The Lessons of the Sevens in the Tarot

One thing that I love about the Tarot is that the deeper you go into the esoterics, the deeper your understanding of the card meanings become. The more you meditate on the cards and their correspondences, the deeper your understanding becomes.

This was hard for me to understand at first. At first I approached the tarot cards the way a lot of people do – memorizing assigned meanings for all of the cards. Except that some of those meanings didn’t resonate with me. Then I found a system that was a bit different, a bit more intuitive. It resonated more at first, but the more I studied, the less it resonated. The meanings I was learning from other people seemed too easy, too simple. They didn’t seem to take into account all of the imagery and correspondences. But there are so many correspondences to each tarot card. It would be pretty difficult to take all of them into account every time you talk about a card. And I fully believe that anyone’s interpretation of any card will shift and change the more they study and work with the tarot.

It took me nearly a week of study and contemplation before I felt ready to write about the sevens, and this does not count all of the study and contemplation I have done before trying to write this post. I feel like there still might be some things that I am missing. I’m looking at the sevens in the Tarot because they can give us clues into how we are meant to work with are card of 2023, the Chariot. I covered the Chariot in my last post, but the short version is we take the information we learned about what is important to us from our time in Lovers energy in 2022, and we figure out how to move forward with it. Of course, there is more nuance than this, but that is the short version.

So of coure the sevens follow the sixes in the tarot, and the thing about the six is that it is a number of balance and harmony. Six-sided shapes are an important part of sacred geometry; the sixth Sephirah on the Tree of Life means Beauty and is right in the middle of the Tree. But then we come to the seven and that balance becomes just a little bit off. It’s hard to tell how to move forward from this point. So the seven is the issue we face when we lose the balance of the six, and how we need to approach that.

The thing is, the seven has its own beauty, too. There are seven days in a week, seven notes in a musical scale, seven visible planets, seven colors in the visible spectrum. In each of these examples, the seven is at the end of a cycle and there is a bit of discomfort when we hang out in that seven, until we get to the eight. So even though seven holds all of these mystical properties, it is a place that is at an end, and we need to find our way beyond it.

Because the Chariot is about finding a new vehicle for that journey, the sevens are about finding new methods to use on that journey. In the blog post on the Chariot, I talked about how the Cancer aspect of the Chariot asks us to lean into vulnerability because that is the only way we will find our new vehicle for moving forward. The sevens help us with this by showing us how to move through these spaces of vulnerability. Change is hard, and as we work toward shifting our priorities so that the things that are important to us have the top spots in our lives, we move through areas of discomfort because we are letting go of familiar habits and routines to make room for new ones, and that can put us in a vulmerable state.

The Seven of Wands

The Seven of Wands card shows a figure on top of a hill, using a wand to seemingly fight off others with wands that are standing below the hill. We can’t actually see the others from our vantage-point, and in some interpretations I have heard it said that perhaps the person is fighting a threat that is not real. This interpretation certainly has its place, because all the time as humans we face fears and perceived threats that are not actually real. I think there is more to this card, however, because of the correspondence with the Sephirah of Victory. If the person were on level ground with his opponents, he would probably lose since the odds are not in his favor. However, this person has found a new vantage point from which to fight, and the point they have chosen is higher than that of those who are attacking. This could speak of a need to take on a new point of fiew in order for the odds of victory to be greater. This works with the Chariot by showing us that we need to look at something differently or from a different angle in order to be successful.

The Seven of Cups

In the Seven of Cups, a person is confronted with seven cups, each of them containing a different thing. It seems to be a situation where the person has to choose one of the cups. But there are seven of them! In order to figure out the pros and cons of each of the choices, it would take forever. And what if you choose wrong? Is there any such thing as a wrong choice? This is all so overwhelming!

It is awesome when we have so many choices available to us, but sometimes what tends to happen is that we move back and forth between this choice and that one and we never actually settle on one choice because we are too busy sampling our options. For me, this has gotten even worse with social media coming into the picture. I get caught up in what other people are doing and posting, forgetting that maybe I already tried that and it didn’t work out too well, or maybe even that it took that person ten years to get where they are at, but they make it look so easy so it must not be that hard. When there are so many choices flashing at you so quickly and loudly, it is easy to get caught up in all of them and never settle on one.

