The 7 OF CUPS is a very curious, steamy, dreamy card in any Golden Dawn based deck. Does it make you feel all fuzzy when it comes up? Does it make you want to toss chunks? Are you undecided? Let’s dive in.
All the 7’s in hermetic decks correspond to the 7th sephiroth on the tree of life, NETZACH, which we can consider as human instinct, the ID, maybe even the group mind. The 7 OF CUPS is Netzach in the world of Water: instinct plunged into the vast shapeless ocean.
Venus in Scorpio can be interpreted in many ways depending on which Astrologer you follow, but no matter what Venus is highly sexual in Scorpio, plunging her paramours to the recesses of the forbidden. But when Venus is in Scorpio, she is often misunderstood, sensationalized or made a scapegoat by those who wouldn’t dare plumb the depths of their own libidos. And of course Venus in Scorpio is often seen as wildly possessive both of her lovers and of what material trappings she considers rightfully hers.
All of this is added into the 7 of Cups! And to make matters even more unbearably beautiful, Venus is the ruler of Netzach. Cue Bananarama.
The Rider Waite (and its Thomson Leng facsimile) show a man standing before a dreamy cloud of luxurious golden cups. Perhaps this man is trying to choose the holy grail, but can’t decide. Both these cards clearly depict Netzach in the world of water (a persons mind lost in a vast ocean of pre-conceived ideas) but I see little evidence of Venus in Scorpio. Perhaps the a true depiction of this would have been to naughty for 1909 when the Rider Waite was released. The one way Waite depicts Venus in Scorpio is to show a man obsessed with was he considers to be rightfully his, but does not have.
Take a look at the Thompson Leng version of this card, where each of the cups are filled with roses, laurels, angels and daisies. Doesn’t it feel like an evangelical delusion of grandeur? Perhaps this is a man who has a very hidden yet very active freak flag? Ted Haggard anyone?
Crowley’s Thoth card depicts 7 cups oozing slime, with rotting lotus flowers. What a drama queen! But this is exactly how most people view Venus in Scorpio. In this card, it’s like we’re viewing these 7 cups through our shared consciousness (or unconsciousness.)
Maybe this card is asking us to consider what we find utterly reprehensible in others is actually deep (like Scorpio deep) inside of us. Crowley himself (writing under a pseudonym) said Marie Antoinette is the poster child for the 7 of Cups. I’d wager she was pretty misunderstood, or at least over sensationalized. In her lifetime she was reviled and derided for her supposed sexual adventures, her love of luxury, and her beauty. And of course she was beheaded for it.
What do you think of the 7 of Cups?
At our weekly tarot meeting here in Brooklyn, we tried our Chiron (the wounded healer) spread on every person in the room. It’s worth noting that our healing gifts were directly related to our wounds and that each of us got a Major Arcana or Ace as a signifier of our gift. We also learned that doing this spread more than once, reveals successive, lesser wounds. As with any spread, it’s folly to ask the same question (about the same wound) more than once. I’m going to share our interpretation of the original spread I posted a couple days ago, but first let’s take a moment to gaze at our sexy starry eyed stallion, Mr. Chiron:
Here’s my reading:
The three center cards:
1. What caused my deepest wound? THE KNIGHT OF CUPS
- Waite’s knight of cups is completely inactive, waiting for his golden goblet to be filled. The deepest wound comes from feeling isolated, waiting for love, direction, and like-minded people to come. Waiting for leadership.
2. What is this wound today? PAGE OF WANDS REVERSED
- In the present, the Knight has lost his standing from too much waiting and has reverted into a fiery frustrated Page. He is inspired but isolated. He can’t figure out how to make things happen.
3. How do shield my wound from others? 9 OF DISKS REVERSED
- The golden disks on either side of the powerful woman are the shield. She has become overly concerned with being grounded and having financial stability. This shields the wound, but doesn’t allow it to heal.
