SEVEN OF CUPS
KEYWORDS: Fantasy, Imagination, Dreams, Illusion, Decision, Possibility, Magic
CARD DEFINITION: This represents the choices that need to be made. You may be faced with a lot of opportunities; you need to choose the right one. You may not be focused in life. Your imagination may be highly active and conflict with reality.
REVERSE DEFINITION: You will be able to make the right choices in life. Your mind will be focused and you will have a strong will power. You will be resolute and determined to reach your goal.
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Interpreting The Seven of Cups
In much the same way the fives in any of the four suits of the tarot represent the manifestation of a particular problem or dilemma, so do the sevens. Seven is generally a number that deals with situations in which control is impossible, as wild, unpredictable forces are at work more often than not. In the case of the Seven of Cups, we are looking at the simultaneous presence of several different choices. All of the choices seem attractive and potentially beneficial on the surface, yet it is certain that this is not the case. Some of the options could indeed be quite dangerous, yet there is no reliable way in the situation presented to tell the difference.
The Seven of Cups also deals with the problem of illusion - not only with the fact that unwise choices can look much the same as wise ones, but with the fact that some choices may in fact be based in delusion as opposed to reality. Not all dreams are meant to come true. Some can only serve their purpose as dreams, so when an attempt is made to bring them into reality, disappointment can be the only result sooner or later. Either the plans made will fail straightaway or they will result in the building of a castle in the air that will easily fall the first time it is tested by real-world stresses.
The traditional tarot image attached to the Seven of Cups illustrates the concepts associated with the card perfectly. Here we see a central figure with his back turned to the viewer. He stands before a collection of seven chalices floating before him in the midst of a cloud bank. Each of the chalices represents one of many choices that can be made at this particular juncture. However, not all of the choices are equal despite the fact that they are presented in identical packages. Some contain unparalleled rewards, such as achievement or riches. Others contain danger and peril, represented by snakes and serpents. There is only one choice, but it remains unclear whether or not the figure will be able to identify it.
The appearance of the Seven of Cups in a tarot spread should always be seen as a sign that great care and caution should be taken to avoid making a foolish choice in regards to an important decision that is about to present itself in the life of the querent. This is a time to be sure that one's feet are planted firmly enough on the ground so that we don't lose sight of whether or not something we are dreaming of fits comfortably into reality. It is also a time to look inward and ask one's intuition which of the many options is the correct one. If the answer is still not quite clear, then the querent should be advised to hold off when it comes to making any choice at all for the immediate moment.
The Seven of Cups can also sometimes represent temptation depending on its position in the spread overall, as well as the influence of surrounding cards. In situations like these, the temptation specified could very well be something sexual or carnal in nature -- like an affair or a one-night stand. However, the querent should take care to sidestep such situations should they arise. The fulfillment gained from such things will be short-lived and will ultimately not turn out to be worth it. In fact, should the wrong choice be made, the consequences could very well last a lifetime.