Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Tarot Card of the Week – Jan. 2-8, 2012: The Seven of Swords

Choosing right over wrong, ethic over convenience, and truth over popularity … these are choices that measure your life. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.
~ Michael Moore

The Tarot now gives us our first card for 2012.  Will it be the theme of the year?  I certainly hope not, for the shifty thief of the Seven of Swords comes calling this week.

Smug in his stealth, he tiptoes away with his loot, while in the distance, the soldiers around the campfire are unaware of his actions.

We do not know his motivation, but he is certainly pleased with himself.  This is the only card in the R-W-S Swords suit infused with sunny yellows. But although he may have pulled a fast one for now, the thief may not really be as clever as he thinks he is.

As one of Pamela Colman Smith’s “stage cards,” (where there are horizontal lines that hint the figures are on a theatre stage), there may be an act of some sort going on. All is not as it seems. As we witness this scene, what drama is being played out for us?

The Swords suit would suggest that this theft is most likely to do with words, ideas, or attitudes. This is a card that would come up if someone was manipulating the truth or harming another’s reputation.

The Seven of Swords is often about lying, but is rarely about total falsehood. We can see that there are two Swords left behind, so it is most likely there is partial truth, making the lies more plausible.  And destructive.

This could therefore indicate the ways people spin the truth to suit their agenda, or even trick themselves into believing their own claims.

This card reminds me of an actual person in the Tarot community that has been creating a lot of heartache, anger, and ill-will recently.  Alas, there is, in our professional circle, a published Tarot author who is known for her grievous Seven of Swords behavior, right down to the smirk on her face.

She exults in half-lies, vicious gossip, and she especially enjoys hurting people.  In fact, backstabbing, slander, and bullying are her stock in trade. Like most bullies, if she is called on her behavior, she claims to be the victim while becoming even more destructive and malevolent.

But just like the Seven of Swords, despite getting away with her crimes for now, she is running with exposed blades in her fingers. Sadly, she has ensured that she will never be invited to warm herself at the fires of the community camaraderie she pretends to despise. And as she laughs over her shoulder, she is completely unaware of where she is going.

Does this remind you of someone in your circle?  Perhaps someone is taking credit for knowledge they have not earned; or gaining status based on illusion, theft, or charm. Such guile can deeply compromise the ability of any victims to defend themselves.

But this is only one act in the play, and Pamela Colman Smith shows us that the thief is already on his or her way to a painful fall.

It is also interesting to note that the timing of this card coincides with the first primaries and pre-election intensity cranking up full scale in the U.S. this week.  Lies, half-lies, and very stretched truths are already flying like a snowflakes in a blizzard.

Will the great democracy and open society that the United States has stood for remain by the time this year is over?  By the November elections, will our nation’s integrity be intact?

On a more personal level, this may warn of our own unwillingness to scrutinize someone or something that does not possess the honor we would have hoped. In my experience, it is the most kind-hearted that are the least willing to consider they may have overestimated the trustworthiness of another.

But this is exactly what people of ill-intent count on. Confrontation is no fun, especially when it is facing down someone who has no qualms about causing pain or subverting the truth.

This week, be sure to candidly examine your own actions and attitudes. Given some conflicted situation, there could be a temptation to stretch the truth or tell ourselves that the ends justifies the means.

But remember, when we travel the path of integrity, we never have to look back.

Is there a chance that someone else is showing you a false persona? What glamour spell may they have cast, which deceives and deflects the real truth? What unsavory energy has been allowed to enter your camp?

Who or what is about to steal off with your valuable idea, project, or reputation?

And what are they leaving intact, in order to cover their tracks?

What can we do about such situations? Should we defy this behavior, or do we just wait and hope they will trip themselves up?  When people seem to get away with unethical behavior, where will they stop?

At least keep asking yourself — what is being shown to you; what is kept hidden? And why?  Have the courage to seek the real truth in the dramas you are facing.

Sometimes it falls to us to sound the alarm. For when you or those you care about are in doubt or in danger, who shall issue the challenge, “Halt! Who goes there?”

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  • January 2, 2012, 12:52 pm mel

    yes this card reminds me of certain characters.
    have met plenty of them (friends, co workers, bosses, even acquaintances and relatives) and I used to play the same game as good. especially at employment environment, they call it office politics. I’d call it work politics because backstabbing happens also outside the office.
    but I know now Karma is real. Next time someone plays this game I will leave him/her to their own demise and kick them out of my life. Everything starts within, I can only change myself.

  • January 2, 2012, 2:36 pm Athene Noctua

    Oh Beth Owl-this is so true. I am shop steward, and we have a new employee for about a year, who loves to STIR UP TROUBLE. This person is overly familiar with their supervisor, in fact most of the office suspects they are dating, but we have no concrete proof and this person loves to spread rumors. I overheard this person in the back talking about some type of new training and finally spoke up, saying that wouldn’t happen without the Unions input as it would totally change a job classification and would require higher compensation. This person claimed they were only interested in helping the rest of the staff w/ this training and not more money. My response was you might not want more money, but I am sure some, if not all of your co-workers could use it. Then I asked this person where this information was coming from, and the person got really vague about it and quit talking to me.

