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A New Feeling for the Seven of Cups

September 8, 2010

Seven of Cups -- Tarot of the MastersThe Seven of Cups is often seen as an indication of confusion or of trying to choose from a bewildering array of choices, and yes, it can indicate that, but that seems more mental (Swords) than emotional (Cups).  Since this card is in the suit of emotions, I feel that it should reflect that aspect of our being also, and so I was happy to find a new association for this card that lies within that realm. As I was reading today’s entry in The Book of Awakening,[1] the following passage reminded me of this card, especially as it looks in my Tarot of the Masters deck.

… we all have fogs roll in around our heart [now and then], and often, our lives depend on the quiet courage to wait for them to clear.

The point of today’s entry in this daybook is that there are times in our lives when we feel disenchanted with our lives. Our relationship may seem to have gone stale, the flowers in our garden may have lost their appeal, or our religion no longer inspires us. This loss of enthusiasm can be disappointing and disconcerting, but it is part of the natural rhythm of life, and if we give it time, it will pass.  Unfortunately, we sometimes reach the conclusion that the problem lies in what we are looking at rather than in our perception of it. For example, we may feel that the spark has gone out of our relationship when perhaps we are just going through a period when, as Nepo says, a fog has rolled in around our heart. However, he goes on to say:

Certainly things and people change, … but we have no chance of recognizing real change or loss if we cannot recognize and accept our [occasional] inability … to feel what we see.

So let’s return to the Seven of Cups. The silhouetted person illustrated on this card with his/her back to us is gazing at a host of cups floating in the clouds. Has a fog rolled in around his/her emotional responses? The Tarot’s Sevens can represent challenges, and in this card, the challenge may be to have faith that this emotional fog will clear and to find the courage and wisdom to wait for it to pass.

For a general discussion about the good side of “bad cards” (and vice versa), see an article that I wrote for the 2007 edition of Llewellyn’s Tarot Reader titled “When Good Cards Go Bad”  

You can find more blog posts about the other side of the cards listed here:  

And if you want to further explore this or any other Tarot card, you can find links to a wealth of card meanings here


[1] The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo is a wonderful daybook which I heartily recommend.



  1. For me, the sevens represent withdrawal and individuality and the 7 of Cups is about an individual heart’s desires and priorities (which can change). I equate the 7 cups in the card to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. A midlife crisis is very often associated with a change in these needs, and time taken out to reassess them.

    • Oh yes, Helen, I see that meaning too. Of course, that change in needs and priorities can be a real challenge in itself. However, sometimes part of that challenge is to be able to see if this is a real change or if you’re just going through an emotional fog, so to speak, which is temporary.

  2. Victoria Evangelina permalink

    I like the positive lining of this card, just take a breath and wait to see…. emotional fogs are not that easy to clear but trying to use intellect to choose among the many options is not a solution. The pause is important in music and in everywhere else where life is present.

  3. JoJOe permalink

    The 7 of cups. 7 is usually known as a lucky number. Cups 1/2 full or 1/2 empty? Are there too many choices? Can I reach for that cup? Can I have them all? Can I ask for more?
    But there they are in all their glory. Beautiful cups, full of wonderful things. Do you want the material or the spiritual? Is there spiritual in the material. Artists sell paintings, Authors write books. That’s an obvious combination.
    Think of how cups are in ones life. We fill them, we drink them, we empty them and fill them again.
    Cups for toasting, wine, water, coffee, tea.. lovely ornament cups !
    The shadow figure. So rare in the tarot deck to not see the face; staring outward, inward or at you.
    So who is this shadow with no identity?
    One arm is missing, but the pose, if you mimic it, the curve it the spine, must mean the other is reaching outwards also. The head uplifted, certainly if you cast the pose it is one of joy and embrace.
    YES, YES you can have it all !!! WHY? Because you already have all that you need to do all that you want.
    All the things, thoughts, material you own right now are for you to create all you want more of.
    Then again, the shadow self can be a dark place. One of foreboding and insecurity. All alone with their “stuff” so the question lies also:
    Am I afraid to ask for what I want?
    Is my self esteem too low, I don’t think I can attain what I want?
    Is my dark inner side trying to get what I think I need to prove my worth?
    How do I see myself with abundance?
    ONLY THE SHADOW KNOWS. Shadow, mirror, souls journey.
    The shadow stands alone, reaching and feeling ready to receive.
    “I’m right here, ready to receive my desires”
    Just in this doing, if you were to practice this posture and say “I’m ready to receive”
    I’m certain the magic of all those things would start to evolve and materialize.
    To me, a wise one, it means:
    Don’t let self doubt stop your desires, look up, embrace, hold the pose, and call out to the universe
    Turn the shadow to light, practice abundance with your thoughts, feelings and posture.
    Above all keep the faith, don’t give up, keep reaching, enjoy what you have already achieved.
    “Salut” – “Sante” – “Cheers”

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