A woman waits with her eyes closed. All around her are shadows. Six swords bend and twist in front of her around a central straight sword that points upwards to where rays of light are bursting through the gloom.
The number 7 is a spiritual, sacred number. The 7's of the minor suits are related to the Chariot card. The Chariot relates to issues of control, trust and self awareness. The charioteer must learn to trust his inner vision in order to triumph over difficulties. The resolving of this inner conflict marks the end of the first initiation within the Major Arcane and creates the flow needed to move towards the second initiation, and the Justice card. Each of the four 7's reflect aspects of the Charioteer's lessons.
The sword cards belong to the element of air. This tells us that the aspects of the charioteer present in the 7 of swords are happening at a mental level, in relation to thoughts and thinking.
I've borrowed just a little from the Marseille tradition. My 7 of swords card is almost symmetrical. It contains one central sword that points upwards; the other 6 swords are bent and twisted around it. (In the Marseille tradition, the swords would be curved!) In the realm of air, 7 can become withdrawn, wrapped up in worry and fear. The 6 bent swords reflect the way that spiritual ideas and inspirations can become sources of fear and self doubt when they are not given outward direction. We end up beating ourselves up mentally over things we "should" or "ought" to do. The Upward pointing sword reflects the need to take action in order to move through the fears we have created for ourselves.
The woman has her eyes closed, reflecting how this is about mental processes. She has closed herself off to sources of inspiration, her closed eyes point downwards to the shadows before her. Above her head light is bursting through the gloom and its rays are lighting upon her face. If she would just open her eyes, she would see that there is always hope. She would be able to grasp the central sword and take the actions she needs.
The rays of light reflect the spiritual nature of the number 7, and also the light and hope at the end of the tunnel that this card promises.
The 7 of swords speaks about the things that we are afraid of. Some fears are very natural and healthy, indicating dangers we should rightly be wary of. These are the fears that keep us safe.
However, often many of our fears are self created. They are the things that prevent us from enjoying life to the full. Fear can make us cut ourselves off from the world and withdraw into ourselves. Fear can make us suspicious of others; we imagine thieves and imminent betrayals all around us. We begin to only see the bad in the world. We feel ourselves becoming paralyzed by the gloom we perceive.
The 7 of swords asks us to look at the ways in which we are limiting ourselves through the terrors of our own imaginations. It asks us to recognise what it is that prevents us from realizing our dreams and inspirations.
And then, this card asks us to open our eyes and see things as they really are. Not scary and dangerous after all, but full of possibility and hope. It is then that are able to take action!
Charcoal, chalk and a bit of tweaking with a scanner.
CharmingPixie, who also goes by the name of Anna, is descended from a long line of Irish whiskey drinking Folk Musicians. Her affair with tarot began when she was 14 years old. What began as an act of defiance and rebellion (think enthusiastic wafting of the death card in a Catholic High School!) has blossomed into a life long passion. She recently discovered the wonder of the Tarot of Marseille, within whose 78 pages she discovered that just like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," home was inside of her all along.
Go back to the project index, read the traditional card meaning, or get a free tarot reading with this deck.