Seven of Cups | Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretation

Keywords for the Seven of Cups

FANTASYREVERIE
ILLUSIONVISION
IMAGINATIONIDEALS
DREAMSUNGROUNDED
WISHFUL THINKINGDELUSIONAL

In the image on this card, we see the dark figure of a man illuminated from behind. He is lost in thought, caught in a reverie as he ponders the various virtues of each offering displayed before him. 

From a nebulous gray cloud of fog we see seven cups suspended in mid-air. The man struggles to focus; instead, his gaze flits from one shimmering golden cup to another, and then to the next. Each is utterly captivating, alluring and enticing in its own unique way. 

Which of these would he most desire to have for himself? 

There’s the tall, elegant and imposing castle which rises up from the first cup on the left—the perfect residence, more than enough luxury for him to enjoy, plenty there to inspire his neighbors to envy, to assure himself of prominence in the area in which he lives

Or perhaps the glittering mountain of jewels, overflowing, exceeding the bounds of this next cup—more wealth than he would know what to do with! He pictures luxury without end, he dreams of the power to purchase whatever his heart may desire.

But suddenly, a mysterious, charming figure catches his eye—he feels the magnetic pull of desire and of lust inspired by this most beautiful of all women, Helen of Troy. To spend a night with this most gorgeous of all queens seems to promise pleasure beyond compare…

Now his eyes are drawn away again, this time by a laurel wreath. This leafy crown could bestow upon him the recognition and respect he has always felt he should command among men. He has dreamed of this often: of distinction, privilege, honor, and above all, power. The capacity to command his fellow man, to be esteemed above others, to influence, and to  sway the minds of masses–all of this could be within his grasp, could it not?

His eyes move back and forth from one cup to the next. Which shall be his? What is worthy of his attention? Which desire calls out most loudly to him, demanding to be fulfilled?

The man seems unable to pull himself out of his fantasies. He continues to dream, lost in thought, unable to move or take any action. Instead, he remains, enchanted by his visions, lost in a reverie too charming to let go of…

Interpretation of the Seven of Cups

When the 7 of Cups appears in a tarot reading, it can indicate that we may be caught up in fantasies or illusions. We may be spending our time lost in thought, preferring to daydream about all the various possibilities which drift like clouds before us in idle minds. 

In a reading, the 7 of Cups may mean that we are wasting our time chasing illusions. This card can serve as a warning that we are living in a false world of fantasy that is unrounded in reality and lacking in the potential for material realization. 

However, there are also positive potentials implied by the 7 of Cups, as well. This card will often appear when we have many equally desirable opportunities. It can also refer to the initial stages of planning and weighing your options before taking action. 

If we can manage to bring these dreamy energies into our conscious, rational awareness, we can then potentially use these ideals to transform the material and physical realities of our lives. The energies of the 7 of Cups can be highly potent and powerful, as long as they are grounded in reality through concrete action in the material world. 

All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.” 

T. E. Lawrence

All the World’s a Stage, and the Sun and Moon merely Players

This morning I woke up from a very difficult dream. I had spent most of the night crying in my sleep. Here’s what happened: 

In my dream my dad and my brother were going to all these different events and giving speeches about everything that was wrong with me and why I deserved to be rejected. I sat at all of them, trying to plead with them and convince them otherwise. No one listened to me, and I cried as I saw them give speech after speech on everything that was “bad” and “wrong” about me.

Oddly enough, my mom was by my side at every one of these events with me. Sometimes in their speeches they would briefly mention how bad and wrong she was too, although the focus was mostly on me.

When I woke up, I felt very upset and saddened by what I had experienced over the course of the night. 

What really stood out to me, though, was how my mom was on my side at every point during this dream. It’s really not like her to stand by me (in fact, she would have been the most likely of any of them to give a speech like that attacking me).

So I had to ask myself, what could this apparently small detail mean? I was sure it was significant.

Pretty quickly, it occurred to me that maybe it was my unconscious trying to show me the way my anima and animus related to each other. 

The Marriage of the Sun and Moon

The anima/animus was a concept developed by Carl Jung which in a sense, describes the anima as the part of our psyche which can be thought of as being “feminine.” The anima is associated with the unconscious, the body, and our feeling and emotional states, as well as our desires and needs.

The animus, on the other hand, is believed to be the part of our psyche which analytic psychologists associate with the masculine. The animus is thought to relate to our conscious mind, our rational thought processes, as well as order, reason and logic.

