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VII of Cups Symbolism

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VII of Cups Symbolism


I'm taking a serious look at VII Cups symbolism and imagery. The traditional meaning of this card has never really satisfied. I think it is more than just a "pie in the sky fantasy." For instance what is the meaning of the red halo around the head draped in a white cloth? Who is the man standing in front of all the cups, and what is the meaning of the different characters emerging from the cups? And most important, what does this card say to the querent when it shows up in a love reading. Dragons, snakes, heads, jewels, victory wreath, jewels, castle......all emerging out of an individual cup.....seems very mysterious to me. I'm considering interpreting this card as someone trying to control the reality of the querent...someone like the Magician.

I'm referring to the VII of Cups in the Rider Waite deck.
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Originally Posted by Ruby Jewel View Post
I'm taking a serious look at VII Cups symbolism and imagery. The traditional meaning of this card has never really satisfied. I think it is more than just a "pie in the sky fantasy." For instance what is the meaning of the red halo around the head draped in a white cloth? Who is the man standing in front of all the cups, and what is the meaning of the different characters emerging from the cups? And most important, what does this card say to the querent when it shows up in a love reading. Dragons, snakes, heads, jewels, victory wreath, jewels, castle......all emerging out of an individual cup.....seems very mysterious to me. I'm considering interpreting this card as someone trying to control the reality of the querent...someone like the Magician.

I'm referring to the VII of Cups in the Rider Waite deck.
QUOTE=nisaba;4703879]Well, the different things in different cups signify that the client is standing at a point where they have many choices. There are options that result in material wealth (jewels and gold). There are options that offer happiness but not necessarily wealth. There are options that offer danger (the dragon). There are options that offer safety (the castle). And to me the cloth-covered option has never seemed like a head: it has seemed like an option the result of which we cannot know.

If the client acts in some ways, it will make them happy, or unhappy, or rich or poor. And there's at least one course of action they can take in the situation which will have an unknowable result - that is how I see the covered option. I've not really paid attention to the red glow before: depending on your own personal inner symbolism you might link red with blood and therefore vitality and energy, or you might link red with stop, and therefore with risk. I think that's down to your personal inner symbolism regarding the colour. I'd go blood/vitality/healing/energy-force, myself, but that's just me.[/QUOTE]
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Originally Posted by Ruby Jewel View Post
QUOTE=nisaba;4703879]Well, the different things in different cups signify that the client is standing at a point where they have many choices. There are options that result in material wealth (jewels and gold). There are options that offer happiness but not necessarily wealth. There are options that offer danger (the dragon). There are options that offer safety (the castle). And to me the cloth-covered option has never seemed like a head: it has seemed like an option the result of which we cannot know.

If the client acts in some ways, it will make them happy, or unhappy, or rich or poor. And there's at least one course of action they can take in the situation which will have an unknowable result - that is how I see the covered option. I've not really paid attention to the red glow before: depending on your own personal inner symbolism you might link red with blood and therefore vitality and energy, or you might link red with stop, and therefore with risk. I think that's down to your personal inner symbolism regarding the colour. I'd go blood/vitality/healing/energy-force, myself, but that's just me.
[/QUOTE]

This is the way I used to translate this card.....as options for the querent, but upon further consideration, I decided that all those things in the cloud did not relate to reality....so ultimately, they cannot be real options inasmuch as they are just fantasies.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruby Jewel View Post
This is the way I used to translate this card.....as options for the querent, but upon further consideration, I decided that all those things in the cloud did not relate to reality....so ultimately, they cannot be real options inasmuch as they are just fantasies.
I'm with you on this. As I've said elsewhere, I didn't own or use an RWS deck for almost 40 years; the meaning of this card in the Thoth was always very clear - and unpleasant. So I too see the contents of the cups as phantasmagorical, carrying the message: "Nothing is what it seems." It looks to me like the scene in Raiders of the Lost Arc where adventurers had to select the Holy Grail from a table-full of fancy chalices; most got the answer "You chose poorly" as they died horribly. The Golden Dawn called it "The Lord of Illusory Success," and Crowley just "Debauch" - which may have been more a product of his overwrought wit than a reasonable approximation, but he didn't mince words in saying it reveals "the obscene and shameful secrets of a guilty conscience." (He saw Venus as severely degraded here, representing external splendor and internal corruption.) Wang said "Sometimes this is dissipation, a wallowing in emotions, or a self-deception." I think the modern trend of trying to put a positive "spin" on every card (affirmation, you know) has led to this and other RWS cards being misconstrued.