Moving clockwise from left to right:
4. How can I release my shield? WHEEL OF FORTUNE
- In the progression of the Major Arcana, the Wheel is the second key to depict all four alchemical elements after the Magician. This is especially interesting as the center three cards of my spread lack the element of air. The Wheel seems to be suggesting taking a huge step back to assess the master plan. It could also be suggesting the cycles and routines I’ve set up in my life need to be re-assessed. To release the shield, I need to gain wider perspective which can be gained through the power of the sword. I’ll be looking for the Ace of Swords in further readings.
5. What is my healing gift? MAGICIAN REVERSED
- And so here we are, back to the original master of each of the elements. The Magician is also the artist, the initiate and lightning rod that can channel all that energy from above and give it proper grounding. My wound has evolved into the Page of Wands reversed who feels very much like he wants to be a Magician, he’s getting all that inspiration energy from above, but can’t figure out how to release it and realize his ideas. My wound is the blue-print for my healing gift: un-reversing other Magicians that are stuck. We heal our own wound by healing others.
6. How do I go about using this gift? 10 OF CUPS REVERSED
- This card of “domestic bliss” upended is about taking risks. I can’t heal from a safe domestic place. I see this card as two adults co-existing in peace in harmony with their child selves. In order to use my gift, I may have to accept the fact that this harmony isn’t a possibility for me (and/or those I might be able to heal.)
7. Who/what needs to be healed? 2 OF WANDS REVERSED
- The lord of dominion. Upright, this card shows a person who has taken advantage of everything the Ace offers, but there is a sense of loneliness in fiery success – this person hasn’t moved through all the elements yet. Reversed, this could be a person who experiences the world through reproductions, stories, and photographs but not first hand. This may be a person holed up in the walls of their own castle. In any case, after doing this reading I got a very random text message from a close friend containing an image of this card.
Chiron was healed when Zeus turned him into the constellation Sagittarius. I turned over cards through almost the entire remainder of the deck until I found Temperance/Sagittarius. I will carry this wound for a very long time, but will also have this healing gift every step of the way.
Known for his calm disposition and for being one seriously hot DILF, Chiron is credited with giving mankind the art of healing and medicine, but that’s really nothing compared to what he gave to young Achilles. The Greek God Hottie is also represented by a minor planet whose unusual orbit goes from the inner reaches of Saturn to the outer reaches of Uranus every 51.5 years. So all those people born in 1963-65 need to get ready for their Chiron return.
Today Chiron is looked upon as “the wounded healer” because he suffered a life in agony after Hercules accidentally shot him with an arrow poisoned with hydra-venom! He eventually gave his life to free Prometheus and was released from his pain when Zeus turned him into the constellation Sagittarius. Let’s just take one more look at the Silver Steed and Achilles before we move onto the healing spread:
Astrologically, it’s worth noting Chiron moved into Pisces last April during all of those Cardinal Grand Cross meltdowns and will make its home there for the next 8 years or so providing us plenty of cosmic energy to heal and be healed.
Since the impetus of Chiron is THE WOUND, my spread begins there. And since most of us don’t have the desire to live in agony without putting up some sort of shield for self-defense, I’ve also added that into the mix.
Here’s the layout:
Stack the first three cards on top of each other, placing the shield on top.
- 1. What caused my deepest, unhealed wound?
- 2. What has this wound evolved into today?
- 3. What do I use to shield my wound from others?
Continue placing cards around the shielded wound:
- 4. How can I release my shield?
- 5. What is my healing gift?
- 6. How do I go about using this gift?
- 7. Who/what needs to be healed?
In the end, Chiron himself was healed by being transformed into the constellation Sagittarius, which is represented by TEMPERANCE in the Rider-Waite deck. After doing the spread above, turn over cards until you find TEMPERANCE:
- If Temperance is close, you’re nearer to being released from your pain but your gift for healing could also have a shorter shelf-life.
- If Temperance is far, then you will carry your pain for a longer period of time, but also have a long period of healing others.
- If Temperance appears in the spread above, you may already be receiving healing from another. Use your intuition here based on what position it appears in.
* If you’re using a deck that associates a different Major Arcana with Sagittarius, use that card instead.
