The Seven of Swords Tarot Card: Meaning, Symbolism, and Interpretation

Tarot can be a great tool to gain insight into your life through connecting with the universe.

A spread of tarot cards on a table.

Tarot has been used for centuries as a tool that provides spiritual guidance, but not necessarily fortune-telling cards as some may think. Rather, tarot can provide a possible outlook on the future, and offer guidance. It is used by people who need guidance from the universe about a certain situation, or their lives overall. Whether it be a relationship issue, a work issue, or a spiritual issue, tarot can provide the guidance to understand and properly move forward with the situation. While there may be skepticism from some around the authenticity and the use of tarot, it’s still a valuable practice for many people. 

First, let’s get into some basics about tarot. 

The Uniqueness of Each Tarot Deck

There is not just one design when it comes to tarot decks. Every deck of tarot is created by an illustrator and creator, and the designs are specific to whoever created them. The designs on the tarot cards are part of the meaning of each card; the pictures go hand in hand with the description. Each deck comes with an instruction booklet, which is especially helpful for beginners who are interested in doing readings on themselves and others, and using the cards in general. 

Every deck contains 78 cards; 22 are part of the Major Arcana and 56 are part of the Minor Arcana. In a reading, each card may be interpreted one of two ways; upright or reversed. Upright meanings are true to the general meanings of the cards, and reverse meanings can be either the total opposite, or the meaning is more diluted.

Major vs Minor Arcana

Major Arcana cards are cards that represent your life as a whole, hence the “major” title. They tell you things about major, more significant events, or the big picture in life. The Minor Arcana are cards that focus on daily life, troubles that are temporary, and decision making. In this part of the deck, there are the cards that are unnumbered, such as the High Priestess, the Death card, the Lovers, etc. The four suits in tarot belong to the Minor Arcana; the cups, pentacles, swords, and wands. Each suit contains 14 cards. 

How to Find the Right Deck

Your tarot deck is very personal, as it is a very spiritual practice. When looking to purchase your tarot deck, don’t be afraid to buy one from a store. It’s important to feel connected to the deck so that you can really connect to the universe and your spirit when using it, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing to buy one from a store or online. There is a stigma in the tarot world around buying your own tarot deck, which has been debunked. 

Many people thought that if you bought your own it would be bad luck, or you would not connect to the cards. All tarot cards will do the job you want them to, so it’s really about which deck you like. There are many different decks with various designs and art forms. Whichever deck speaks to you will be the one for you! It’s not the physical cards that hold the spiritual power, but your connection to them and what you channel into the cards. 

The Seven of Swords Tarot Card

The Seven of Swords is the seventh card in the swords suit in the Minor Arcana. It’s a card that often means betrayal, cheating, and that someone is lying to you. 

The Seven of Swords Tarot card.
The Seven of Swords comes as a warning that something dishonest is happening. Image courtesy of Karina’s Tarot.

The Symbolism 

The illustration of tarot cards can be very useful in interpreting their meaning. In this card, a man is seen sneaking away on his tip-toes looking over his shoulder, clearly sneakily running away from something. He got away with whatever he was doing, and he couldn't be happier with himself. This is where dishonesty and stealing comes into play. The swords he is carrying represent the Five of Swords card, which represents conflict and disagreement. The two swords he did not take with him represent something left behind, whether it be evidence, or guilt. The tents in the back represent people’s trust. The man has just stolen from vulnerable, trusting individuals. 

Seven of Swords Upright Meaning

If this card comes up in a reading in the upright position, it often indicates that you or someone in your life is being sneaky and they are hiding something. It means that someone has done something and soon it will be revealed, and the consequences of their actions will be faced. This could also mean that you have been in a situation which you are ignoring, or perhaps tip-toeing around hoping it will go away or improve, but it has not. It could mean that you are wanting to do things on your own, and that you are trying to get out of a certain situation. 

Upright Meaning in Love

This card is usually an indication that your partner is being dishonest with you, and possibly even having an affair. It doesn’t necessarily always mean cheating, perhaps your partner is even lying to spare your feelings about something. Either way, it marks dishonesty, and in some cases, betrayal. It’s reminding you to not turn a blind eye when you have an intuition about something, because you could be right. Oftentimes, the card is indicating that something is going on behind your back and you aren’t noticing the signs. If you’re not in a relationship, it could be telling you that you are too suspicious, limiting your options for future relationships. In this case, it could even be suggesting that you be more trusting. 

Upright Meaning in Career

In this case, the Seven of Swords is telling you of someone in your workplace who is not being truthful. Perhaps they are taking credit for your work, copying you, or misleading you in some way. Watch out for people who may be lying to you or tricking you. It’s reminding you to be in tune with your work, to not be caught off guard, and to be intentional with your direction in the workplace. 

A description of the Seven of Swords.
Beware, the Seven of Swords depicts deception, lies, and betrayal. Image courtesy of Building Beautiful Souls.

Seven of Swords Reversed Meaning

Many reverse interpretations can mean action associated with the upright meaning, such as something finally being revealed. It signifies that whatever happened will be acknowledged, and whoever was responsible will be brought to justice. Somewhere along the line, someone was deceptive and dishonest, but the guilt will soon bring them to confession. 

Reverse Meaning in Love

You or someone you know has been dishonest in love, and perhaps unloyal. This ends with the Seven of Swords, and the truth will be brought to light. The guilt, constant anxiety and looking over your shoulder will end. If you are the one being dishonest, this card is telling you it’s time to come clean and tell the truth. It can also mean that whatever you are doing to find love isn’t working, and it’s time to change your game.

Reverse Meaning in Career

Again, the truth is coming out. If you or someone you know has been dishonest in the workplace, the guilt and shame they feel will come out and they will come forward. If someone has attempted to use your work as their own, they will get caught and perhaps offer an apology. If people are honest, all can be forgiven. Another interpretation can tell you that maybe in a work situation, someone’s dishonesty has not been properly recognized, only by yourself. Fear not, this card reminds us that karma will bring the person to justice in their own lives no matter what.

The Seven of Swords is associated with the following zodiac signs: Gemini, Aquarius, and Libra. 

In conclusion, tarot is a great tool to use when seeking guidance in your life. There’s a common misconception that tarot is bad luck, or that it will bring evil spirits and curse your life, or even tell your future. This is not the case. Tarot’s purpose is to offer support and guidance, and connect you to the universe. Perhaps you need the answer to a burning question, or you seek general advice from the universe. Whatever the case may be, don’t be afraid to ask the cards, their purpose is to help.

Emma Saunders

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