Ah, the 7 of Swords. This is a card that I often struggle with – it’s long been one of my least favourite in the deck! Through my practice, though, I’ve come to learn that the messages we least want to receive are the ones we most need to hear. The 7 of Swords came up as my “theme” card for 2017, and here it is again today, asking me (and you!): where can I be more honest with myself today, and in my life in general?
In this card’s image, we see someone apparently sneaking away from an enemy camp, carrying five swords in his arms. He has one sword that’s actually his, and – oops! – in his haste to get away unnoticed, he’s dropped another one. While his intentions are good – he’s taking the swords so the enemy can’t fight – really, his actions are putting everyone involved at a disadvantage: the “enemy” can no longer take any action at all towards a solution, and in stealing the swords (and dropping one) our protagonist has been deceitful and will certainly be found out. While the conflict that started it all was unpleasant, the choice to be dishonest creates a new level of struggle, and one that can only be resolved through admitting the wrongdoing and returning agency to everyone involved – each needs their own sword. It is so important to consider every perspective when deciding on a course of action!
As you go through your day, do you ever notice yourself going against the little voice in your head, then wish you hadn’t? At that point, do you even wonder *why* you didn’t listen? That was the 7 of Swords voice speaking: that bit of ego that assures you everything will be fine if you take matters into your own hands. The truth is, we’re never acting alone, either in terms of the other people in our lives whom our decisions directly affect, or in terms of our Higher Selves where that initial little voice comes from. The lesson in the 7 of Swords is to listen to that voice, learning to be honest with yourself and your world from the inside out! You always know the right thing to do, it’s a matter of choosing which little voce to listen to. The trick is hearing the softer voice, the whisper of truth, over the much louder and easier to follow ego-voice. The 7 of Swords is the decision between taking time to think and communicate, or acting now and dealing with the repercussions. Either way, you must be honest with yourself about the outcome you chose in that decision-making moment!
I like to read the “Shadow” and “Higher Self” cards after shuffling for a reading, as they tend to provide some deeper insight into the message being read. With today’s 7 of Swords we have the 2 of Swords reversed and the 2 of Pentacles: today, being honest with ourselves and others will help us loosen the grip we’ve had on our “alone time” lately, that feeling of being closed off and not even wanting to connect outwardly. This was important at the time because we were all going through some deep and dark mental currents, but now everyone is feeling better and ready to reconnect. Indeed, while we felt like we were losing our footing really we were learning to regain our balance in unfamiliar surroundings. Being honest about our needs, especially in terms of support in the physical/material realm, will help us find that balance and begin working towards feeling a little less burdened, like we can manage even when our hands are full! Today we are asked to look at what is occupying us, whether we can delegate any tasks and responsibilities, and most importantly, what needs to be admitted in order to truly move forward to a place where communication lines are open and everyone is feeling “heard.”
It’s time to come back out into the light of day! Admitting where you’ve been wrong will allow you to make a new start, one which finds you standing tall once more and receiving the help you needed all along. We have to address the things we don’t like before we can truly enjoy the things we do! It won’t be easy, but after the initial pain of “getting out of your own way,” you’ll find everything falls into place far more easily than trying to manage everything on your own!
Tarot Mucha. LWB: Lunaea Weatherstone. Artwork: Giulia F. Massaglia. Torino, Italy: Lo Scarabeo, 2014. © Lo Scarabeo Italy.