If the Fives cards represent the major conflict of each suit, then the Sevens are a smaller, but still significant conflict. These cards offer us an opportunity to take what we’ve learned from our experiences so far and put it to use.
Each Seven is a crossroads, where it’s up to us to make the right choices. When it comes to the Seven of Swords, this crossroads involves deceit, trickery, or getting away with something.
About Seven of Swords
- Keywords: Trickery, scheming, cleverness, theft, deception
- Keywords (Reversed): Changes for the better, honestly, conscience, pathological lying
- Yes or No: No
- Yes or No (Reversed): Yes
- Element: Air
- Zodiac Sign: Aquarius
The Rider-Waite-Smith tarot depicts the Seven of Swords as a young man with arms full of swords. His expression seems self-satisfied, almost smug. He’s got five swords in his grasp, with two more stuck into the ground behind him.
His posture suggests that he’s sneaking away. His head is turned to keep an eye on anyone trying to come after him. He also appears to be tiptoeing, trying to move as stealthily as possible.
There are tents behind him, indicating a military encampment of some sort. Further back and to the left, we can see the vague silhouette of a group of people around a billow of smoke — probably a campfire.
It appears that a camp full of people have left their tents and swords unattended while they sit around the fire, and this man decided to take advantage of that fact.
Is he stealing from strangers, or did the campers consider him a friend? Is he a saboteur? This card typically represents all forms of deception, but the exact nature of it will depend on the situation or surrounding cards.
Seven of Swords Meaning (Upright)
When this card appears upright in a general reading, it stands for trickery, lies, a lack of conscience, and trying to get away with something. This can be a warning, to let you know that there might be a false friend in your midst.
The Seven of Swords isn’t always negative, however. It can also represent cleverness, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and the ability to adapt to adverse circumstances. It can also indicate avoiding consequences.
Seven of Swords Meaning (Reversed)
When reversed, the Seven of Swords can represent being nagged by your conscience. You may choose to come clean or change your behavior. It may also indicate that your clever schemes aren’t quite as foolproof as you hoped. If you aren’t careful enough, you will get caught.
Depending on the card’s position in a reading, it may represent another person. In this case, it can indicate someone who can’t help but be deceptive. Career criminals, kleptomaniacs, and pathological liars may all be signified by this card.
See also: Check out alternate Tarot decks here.
Seven of Swords Meaning – Love & Relationships (Upright)
Needless to say, getting a card about trickery and deception isn’t a great sign in a love reading. It can represent infidelity, but this card also encompasses lies, theft, and manipulation.
In some situations, it may represent an outsider trying to cause problems in your relationship — or even steal your partner from you.
If you’re single, the Seven of Swords upright can indicate that you’ve been having trouble trusting your potential partners. This can lead to you playing games. This might be fun at first, but isn’t stable ground to build a long-lasting partnership.
Seven of Swords Meaning – Love & Relationships (Reversed)
When reversed, the Seven of Swords can indicate getting caught being deceptive within a relationship. Lies, infidelity, or manipulation might come to light at this time.
The nuance comes from exactly how this comes about: Does the deceiver get caught? Do they decide to come clean and seek counseling? Do both partners want to attempt to repair the relationship?
If you’re single, then the Seven of Swords reversed can represent the decision to stop playing mind games with others. If you can overcome your feelings of mistrust and desire to hide yourself behind manipulative tactics, you will have a much easier time finding an honest, loving partner.
Seven of Swords Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Upright)
In a career or business reading, the Seven of Swords hints at an atmosphere of deceit or manipulation. Your managers might be cooking the books, someone might be embezzling, or there might be some lower-stakes deception going on. Look to the cards around this one for more clarity.
This card doesn’t always represent the negative aspects of trickery, however. It can also indicate that you’re in a position where you have to be resourceful and clever in order to succeed.
Financially, this card warns against dishonesty. If you try sneaky tactics to get more money, you may end up losing far more than you gain. You should also beware of people trying to steal from you at this time.
Seven of Swords Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Reversed)
If the Seven of Swords appears reversed in a career or business spread, then be careful — it’s time for deceptions to be exposed.
If you’ve been guilty of doing anything underhanded, then you’re very close to being found out. If others around you have been, then they’re a hair’s breadth from being exposed, too.
In some contexts, this card can indicate a lack of resourcefulness or adaptability. If you’re hoping to succeed with a clever plan, your plan may need some reworking first.
In money readings, the Seven of Swords reversed hints that any deceptive activity is about to come to light. If you’re sitting on a pile of ill-gotten money, you may be exposed soon. If someone has been stealing from you, they may be about to slip up or turn themselves in.
Seven of Swords: Yes or No?
The seven of Swords is a tricky card — literally. It represents deceit, theft, and lies. As a “Yes or No” card, it’s most likely a “No.” Even if you get your way in this situation, it’ll probably come with consequences.
Reversed, the Seven of Swords is often a “Yes.” Rather than deceit, there’s honesty, a conscience, and truth coming to light. Depending on the nature of your query, you will likely get the outcome you want here.
The Seven of Swords is one of those cards that’s neither wholly positive nor negative, no matter its orientation. However it appears, its message is the same: Be on the alert for deception or discovery.
Be careful, clever, resourceful, and watchful for those who may try to deceive you. Eventually, a person’s conscience or sheer overconfidence may cause them to slip up and expose themselves.
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