The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, April 1, 2012

By Sarah Taylor

There is a point of choice coming up. It is time to choose carefully — and you can: you have access to a mature, heart-based wisdom. It is time to situate yourself in loving authority, and as one door closes, so another will open.

King of Cups, Seven of Cups, The World -- RWS Tarot deck.
King of Cups, Seven of Cups, The World from the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot deck. Both minor arcana cards are Cups, which means that the reading is situated in the realm of feeling. The presence of a major arcana card -- and notably the 21st card -- means that this reading is concerned with evolution at a soul level. Click on the image for a larger version.

This feels like a beautiful reading. The options that it presents to us hold their fair share of perils, yes, but nothing that we cannot overcome. There are going to be choices that are no-brainers; some that look good at first glance but hide their true colours below the surface; and others that might call us into the unknown — perhaps more than we are used to or comfortable with.

The key here is to use our hearts. This is not a time for analysis that remains solely in the head. This is not something that we can work out with a piece of paper and two columns. We need to engage with our feelings, indicated by the King of Cups.

The King’s throne rises out of the waves, solid and enduring as if it is firmly anchored in the seabed. He embodies the collective emotional experiences of the preceding Cups cards — from love to nostalgia, heartbreak to joy. He knows and understands the depths of the emotional currents that lie around him, and yet — like the Queen — remains distinct from them. He has assumed authority over his feelings and his life. But this is not a hard-hearted authority: his posture is one of openness and has a certain relaxed air to it. He doesn’t grasp the accoutrements of his rule — the simple, unadorned Cup, the equally unassuming sceptre — but rests them on his knee and the arm of his throne respectively. There is nothing that needs controlling or fighting. The card speaks of a sense of ease. The waves are in motion — there is no stagnation here — but they are supportive of the life on and under them: the fish can swim freely, the ship is in full sail.
[Authority, power, and balance: the Kings in tarot, October 12, 2011]

The King of Cups refers to our emotional natures when we align them with the flow of life. By doing this, we are fully in our feelings, but we are not dominated by them, nor do they dominate us; we do not shy from them, nor are we engulfed by them. There is a foundation to our experience that is unchanging, even while waves might lap, undulate, and crash around us.

The King precedes the Seven of Cups — the ‘choice’ card. He leads us into it, and remains facing it with the full attention of his consciousness. He is what we can call on when we are presented with a number of options, all of which are available to us. In the Seven of Cups, we become the shadowed figure in the foreground, standing in front of the seven cups perched on a cloud. In the Rider-Waite Smith tarot deck, these rounded, cumulus-like clouds seem to be representative of the divine.

The choice we are making is one that feels significant, but there is also the implicit message that, whatever we choose, we are reminded that all choices are valid no matter what experience they offer: all of them rest on the same cloud. There is a clear indication that some are perhaps wiser than others — but that wisdom will be based on our own perspectives. In other words, we are the ones who know how to choose best for ourselves in the situation at hand; there is a part of us that knows what isn’t so good for us, and what is. What we are to do is to look, and feel, within — to get to a calm platform in the moving seas and sense what is being communicated to us by each cup. And we might do well to remember: mystery isn’t always a negative thing. What might our hearts be telling us about taking a leap of faith?

What this choice leads to is The World: the cloud in the Seven of Cups flows off the right hand of the card and into The World next to it. The figure dancing in the centre looks back to the Seven of Cups, as if bearing witness to what has been decided, while her body moves forward and away from it at the same time: the conclusion of something marked by the choice we have made is acknowledged, while we simultaneously turn towards a new beginning.

In each corner of The World card, there is a figure: a man, a bull, a lion, an eagle — representative of the fixed signs Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio. I find it interesting that it is the head of the eagle — Scorpio — that has a white cloud as a background. My sense is that this will be meaningful at a personal level for anyone coming to this reading, and I am going to leave it at that.

Therefore, here we have a choice, and it is a choice of, and by, the heart. Heart-based analysis is not limited to emotions, though; it comes down to the use of intuition — and there is every indication here that we have access to an intuitiveness that is both insightful and powerful.

We need to enter a land of trust: of self-trust, where voices from the external world telling us to do otherwise take a back seat. There is only a single figure on each of the first two cards. That is us as individuals and what we embody separate from others. It is what we can own about ourselves. What it leads us to is a greater connection to a core of ourselves that is as enduring as it is transformative. It is up to us to step into it with our eyes — and hearts — open.


If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.

9 thoughts on “The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, April 1, 2012”

  1. You’re so welcome, KathyC!

    Geoff, let me know how you fare with finding a deck.

    Funny – I was trying to find a way of describing the conjoined imagery of the King of Cups, Seven of Cups and The World — how the cloud links them all. It seems trumpet-like — like the trumpet blown by the angel in Judgement. But, whimsically, what I see most is a cloud exhaled from the King, which then issues in a stream through the Seven and blows a laurel ‘smoke-ring’ around the figure in The World. 🙂

  2. Thanks, Sarah.
    Glad I don’t have to hurry to the opticians just yet. However, it’s certainly time I bought my own tarot, and I shall keep a look out for the “Bald Eagle” variant.
    Food for thought from you there, as always.

  3. Amanda – You’re welcome. They are tying in with me too, as I think I’ve mentioned here, so it is really about staying as clear with the cards as possible while knowing that at some point our personal experience is also part of the collective.

    Geoff – I had a suspicion when I read your last post last night, and checked the cards this morning: the version of the cards that I use for images on the site doesn’t have a different background to the eagle; but my own deck does – clear as day. So I’m going to work on the assumption that my deck is the one to be guided by in this instance. 🙂

  4. yet again, the weekend tarot mirrors the astrology perfectly. and my own experience all too well.

    thanks sarah — always insightful to read your pieces. even they’re sometimes a bit more uncanny that i might wish. 🙂

  5. Cheers, Sarah.
    I must say all the clouds look the same shade of grey to me, but my colour vision isn’t what it was.
    I’ve always felt somewhat perplexed by the fact that revolutionary Aquarius is a fixed sign – cardinal or mutable yes, but fixed? It reminds me of the Red Queen’s comment in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – “It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.” Lewis Carroll was an Aquarian, of course.
    As an Aquarian with Scorpio rising, I hope you’ll forgive my befuddlement.

  6. And thank you both for your comments!

    Geoff – the reason I singled out the eagle is because it is on a white cloud rather than a grey one. I have to find the significance of that for me, too.

    I am no astrologer, so I cannot comment on the fixed signs as compared to the cardinal and mutable signs. The only thing I can say is that it would be worth understanding what the word “fixed” means to you in terms of negative and positive attributes — how being fixed can help or hinder. Also, perhaps, what it is about Scorpio, which is a water sign, that singles it out here among the air sign Aquarius, the earth sign Taurus, and the fire sign Leo.

  7. Sarah, your readings/interpretations are always thoroughly amazing, and I’m usually too overcome with reverence to comment. It seems to me, however, that all four figures in the corners of The World have a cloud as their background, and I wondered why you felt only the eagle was so distinguished.
    I’ve noticed the four fixed signs appearing together elsewhere in my wanderings through the mystical cannon and wondered if there is a metaphysical reason for their preferment over the other eight signs of which I am ignorant. I expect there is!

  8. Sarah! Once again… WOW!

    The eagle does indeed have significance!

    I read along every week, but am usually so busy working through life that I forget to make a moment to say ‘Thanks’ 🙂

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