Rider Waite 7 of Cups


I wonder if that means glory is fleeting? It's on the cup with the laurels.


isthmus nekoi said:
Has anyone ever noticed a little skull on the cup that holds the wreath? Was that image intentionally drawn?

Here's a link to the image:


Kinda cool, actually. I think it emphasizes the warning of the card--that of illusion. The laurel lures, it's all about victory and fame and such. But that skull is waiting there, like a hungry animal, to pounce. The cup promises instant fame--but clearly it holds poison as well. Drink from it at your peril.

I'd say it was intentional by the way. The artist was way too careful with these cards to do something like that accidently. And it's very insightful. We see famous people, victorious people, and we think they're happy. But this is VERY much an illusion (the poem "Richard Cory" by Edward Arlington Robinson comes to mind). All you have to do is watch one of those "behind the music" biographies to see how getting exactly what you thought you wanted--overnight fame, riches, world-wide attention, international stardom--can very quickly lead to paranoia, misery, divorse, depression and death.


I read somwhere that the cup which has the Skull and Laurel Wreath represents the dream of victory of death. The wreath is traditionally a symbol of victory and teh Skull a symbol of death....



I remember reading somewhere once that particular cup supposedly held the waters of Lethe, representing a spiritual death or death of consciousness brought on by over-indulgence in the material and a lack of awareness of consequences of one's actions.



Great thread, you guys! I love the details we can pick up in the cards. I'm adding the various ideas into my journal.

Blessings -

:TDEAT Starfish

isthmus nekoi

Wow, thanks!! I think all these ideas about the relationship b/w death and victory is interesting since 7 belongs to the Chariot. Gives the card a new level of meaning...

Does anyone know where I can read about the symbols in the other cups? I have to admit, I never gave them much thought before.


A mini-symbol dictionary can be found in "Tarot Companion" by Tracy Porter, published by Llewellyn, ISBN 1-56718-574-6.


isthmus nekoi said:
Does anyone know where I can read about the symbols in the other cups? I have to admit, I never gave them much thought before.
From my notes, I have this on the symbolism in the 7 of Cups:

Mastering the Tarot by Eden Gray:
wreath of victory
red dragon of temptation (book says red dragon, not blue, no idea why)
serpent of jealousy
"The head with the curling hair might be a woman - or his ideal of himself. In the center is a draped figure, his own divinity waiting to be uncovered."

From Rachel Pollack's Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom:
Jewels - wealth
Wreath - victory
Dragon - fear
Castle - adventure
Snake - universal symbol of psychic wisdom

A Touch of Tarot by Patricia Darrow:
(I have this web page in a bookmark, but can't seem to locate it in my sea of Tarot sites!)
Head - perfection of body
Castle - worldly power
Jewels - wealth
Wreath - fame (Skull - fame after death)
Dragon - power through the black arts
Snake - wisdom, knowledge
Veiled fortune - development of the Spirit, potential for profound realization

In her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, Mary K. Greer states:
"The apparitions arising from the cups in the RWS card could represent the seven deadly sins, fatal to spiritual progress, or they can represent the visions of a mystic or an artist."


Hmm this is very interesting.

I read somewhere that it can be interpreted as an unachievable goal, something you want above all else. Must say that in light of all this information, i may have to look at this again.