The Seven of Cups is typically not often considered a “happy” card, but part of the aim of my Cosmic Sunbeam Tarot deck is to put a cute and uplifting spin on the tarot. So when considering how to make the more “difficult” and dark cards work within this uplifting theme, I’ve had to think carefully – and it’s been a little challenging!
Luckily, working on many client projects for years as a graphic designer has given me lots of experience of taking incongruous design elements and attempting to make them work harmoniously – with a specific look or mood in mind. I’ve drawn on this experience to help make my Seven of Cups design, shown above.
Designing tarot like a children’s illustrator
Someone recently suggested my deck would be great for children or younger teens as a starter deck – and I completely agree! Although it wasn’t specifically designed with them in mind, the childlike appeal of the cards make kids an obvious audience (although I want anyone who likes the deck to enjoy it)! I’m a big kid at heart and I love designing for children – as my imagination can run wild! The designs use techniques employed by children’s illustrators to make dark concepts approachable enough that they can engage without being too scared… Plus, the seven of cups both in meaning and image reminds me so much of a children’s fairytale!
Using humour to bring joy to tarot cards
The “darker” elements of the card meaning have been given a cute and also slightly humourous feeling; for example, the snake has a sweetness about it – and the wolf / fox (in the Rider Waite deck, this is a dragon) has a goofiness about it. Humour is a great way of lightening difficult subject matter.
I was also able to go a bit crazy with the different elements of the card, adding a pretty rainbow, some cosmic shapes and a sweet looking “ghost” all appearing out of the coloured cups.
The meaning of the Seven of Cups
The cups suit represents the element of water – which relates to imagination, emotion and feelings. This card shows us seven cups, floating among the clouds, each containing a different item, each nodding towards fantasy and illusion. These cups indicate we are faced with a number of choices – several different and confusing options – ranging from the spooky, scary and dangerous (snake, fox, ghost)…. through to treasures, jewels and glittering potentials (crown, rainbow, castle, flower) awaiting discovery. It nods towards our daydreams and imagination, fantasy and illusion (denoted by the clouds and myriad of fantastical objects). You might be under an intoxicating illusion – or your thoughts might not be grounded in reality. Try not to lose focus! Funnily enough I designed this card under a Mercury / Neptune square, which fits the symbolism of this card perfectly!
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