Placement: The Minor Arcana
Description: Seven cups sit on a cloud. One cup has a disembodied head, one contains a figure caught under a bedsheet, one barely contains a live snake, one contains a miniature castle, one overflows with jewels, one features a leafy golden lavatory seat, and the last props up a rather grouchy dragon. The person in the foreground is rightly startled by this vision.
Right side up:
There are, fittingly, conflicting interpretations of Seven of Cups.
The contents of these cups may represent temptations. The head may indicate one’s need of a companion, the jewelry: wealth, the figure in the bedsheet: a need for awareness or the sugary confections associated with All Hallows’ Eve, the snake: knowledge, passion or a craving for live mice, the castle: a place where no one’s lost, no one cries and crying at all is not allowed (not in one’s castle on a cloud), the dragon: symbolizing anything from greed, envy, power, addiction, barbecues, luck and a need to take initiative,* and finally the golden seat: to go where no one has gone before.
The Seven of Cups may also indicate self-deception. There are many paths that one may take, paths containing will-o’-the-wisps, wild goose chases, halls of mirrors, swamps of sadness, sounds of silence, mirages, clickbait, plot bunnies, lensless glasses and of course your inevitable demise.
The only successful path, according to popular opinion, should be the one less traveled. Believing yourself clever, you fail to notice that your less-travelled road is nothing but a lengthy patch of poison ivy leading to a den occupied by a mother grizzly and her last surviving cub.
You learn to see through the fog of temptation and illusion and into the reality that humankind has only existed for a 1/43200 of the age of the earth, which is only one minor planet within a universe that is about to turn 14,000,000,000 years old. You are now plagued by the eternal question of gift options for one that has literally everything.
When I asked Crystal Balque, our resident expert on the suit of cups, as to how the individual symbols can be interpreted when reversed, she screamed, ran around the building three times, and then brewed a new pot of coffee for the break room.
*followed by critical hits and the help of a high-level healer who does not temporarily disappear from the quest due to an overabundance of homework.
Classic Seven of Cups deaths:
- A buffet table, left all evening without replacement dishes
- Led astray by wine laced with hallucinogens
- Head-butted from above, wrapped in a blanket, swirlied, roasted by a ravenous, bejeweled dragon and swallowed whole by a snake before a castle topples over and crushes the entire scene