Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes

January 2019 Tarot Card Astrology: Seven of Cups

Venus moves through the last decan of Scorpio, the portion of the sign that she rules, from a few days after Christmas through the first week of January. This planetary placement is attributed to the Seven of Cups tarot card, and understanding this influence opens up deep insight into the meaning of the card. The Seven of Cups: Venus in Scorpio symbolism addresses passionate yearning as well as intense sexuality, but we’ll uncover a more profound meaning as well.

The upcoming month will also see two other tarot card astrological correspondences played out in the heavens: the Two of Wands, or Mars in the first one-third of Aries, where he rules both sign and decan; and the Four of Pentacles, or the Sun in the the last part of Capricorn. Please visit all the articles in this series, upcoming and past, on tarot card astrology.

  • Seven of Cups: Venus in Scorpio – Today’s post!
  • Two of Wands: Mars in Aries – Thursday, December 27, 2018
  • Four of Pentacles: Sun in Capricorn – Thursday, January 3, 2019

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Seven of Cups: Venus in Scorpio

  • The Seven of Cups is titled “The Lord of Illusory Success” (sometimes, “Illusionary Success”) and many readers consider it to represent choices, pipe dreams, fantasies, a foggy focus, or reaching toward an impossible dream.
  • Venus is the goddess of love and beauty. She appreciates everything that is pleasing to the senses and that brings comfort and ease. She brings people together in harmony. She represents what we value, how we relate to friends and loved ones, and how we define our aesthetic. Venus rules Taurus and Libra, and is exalted in Pisces.
  • Scorpio is a fixed water sign ruled by the planet Mars. Scorpio is considered to be secretive, private, deep processing, intense, and passionate. Its symbol is the Scorpion and its glyph indicates the stinger of the scorpion’s tail.
  • Seven of Cups: Venus Ruling the Third Decan of Scorpio
  • The calendar dates, when the Sun passes through this decan each year, are approximately November 12-21.
  • Venus will pass through the third decan of Scorpio from Friday, December 28, 2018 at 2 a.m. to Monday, January 7, 2019 at 4:17 a.m.
  • Best times for ritual work: Friday, December 28, 2018 and Friday, January 4, 2019, during one of the planetary hours of Venus. I like the first date better for several reasons. The most significant is that December 28 has Venus trine to Mars, an aspect that might generally be avoided, but in this case it’s a mutual reception. That means that Venus is in Mars’ sign of rulership and Mars is in Venus’ sign of exaltation (and, intriguingly, he is in a decan he rules as well). By January, Mars will have moved into Aries. One other option to consider is the last Venus hour of the day, which is 3:36 to 4:48 p.m. Saturday morning, December 29. Venus will be on the ascendant at that time.
  • Whatever work you may or may not choose to do, over the course of the next six months or so, be sure to go outside during the hour or two before dawn, when you can see Venus, big, bright, and beautiful in the southeast.

Venus in Scorpio

The Seven of Cups from, left to right, Mythical Goddess Tarot, Bonefire Tarot, Infinite Visions Tarot, Everyday Witch Tarot, and The Druidcraft Tarot. The Seven of Cups: Venus in Scorpio symbolism addresses ideas ranging from pipe dreams, lost in fantasies, passionate yearning, to intense sexuality.

Venus is beautiful, sensual, affectionate, and playful. Scorpio is secretive, passionate, and prone to bursts of stinging vengeance. Venus is in her detriment in the sign of Scorpio; it’s one of the signs in which she’s 180 degrees opposite of her home base. But she rules this face of the sign. Types of rulership are often described in metaphors referring to being at home or away from home. The metaphor for rulership by face is being all alone in a foreign country with no friends or contacts, but managing to get by entirely through your own determination and self-reliance. When Venus is so far away from home, she has to dig into a part of her that she normally doesn’t share. Her sexuality, which by choice she is able to coyly veil, comes into play as her main power. What she as a rule finds distasteful suddenly becomes her carte blanche to get whatever she wants.

Image of  the Seven of Cups

Seven of Cups from the Rider Waite Smith Tarot by A. E. Waite and Pamela Colman Smith, Pamela-A edition.

The Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) image shows a silhouetted figure in the foreground reaching out toward seven golden goblets floating in a gray cloud. Each cup holds a temptation or threat. But what is the temptation for you, and what your threat? The lower left chalice holds a castle built high on a tor, which may influence one of the meanings ascribed to this card as “castles in the air.” The shadowy figure and the smoky mist might dissipate without warning. These dreams lack the foundation that could make them achievable goals.

Title of the Seven of Cups: Illusory Success

The image of the Seven of Cups reinforces the title of the card, “Illusory Success.” In fact, the title takes it one step further. Not only are our goals vapid and vaporous, but more worrisome, we have an unfounded confidence in our ability to achieve them. Or worse, we mistakenly believe we have achieved them. The success we claim is an illusion. The difference between “Illusory” and “Illusionary” is that in the former you are deceived, whereas in the latter you deceive others. Who are you fooling with your boasts of achievement?

The Astrology of the Seven of Cups

Seven of Cups from Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., 1978.

Venus basks in her indulgences, reclining in the plushness of Taurean opulence with friends, lovers, and others who value her partnership. When taken into Scorpio, luxury becomes lazy, spilling over into hedonism, gluttony, and intemperance. In fact, the Taurean keyword “luxury” derives from a word meaning “excess” and indeed went through a period in history where it referred to lechery or debauch, the Crowely-Harris Thoth keyword for this card. It seems reasonable that this Taurus association for Venus, when swung around to the opposite sign of Scorpio, would reclaim an older meaning.