Here’s my spread:
Please share your spreads, too!
I’m in that special and wonderful place where I’ve started a lot of projects but I’m not giving them equal attention. I’m a freelancer, which means I’ll have a good amount of time to really dig into a project before I realize I need to take work. After that’s done, I face the uphill battle of reconnecting to the personal projects I put on hold. It’s a vicious cycle that gets harder with time. I know I can’t work on all these at the same time so developed a simple spread to compare and contrast each of my projects.
Just do one row of 6-cards for each project:
- Overall card for the project itself.
- What is the Pro?
- What is the Con?
- How will this project further my career (move toward goals)?
- What are the obstacles?
- Advice (you can throw down as many cards as you need here.)
I have three projects swirling around right now: A documentary (row 1), my own tarot deck (row 2), and opening a tarot space in Brooklyn (row 3.) Here’s what I got from El Gran Tarot Esoterico.
It’s pretty hard to ignore row 3, TAROT SPACE, which begins with the ACE OF WANDS. When it comes to projects or ventures, the Ace of Wands is pretty much the créme de la créme of the tarot. The 3 of WANDS, the pro, suggests excellent collaborative energy and taming of wild impulses. LA PICOTA (hanged man) reversed is the con. Perhaps this isn’t the most personal of projects I’ve got going. If my goal is TEMPERANCE, then a tarot space may help me work on what’s out of balance. The obstacle would be finding a co-op of people who have compatible energy. Advice is the 6 OF WANDS reversed. I’m perplexed.
The documentary project in Row 1 has potential, even though EL CICLO (JUDGEMENT) reversed suggests it’s an unending process with an unclear resolution. The 7 of CUPS, the pro, indicates a very receptive project with room for expansion and new ideas to fill these cups. The PAGE OF SWORDS REVERSED could be suggesting this isn’t the best time to take this project back up. More strategizing? THE DEVIL REVERSED brings me closer to my goals. It kind of needs to happen. The 10 OF SWORDS REVERSED is the obstacle. That never-ending cycle!! I started this project 10 years ago, has it become more of a burden than a pleasure? The 9 OF WANDS could be advising me to focus on the lighting up that magic lamp (connect with the original passion again) before diving back in.
The tarot deck project in Row 2 seems the most problematic. I’m not psyched seeing THE TOWER at the obstacle and the 10 of WANDS as the con. This perhaps means the project is overwhelming right now. I have been struggling with trying to drain the Rider-Waite system from my psyche. The PAGE OF CUPS REVERSED is the card of the project itself, and it feels like deep contemplation that’s really not going anywhere. The advice is to stop spinning my wheels as shown by the PAGE OF COINS reversed. This feels like me not being myself or connecting with my own voice. Perhaps the TAROT SPACE needs to start before the cards are taken back up as a project?
I’ve been evolving this personal spread which originally began with the standard 3 cards to check in on the energies each day. While shuffling, I’ll either clear my mind or focus on some person or issue dominating my thoughts. Here’s what the spread evolved into:
- INFLUENCE – This is energy coming into the day either from last night’s dreams, yesterday, the weeks or years before.
- PRESENT – This shows the energy of the present moment.
- INERTIA – This is where the energy wants to lead you as if standing in a river. If the card has a powerful or raging flow like one of the major arcana, you may have a hard time staying in place or changing course.
- ADVICE #1 – You can read these two advice cards together or separate. I really keep these in mind throughout the day – the meaning seems to unfold.
- ADVICE #2
I especially like to think of the Majors as causes and the Minors as effects. The court cards can either indicate specific people, or just give you and image of yourself in the course of the day. Here’s my reading this morning from El Gran Tarot Esoterico:
EL CONSULTANTE (this deck’s Magician) has been coming up for me in daily readings in the position of influence — and today it makes me very happy. I’ve been focusing on alignment of the solar system inside of my body so that I can get back into my own projects and just be less of the asshole I was 10 years ago.
THE TWO OF CUPS in the present moment makes perfect sense too. This is a card I got for what’s necessary to open up psychic channels. A loving meeting of minds. I’m trying!
