Different people react differently to being given a choice. Some plunge forward into a decision straight away, giving all the options very little thought. Some sit and ponder their options for far too long, and would probably go on indefinitely this way if they had a choice. Some walk a middle road. Whether you take choices easily or find them a challenge, each person must come up against many in their lifetime. This is the nature of the Seven of Cups.
On this card, a man stands before a series of large cups that float on clouds in the sky. One has the head of a woman, another a person covered by a cloth, one holds a snake, another a castle, the next a pile of jewels and other treasures, the next one a green wreath, and the final one holds what looks to be a small dragon. The man seems to be in awe of all the cups, spreading his arms wide as he beholds them.
Choices are not easy – by their very definition, we are expected to shun one option for another. What if our choice is “wrong”? What if the path we now head down is an unenjoyable one? What if the other choice had been better? We're often plagued with guilty thoughts, or at the very least dwelling on what might have been. This card speaks of a time where you come up against a world of choices... and you will have to choose only a few, if not just one.
Over-indulgence is another possible meaning present in the Seven of Cups. After all, couldn't ALL the cups on the card belong to the man? Or, at the very least, maybe he THINKS all these cups could be experienced by him... and he's enjoying the possibilities a little too much. If he finds himself lost in the gifts (or curses) of the cups, he might not know how to get back out to his normal life. On the other hand, it's possible to have many experiences but not over-indulge in them! When you see this card, assess your recent choices, and see if you are simply indulging in them or overindulging.
Another option exists for this card – that none of the cups belong to the man. He might simply be staring at them, wistfully wishing he could partake in their pleasures. The grass is always greener on the other side – sometimes we spend so much of our lives wishing we were different that we forget to... well, live our real lives. This card could mean that you have gotten caught up wishing for what you could have, rather than enjoying what you do. You might also simply be assessing your potential options, trying to pick goals for your life. There are positive and negative aspects to each of these elements.
When you see the Seven of Cups, ask yourself these questions. How do you deal with choices? Do you get lost in potential rather than see what is here in front of you? Do you indulge, or over-indulge? Can you balance your future goals with your current existence?
The Seven of Cups has, as previously mentioned, a negative side... and that negative side has a lot in common with the Devil card. The over-indulgence of the Seven is in presumption, staking claims that aren't yours to stake, and more – the Devil refers to all forms of over-indulgence, but especially those that harm others or yourself in a deep, potentially physical way. The Seven of Cups and the Devil fit well together in a reading: if you see them paired, you know that over-indulgence is a problem present in your life. The Nine of Cups.