7 of Cups

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The Seven of Cups Tarot card is all about choices, picking and choosing between different possibilities, and letting go of unrealistic expectations.

When the 7 of Cups appears in Tarot readings, its intention is to bring us back to center and back down to earth. We may have become sidetracked by an unrealistic and unattainable idea, when our powers, energies and focus could be put to much better use if we apply them to enhancing and strengthening our current circumstances.

When the reversed 7 of Cups Tarot card shows up, it can be a sign that you have awoken from a spell, ready to embrace and work with reality as you find it – even if truth intially stings.

The Seven of Cups Tarot card is always a sign of choices having to be made, and options having to be eliminated so that you can focus on what is essential, real and possible.

What do the Cups mean in Tarot?

The Minor Arcana suit of Cups is linked to the element of water and deals with all of its metaphors and connotations; feelings and emotions, creativity, intuition and psychic perception.

The Page of Cups – the youngest suit of Cups court card – represents someone who is only just discovering the power of creativity and perception. Amazed by the vastness of the potential he senses within himself. The Page of Cups dreams big and is practically fizzing over with creative and inventive ideas, but he may have a tendency to live in a fantasy daydream, unable or simply unpracticed at commanding the practical aspects of life and manifest his dreams.

The Magician Major Arcana card paints a different picture. Here, we see the Magician, the master of manifestation, channeling his will through his wand in order to command the three other elements, represented on his altar by a pentacle, a sword and a cup. The Magician knows that in order to command and master one area of life, you need to also enlist and command the others, as everything is interlinked. If you lean too heavily into one are of life, you loose your balance and your reach becomes limited.

Numerological significance of the number 7

According to numerology, the number 7 deals with the internal rather than external layers of reality. Seven is imbued with a sense of secrecy, intrigue, hidden mysteries and private discovery.

In the Tarot, the number seven deals with personal transformation and the inner evolution of the self.

Seven of Cups Tarot card description

Depictions of the Seven of Cups Tarot card differ between Tarot decks. However, most renditions include some version of the Rider-Waite Tarot’s symbols and details. These are the ones we will be looking at here.

The man

In the foreground of the Seven of Cups Tarot card is a man, standing with his back turned to the viewer. He is, in fact, standing in shadow – an indicating that neither he nor his current situation are the focus here.

The cups

Before the man hover seven golden chalices, beckoning with various gifts, various options.

One cup holds diamonds and jewellery, another a laurel wreath of victory. A few of the cups hold mysterious and secretive symbols such as a masquerade mask and a woman’s face. Another few options lead to danger, represented by a snake and a dragon.

The golden cups are symbols of potential, in this case, life’s many options and possibilities.

The clouds

The landscape in the Seven of Cups Tarot card is made up of soft white clouds. The setting seems pleasant, but it is also a clear indication that the figure in the card quite literally has his head in the clouds when it comes to the future he envisions for himself.

Given his point of view, everything seems possible, but his plans appear to have no basis in reality at all.

Seven of Cups Tarot card meanings

Like all Tarot cards, the Seven of Cups encompasses a spectrum of meaning and possible interpretations. Here are some of the most prominent Seven of Cups Tarot card meanings for you to consider.

Opportunities, options, possibilities, choices

When the 7 of Cups card appears in Tarot readings, you are standing before a smorgasbord of many options and possibilities – more than you could ever chew.

From where you are standing, it may be difficult or even impossible to tell which direction you should choose. More than one potential education, job, romantic partner or possibility for adventure are on the table, and you cannot know how either is going to turn out. But without knowing the ultimate outcome, you will still have to make a decision.

Wishful thinking

The Seven of Cups Tarot card often indicates wishful thinking and dreaming big without any basis in realism.

There is a difference between enjoying the inspiring reverie of a daydream and living in a fantasy world – when the 7 of Cups appears in Tarot readings, the line becomes blurred and ill-defined. While dreaming big and bold is invigorating and positive, constantly projecting your energy and thoughts into an unattainable future is disempowering and takes energy and focus away from the reality you are currently living.

Illusions of grandeur

The 7 of Cups indicates illusions of grandeur and a distorted view of your own capabilities.

You may have a tendency to exaggerate and overinflated your accomplishments or experience in conversation with others – either way, living out of congruence with what is real and true is ultimately eroding your sense of self worth and integrity.

Seven of Cups reversed Tarot card meanings

When the Seven of Cups reversed shows up in Tarot readings, its confusing and incongruent energies may settle down or even flip to their clear, calm counterpoints. Here are the most prevalent Seven of Cups Tarot card meanings.

Alignment

Whereas the upright Seven of Cups signifies a complete mismatch between truth and idea or plan and action, the reversed Seven of Cups can be a sign of alignment, balance and congruence.

Here, you are not living in a fantasy world but have a clear and realistic view of yourself, your circumstances and your options. You are using your imagination, not as a temporary escape hatch from the life you are living, but as a driving force and source of inspiration that can propel you forward.

Clear values and priorities

The reversed Seven of Cups can be a sign that you you have got your priorities straight, and that you know who you are and what you want.

This enables you to come from a position of strength and integrity when it comes to building and creating the future you want to live. You may dream slightly smaller than the figure depicted in the 7 of Cups card, but you also act bigger, and the result is a life that is congruent, empowered and in balance – without a painful discrepancy between what you want and what you have.

Overwhelm, decision fatigue

In some cases, when the reversed Seven of Cups appears it can indicate overwhelm, decision fatigue and burnout.

In the upright Seven of Cups Tarot card the options in front of you seem tantalising and promising – but in the Seven of Cups reversed, you are being crushed under the sheer volume and weight of the possibilities in front of you. Making a decision seems impossible, and you may fall prey to analysis paralysis.

What the Seven of Cups means in a love Tarot reading

Upright

You stand before multiple options. Temptation or boredom may be pulling you away from a longterm relationship, or you may simply be wanting to explore more erotic options and fantasies.

Be careful that you don’t throw away something beautiful and real for an alluring but fleeting vision.

Reversed

A love spell or a carefully crafted illusion may break, popping like a balloon, leaving you with clarity but also disappointment.

The reversed Seven of Cups can mean finally realising the truth about a partner or a relationship – neither might be what they seemed to be. Clarity can sting, but it can also set you free to pursue a new path or a new person, or simply to spend some time reconnecting with yourself and your own wants and priorities.

What the Seven of Cups means in a career Tarot reading

Upright

You are in a positive place when it comes to your career. You have plenty of opportunities for growth, development and expansion. The challenge will be picking the right one.

You may have limited time, limited resources or limited goodwill at your disposal, so pick wisely. Bite off as much as you can chew, but not much more than you can chew. Choose a solid option, rather than an illusion. If something sounds too good to be true, it just might be. Come out of what is real and what is congruent with your long-term vision for your life.

Reversed

You are ditching wishful thinking and getting practical. No longer content to live below your potential, you choose concerted action in the real world, rather than a perfect illusion.

Your present circumstances may not be ideal – your job or business may not be where you want them to be yet in terms of income level and emotional fulfilment, but getting clear on your priorities and having a solid plan is a great place to start.

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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