I particularly love the 5 OF CUPS here for the inertia of the day. It feels supremely witchy. Even though Risa has gone to Texas for the week, I’m still craving our tarot meeting tonight.
ADVICE: EL CICLO (a/k/a Judgement) & DEATH. Wow, this is really begging me to make some progress today. Is it possible?
If you do this spread, let me know how it goes?
Last week, our friends at withhecateandfalkor and dailyspreads posted an excerpt from 365 Tarot Spreads by Sasha Graham designed to communicate with someone from our family tree. We were intrigued and decided to give it a try:
We immediately ran into an issue with the first question. A card for “who am I speaking with?” seemed too obscure and open ended. We decided to identify an ancestor to speak with and shift the entire spread.
- What Talent Thrives in our Family?
- Overlying Challenge
- Your hopes for me
- How do I make the most with what I’ve inherited
- What must I do?
- Specific question for the ancestor
After trying this spread three times in a row, there was a little bit of frustration. Questions about familial talents and legacy felt far too broad to be answered in one card. My family’s talent is the TOWER REVERSED. Is this the is the ability to prevent destruction or just to be a living pressure cooker? We quickly realized that a blood-line talent or legacy can be something that needs to be overcome rather than embraced. In general, the information that comes across in this spread is a very wide snapshot of the family tree. If you want to zoom into the specifics you’ll need to keep a notebook handy with any questions that pop up. Mostly, we wanted the communication with our ancestors be a little more detailed.
Here’s my spread:
In accordance with information from our psychic ability spread from the other night, I gave the new owners of the house next door (a convent at one point) a reading about their endeavor. Instead of doing a spread with a specific spread, I decided to just read the cards themselves with a more psychic approach. On a conscious level i knew the seller of the house was a pretty strange and negative person, but I got mostly clear energy from the house itself. Here’s the spread in a poorly lit photo:
Going right to left the first card I threw down was the TWO OF CUPS. Complete relief! This house is the beginning of a wonderful new phase of my friends’ life together. The next card was THE ACE OF CUPS. Holy moly! There’s the house, so many possibilities indicated by the butterfly emerging from the basket. The house and the lovers coming together. THE QUEEN OF CUPS REVERSED comes next which feels like a tendency to get lost in days dreams, fantasies, possibilities and choices rather than following a practical path — this is something to keep under control. A slow and steady course of action comes across in the 3 OF CUPS REVERSED, one that is supported by the 7 OF COINS. Carefully spent money will grow and thrive like the tree —- the symbols of venus and mars in the branches above show the progression of the lovers over time. THE THREE OF WANDS is a meeting of minds (or meeting of my friends w/ the house), consideration, taming of inspiration into very real ideas. Aside from a penchant for daydreaming, this feels like an excellent move. The house has a voice, too.
Reading the Tarot is its own thing, but when you’re at a social gathering and meet someone new you’ll probably start to read them on your own. At times, I get all kinds of “psychic” narratives from people only to find out I was outrageously off base (it happened this weekend at a pancake breakfast!) It’s too easy to confuse what could be a psychic message with simply reading a book by its cover. We put our minds together at our tarot meeting this week and came up with this 6-card spread to help hone our psychic abilities.
- What blocks my psychic abilities?
- How can I open up my psychic abilities?
- What should I focus on / what is the doorway?
- How to do I protect myself?
- How do I differentiate psychic messages from personal stuff?
- What do I do with the information once I get it?
We used this spread to read each person in the room last night using THE HERMETIC TAROT by Godfrey Dowson and the information we got was pretty specific! The photo below shows my spread.
What blocks my psychic abilities?
2 OF CUPS REVERSED. We all seemed to agree this is referring to my defense mechanisms going up when I meet someone new. This defense mechanism projects my fears onto other people, so basically I’m just reading myself. I need to approach people with love, compassion, and openness — if I don’t like what I’m getting I can walk away or tune it out.
How can I open up my psychic abilities?
