Disclaimer: This post is referencing the 7 of Swords interpretation based on the imagery of the RWS deck, and many of its artistic variants (some pictured). Also, I use a couple “colorful” words in here.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you one of my greatest foes (until recently, that is): The 7 of Swords.
I can’t clearly explain why this card never spoke to me very well in the past (although I do have some theories…more on that in another post), but I absolutely hated pulling it in a reading. I often found myself trying to figure out what I was “stealing” or “taking away” from my own…thoughts? The imagery wasn’t clicking for me, and focusing on that dude’s face just felt like a red herring. So I pulled back on my forced interpretations and started with the basic parts of the card.
Let’s break this down a bit, for easy interpretation: Swords is the suit of Air, representing thought, communication, planning. The number 7 in numerology is a time of seeking truth; understanding what lies beneath. That seems like a nice, “Hermit-“y interpretation of the 7 of Swords, doesn’t it? Looking for clarity, higher education, enlightenment? But NO, friends. This is the Swords suit. And much like one’s own thoughts—the more swords there are, the more complicated things become. Here is where the imagery of the 7 of Swords comes in.
Try and visualize this: Some cheeky little bastard hauling off a bunch of swords (can’t understand why he hasn’t sliced himself to bits after 3 steps), and dropping a couple behind him because he was too greedy with the heist. He looks behind him as if to say, “Meh, I still got 5. This is tits.” There’s pride all over his face because he did it on his own, there’s little regard for the consequences to come, and now he’s left his fingerprints at the scene of the crime. I mean, what’s he gonna do with all those swords? Juggle ‘em? Since his skin is apparently impervious to steel?
Therein lies the crux of this card meaning. Acting without thinking or planning. Impulse. This card can be a warning to those looking to make a particular move. It reminds us to slow down, and think about why we’re making our choices. Have we thought this through, completely? Do we have a solid plan? A backup plan? Perhaps we’re jumping to conclusions about a particular person without knowing all of the facts, or maybe even claiming defeat before the battle is over. This card represents clouded judgment, possibly even a lack of perspective because nobody else is involved, and making choices we could regret later (9 and 10 of Swords, anyone?)
With the above meaning as a basis, let’s put it into action:
Love: If you pull the 7 of Swords for a Love Reading, and the querent has just started seeing someone, maybe it’s a warning to not rush blindly into the throes of infatuation. Make sure to consider the head as well as the heart.
Career: If it’s for a Career-based reading—depending on the question—it could be a reminder to the querent to think twice before they walk out on a job, or confront a colleague or boss about a problem. As a rule, careful planning before making a major career move is imperative. Knee-jerk reactions often leave us in a more difficult position.
Reversal (if you read them): If it shows up as a reversal, then perhaps it is a call to be impulsive. To stop thinking, and just take the damn swords. Sometimes we need to shake things up to get out of our own cycles of complacency or self-doubt. Obsessing over details can be just as bad as not planning at all (TRUST ME ON THIS ONE, YOU GUYS). Or it could point out a hidden desire to be reckless, but the querent’s own worries or reliance on others are holding them back.
Alternatively, a reversal could be a bigger caution, as if to say, “you are really gonna regret this, bro.” Maybe you should seek some outside help from a trusted friend or mentor before taking the leap.
So if this card is one of your “little *uckers” (as I lovingly like to call them), spend some time with it using an exercise I love to employ:
Crafting a simple spread of about 3 or 4 cards, use the 7 of swords in one of the spaces along with other cards you pull from the deck. Each time you pull cards for the spread, put the 7 of Swords in a different position. Flip it. Flip it again. How does the card play out in the past, present or future? How does it manifest in card positions such as “outside influences”, “outcome”, “advice” or “spirit”? The more you see it in context, the easier it will become to get the message. And eventually, your problem card will become one of your “little buddies”!
Remember, I never intend for my interpretations to be exhaustive; merely a jumping off point for your own work with tarot. If you see this card in a different light, run with it.
As is the way with my posts: Take what feels right for You. And above all else, trust your Own intuition!
Until Next Time,
PS: Yes, the title is a reference to a quote by my hero, Bruce Campbell in “Ash vs. the Evil Dead”.