    Things at work are so horrible and strife filled. It is an environment seething w/ negativity and resentment. Most of these people have worked together for 15+ years, and take group vacations together, etc. This person is targeting older co-workers, basically trying to force out anyone they consider to be a “poor worker”, though this person is so busy talking and spreading rumors they often don’t complete their own tasks.

    This is all coming to a head, in a very unpleasant way, and as Shop Steward I am in the thick of it, and I fear the resolution will not be pleasant, as this person will use anything and any lie in their power to stay employed, even at the expense of others, and always claims they are the victim of their co-workers negativity and gossip. I am hoping for the best and to find the best way to deal with this. The good news is the Chief Steward is stepping in to help and one of the upper managers is very concerned and has already started coming down on this behavior.

    I hope Instant Karma catches up w/ this person soon!

  • January 2, 2012, 2:55 pm Terry

    Hi Beth,
    Perhaps, in following the Hierophant’s message, this seven of swords is our wonderful reminder of the power of our words and thought forms for this new world we are co-creating. Perhaps a reminder not to loose sight of our responsibility for our own thoughts and words… the thought form energy we send out, which in turn manifests energy for good or ill… we can choose to become our own thief of our creative possibilities or the guardian of the power of our thought forms and words….

    Perhaps it is our reminder not to give thoughts/energy/power to the dramas going on around us… but to disengage with forgiveness, love and gratitude for what we may learn and hold fast to the integrity and creativity we can model…


  • January 2, 2012, 3:06 pm Rio

    I’ve never understood the “thief” depiction of this card. The protagonist is stealing weapons. He is cleverly preventing the loss of life and limb. Through his coyote-like stealth, he has stopped a tragedy. And he’s having fun to boot. Try as I might to see the traditional interpretation of this card, I just can’t.

  • January 2, 2012, 5:20 pm Beth

    Athene Noctua – Ouch!!! This sounds incredibly toxic and painful. Like you, I’ve endured a lot of situations that, as Mel also notes, are especially common in office politics, spending more time and energy than I wish I had, waiting for culprits to get caught.

    Unfortunately, they can cause a lot of damage before karma catches up to them. You really have my sympathies on this, dear one! I’ll be sending good energy for discernment and correction that benefits the highest good .. SOON!

    Terry… that is beautiful and brilliant! I love it! Yes! Thank you so much for this inspiring interpretation.

    Rio .. You are make an excellent (pardon the pun!) point, as even Arthur Waite never specifically said this was a thief. Just “a man in the act of carrying away five swords rapidly..” And on some past occasions, I, too, have had this feeling about it, as if he could be a peace activist perhaps.

    It is true we are unable to tell his motives, but neither do we know the motives or purpose of the army encamped. And by your own admission, he is stealing, even if it is for a nobler cause.

    Alas, I think most thieves believe their cause for taking what is not theirs is in some way justified.

    True, here we do not know whether he is a good guy or not so good, but he is playing a dangerous and careless game with these Swords – especially as they are issues around words, information, memory, facts, decisions, discernment, and communication. He would be wise to hold them more carefully and watch where he is going.

  • January 2, 2012, 5:43 pm Aphrodisiastes

    She may steal 5 swords, but is she able to wield all of them at once? She is not even a warrior. I can clearly see this 7 of swords-person becoming a mix of the Fool (in this case, there is no “little dog” to save her from the cliff of her own recklessness) and the 10 of wands (to many people avoiding her, disbelieving her words, she is destroying herself).

  • January 2, 2012, 6:26 pm Beth

    So true, Aphrodisiastes! A wise observation indeed.

  • January 3, 2012, 5:21 pm Maria

    Interesting timing on this card! On Sunday, I had a good long chat with my youngest sister about our narcissistic father. Part of what makes a narcissistic parent so damaging is that they are sneaky — they are polite and nice to other people, while saving their vitriol and rage for the family. They lie as easily as they breathe. My entire childhood was a drama starring my father — like and actor on a stage he played one role at home and another outside it. What he stole, of course, was my childhood, my sense of safety, my self-esteem.

    But! Through talking with my sister and doing a lot of thinking (and due to the spiritual preparation I’ve done over the past several months), I’m finally laying that pain to rest. I’m finally understanding that no matter how many times he pointed a finger, it was never my fault. (I knew it was not my fault, but I didn’t *know* it was not my fault. Not in my heart where it mattered.) I had already stopped trying to have a relationship with him; now I’m letting go of the guilt about it that my family pours onto me. I have a right to walk away from a painful situation. I did it before, guiltily. But now I’m doing it feeling strong and proud. I feel lighter, because now I know it’s not my fault, it was never my fault, and anyone who tries to make it my fault is just wrong. It really is that simple.

  • January 4, 2012, 10:35 am Rio

    Thank you Beth. I’m new to the Tarot and appreciate your response to my comment. It sounds like viewing the swords too literally was getting me stuck in a single view of this card.

  • January 4, 2012, 11:31 am Beth

    Oh, I am glad you came back for a visit, Rio! I got an email response from another reader who may not have read your comment, but echoed your thoughts almost identically! You are both right, of course, as this is a really juicy way to interpret this card. I just wasn’t feeling it that way this week, perhaps because of the drama with that person I alluded to.

    Glad to be reminded that there are other ways to see this! Thank you (and you, too, my emailing friend.. you know who you are!)..