Seven of Swords
Tarot & Numerology

The Lesson of the 7 of Swords

[This is an updated version of an article I wrote on my previous blog on 4/20/2010.]

At the 7 of Sword, your problem came with a name and a face. Even if you don’t know who it was, you know someone committed the crime. In a word, it may have been theft. More generally, and if you know who it was, they betrayed you and possibly lied. Our hurt, pain and suffering appears to have originated through the actions (or inactions) of others. While fear, hurt, pain, anger and even violation are commonly felt here, blame is certainly a dominant part of it.

[Do keep in mind that, as an air card, all of the above may be what you think happened, but might not have actually happened.]

Over the years, I have sought a higher meaning to each card. The following discussion walks through how my interpretation of this card has grown.

Looking at the classic image, we see a man who is tiptoeing away, having stolen 5 of the 7 swords shown.  The traditional meaning of this card is theft.

The suit of swords represents air, which signifies thought and communication. For me, the meaning of this card some time back grew to include the theft of ideas.

In this day and age, it is easy to see how the theft of ideas or information is an issue.  We see (very hyped up) commercials about protecting ourselves from identity theft; we have an entire industry dedicated to copyright law; and the film and music industry are continually pleading with us to not steal their media.

Since swords are about communication as much as thought, it could also be about slander: others saying (or writing) bad things about you—behind your back or to you face. Social Media has only made this behavior more common.

But just this week, I got a whole new perspective on this card. Rather than simply describing the theft of ideas, it could be highlighting the idea of theft.  In other words, the 7 of Swords might be here to remind us of beliefs we have that someone or something outside of ourselves can hurt us or harm us or interfere with our manifestations.

You want to take a trip with me to explore?

First, think about what you most desire, that elusive dream perhaps.  Bring it into your primary consciousness.  Go ahead and allow the wanting to flow in, and I mean wanting.  I know so many teachers these days tell you not to want, but I’m saying to go for it.  Want it as badly as you can for a moment.

Got a hold of it?  Feel it burning within you?  Take as much time as you need.

Okay, once you have something in mind, now let me ask you some questions:

– Who (or what) do you want to go away so you can have what you desire?
– Who are you competing with for this dream?
– What organization would you do away with (or make yourself exempt from) to get you there faster or more easily?
– What behavior out in the world needs to change or be abolished for your happiness?

Now, if you are not coming up with answers yet, let me ask you these questions:

– Do you believe you would have more money if you didn’t have to pay taxes?
– Which laws would you like to get rid of, right this minute, just because they are a pain in the neck?
– What rules, imposed by others, make your blood boil?
– If you can change anything out there in the world, what tops your list?

And some others that are even more personal:

  • Who has hurt you in the past or recent past?
  • How often do you find yourself hurt by others: their words, their actions, or their omissions or inactions?
  • How trusting are you? And if not very trusting, why?

Really look at these things because these are what’s blocking your success.  Not the things themselves, but the idea of them.

I would be happy if this rule was changed.
I would be happy if this person moved away.
I would be happy if s/he stopped doing that.
I would trust him or her if they behaved better…if they proved themselves trustworthy.

Every time we entertain these thoughts, we are entertaining the “idea of theft”. These thoughts connect to a general belief that goes something like this: I cannot have what I want unless others cooperate with me.

The last time something was stolen from me, it was an iPod and it was stolen from my truck, which I accidentally left unlocked that night.

Was this a manifestation? Was it a result of Perfection of the Universe?


Why? How?  Well, here is a list of thoughts I had been thinking (perhaps regarding past experiences) that culminated in this event:

1) I had my first new car broken into 3 times in San Francisco in the early 90s.  The Seats were stolen the second time and the car was stolen the last time. Fear around the safety of my automobile therefore became greater then and has lingered.

2) When I first bought my iPod, I protected it with a screen cover.  I later took the cover off and when I went to clean off the sticky goo, I significantly damaged the screen because I used the wrong type of cleaner.  My fear of damaging my iPod led to the protecting of it, which then directly led to my damaging it myself!  My iPod screen was now cloudy and every time I looked at it, I was unhappy about it.  I didn’t like having a damaged iPod.

3) I wanted a new iPod Touch, but was afraid of spending the money for it.  I thought it was too expensive, but I wanted it anyway.  I kept denying myself of my own desire.  It wasn’t that I couldn’t afford it, I just didn’t want to spend what they were asking for it.

The combination of all of these beliefs, all 7 of Swords, fear-based beliefs, resulted in my iPod getting stolen out of my truck.

And would you believe that I still denied myself a new iPod for about 6 additional months?

But, after all of that, the events described above still served me, in many ways.

Many times in my life, once I’ve gotten past some limitation based on fear, I would say to myself, “Why did I wait so long?” 

Yet, we’ve all heard about it when one of our friends tries something that they feared for a long time only to have a worse experience.  “See!  That’s what I was afraid of,” they post on Facebook.

There is no rule for pushing past our limits.  The best that I would say in a general way is to:

1) Identify what you are afraid of, what or who you distrust and why.  That’s what the 7 of Swords is here to remind you of.

2) Accept that your fear is your fear.  It may have been inspired by someone else, or by some past experiences, but it is held by you.

3) Theft exists.  We are not trying to convince ourselves that it does not. The point is not to pretend there is nothing to fear, but to move forward despite that fear.  The Strength card reminds us that the courageous are not fearless, they are simply those who found a way forward despite their fear.

4) You have all the time in the world but no reason to wait.  You can push yourself and possible jump a bit too soon, or you can never challenge the fear and never move past it.  And then, of course, there is everything in between.  It is your choice and all choices are valid.  There is no “right” or “wrong” way.  And faster is not necessarily better.

Through this exercise above, the goal is to see that we hold the key, always.  Our fears may attract a robber, an external obstacle, a person, law or institution that is making it hard for us.  But also realize that not everyone has the same experience as we do with that outside thing.  Why?  Because of their attitude about it.

The Law of Attraction need not be magic to be effective.  Money doesn’t have to fall out of the sky; people or institutions do not need to disappear; the whole world does not need to shift to make us happy.  We simply need to find our own specific guidance to all that we desire.  If you wait for everyone around you to accept a new belief before you give yourself permission to be happy, you might be waiting a long, long time.

Seven is the number of transformation; going deep within to repair or replace an underlying condition.  Air is about thought, so the 7 of Swords applies this to our underlying beliefs.

Now that you have identified these underlying beliefs, let’s offer them up for transmutation!

I ask to be relieved of all beliefs that no longer serve me
And I know I AM freed


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