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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Seven of Cups - Astrological Associations (by Zanna)

Astrological associations for the Minor Arcana cards typically involve both a planet and a zodiac sign. The attributions established by the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD) are by far the most commonly used. However, some Tarot decks use a different set of associations. As a professional astrologer, I find it interesting to compare and contrast these associations from deck to deck. The use of astrological associations with Tarot is completely up to the reader. This is merely intended to be interesting and fun.

Credits for the decks and books mentioned in this post can be found HERE.

Seven of Cups - Astrological Associations (by Zanna)

Tarot Dynamics System by Anna Burroughs Cook
(illustrated in this blog by the Universal Waite tarot deck)

In Anna Cook's TD system, cards 2 through 10 are known as Subject Cards. They are viewed as having a strong impact on our immediate agenda, on situations, moods, opportunities or obstacles that pass quickly. The number on the card reveals the situation. The suit and definition suggest the reason for the situation, along with options and the most beneficial approach to take.

The suit of Cups represents Emotion, including dreams and that which gives meaning to your life. This is a fairly standard Tarot association. The astrological aspect of this system comes into play when we start talking about the number on the card.

To interpret the number Seven, we can look at the astrological Seventh House, which is considered to be the house of marriage, partnership, and "open enemies." In a birth chart, this house helps us understand our efforts to blend our personality harmoniously with another person, whether a husband/wife or business partner. Known adversaries are also included in this house.

The Seventh House is associated with the zodiac sign Libra (a cardinal Air sign known for being peaceable, socially adept, artistic, and able to see both sides of a situation). Libra is ruled by Venus (representing love, affection, art, and beauty). In the Tarot Dynamics system, Subject Card Seven "corresponds to your personal and professional associations." The TD system's keyword for Subject Card Seven is "Relationships".

As mentioned above, the keyword for the suit of Cups is "Emotional." Thus we arrive as "Emotional/Relationships" for the Seven of Cups.

(Please note: There is more to the TD astrological connections than I have included here. My intention is to convey the basic flavor and tone. A much more detailed, comprehensive discussion will be provided in Anna Cook's forthcoming book, Advanced Tarot Dynamics.)

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley

For Crowley and the Order of the Golden Dawn (OGD), the Seven of Cups represents the energy of Venus (love, affection, art, beauty) in Scorpio (a Water sign ruled historically by Mars and/or Pluto, for many modern astrologers). Scorpio is known as a sensual, secretive sign, intensely emotional and imaginative, and possessing psychic ability. Crowley writes: "Venus redoubles the influence of the number Seven" and points out that Venus is in its detriment in Scorpio. Crowley also notes that this card reflects "the invariable weakness arising from lack of balance." He titles the card "Debauch."

Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler (in Keywords for the Crowley Tarot) describe the energy of the card as: "depths (Scorpio) of desire (Venus), pleasure (Venus) that leads to dependence (Scorpio)."

One World Tarot by Crystal Love
Crystal Love associates the Seven of Cups with the third subdivision of the sign Scorpio, with Mars/Pluto as the natural ruler and Venus as the subruler. She writes that "Venus adds grace and charm, artistic ability, and sociability to the third subdivision of the intense, secretive and mystical sign of Scorpio." Love notes that traditionally, the Seven of Cups has been seen as 'a card of choice. . . alternatives that must be explored, though only one is of exceptional promise." There is a possibility of "deception in love and friendship, disharmony in marriage, or reliance on false hopes."

A.E. Thierens, PhD. (Astrology & the Tarot)
Thierens describes the Seven of Cups as follows: "The Water of the soul on the house of Gemini, the Third, the house of the changeful concrete mind and thought in which ineed nothing is permanent." He goes on to write, "There may come seductive and suggestive images, some of which may be realised, but others will remain just fancy." In astrology, the Third house is associated with the zodiac sign Gemini, ruled by Mercury. It is described by astrology.com http://www.astrologyzine.com/what-is-a-house-in-astrology.shtml as the house of "Environment and Perceptions." Joanna Martine Woolfolk tags the Third House as the "House of Communication."

Thierens writes that the Seven of Cups can indicate "Thoughts, intelligence, ideas, imagination, plans, suggestions, fancy, fantasy. . . Short travels, sight-seeing, impressions, views. . . Promise and surprise, but always much more promise than fulfilment." (Note: The astrological system devised by Thierens is radically different from that of the OGD. I will not go into detail here, but will simply provide the astrological associations for the card under discussion. If you are interested in learning more about Thierens' system, I recommend his book Astrology and the Tarot.)

The Mandala Astrological Tarot by A.T. Mann

Like the OGD, Mann's deck associates the suit of Cups with the element Water. Mann describes Cups Five, Six, and Seven as "The Sea of Scorpio" and associates them with the time period from 23 October to 22 November. Cup Seven is assigned to the Third Decan of Scorpio -- Moon in Scorpio. It represents the time period from 13 November to 1 December.

On the King Scale of Color, the colors linked with the Moon are indigo, silver, and white. The color for the sign Scorpio is blue-green. Mann's keywords for the Moon are "soul, unconscious, personality, instinct, emotions, fertility." For the sign Scorpio, his keywords are "death of vegetation; life of the seed; survival; endurance. Regeneration; passion; separation; emotional intensity; dependency; losses; inheritance; the occult." Mann's divination meanings for Cup Seven include "taking personal adventures and affairs so seriously that the resultant jealousy is dangerous. Need to balance psychic sensitivity with emotional stability through honest and truthful relationships."

The Whispering Tarot by Liz Hazel

Liz Hazel's suit of Cups is the suit of the Water element, embodying "emotions, feelings, relationships, love, as well as the nature and consequences of emotional attachments." The Seven of Cups represents Venus/Scorpio energy. Hazel's illustration depicts a powerful wizard who "waves his hand, and seven cups appear in the clouds."

Hazel notes that this card can suggest "considering all possibilities, reflecting on options. . . caught up in fantasies of possibility and dreams of glory. . . the creative mind of the artist, musician, dancer, writer or architect. . . epic fantasy realms." Ill-dignified, the card might indicate "either too much or too little creativity and fantasy. . . wallowing in self pity. . . lack of sympathy for others. . . inappropriate disclosures. . . lack of social skills."

In general, I typically see the Sevens of the Tarot as representing mystic insight, being tugged back and forth between options, taking time to assess or evaluate possibilities, introspection, or solitude.

The systems described above vary widely in their astrological associations for the Seven of Cups. Several of the systems described above the Seven of Cups with Scorpio (Mars/Pluto) and Venus. Thierens proposes a link between the Seven of Cups, the Third House, and Gemini (Mercury). Then we have A.T. Mann with his Scorpio/Moon connection.

The suit of Cups is traditionally associated with Water, representing emotions, but I can also see the Gemini/Mercury (the mind) relationship in this card. Thoughts and emotions are closely connected, and certainly using our imagination involves a little of both. For me, the sign Scorpio does add an undercurrent of danger or at least potential unpleasantness here. There is a feeling for me of someone being "sucked into" something that might not turn out to be as wonderful as they expected it to be. When and if this sort of thing happens, Scorpio is not likely to forgive the disappointment as readily as other signs might.

As always, I welcome your comments!


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~ Zanna