For safety, all physical orders are suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our books remain open for online tarot readings, and our daily free readings have shifted to a weekly schedule. Use code TAKEHEART20 for 20% off PDF and live online readings during this tough time.

Seven of Cups Meaning – Smith-Waite Centennial

Happy Monday, friends! We're kicking off this week's free daily tarot readings with the Seven of Cups, an exciting and polarizing card. Today's tarot card is all about dreaming big and the power of imagination. But there are two sides to this card, and we have two fortunes to match.

Some tarot readers tend to have a more negative interpretation of the Seven of Cups card than I usually do. For many, it can represent conflicting desires, a wandering mind, illusions, and the troublesome inertia of indecision. But what can I say? I'm a dreamer with many interests and passions, and I feel right at home with the Seven of Cups!

We'll get to our Card of the Day fortunes below, where you can decide for yourself how this card speaks to you. But first, let's take a closer look at the rich symbolism of the Seven of Cups in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot decks.

Seven of Cups tarot card meaning from Rider-Waite-Smith decks, detailed image description in bio, card pictured in copper cauldron with dark blue background

The Seven of Cups card in the Smith-Waite Centennial tarot deck

In Pamela Colman Smith's iconic illustration, the Seven of Cups shows a figure in silhouette beholding seven floating chalices on a bed of swirling cloud. The figure's posture suggests wonder and excitement, with their arm outstreched and their hand perhaps extending in shock or else about to make a choice. The figure's back is turned to us so that they have the same perspective of the seven cups that we do.

But their body language is ambiguous, so how do you relate to the figure? Do you see excitement here, or shock—even fear? Keep your response in mind. We'll return to it below.

Each of the seven cups contains its own fantastic imagery. First, we see a curly-haired human head, which might remind you of the human head in The World card, though this one is ghostly and ephemeral. Then there's a figure in a white shroud with their arms outstretched and a striking red-orange glow. Their shape always reminds me of a mushroom, and with the Seven of Cups' dreaminess and surreality, this shrouded figure always reminds me of María Sabina and her holy visions.

Next comes a snake, reminiscent of the serpent in The Lovers card and perhaps representing Eden and the temptation of enlightenment here as well. The final four cups contain a tower, glittering jewels, a laurel leaf, and a dragon. These last four symbols could represent one's role in society, the pursuit of wealth, winning accolades and scholarship, and a preoccupation with inner demons. 

These symbols mean many things to many people, and it's worth taking a moment to consider what they mean for you. But the main takeaway from the Seven of Cups' meaning is that there are a lot of dreams and symbols at play. So do they represent some distracting illusions? Or do they represent a cascade of worthwhile dreams?

If you sense shock, fear, or overwhelm in the Seven of Cups figure…

If you feel a sense of shock, fear, or overwhelm in the silhouetted figure at the front of this card, the Seven of Cups calls on you to focus on concrete matters today. This card suggests that you've been lost in the clouds, misled by fears that are way out of proportion with your situation, or ambitions that are completely out of reach right now. 

Take a deep breath. If you can, draw your attention to the pressure of your feet on the floor. Today isn't the right day to get caught up in daydreams and abstactions. There's work to be done, and practical matters need your attention. If you can set those fears and abstract plans aside today, they'll be less overwhelming when you return to them.

If you sense joy, delight, or imminent action in the figure…

On the other hand, if you sense joy, delight, or a sense of imminent action in the figure, the Seven of Cups has a completely different meaning for you today. If you share my positive response to this card, the Seven of Cups is an invitation to let yourself daydream. The imagination isn't always misleading—it's where our hopes and dreams coalesce, and it's where our inspiration lives.

If you're feeling bogged down by mundane concerns, today's card reminds you that you don't need to buy anything or book a trip to feel inspired again. Tap into your imagination. You can simply close your eyes, or you can escape into video games or an immersive book. If you can follow your instinct to let your mind wander today and set productivity aside, you'll return to the practical world with renewed vigour.

S.M. signature — Savanna Margaret's initials

And of course, tarot readings are another great way to let your imagination loose. They can also help make sense of those many symbols and images that your subconscious is dwelling on but that you can't quite translate into words. If you'd like to try using tarot to explore your imagination, book a reading with yours truly below.