Although most of us within a given culture will tend to have these basic conceptions of what our anima/animus are like, the way that they actually present themselves within a given individual’s psyche is highly personal, dependent on life experience and unconscious psychic material.

I think this dream was trying to show me the way that my inner masculine or conscious mind relates to my inner feminine, or emotional/feeling part of me. 

I saw how my masculine side was in fact very abusive to the feminine parts of me. The “rational” conscious side tends to dominate and hurt the emotional feeling side. It has all of these unrealistic expectations about how things “should” be, and it punishes and hurts the parts of me that refuse to comply.

I began to see how I have internalized the roles that I saw my mother and father play. I introjected their beliefs and patterns of behavior, and in turn had my inner masculine/feminine adopt the same roles within myself.

One of the unhealthy ways in which this has manifested for me has been that I have very little ability to care for myself. I refuse to listen to what my body is telling me, or to accept what I am feeling. 

Instead, I tell myself: “No. You need to work harder. You don’t deserve to rest until you’ve done better. You don’t deserve anything until you’ve achieved what I tell you to. Not until you stop being bad.” 

This usually results in me forcing myself to do what I don’t want to do. I hurt myself this way because I’ve long believed that’s the only way to “discipline” the parts of me that are “wrong” and “bad.” These bad parts are always the feeling parts, that part of me which has needs and desires and wants to rest and feel okay.

I’m starting to understand that my animus does not necessarily possess some kind of truly evil intent toward the anima. The attitude of my animus, in fact, reflects the very same beliefs which my father has held toward my mother. He has always tried to “help” her, but in a way that reflects some pretty toxic underlying beliefs about her (and possibly about women in general). 

My mother has been perceived, in his eyes, as being: unintelligent, even stupid; incompetent and incapable; crazy, confused and irrational; and even bad, wrong, and unwilling. 

This, in turn, is perceived as requiring his need to act to control and dominate and coerce her into “seeing the truth” and accepting the superiority of his more rational and “right” values and ways of being.

Even though this is obviously insulting, selfish and even maybe abusive, I can see that there is a genuine belief that he is doing his best to “protect” and “provide” for her. It is based on a perceived inferiority on the part of the feminine in general and my mother in particular.

Just as my father treated my mother, my “thinking” conscious self now treats my unconscious (my body, my feelings and my desires) in very much the same way.  

It seems to genuinely believe in the fundamental “wrongness” of my feminine or feeling side. As crazy as it might seem, it wants to protect it, and it does so the only way it knows how: by bullying it into doing what it thinks is “right.”  

The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside as fate. That is to say, when the individual remains undivided and does not become conscious of his inner opposite, the world must perforce act out the conflict.”

Carl Jung

I’m starting to understand how this impacts my relationships, as well. If I can’t have my inner parts of myself relate to each other in a way that is positive and healthy, I’ll never be able to have a relationship that is any better. 

If I don’t do anything to shift the roles inhabited by my anima and animus, then I will continue to recreate these same roles in all of my romantic relationships that I may enter in the future.

This dream seemed to be the way my unconscious was trying to get me to see what I needed to change in myself before I could move beyond these patterns in my life. 

I can see now that I must begin to make these changes starting from within. I know and trust from experience that if I can do this, then the problems I’ve experienced in the outer world will begin to shift naturally as a result of the changes in my inner world. 

As above, so below. As within, so without.”

The Emerald Tablet

An Introduction to Inner Visions

About a year ago, I started working with a Reiki healer for the first time, due to some challenges I was experiencing with my health.

White roses bloom

During these sessions, I began having a series of visions that were ultimately instrumental in healing deep-rooted issues (some of them even addressing trauma experienced in past lifetimes.

I wanted to begin sharing these visions with you here. 

First, I’d like to explain what I mean by “vision.”

I’d describe the experience of the visions I’ve had as a kind of altered state of consciousness. The closest thing I can compare it to is simply a dream, but there were some important differences. 

For one, although I was relaxed, I was still fully awake and alert, able to open my eyes and move if I wanted to.

Like in most dreams, I did not have control over the contents of these visions. I experienced them as being “given” to me by something beyond myself (or at least, beyond my conscious, ego self). 

Unlike lucid dreaming, where you can influence the object and events which you’d like to appear in your dream world, I had far less control. 

