Card Meanings,  Cups,  Sacred Circle

Journey Into: 7 of Cups

Written by: Emma Sunerton-Burl

Continuing her series, Emma Sunerton-Burl looks into the cards of The Sacred Circle Tarot, by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason, published by Llewellyn:

I look at the card and see the hops at the top of the card and some ‘almost not there’ cups arranged in two neat rows. There is a stone circle at the bottom of the card; this is the Rollright stones in Oxfordshire.

I walk into the card.

I hear the words: “Nothing is what it appears to be.” I look up to see if I can see the cups. I can see them suspended beneath the hops and I want to reach out and hang from them – yet I simultaneously know they can not hold my weight, but the desire to try anyway is there.
Interesting energy I think. Instead I call up to them – “Why do you call me to lean on you – hang from you?” I ask.

“We are here, but not. We represent the astral world and the thought forms people put out to you that you can take on as your own. As you pick up on these things it is tempting to not see the true source and to take within yourself others feelings, thoughts, wishes as if they are your own. We are showing you how this temptation occurs and how we are teaching you of the strength of your own will. To know yourself fully protects you from the illusions others would have you see. It protects you from the illusions you would like to see of yourself also. We call you to hold onto us – to see us as strong and sturdy. We have this potential, to be the strength you seek, if we were fully present in your realm but you have to perceive us in two realms at once to see our strength.”

“In the same way people have the Light within them – you can see the potential they can become if they allow themselves to fully be on the Earth with their full spiritual power. However many do not have the courage to be all they can be at this time and so herein lies the illusion. You can perceive them in another realm, but do not be deceived that they can actually be this in this realm.”

“We arise in relationships where you are allowing the deception to continue, for fear of seeing your own Light and what it can do and be on this plane – so you have attracted those who also have the potential. You allow yourself to feel their potential real rather than making your own so.”

“We challenge you to resist the illusion and to create your own reality. Bring your soul parts together and really be here. Do not fear your Light – it will not hurt you. The truth sets you free. The more you run from the truth of your feelings, your situation and the implications this brings, the more you will delve deep into delusion and have to reach the bottom of the pool to find your way out.”

I see at this point a deep, dark, pool of water and sense a diving into it, into the deep darkness until I can touch the bottom. It is almost only at this point that I truly know my beliefs to be false. So I can now turn around and face the light and move myself towards it. I recognise this as a process of healing – only occurring when the person has found the lie harder to live with than the fear of facing the truth. I know this card is telling of this turning point, and that it can be found sooner by courage and will.

“Thank you.” I say to the cups.

I turn to the hops:

“We can delude you with our intoxication, we can help you sleep when you are in turmoil. We do what we do, it is you that is in charge of what you do with us.”

I get a sense that they are saying they can be both medicinal and a drug – an addiction, like the addictions of alcohol and other drugs. To numb the pain for a moment can be of use, but when we have forgotten what pain we are numbing and are just needing to numb it all, then addiction can take its toll; the dark side has more control.

“Everything in moderation. Use your own love for yourself, to guide you in how far you need to go to make yourself well. For even those who choose addiction have a reason, the healing can only occur when you stop pretending you don’t need healing. So addiction shows as a symbol of that pain that needs to be faced. As you face it so you heal all the pain of the past and can begin afresh. We will help those who ask but we will not take responsibility for how people choose to use our healing power.” They continue.

“Thank you. That is interesting.” I say.

I move forward to the stones. I approach them in deference and walk into the centre when I feel I have been given leave to. I feel the circle about me. I ask of them:

“What do you represent here?”

“We are the tool of the will. You can use our strengths in ritual and turn your life around any time you want to. Allow us to take your shadows, show them to you and help you face the un–face-able. We are safety and support but we will not hold things from you. You need to see the truth and through invoking the energy of truth with us here; we can bring you back to the light. You need to be willing to see the truth of who you are, and the roots of your pain in order to gain this Light again.”

“You make your intention with us here and we will make your intention known. We are used for letting go and for releasing the impact the past has on you and we are here to help you know your own truth.”

“Thank you.” I say. I am shown situations currently where I have been deluding myself and I see how I do this. It is useful.

I walk to the other side of the circle and I talk the to trees.

“What is your role here?” I ask.

“We are the symbol of protection and of strength. When someone gets this card it is a card to show they have the strength to face the truth of a situation and that they can indeed hold strong to themselves even in the face of strong opposition from those who do not want the veil to be lifted. We are protecting the circle of truth-seeing, we are protecting the energies that build here for healing.
Our roots go down into the ground holding us strong; our branches reach up to the sky and to spirit; we sway in the wind. Thus we are strong, as the person is strong when rooted in themselves and able to be flexible enough to sway in the winds of change. We are what the person is aspiring to. We are also what is creating the space for them to explore themselves safely and without being watched by forces not welcomed.”

I thank the tree and can feel it as a nourishing protective force to help someone feel safe enough to remove the delusions from their lives if they choose.

I stand back from the card and can hear the card as a whole speaking:

“We offer the person an opportunity to change their patterns of behaviour through their intention. We are speaking of facing emotional issues in order to make changes that will bring increased harmony, truth and safety into their life. The person needs to watch what is theirs, and what is being asked of them from someone else. The trees will help them be centred and hear only their own voice and not that projected onto them from another.”

“If reversed then someone is stuck in this process and likely has an addiction to something they are finding hard to face. Also they perhaps are so worried about where they will get love from that they stay in situations that are painful and difficult in some way. It is also possible that it is a time of over indulgence that will come to an end but despite their own feeling it needs to end immediately. They continue on in this way of being through a feeling of obligation to another person or tradition.”

“The will and intention to change is needed to right this card and then the courage to face the emotions that need to be released to make the change permanent.”

“Thank you.” I say It feels like quite a hard hitting card, yet I know there is some deep healing that can come from going through the energy of this card.


Emma welcomes any comments on this article or the visualisations you do following this method. Email her on

Emma works as an intuitive psychic tarot reader and runs one to one online training courses on reading with the Thoth tarot deck using a unique blend of intuition and psychological techniques. This has now been extended to working intuitively with RWS style decks too. She also mentors other professional and non-professional tarot readers. She offers visualisation MP3 downloads for intuition development, tarot readings F2F, telephone or distance, and healing – see her website for details:

Emma has a Bsc in Psychology and is a trained counsellor, counselling supervisor and trainer. She integrates this experience in her Tarot work, and in her self-written training courses for personal development, Tarot, and Tarot mentoring.

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