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.
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.