When Venus enters the depths of Scorpio, ruled by Mars, a planet that governs self-identity and independence, she loses her connection to friends and lovers, drifting into the haze of dreams and imaginings. Her amorousness is squelched into one-sided lust, stridently striving for her own pleasure, lost from the influences of her rulerships: slow Taurean sensuousness, Libran give and take, or Piscean oneness. Scorpio rules the reproductive organs as well as the process of elimination. Venus, who measures what we find beautiful, when passing through Scorpio finds favor in filth. Libran Crowley approved and illustrated his card with oozing cups plopping into a cesspool.

Venus descends in Scorpio, but she does not lose her way. When in her role as morning star, as she is now, her Latin name is Lucifer, light-bringer. Psychoanalyst Carl Jung proposed the concept of the shadow, the rejected parts of us that we must learn to recognize and integrate for personal wholeness. In Scorpio, Venus shines her golden gleam into the dimmest parts of us, sees our lost beauty, and loves our pain. Venus in the sign of the Scorpion gazes into the gray mist, and peeping beyond vipers and dragons she spies our own preciousness, our radiant self. She leads us into the depths, but we must choose: refuse or reclaim. Taking what she inspires us to value, we find our own way up and out.

The Mythology of the Seven of Cups

Sophie Gengembre Anderson, “Scheherazade.” 1850-1900, oil on canvas, from the collection of The New Art Gallery Walsall, England.

A well-known story for the descent of the goddess into the underworld is the Sumerian story of Inanna. However, today the story that comes to mind for the Seven of Cups: Venus in Scorpio is the plight of the famous story-teller Scheherazade.

When the king, Shahryar, discovered that his wife had been repeatedly unfaithful to him, he killed her and all her lovers. He was so angry he vowed to marry a woman every day and the next morning kill her and marry a new one. Like so many decadent cultures, he quickly used up the natural resources of his kingdom, leaving only the two daughters of his most trusted adviser. The elder daughter, Scheherazade, had a plan and instructed her father to give her in marriage to the vengeful king.

She deviously plotted to entice and mesmerize the king, telling him a story every night, and then as the sky lightened toward dawn would protest that she could no longer go on, but must continue the story the next night. This clever cliff-hanger technique worked, and night after night she tantalized him, while morning after morning she avoided beheading. She continued this for 1,001 nights, after which she claimed she had no more stories. But her strategem worked and the king no longer wished harm to her or other women.

In this story, the beautiful and seductively compelling woman, Venus, is in the kingdom of the violent and vindictive man, Mars. She cannot rest in her comfort or rely on her good-natured affection, but must engage the Scorpionic techniques of manipulation and sexuality to protect herself and her sister.

Ritual for Seven of Cups: Venus in Third Decan of Scorpio

So far, we’ve outlined a general ritual, a phoenix ritual, and a candle magic ritual, the latter utilizing a color breathing meditation. I’ll provide the correspondences for you and let you develop your own ritual based on our previous examples.

Venus Correspondences

  • Orphic Hymn to Aphrodite; or choose from any of the Homeric Hymns here, here, or here.
  • Color: green
  • Number: 7
  • Incense: Rose, sandalwood, vanilla, benzoin
  • Stones and Metals: jade, emerald, malachite, peridot, aventurine, rose quartz, copper
  • Symbols: Rose, mirror, comb
  • Beverage: Rose tea, red wine. I usually use rose buds for tea, or a rose green tea blend, but I also like a lot of the Celestial Seasonings fruit blends, especially Raspberry Zinger, but also their apple, peach, or tangerine teas.
  • Food and Flavors: Apples, strawberries, oranges, cherries, figs, cardamom, vanilla, honey. I like to use the Cardamom Coffee Cake recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook, which if you don’t have, you can find reproduced online here. Also consult this article on Venus-ruled herbs.

If you have any question about developing your ritual, please leave them in the comments! I’d also love for you to share your experiences with this practice in the comments.

Upcoming Tarot Card Astrology Posts for Capricorn:

Two of Wands, to be published on Thursday, December 27, 2019

  • Two of Wands: Mars Ruling the First Decan of Aries
  • Mars moves from the last decan of Pisces, which he also rules, into the first decan of Aries on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2018 at 8 p.m. and stays there through January 15, 2019 at 3 p.m.
  • Best time for ritual work: We get three Tuesdays, the day of Mars, during this time period: January 1, 8, and 15. The January 1 date has nothing supportive to Mars, and also avoids anything detrimental. The 8th adds in a nice trine from Venus, but also a difficult square to Mercury, the planet of communication. The 15th adds generous Jupiter to the Mars/Venus trine for much support, but meanwhile Mars has also moved closer to a conflicted square with stagnant, disciplined Saturn. It’s as if the general is excited to promote you, but the sergeant doesn’t like you and puts up road blocks to hold you back. Ritual work should focus more on getting to know and connect with Mars, while not troubling him for help as he is dealing with his own difficulties.

Four of Pentacles, to be published on Thursday, January 3, 2019

  • Four of Pentacles: Sun Ruling the Third Decan of Capricorn
  • The Sun will pass through the last decan of  Capricorn between January 10, 2019 starting around 7 a.m. to January 20, 2019 at 1:59 a.m. The Sun will pass through a conjunction with Pluto and then a square to Uranus during this time.
  • Best time for ritual work: The day of the Sun is Sunday, of which there is only one during the time Sol is in this decan, Sunday, January 13, 2019. That day the aspects to Pluto and Uranus are both in full force, so keep your ritual work simple, practical, and down-to-earth, so as not to trigger backlash from either of these contrary planets.
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Seven of Cups: Venus in Scorpio

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