Seven of Swords
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
— from As You Like It, by William Shakespeare
This is a first for us, since I started my Card of the Week in 2005. Not the most pleasant card in the deck, we see a young man rushing away from a military camp, carrying five swords, leaving two stuck in the ground behind him. He seems to be smiling, and looks over his shoulder in a way that indicates he is acting in haste and stealth. He seems rather pleased with himself. But mid-stride, he does not see what lies before him.
Interestingly, like last week’s offering, we have another of Pixie Smith’s “stage” cards, in that there is a horizontal line going across the width of the card. This hints that whatever is playing out before us is some kind of act, or that there is more going on than we (the audience) may know.
In the far left background, the soldiers of the camp are encircled around a fire. Who are they? What are they planning and who are they fighting?
Although the man in the foreground is clearly tiptoeing away with most of their weapons, we do not know who he is, or why he is stealing from them. Perhaps he is a deserter. Maybe he is a pacifist trying to prevent bloodshed.
As Tarot author Robert Place notes, “He is a thief, but the interpretation of his action depends on the nature of his motivation and the motivation of the army. Like numerous characters in plays, he may be a trickster hero. This card may be of dishonesty or of heroism.”
In any case, apparently he’s doing something he knows he shouldn‘t be doing, and is attempting to get away with it anyway.
While I would hope he is acting with noble intentions, it is also true that the road to hell can be paved with those good intentions. I am reminded of a message I received recently from the political action group, MoveOn.org. While the spotlight is on “Super Tuesday,” and all the media drama churning around Hillary, Obama, Mitt and John, we musn’t forget that a lame duck with a long pattern of stealth, deceit, lies and a fondness for war is still running the show. I also can’t help but think of the two swords left behind as the cheap payoff ($600) to “stimulate our economy,” after seven years of swindling us blind, and getting away with it.
All the world’s a stage, and this week I would encourage you to pay close attention to the actors. What is the real truth of the situation you are facing? Who has real integrity, and who is play-acting? What is being shown to you, and what is hidden? And, most of all, why?