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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Journey through My Decks: Seven of Swords

In this series of posts, I plan to discuss all of the Tarot cards in order, using a different deck for each card. Today I'm exploring the SEVEN OF SWORDS from the Hanson-Roberts Tarot by Mary Hanson-Roberts (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.).

The Hanson-Roberts Tarot

The man on this card wears a very sly, sneaky expression. I don't trust him, do you? I suppose it's possible that the swords he carries belong to him, but I'm not convinced of that. Dark gray clouds overhead suggest stormy weather, a disturbance in the air. The man seems to have left two swords stuck in the ground. Is it because he can't carry them all or is there some other reason?

Susan Hansson's companion book for the Hanson-Roberts Tarot (The Hanson-Roberts Tarot Companion / U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) lists the following keywords for the suit of Swords: aggression, decisions, courage, justice, power, action, forcefulness, alertness, extroverted thinking. It is interesting to compare Hansson's keywords for the suit of Rods, which include "positive force" (as compared with the "forcefulness" of Swords) and "natural action" (as compared with "action" for the Swords).

Swords suggest an abstract, clinical view of things which, when misused, can bring "war, hatred, suffering, and destruction." The element assigned to the suit of Swords is Air (thought and communication); its astrological correspondents are the Air signs of the zodiac: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.

Laura E. Clarson, who uses the Hanson-Roberts deck to illustrate her book Tarot Unveiled: The Method To its Magic (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.), writes that the number Seven of any suit "represents unexpected change, perception, and insight."  She adds that "with the Sword suit, the atmosphere is one of mistrust."

So we have slyness, dishonesty, and an abstract view -- all of which may create an unexpected change in the way we view something or our attitude about something or someone. 

As with many Swords cards, the seeker needs to determine whether suspicions or fears concerning trickery or theft are well grounded or imagined. The seeker must also explore whether the card refers to suspicions about another person or a situation in which the seeker himself is tempted to steal or break a trust in some way. Surrounding cards in a spread can provide clues to interpretation.

Divinatory Meanings provided by Hansson: "Theft. Ransacking or stealing. Sneakiness. Behind-the-scenes malice. Warning to be aware of dishonesty in business deals. Lock up and guard possessions. A thief is lurking about. Victimization. Exploitation. Extortion. A confidence is betrayed." Reversed, the Seven of Swords may suggest: "Crimes solved. Partial recovery of goods taken. Confessions. Thieves exposed. Petty crimes or vandalism."


  1. When I look at the Hanson Roberts image of this card, more than any other 7 swords card, I often think has he thought this out properly? Those two swords have their points buried firmly in the ground, and as he carries off those other five, I cannot help but feel he has missed the point about what he is doing. His actions will have consequences. Being a number 7 card, it urges him to rethink his actions - sevens very often being about wisdom, growth, insight and reflection - questions like Should I be doing this? or Is the result worth the effort? come to mind.

    1. I love that interpretation, Helen! Wonderful! I remember drawing this card once -- I can't remember the question or the positional definition -- but I saw that since Swords represent thoughts, this could suggest leaving my negative thoughts "outside, stuck in the ground" so that a "thief" could take most of them away. It was a really odd interpretation, I know, but it made perfect sense at the time. It was sort of like the "thief" was doing me a favor! LOL

  2. That's what is so great about tarot and the different images, and how one card can inspire besides the traditional meaning, so many other relevant interpretations. ^_^


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~ Zanna