Responsibility - Creative intelligence - Visionary - Intuition - Stability
Reliability - Affectionate - Compassionate
The King of Cups is the worldly and calm projection of authority. To find him in your spread is most likely a reference to someone else who will aid you in achieving your goals. This person may seem unconcerned, even distant, but their motivations are pure. Whatever advice they give will be important to you and should be considered in your own deliberations. If it does refer to you, personally, it shows an inner strength and tightly disciplined control of emotions.
When you have balanced your emotions and are able to control them, it means that you have a deeper knowledge and awareness of yourself. When you are faced with challenges that would normally throw you off balance, the King of Cups is there to remind you that you should act as he does - do not fly out in a rage, or immediately throw yourself into despair! You first need to temper the state of your emotions, so that you can progress forward in reality. Learn to evaluate yourself so as to determine how you can create a stronger awareness of your own internal state.
Possessive - Over-bearing - Selfish - Dishonesty - Injustice
When the King of Cups falters, his usual ability to handle situations with compassion and wisdom are turned upside down. He is unable to balance the needs of all that seek his guidance, and while appearing kind to some, may be cold to others. His talent in navigating the emotions of others may be put to dubious uses, manipulating circumstances to fit his needs.
A more negative face of the King of Cups is that he is deliberately controlled. He sits watching others, taking everything in. The King may take advantage of the information he gleans from these observations and his intuition. Sometimes, he can use what he has learned for evil means.