But then, do we really need to settle on someone else’s path? Not all of these cups may even be for us. They are nice to look at, but some of them don’t fit us. The ones that might fit us – do we really want to choose any of them?

The answer is to stop looking outside of ourselves for the answer and start looking inside. What is our heart telling us that it truly wants? What is ours to pursue? What is accessible for us? What lights us up? It might not be one of thsoe cups. It might be something else entirely. But we have to take the time to look inside and listen to figure out what it is.

The Seven of Swords

In this card we see a person who looks to be leaving a fair. They are holding on to five swords, and two more are in the ground behind them They don’t seem all that concerned that they are leaving behind two swords. Maybe they won the swords at the fair. I wonder what this person is going to do with all of those swords? They’re all the same, and he is carrying all of them, but are more swords making him a more fearsome opponent? He can’t even carry all of those swords, much less fight with them. Perhaps he needs to rethink his strategy.

Just as collecting all the swords in the world won’t make you a better or more fearsome fighter, collecting ideas about how something will get done does not get it done. The key is to put into practice the ideas that you are thinking about in order to see whether they will work.

Another point of this card is that these swords were apparently won at a fair. It takes thinking outside the box to win anything at a fair, and seven swords is a pretty large take-away from a fair. He definitely wouldn’t have been able to win by doing things the way everyone else did them. So this card tells us that our path needs to include thinking about things in a new way, from a different point of view. Then once we come up with the ideas, we need to put them into practice.

The Seven of Pentacles

The image for the Seven of Pentacles shows a person leaning on a gardening tool, looking hopefully? forelornly? at a plant that has seven pentacles. The look on the gardener’s face in the Smith-Rider-Waite deck is interesting to me. I tend to typically use one of three decks for readings, and the other decks are Smith-Rider-Waite based. However, the other two decks show this person as happpy, seemingly proud of what they have accomplished. I can’t say that the figure on the Smith-Rider-Waite card looks proud. He looks like he is waiting for the pentacle fruits to become ripe. One has to wonder about his patience level also, because one of the pentacles is on the ground with a couple of leaves that are the same size and shape as the ones on the plant. Did he get over-eager and harvest that one too early?

This card calls on us to be patient. We have planted the seed and it has grown. It continues to grow and to need tending. When we see a plant so close to ripeness, our instinct may be to go ahead and harvest. But it might not be ready for us yet. We need to wait until the fruit reacyes full ripeness. This requires a lot of listening on our part. Listening to our intuition, listening to Spirit, not focusing quiet so much on the doing at this point, but on the listening.

Moving Forward

I hope that these lessons from the Sevens are helpful as you journey your way through the year with the Chariot. If you have any more insights about these cards, please let me know in the comments. I love to hear other interpretations.

Two of Wands: Mars in Aries

Astrology dice showing the glyphs for Mars and Aries

I have been extremely interested in the Golden Dawn astrological correspondences to the Tarot cards ever since I heard that such a thing existed. As I have done some research into the correspondences, I have found that they add depth to the card meanings for me. This astrological year I am hoping to cover those card meanings, but there are a lot of cards, so let’s see how I do. Each card corresponds to a certain planet in a certain sign. In a later post I will outline how these signs and planets are assigned. I just learned that myself, and I have found it fascinating.

Since the sun is in the sign of Aries at the moment it seems like a good time to cover the cards that correspond to Aries, which are the Two, Three, and Four of Wands. Today I am going to write about the Two of Wands.

Two of Wands from the Smith-Rider-Waite deck

The Two of Wands can sometimes be hard to interpret, especially since the Two of Wands looks pretty similar to the Three of Wands. The Smith-Rider-Waite Tarot shows a figure who is standing on what might be a balcony. He is holding a globe and one of the wands, looking out over the land to some water.

Two of Wands from the This Might Hurt Tarot Deck. By Isabella Rotman thismighthurttarot.com

In the This Might Hurt Tarot by Isabella Rotman, there is a woman sitting on the hood of a car. The car sits in front of a body of water and the woman is looking intently at a map.