THE HIGH PRIESTESS. As the card of the moon, passivity, patience, and reflection I get a strong sense that I need to be more of an instrument and less of a musician when receiving psychic communications. These messages should ultimate pass through me just as the rays of the Moon reflect upon the Priestess. Don’t let the conscious mind muddle them up.
What should I focus on / what is the doorway?
10 OF WANDS / LORD OF OPPRESSION. This one had us all stumped for a little while probably because the message was so simple. I need to bring my own oppression, fear and suffering into focus so that I can let them go. If I know what oppresses me, I won’t be able to project it onto others.
How can I protect myself?
6 OF PENTACLES REVERSED. The reversal of this card creates a waxing moon on the right side of the card while upending the symbol of Taurus. Actually, my natal moon is in Taurus so this card represents a very comfortable space when upright. The reversal could be saying I can protect myself by not coming across as an authority. As the moon Waxes, I’m learning. I can be confident in the messages I get, but I also need be open to the fact they may be totally off.
How do I differentiate psychic messages from personal thought?
PRINCESS/PAGE OF PENTACLES REVERSED. I’ve been racking my brain about this card. All the Princesses/Pages seem to be thinking about their futures and all the possibilities. There’s a lot of waiting implied, and because this is pentacles it feels like waiting for coming solid to come through. Of course, psychic messages are never solid or absolute, they are being pulled from the ether and are inevitably tempered with personal experience, insight and basic intuition. So, in a way there is no differentiation for me at the moment. I have to put whatever message out there and do some good old-fashioned trial-and-error without being too self conscious about it.
What do I do with the information once I get it?
EIGHT OF WANDS / LORD OF SWIFTNESS. Well, get the info and get rid of it. Put it out in the world and move on. No lingering.
What do you think?
The kind of thunderstorm that sounds like the world is ending struck Brooklyn around 3am. My pooch and I pretty much leapt out of bed abd began shaking like a pair of french poodles in a Cujo remake. That gut reaction goes right back to the beginning, it’s a fear of fears THE MOON, or even lightening devastated TOWER. And to top things off, there’s that Mommy come make it better in the same instant. So yeah, it would be good to pull some cards on this and I’ll be using Manly P Hall tarot deck to do it.
The top left to right:
- THE THUNDERBOLT
- THE SHAKING
- THE SAVE ME FEELING
- WHAT’S REALLY BENEATH THE SURFACE
The bottom row is advice on how to neutralize this reaction
Look at all those 5’s and star formations and 8’s! This is pure, focused conflict.
THUNDERBOLT!! The 5 OF SWORDS features a whip in the upper righthand corner. A quick painful crack of severe pain that has a lasting sting.
SHAKING!! THE 8 OF CUPS places the star from the previous card in the core cups (or the the body), a direct jolt to the the sacral chakra or Yesod on the tree of life.
SAVE ME!! ANOTHER 8, MORE SWORDS. The two squares feel like a steel fortress. The serpent entwined ankh is reminiscent of Mercury’s caduceus, which is related to sleep:
CADUCEUS id+ | MAGIC STICK or STAFF | used to HEAL most often by INDUCTION OF SLEEP also TO TRANSMIT GODLY COMMANDS BY DREAMS note SLEEPING IS CURATIVE or REST or RESTITUTION LATE ROMAN AND GREEK ARTISTS ADDED WINGS TO THE TIP OF THE CADUCEUS or STAFF TO DENOTE THAT KNOWLEDGE PERMEATES
EVERYTHING SILENTLY AND WITH MERCURIAL SPEED THE PROPERTY OF THE SILENT SPEEDY MESSENGER GOD HERMES.
The waking has purpose and meaning.
THE MOON is beneath the surface. The lobster, which represents suppressed fear, rises from the depths of the water in the same position as the star and caduceus on the previous two cards. This is something which much be faced. The thunderbolt activated this response and it will continue to do so until the fear is faced. This is insecurity, ego, fear of death. All those goodies.
The Advice is perplexing, as the Star reversed suggests. I will take some time to reflect. Maybe the next midnight thunderstorm will bring more info.