Reflections on the Seven of Cups

Interesting news! Yesterday, out of the blue—or so it seemed—I received an e-mail from a prospective employer asking to interview me today for an open position with his company. (It had been so long since I had applied for this job, I’d forgotten all about the opening!) Anyway, it has been awhile since I’ve undergone a formal job interview, and feeling a bit nervous and looking for some guidance this morning, I “consulted” the Tarot. My ten-card Tree of Life spread struck me as confusing, I couldn’t make heads or tails out of it,  so seeking some added clarity, I reshuffled the deck, and turned up the top card:


Talk about confusing!

One interpretation that’s frequently ascribed to this  card is “inability to distinguish reality from fantasy,” or perhaps, the inverse of this—recognizing the error of our ways, and turning away from life’s unhealthy distractions. In either case, the card reminds us of choices we sometimes need to make in life—be it in our careers, our finances, or our love lives—and of the importance of entering into our decisions with a clear head and the right set of values. The material gain and fortune that the images depicted in the Seven offer our seeker can be seductive indeed, but they can also lead him—and us—astray into a kind of idolatry of things that can blind us, as with the hooded figure in the center of the card, to the reality of our deepest, most meaningful existence. Our true purpose in life, after all, is not in acquiring lots of baubles and trinkets, nor in collecting ranks and titles, but by opening our hearts and  forgiving others that we might heal our world.

In itself, this card doesn’t provide much “yes or no” guidance to me on the “job question” today—Tarot is generally more nuanced in its conclusions—but it does at least serve as a caution, reminding me that having a job for its own sake isn’t going to make my life more fulfilling, and that money can be equally a trap as a treasure. I’ll try to keep those thoughts in mind when the phone rings later today.

(Update: An interesting day indeed. That phone call I was expecting? It never came. It was, apparently, a kind of illusion—which is one of the traditional meanings attributed to the Seven of Cups. I will leave it to you, dear reader, to determine why a prospective employer would reach out to a job candidate for an interview, then suddenly change his mind without notice (I have an idea, but no way to prove it), but once again, it’s funny how this Tarot stuff works out, now, isn’t it?

Dante DiMatteo

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