It was as if all I had was a remote control, where I could slow down, move on to the next scene, and even go deeper into a particular scene or object. The content of what I saw, however, was not up to me to determine.


I had my first session in August of 2020, and my first experience was fairly simple. This was a distance healing, and I later found the in-person sessions to be far more intense.

At the start of the session, I put everything down and lay on my bed in a quiet room, with eyes closed and an intention to be as receptive to the energy as possible.

Not long after, I began to see in the darkness behind closed eyes what appeared to be shifting shades of colored light.  It was more like the emptiness of the dark void was a piece of  black or dark gray paper being painted with light watercolors. 

The blackness remained, but there was a new overtone, a shading that was not present earlier. These colors started out on the violet end of the spectrum down to red, as my healer worked with my energy body from the crown of my head to the root chakra. 

After several more minutes, I started to see more concrete images appear in my field of awareness. I began to sense all the blocked areas within me, places where there was stuck energy, the result of long years of denial and suppressed emotions. 

The stuck areas appeared to me like old, dusty scrolls of parchment covered in illegibly scribbled symbols, written ages ago by the hands of men who never knew me, men who had long since died, men who did not matter.

As I felt light come into contact with the stuck energy, I saw the parchment burst into brilliant orange flames. These flames consumed the paper, devouring the scratches of ink, nullifying all that was ever thought or written by false authorities of times past.

Where once there had been records of false philosophies, now, there was only ashes. From the ashes of this all-consuming fire, I saw the tendrils of vines sprout and grow to cover the charred earth. The vibrant green of these vines soon gave way to the blooming of lavish white roses, bursting with life and vitality, almost overwhelming in their rich aliveness.

I could feel myself being renewed by the cleansing breath of the flames as they coursed through my body. The fresh vitality unfolding in the roses which bloomed within assured me with hope of a new life to come.

A Tarot Reading from July 10th, 2020

For this reading, I had asked the following questions:

What should I be focusing on now? Is there anything I need to know about my purpose, especially as it relates to my personal healing and growth?

What follows are the notes I took that day on my interpretation of these cards:

The Core of the Issue & What Crosses It: Death crossed by 10 of Cups

Truly, the core of my question is in many ways about the process of death and rebirth I now find myself in.

I’m dying to many past elements of myself and my past so that I may be reborn again and become the woman I know I am meant to be now and in the future.

As I accept and lean into this dying, my natural joy seems to be returning. There is no longer such a driving pressure to push myself into “achieving” happiness.” 

Instead, as I let all that does not serve me wither and fall away, my well-being seems to arise more spontaneously.

The Basis of your Question: 7 of Pentacles

The basis of my question is that I am looking to my past to observe what has come about as a result of it, in order to start making plans for my future. I’m seeing what I have sown and what I have reaped so that I can do differently in the future if I want to.

Recent Past: 3 of Wands

This is reinforced by the 3 of Wands in the position showing my recent past. This card is about surveying the landscape in front of you and using your previous experiences, current desires and even your past pain as you look out toward what could become your future. It means pausing and taking the time to ascend to higher ground to view the territory from a more objective perspective.

Higher Self: Queen of Pentacles

This position is meant to represent your Higher Self, and with the Queen of Pentacles here, it shows how I have been learning how to take on the role of being a mother to myself. I am finding ways to give myself all that I once wanted and needed as a child, but never was given or allowed to have by my actual mother.  Above all, I am learning how to hold myself gently and with care, much as this Queen holds her Pentacle on her throne.

Near Future: 8 of Cups

This shows how, much like in the image on this card, I am preparing to leave behind one situation to go out in search of greater happiness and fulfillment. In this card we see a solar eclipse, symbolizing one kind of order or way of being in the world receding as a new one arises to take its place.

What I Bring to the Situation: 9 of Cups

I think that in some way I do feel like my wishes are being granted right now. I’ve read anything and everything out there, gone through so much therapy, and worked so hard in an effort to heal, and now I feel that this healing is happening for me. 

What Others Contribute / How What You Bring is Perceived in Your Outer Environment: Page of Wands

This card can indicate a sense of honesty, innocence and eagerness to please. It can mean someone who has great ideas and intentions, and shows a lot of excitement at the beginning of a project, but is usually not so great with the follow through. It’s a reminder that I need to be more persistent and committed to acting on my goals (and not just the dreaming and planning parts).

