Debauch: Corruption, Overindulgence, and Fantasy
The Seven of Cups. Debauch. Corruption. Indecency. Overindulgence. Fantasy. Dissipation. Options. Profanity. The Seven of Cups corresponds to the Sefirot of Netzach; Bliss or degenerate weakness. The Seven of Cups very clearly illustrates the “degenerate” aspect of Netzach; debauchery is by definition degenerate. At the Sefirot of Netzach, the energy of the Suit of Wands weakens and becomes twisted, so that its most degenerate and weakest side is shown. The energy of the suit up until this point as been about emotions, pleasure, and desire. This card represents the worst, most degenerate and horrifying aspects of these energies in the weakness of Netzach. Harmony becomes a harmony maintained by false pretenses; Corruption. Satisfaction is taken to the extreme and becomes Overindulgence. The simple joy of life becomes so great that it transcends not only simplicity, but also reality, to become Fantasy. This card represents the ideas shared by wealthy elite with no regard for those below them, who isolate themselves in a world of their own making devoid of any semblance to the outside reality. They live in a fantasy in which their every desire is more than attended to. This card is profane and leering; it represents depths of pleasure that are indecent and often amoral. One could argue that wealthy clientele practicing S&M exemplify the energies of this card exceedingly well; they descend to profane, indecent, and overindulgent methods to live in a pornographic fantasy. This card also can represent the availability of many options before the querent; however, remember that debauchery can often blind you to the outside world, and so often only one choice – the wrong one – will be visible.
The Rider-Waite art shows a man standing before seven cups, each one promising him a prize of some sort. He seems overwhelmed (a nod to overindulgence) and confused by the amount of choices he has before him. Some are good prizes and others bad; this cards association with choice comes from this art. The Thoth art, on the other hand, stresses the indecent, corrupt element of the card; the flowers have wilted due to a lack of care, and the water seen in the other Cups, previously pure or even shining with an inner light, has turned green with corruption and putrescence. The card resembles to me a melting candelabra.
In a reading, this card serves as a warning to insure that you do not take more than you need, and asks you to reassess your relationship with reality. What role does corruption or profanity play in your life? Indecency? Have you suddenly been given many choices? Reversed, this card’s energies are twisted, and may ask you to look for corruption in places you might not expect it, or perhaps is trying to tell you that your reality is fantasy and your fantasy reality.