Oh, and the description I've seen of the hooded phantom is "a shrouded figure with a halo" (although it looks more like an aura to me). Somewhere I've seen it described as showing the blindfolded Aspirant about to be led into the sanctuary where initiation will take place.
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Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I'm with you on this. As I've said elsewhere, I didn't own or use an RWS deck for almost 40 years; the meaning of this card in the Thoth was always very clear - and unpleasant. So I too see the contents of the cups as phantasmagorical, carrying the message: "Nothing is what it seems." It looks to me like the scene in Raiders of the Lost Arc where adventurers had to select the Holy Grail from a table-full of fancy chalices; most got the answer "You chose poorly" as they died horribly. The Golden Dawn called it "The Lord of Illusory Success," and Crowley just "Debauch" - which may have been more a product of his overwrought wit than a reasonable approximation, but he didn't mince words in saying it reveals "the obscene and shameful secrets of a guilty conscience." (He saw Venus as severely degraded here, representing external splendor and internal corruption.) Wang said "Sometimes this is dissipation, a wallowing in emotions, or a self-deception." I think the modern trend of trying to put a positive "spin" on every card (affirmation, you know) has led to this and other RWS cards being misconstrued.

Oh, and the description I've seen of the hooded phantom is "a shrouded figure with a halo" (although it looks more like an aura to me). Somewhere I've seen it described as showing the blindfolded Aspirant about to be led into the sanctuary where initiation will take place.
I had my interested piqued last night when I was studying the Magician and I remembered the guy in the black suit with his back to us.....and how much he reminded me of an actual magician...and it came to me....."he is conjuring up an illusion"...... that's what magician's do....they manipulate reality.....create fog, mystery, manifest things out of nowhere...ie a cup....and all of a sudden, this card started to make perfect sense to me. I had just never seen it described like that in a book...still, the meaning of the hooded phantom eludes me...maybe it is nothing.....like when the magician yanks away the handkerchief where previously was a bird (or whatever) and it has now mysteriously disappeared....but you are right about the aura....
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In one of the plethora of respectable Tarot books I have read, the author mentions that the figure in the cup with the aura around it represents the Spirit Guide. Whether it be of the seeker or the practitioner clearly depends on the relative circumstances of surrounding cards, but this description always fascinated me.

As most people don't sit around all day dreaming about their Spirit Guide, some important historical figures such as Crowley depended highly upon the information given from his divine source. It could also represent the inner Self, the passion (red cloth) for divine wisdom, or the long passed ghost of Little Red Riding Hood; your mileage may vary.

To my general understanding, this card usually instills thoughts of distracting illusions and pipe dreams that temporarily lead us off the beaten path of reality, and of our more tangible personal goals. It suggests to me a clouded mind full of wishes, desires and material abstractions; things that we want, but may never obtain or even need. I can't help but think this card reflects the mindset of the Knight of Cups at times, given the whimsical nature and distracting cluster of elements that can break a full gallop into a reflective pause.
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The veiled person is suppose to represent the high priestess and her holding a veil between her and the veil to the world.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shardz View Post
In one of the plethora of respectable Tarot books I have read, the author mentions that the figure in the cup with the aura around it represents the Spirit Guide. Whether it be of the seeker or the practitioner clearly depends on the relative circumstances of surrounding cards, but this description always fascinated me.

As most people don't sit around all day dreaming about their Spirit Guide, some important historical figures such as Crowley depended highly upon the information given from his divine source. It could also represent the inner Self, the passion (red cloth) for divine wisdom, or the long passed ghost of Little Red Riding Hood; your mileage may vary.

To my general understanding, this card usually instills thoughts of distracting illusions and pipe dreams that temporarily lead us off the beaten path of reality, and of our more tangible personal goals. It suggests to me a clouded mind full of wishes, desires and material abstractions; things that we want, but may never obtain or even need. I can't help but think this card reflects the mindset of the Knight of Cups at times, given the whimsical nature and distracting cluster of elements that can break a full gallop into a reflective pause.
Funny how something like the shrouded "whatever" stirs up our imaginations....for some reason I have an uncanny feeling that there is nothing beneath the veil.
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Originally Posted by Laurelle View Post
The veiled person is suppose to represent the high priestess and her holding a veil between her and the veil to the world.
I'm reminded of the knapsack that the Fool carries...so much speculation as to what is inside it....I wonder, does anyone know? I keep thinking there must be some logical connection with the rest of the imagery....and a choice of some kind.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelle View Post
The veiled person is suppose to represent the high priestess and her holding a veil between her and the veil to the world.
Well, since I was relying on memory and didn't review the card properly before I posted, my mind remembered red for some reason. The aura is red, not the cloth; -1 point for me and my lack of coffee. I haven't heard or read anywhere that the mystery figure represents the High Priestess, but I was close with the inner Self correlation, I suppose. I'm not exactly sure why the aura is red, however. Perhaps that little detail points to the pomegranates? Even though the veil is white, as the High Priestess wears, I wouldn't have caught this detail unless there was some blue or a moon on the cloth. I guess I had better hit the literature tonight to get to the bottom of this intriguing factoid.
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