Diving In

In order to talk about the Two of Wands, we first need to step back and talk about the Ace of Wands. Wands energy is all about movement, passion, and our creativity on fire. The Ace comes to us as an invitation to step into our creative fire. It could be a passion project calling to us. It could be that we have had this great idea for so long and we just need the fire and the motivation to step out into our power and work toward that goal. So the Ace asks us to look within and find that power and that motivation to move forward.

But then we come to Two of Wands, and we have to find a way to channel this fiery energy. There is a reason why the glyph for Mars is an arrow pointing up. It takes the energy of fiery Aries and channels it in a certain direction.

And the twos in the Tarot are an invitation for us to pause. All of the twos ask us to pause in some way. The Two of Wands is asking us to pause in this energy, this invitation to do and be and create, and to come up with a plan for what that is going to look like. We think and talk about Mars being the warrior planet, but if the warrior goes to war without a plan, he is going to lose the war. So the best way to channel the fiery Aries energy is to plan where to concentrate it.

So the Two of Wands is this pause in between touching in with our passion and actually doing something with it. It is a space of planning, setting goals, and basically mapping out how you are going to move forward with all of the wonderful creative energy that you have.

So how is the Two of Wands showing up in your life? Let me know in the comments.

Entering Gemini Season

On Wednesday, the sun leaves the fixed earth sign of Taurus and enters the mutable air sign of Gemini. In the northern hemisphere we have been deep in the throes of a spring that has been fairly mild where I live. We will be entering into an energy of change, from being seated in spring to beginning the transition into summer. Those in the southern hemisphere will be experiencing a similar change, from the throes of fall into the transition to winter.

Gemini season also brings with it a restlessness that only air signs can bring. Gemini is the air sign of air signs, the restlessness of air combined with the changeability of mutable energy. Each of these energies are upward bearing, causing our thoughts and actions to sometimes be unfocused and scattered. This type of energy is very different from the Taurus energy we are leaving: downward-bearing, earth-bound, focused on the comfort of the concrete and material.

As the sun enters Gemini, pay attention to how the energy changes your thought processes. Gemini is all about problem-solving, analyzing, and learning about new ideas. You might find yourself more in your head than usual, and you might be bouncing from idea to idea.

Gemini is ruled by Mercury, which corresponds to communication. While paying attention to your thought processes, you can also pay attention to how you communicate those thoughts to others. Is your communication as scattered as your thoughts are? What are some things you can do to help your focus? How can you convey your thoughts and ideas in a way that is meaningful to others?

Physically, Gemini corresponds to the hands, arms, and lungs. We see some of this correspondence play out in the way Gemini is related to Mercury and communication. Our hands are our most-used tools, so you can also pay attention to how you use tools to help you to communicate your ideas to others, or how they help you make your thoughts and ideas more concrete. Are there tools that will better serve you in these areas? Is there some work you could be doing with your hands that might bring you a measure of peace during this crazy time, like a hobby? Are there herbs you can use as tools to increase your lung health, especially during this lung-centered pandemic?

Gemini and the Tarot

Gemini is associated with the Lovers card in the Tarot. Most people associate the Lovers card with relationships and finding love, or with commitments of some kind. I have never found this definition of the card to resonate with me, not because I don’t have relationships or believe them to be important, but because I don’t believe them to be so important as to warrant a card all about them. One thing I have learned from my Tarot teacher, Lindsay Mack, is that Tarot is for everyone. If there is a card definition that could leave out an entire section of people, then that definition needs to be revisited, and I think that this card is an example of that. One of the best podcasts of Lindsay’s that I have ever listened to explains that you are your own lover. Your soul desires a relationship with you. I believe that is a much better definition to this card, especially considering that there are so many of us, myself included, that are so disconnected from our bodies and souls, living up in our brains. This is what our society asks us to do every day – it is actually how we are educated, to look at things from a brain-focused lens, but the Lovers asks us to step away from that lens and reconnect with who we truly are on a soul level. This Gemini season might be a good time to meditate on the Lovers card and what it means to us, and find out who we are on the soul level and not just on the brain level, which is how everyone outside of us knows us. We use that identity so much, and a lot of us identify with that exterior identity more than we do our eternal soul identity simply because we have not taken the time to get to know ourselves on that level. Through the Tarot, Gemini season asks us to reacquaint ourselves with our soul identity.