7 of Cups

Alt names: Debauch, Breach
Keywords: Imagination, dreams, illusions, goals
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Range of meanings

Light: Motivating yourself with images of future success. Using visualization to encourage progress. Taking an imaginative or creative approach to problem solving. Making dreams come true. Gleaning insight from personal visions.

Shadow: Obsessing on imaginary fears or uncertain consequences. Giving in to emotional or political terrorism. Spending more time dreaming than working. Failing to envision the possible repercussions of your choices. Being controlled by fear.

Questions to ask

  1. In your situation, what is the worst possible outcome? What’s the best possible outcome? How are hopes and fears shaping your thoughts about the challenge of the moment?
  2. As engaging as dreams and fantasies can be, imagination without action is wasted energy. How might things change if you fantasized less about outcomes and more about new ways to take action?
  3. What do you want most? What do you fear most? How are these related?
  4. How is your imagination working for you? Against you?
  5. How might a clearer personal vision help you choose a single cup from the many available?


Personal Growth: Your imagination is a powerful tool, capable of shaping your experience and your world. Focus your thoughts. See life as it should be, and then take personal responsibility for making your dreams come true. Always link imagination with action!

Work: Plan for contingencies. At the same time, don’t allow “what might be” to distract you from “what is.” Unless it’s your job to build castles in the sky, be sure to invest more effort in hard work than sweet dreams.

Relationships: Comparing your friendships and relationships to unrealistic, Hollywood-produced fantasies is a sure-fire formula for disappointment. Rather than imagine what things ought to be, face how things are…and then take the steps necessary to make your relationships more rewarding.

Spirituality: Use meditation and prayer to build a clear vision of your spiritual goals, and call on this for inspiration in times of need. Pay attention to dreams; they have important messages for you.

Fortune-Telling: You’re being fed a line. Rather than be dazzled by fancy words and promises, demand something real.


Astrological: Scorpio

Planet: Venus

Fool's Journey: The main character is hindered by unreasonable expectations or unfounded fears. Alternatively, the Main Character insists on remaining true to his or her original vision.

The Number 7: The Motive: imagination, inner work, psychology.

Cups: One of the 4 suits of the tarot. Also sometimes called vessels, or chalices. Represents intuition, spirituality, affection, and motivation. As a suit marker, Cups suggest receptivity: they are vessels, waiting to be filled. Cups have long been associated with divination (remember the uproar caused when Benjamin stole King Joseph’s cup?) and, by extension, intuition.

Floating Cups: On RWS-inspired decks for the 7 of Cups, we often see cups laden with all manner of intriguing options: masks, serpents, wreaths, jewels, elemental symbols, shrouded figures. Where do aspirations end and illusions begin?

Content generously licensed from Mark McElroy via TarotTools.com.