The 7s in the Tarot: Our Values

7 tarotDespite some obvious differences amongst the 4 suits of the minor arcana, there are nonetheless commonalities amongst the suits for each number, since as a whole they take us on a journey from 1 (Ace) to 10.

Where we find ourselves in the 7s is interesting indeed. After some initial struggles (5s) and reminders about the right use of energy in that suit (6s), we cross a new bridge- and that is confrontation with our values. Before we can reach the final stages and the climax  of our journey, we must honestly appraise what we truly want and why.

7 of Wands: This is an interesting card that in the Rider Waite deck shows a man, seemingly stressed and off balance, warding away others from his high perch. Traditionally this card heralds competition from others and the need to ‘defend’ our position. It is also representative of the additional responsibilities and stresses that come with accomplishment and advancement, especially in ones career. So what is required by this card is an inventory of our true feelings about success, victory, and responsibility. Once one has reached a certain level of achievement, an artist for example, their lives are no longer simply about their craft- but they must also wear the hats of publicist, manager, accountant, etc of their own life. Is this is welcome advancement or a fearful one? That is where the learning of this card comes in. What is it about ‘reaching the next level’ that frightens you? Is it about additional demands? The encroachments of others? The imitation or possibly attacks by others? Is it fear of truly putting yourself out there? Are you willing to wear the many hats that are required of you now?

7 of Cups: One of the most evocative, and straightforward, cards in the deck, the seven of cups portrays seven tantalizing choices spilling out of goblets. At heart, our desires and values are emotional. What makes us feel good? This can be very different that what we THINK makes us feel good- as anyone who has eaten too many brownie can attest. But we have strong desires nonetheless, and they are often rooted in the value system of our background. Some families believe status is important, others that riches are the ultimate goal, etc. Are you still moving towards the goblet that you were programmed by early experience to prioritize? Or are you moving toward a different goblet? One that stirs your heart in the present moment. The truth is that we cannot see everything that is in each of the goblets, just as we cannot see what the future holds with any choice that we make. So the best that we can do is go in the direction of what our heart truly desires, rather than merely what we think we should do.

7 of Swords: This is a highly nuanced card with many fascinating interpretations. The image of a man sneaking away from a kind of encampment with an armful of swords, and several littered behind him, suggests alternately deception, abandonment and trickery. But there are deeper meanings when we consider that the swords is the suit of the mind, and mental thought processes. Just as we invariably accumulate material clutter in our lives, we also accumulate mental clutter in the forms of the ideas, thoughts, beliefs, prejudices and even mannerisms of those we interact with, many of them unconscious. What beliefs and ideas have you been carrying around that no longer serve you? Your arms (mind) may be overloaded with them without you even realizing! Just as the higher cards of this suit (8,9,10) tell a cautionary tale of how our minds can over-take our senses and begin to ‘run the show’, this card is a significant step before we get to that point. You can abandon here outdated ideas, and any other type of clutter, that truly belongs to someone else, and not you.

7 of Pentacles: Like many of the pip cards in the Pentacles suit this card has a calm, placid demeanor, yet as the man sits near his full crop of ripe pentacles he is looking away, an air of discontent on his face. He has clearly worked hard, but to what ends? He may or may not have a rich harvest on his hands (one of the traditional interpretations), but he has not been expending his energy on pursuits that stir his spirit, otherwise he would surely be in a more celebratory mood. This card is a wonderful reminder that ALL endeavors, big or small, personal or profession, require our precocious energy and resources. Are you giving your energy away to pursuits you think you ‘should’ do but don’t really want to? Are you toiling away at something so that ‘later’ you can do what you really want to do? You can probably feeling that nagging dissatisfaction from not following the true path of your heart. There is no need to despair, but rather remember that your energy is precious and spend some time reflecting on which direction is truly worth of it. Even if the harvest is smaller, it will surely be sweeter.