The Seven of Swords
Traditionally the reading of this septenary card can be rather pessimistic and challenging, despite its many positive attributes and messages.
In many ways, this deeply complex card has sadly been whittled down to a few rather crude meanings, an act of betrayal, deception or getting away with something sinister to offer just a few common interpretations, particularly from a Rider-Waite perspective, but this profound card is far more generous and giving than that.
One of the more interesting aspects of this colourful card, especially from a Thoth perspective, is the invitation to acknowledge our mental limitations and the challenges this brings.
For we’ve all experienced those times when learning something new, when we become increasingly aware that the subject we’re studying is far more involved than we initially thought. Leading to despondency and feeling overwhelmed, and if we’re not careful, self-doubt can begin to rear its ugly head.
In many ways, this much-misunderstood card perfectly describes the dominating effect of the subconscious upon the mind, advocated by the cards astrological attributions, the moon in Aquarius, expressing the illusory nature of thought and how we can become entangled in negative thinking that can unfortunately intimidate and overwhelm us.
For despite how real our thoughts may feel, this card invites us to carefully consider whether our challenges are environmental, so caused or influenced by the actions of others, or the more likely scenario of or own thoughts bubbling up from our subconscious, convincingly persuading us into the false state of self-doubt, bringing feelings of uncertainty or lack of conviction. An act of self-sabotage, even paranoia, with the devastating effect of stifling our confidence or limiting our potential and growth, the most dangerous illusion of all.