Hopes & Fears / Advice: 9 of Pentacles

The woman in this card is known to be independent, self-assured, secure, and at ease in abundance. She has good boundaries and has taken the time to cultivate herself in order to achieve success. Truly, this is what I want most for myself right now.

Final Outcome: 7 of Cups

This card is all about imagination, fantasy, illusions and dreams. This reflects the danger I am in of falling into a familiar pattern or trap that I have of eternal dreaming about the possibilities and never getting anything real or substantial accomplished. So with that said, I know now that I need to be careful and watch out for this as I move forward.

I want to commit to taking direct, practical action on specific tasks that will actually move me forward towards my goals. I need to release my previous patterns of overthinking and endlessly theorizing while I neglect reality and my actual state of affairs. I’m ready to start making real changes now.


Want more clarity on what’s really going on? Need guidance on what your next steps should be?

A tarot reading is the ideal resource for all of that and more. Let’s work together.

Fueling the Flames

Three nights ago, I had a dream.

In this dream, I was in a war zone. This war zone was contained within a massive warehouse, which extended out as far as I could see.

After a time, I came upon a wooden staircase, and ascended up into an attic. It seemed to be a workshop where many scribes were writing in bound books of various shapes and sizes.

There, I found a nun, a saint whose name I recognized (but can no longer remember now). She spoke to me, and asked me of my many fears. Of what I thought about my own power. And of the fears she knew I had surrounding this power.

Before we parted, she handed me a notebook of my own, and pointed toward a black wrought-iron spiral starecase at the back of the attic workshop. She gave me one question I was to reflect and write on: “What purpose does your rage serve?”

I walked past the many scribes and ascended to the next level, and then the next. As I walked from room to room, in an unending spiral moving towards the sky, I encountered scenes from my past, and some from a possible future.

In each room, I would find a different pen, each a different shape with a different kind of ink, and here I would set down my notes. Here was my rage. Here was my purpose. Here was my power.

I’ve been reflecting on this dream during these past three days, days which have been filled with anxiety, turmoil and unrest.

I’m learning not to fear my own power. I’m learning how deeply I had internalized the message that my power is not welcome. That my passion is not allowed. That my presence is one which should be diminished.

I see these messages for what they are, tools of control, methods of oppression that have kept me small, that have kept me serving the needs of the patriarchal capitalist (+ colonist + white supremacist + beyond) society in which I was born.

And I see the purpose of my rage.

After a lifetime of being told that anger, not to mention rage, was “not allowed” for a person in my position, I am welcoming it. I am feeling it. And I am listening to it.

I am asking my anger, “What are you here to tell me?”

I ask my rage, “What do I need to do to honor you?”

I am listening. I am open to answers. Now I know that my darkness is my fuel. This is what will light my way forward. And I am ready to carry the torch into a new future.

a small confession

My eyes are often open, but it is rare that they see.

This morning, I saw fear. I thought I didn’t know fear, that I somehow lived bravely. The outcomes in my experience weren’t consistent with that analysis, but I brushed it off. I’m not afraid, it was just that simple.

But maybe I couldn’t see my fear because I was swimming in it. I’ve been floating through life, suspended in a scared world, held up and held back by what I thought I didn’t want.

I have rejected even the acknowledgement of my own desires because I was afraid they could never be fulfilled. I haven’t tried, or even admitted I wanted to.

But I want to live with integrity now. I want to be honest about and with myself.

So I’ll share a dream of mine with you, one that I’ve held for decades now, since I was a child.

As a young girl, my world was filled with books. Like Borges, my heaven was a library (and it still is). When people would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I knew immediately: I wanted to be a writer.

I’ve pretended for years now that I don’t want that! Maybe it was right for others, but definitely not for me. Come on, didn’t I pretend I was an “epistemological nihilist”? What right I did I have to buy someone’s attention with counterfeit bills of “knowledge”?

Maybe there’s something to those ideas, I really don’t know. But I recognize today that the real reason was not disinterest, but fear.

And I’m still afraid, but I’m going to turn around and walk toward it.

Maybe I still don’t believe I have any Truth worth telling. But I would like to offer you a map, instead, a phenomenology of the territory inside I believe is my soul.

As I dream, images arise: a guiding star, a loving mirror, a bell that awakens. Objects of beauty and agents of change, I will keep you in mind with this first step forward.