7 of Pentacles

be patient; allow the fruits to ripen at their own pace

Seven remains still in its waiting or assessing mode while activity continues outside of it + Pentacles represents how we as spirits navigate the physical world

from The Relative Tarot

And so, in the centered aspect on the spectrum, the Seven of Pentacles is a place of waiting for our work to materialize. We may be assessing whether to continue on our path, but we must be prepared to play the long game. Things may not be going as planned (Smith’s leaves are of blighted potato plants), or we’re still waiting for the rewards, but it denotes a period of growth and waiting where we’ve done our part (though it doesn’t hurt to do a little weeding or pruning, to stay in touch with the forces that impact our growth / goals). As Paul Quinn wrote in Tarot for Life, “despite our most controlling efforts, the things we cultivate ripen by their own timetables.”

In resistance, we expect defeat or sabotage our progress, over evaluating, second guessing, and abandoning plans that didn’t meet our expectations.

In excess, me may be trying to push the river.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • Do you fear that things will not go as planned?
  • Are you a perfectionist in your expectations? Does this cause you to second-guess or abandon that which doesn’t meet your high ideals?
  • Do you sabotage your own efforts? What parts could be driving this?
  • Are you trying to push the river?

What else? What insights have you had into this card? How has it come up for you?

7 of Swords

focus on our strategy

Seven shows internal work in the midst of an external situation or activity; assessing, planning + Swords represent our mental acuity and belief systems

Antique Anatomy (1st ed. by Black and the Moon)

And so, in the centered aspect of the Seven of Swords, we see mental preparedness, focus, strategy. In being proactive, have we dotted all of our is and crossed all of our ts? Are we at risk of being compromised in some way, or are we using cunning and strategy to protect our interests, to steal the enemy’s Swords (as in Smith-Waite)? If the latter, can that act be rationalized? I would steal a nazi’s weapons, and consider it a valiant deed. Taking advantage is a neutral term until it’s done unethically. We envisioned our dreams in the 7 of Cups, but without focused research and planning, mastery eludes us.

This card seems always presented as one of deceit or trickery, but that misses the point of the seven’s meaning in an upright position. The Antique Anatomy card pictured at left appears as an anchor and, with its lack of a mandible and twisted spine, seems to suggest that we be silent and steady but look both ways, be aware of our surroundings. This is not our time to shine but to maneuver, perhaps behind the scenes. Isn’t that really what’s going on in the S-W card?

In resistance, do we avoid confrontation, preferring to sneak around behind the scenes? The imagery in S-W suggests an element of possession. What do we covet? Are we so focused on getting what others have that we fail to see what we already have?

In excess, we rationalize behaviors — especially those involving deceitful trickery or taking advantage of others, even predatory behavior. Have we considered the consequences of our actions?

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • What are the ways you use strategy in attaining what you want?
  • What do you take for granted? Are you always looking to others for ideas instead of recognizing your own?
  • Are you appropriating the ideas or words of others?
  • Do you avoid risk? What protector part(s) are at play?
  • Are there issues around trust to be explored with your parts?
  • Do you perceive a threat? Is it real or a pattern of anxiety?

What else? This card is loaded and open to many interpretations, and you may have other insights. How has it come up, for you?

7 of Cups

consider the possibilities

Seven reflects in an inactive state while activity goes on outside of it + Cups represent the watery inner worlds of our emotions and dreams

from Murder of Crows Tarot

And so, the centered aspect of the Seven of Cups invites us to imagine, to dream. They may be unrealistic or scattered or just daydreams, but it’s important to allow ourselves the creative exploration of possibilities and ideals before moving on. Are you working on setting or tending goals? Dream big – you don’t have to share them with anyone else if you don’t want to. Take the time in dreamy Cups to indulge in this – the focus comes next, in the Swords.

In resistance, we may be stifled by indecision. All of these visions dancing before us can be overwhelming; choosing one means being denied the others. We may become fickle, moving from one to another. What are we searching for?

Cups deal with more than just dreams, though; consider the other possibilities (wink wink) of the inner realm – instead of hopes, are we focusing on our fears? Memories (as remnants of the six)? Spiritual pursuits?

In excess, we’re lost in pie-in-the-sky ideals, fantasizing about castles in the clouds, perhaps manic or delusional. We may have too much emotional clutter or creative vision and may want to rein it in. Perhaps we find ourselves distracted by the ideals of others and must be reminded to remain true to our own.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • Are you unable to focus on your true north? What distracts you?
  • Are your aims unrealistic? How can you temper it back a little in order to be more attainable?
  • Are you swayed by the dreams of another instead of focusing on your own?
  • Are fears interfering in your process?
  • How is your inner spiritual life?

What else? Lots to unravel in this card, and you may have other insights. How has it come up for you?

7 of Wands

stand firm against adversaries

Seven is a place of internal work around an external situation; we aren’t in motion but are in the midst of activity around us + Wands represent the fiery realm of will and how we use our energy, but also identity

from Deck of the Dead by Tarot by Seven

And so the centered aspect of the Seven of Wands indicates holding our own against adversaries. In the Six of Wands we were victorious, and must now defend our spot. Sometimes, we just need to stick up for ourselves (no pun intended). Your aspirations (or those of others) are worth fighting for, and inherent in this card is the deep inner strength which allows you to remain calm amidst the chaos.

With Wands as creativity and passions, are the staves shown representative of encroaching projects or distractions that throw you off course of your focus? What are you devoting your energy to?  Resisting advances as we stand firm on our hill can help or hinder.

In resistance, we see resignation, timidity. We may feel overpowered.  Do the encroaching wands represent doubts?  Criticism?  The enemy may be ourselves as we stand in defiant opposition to our inner voices.

In excess, we must ask if we’re being overly defensive when openness is called for. Is it time to let our guard down? Is there room on the hill for others?

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card comes up include

  • Is there something you’re resisting?
  • Do you feel you’re being backed into a corner?
  • Do you need to be more assertive in the matter?
  • Are you being hyper vigilant?  Are there wounded parts to be tended around that?
  • Do you tend to get overdefensive? What prompts that? What protective parts are involved?
  • Is something draining your energy?

What else? This card can indicate various areas of our inner fire, and this only touches the surface. You may have other insights. How has this card come up for you? Feel free to share.