The King of Cups (King of Ice in the Penguin tarot deck) represents someone who is quite emotionally mature and balanced. This represents someone who has taken complete control of their feelings and emotions and does not allow them to get to the best of them. This shows when life becomes challenging by not giving in any associated drama and remaining emotionally stable no matter what.
Therefore, when this card shows up, it is a message to keep your cool and to stay emotionally mature and stable even if you are challenged to give in otherwise. You could be faced with a situation that can get you heated up, but you know exactly how to handle your emotions and even if you are angry, you don’t let it show. Because you know that showing your emotions in a negative way can worsen the situation.
The King of Cups is also a card that rules staying diplomatic even when upset or angry and keeping the emotions under control. For instance, you are standing in line and someone cuts in front of you. You can easily begin to raise your voice and show your anger towards the one who did that. The King of Cups however will politely and calmly say ‘excuse me, but you did cut in front of me. If you are unsure of where the line starts, I can show you’. That shows emotional maturity without allowing it to be taken advantage of.
When the King of Cups is in reverse, it is indicative of being moody, as well as someone who is emotionally manipulative. It can also mean bottling up feelings until it explodes.
Astrologically this card is associated with Libra and Scorpio.