The Seven of Swords is traditionally known as the “Thieves’ Card.” The Seven of Swords is likely to show up when there is cheating or lying going on.
The Seven of Swords can be tricky to interpret. Sometimes it’s obvious who is lying, who is cheating, and who can’t be trusted. But if those things aren’t immediately apparent, you can’t really ask, “Is someone lying to you?” You also don’t want to make an assumption that might create undue anxiety, or cause problems in an otherwise healthy relationship.
Sometimes, when I see the Seven of Swords, its energy seems to permeate the whole reading. It’s easy to simply say something like this. “I see a situation where you are having some trust issues. Is there someone behaving in an untrustworthy manner, or a situation or person who lacks integrity?”
The thing is, the Seven of Swords, like the thief it represents, is slippery. The client might not be suspicious of dishonesty around her, and therefore make no connection with the card. In this case it is up to the reader to look further. You may need to pull more cards or interpret your spread to include specific information to discover the area of life the Seven of Swords is referencing.
I think many readers would agree that sometimes there are cards in a reading to which you don’t pay much attention. Perhaps you only have a few minutes to give the reading and there is a more pressing issue.
There are some cards, however, that should never be ignored, regardless of the focus or limitations of the reading. I think the Seven of Swords is such a card. When you see it, you need to be able to explain with some certainty its presence in the reading. You need to be able to do this without falsely accusing someone of something heinous, or causing or feeding paranoia.
We are all familiar with the Seven of Swords* indicating the “fox in the chicken coop.” This is the employee with his hand in the till, the addict who swears he’ll never touch the stuff again, the kid who didn’t do his homework and the cheating spouse.
The Seven of Swords can also indicate a general lack of integrity in an organization; that is, corruption, unfair policies and the like.
The Seven of Swords can suggest that the querent himself is keeping a secret, or in a position of feeling the need to lie.
The Seven of Swords can indicate the feeling of not knowing what to trust in general, or with regard to a specific issue.
The Seven of Swords can remind us to be creative in problem solving. Sometimes we have to be crafty, maybe even sneaky, to solve a problem.
Those are all relatively common interpretations for the Seven of Swords. Here are two more you might not have considered.
On a very few but memorable occasions I have seen the Seven of Swords indicate cancer. It makes sense if you think about it; cancer often comes like a silent thief. Obviously, be careful about how you present the possibility of a health issue. Give a referral to a competent medical professional.
I have also seen the Seven of Swords indicate a lack of confidence. Sometimes we feel like we aren’t up to the task at hand. The Seven of Swords may say the querent isn’t trusting herself or her abilities.
No matter the context, it seems two key concepts for the Seven of Swords are “lack of trust” and “something hidden.”
Given the delicate nature of the Seven of Swords, it’s very important to give this card careful consideration when it appears in a reading.
* Typo corrected 7/22/2015 Thanks to Donnaleigh de la Rose for finding that I had inadvertently typed “Wands” instead of “Swords”.