There is a natural antipathy in the Five of cups, as it is ruled by Geburah in the Suit of Water; Geburah is fiery and therefore causes disturbance just when everything seems calm. The attribution is also to Mars in Scorpio, which is Mars own house. Mars manifests on the lowest plane of Geburah, and Scorpio is in its worst aspect which all together suggest the purifying power of water. However, the powerful male influences delay decay and hence the beginning of destruction is shown and the anticipated pleasure is frustrated.
This scenario is shown by the fiery winds tearing the blossoms of the lotus plants as they grow out of an arid, dead sea.. No water flows into the cups.
The Five cups are shown forming an inverted pentagram which symbolizes matter's triumph over spirit; cystalization over motion.
When the Five of Cups is thrown during a reading it usually means; Disappointment in love, a marriage separation or divorce, unkindness from friends (whether deserved or not is shown by the accompanying cards}. Death or end of pleasures. Sorrow and loss in those things in which pleasure is expected. Sadness, deceit, treachery, ill-will, charity and kindness ill-requited. In other words, all kinds of troubles from unexpected and unsuspected sources.
Not a happy card---but cheer up! It tells you that changes have to be made in choices of self-precepts or of friends and lovers. So grieve, then get on with new perspectives as emotions are only fresh and clean when moving forward, Never be afraid to apologize if you are in the wrong will help you move forward as well.. To hold to past expectations, is to putrefy your emotional self, who then is mired in past fantasy which can only be supported by denial. You are worth love and kindness and if your relationships are not supportive-----support yourself and move on! Spirit is action and matter is cystalization so the idea is to keep expanding your emotional awareness so that you don't solidify into a mire of putrefaction.
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper.