello tree” I say –“ What message do you have for me?” “I am the fruits of your exploration – the nuggets of learning and love you find along your journey. You can pick and eat of me and I will nourish you for if you trust you will find all your needs are provided for, as you travel where you need to go – as you follow your path. I also can be seen as the tree of knowledge, I am the apple eaten by Eve I bring awareness and with that comes responsibility and that is one of the lessons of this card – to ‘do what thou wilt and hurt none’, for there is a responsibility to yourself to follow your heart, as well as a responsibility towards others to not knowingly cause pain where it can be avoided. Yes pain occurs as the truth can indeed hurt when someone doesn’t want to see the stark reality and there is no protecting others from this as it is the truth, for that is to not be true to yourself, however there is also a concern and regard for others that they have their own paths and that to try and stop another in their path is to not have responsibility for oneself and to not be respecting of another knowing their own true path if it is not yours. These matters are complex but you can learn through them and as you do, then you find true freedom and begin to flow like the river back to the sea, to the Source of all love and emotion. ”

“Thank you tree you are wise, it seems to me you have put down roots and your wisdom is of a settled nature and your vision extends beyond those who have similar paths to you – to those who travel the river that flows past you. ”

“Yes indeed my child you have understood my message well. ”

“I am the knight that bridged the gap between the inner world and the outer world ” The knight continues… “ – ‘as above so below’ is my statement – so I have my feet and roots in the inner emotional world and my body and thoughts in the outer, I make movements coming from my center and they ripple out into the physical world and how I act – there is no action I do, that does not have emotional roots, for it is my realm. Come to me when you struggle with emotional issues I will help you stay with your emotions, help you ride the stormy river and come to a pool to rest and recuperate and reflect on the lessons learnt from your journey. ”

“I am protected and protective as I have my chain mail on, but it doesn’t restrict my movement. The rocks on the bank are sheltering me from the wind as I stand and allow a cleansing of all – this too is offered to you if you take the cup – protecting internally and externally as you follow your desires and impulses to experience and grow through what you travel through. ”

“Thank you for your wise words oh knight, I feel very atuned to you and have appreciated your guidance. What would you represent reversed?”

“I would be those who refuse their emotions or who are stuck in one form of expression finding the flow hard, they get caught in the eddies and stay in one place unable to reach the shore nor to go onwards for nourishment. I would say to slow down and allow yourself to view what is around you and seemingly out of your reach as you focus on your desires you will find yourself come free of the trapping eddies, moving forward out into the open river to be carried along again on your journey. While you circle round the same old place out of habit and security you will not find your hearts desire and each of us deserves to find our hearts desire!“

“Thank you knight – that is wonderful. I will remember your messages here as I move through this year I feel they are important to me at this time.”

I take one last look around for this visit and feel the breeze on my skin and the sunlight on my hair, it is wonderful here, I splash water over my whole body and an intentional cleanse before I turn and walk through the door back into my physical reality.


Emma welcomes any comments on this article or the visualisations you do following this method. Email her on

Emma works as an intuitive psychic tarot reader and runs one to one online training courses on reading with the Thoth tarot deck using a unique blend of intuition and psychological techniques. This has now been extended to working intuitively with RWS style decks too. She also mentors other professional and non-professional tarot readers. She offers visualisation MP3 downloads for intuition development, tarot readings F2F, telephone or distance, and healing – see her website for details:

Emma has a Bsc in Psychology and is a trained counsellor, counselling supervisor and trainer. She integrates this experience in her Tarot work, and in her self-written training courses for personal development, Tarot, and Tarot mentoring.

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