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What The Seven Of Swords Tarot Card Means & How To Interpret It In Different Readings

Lauren David
Author:
December 21, 2022
Lauren David
By Lauren David
mbg Contributor
Lauren David is a Chilean-American freelance writer. She writes about gardening, food, health and wellness, and sustainability. She has been published in Allrecipes, Greatist, The Healthy, The Kitchn and more.
December 21, 2022
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If you're looking for clarity or want some perspective, a tarot reading can provide intel for past, present, or future situations. The Seven of Swords is one of the 78 cards in a tarot deck. Here's what to know if you pull this sneaky card and what it may mean related to relationships, work, money, and difficulties, according to professional tarot readers.

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What does the Seven of Swords card mean?

Pulling a Seven of Swords card tells you that something is being hidden or the whole picture isn't being shown, according to tarot reader Jennifer Herrera of Sea & Stone Wellness. Deceit and sneakiness are keywords for this card.

For more clues on this card's meaning, you can look at its imagery: A traditional Seven of Swords card depicts a person carrying five swords with their body facing forward but their head looking back at two swords left behind. "It can be read to mean someone is working in their own interest," explains Herrera.

The suit of swords is related to the element of air and is part of the minor arcana. "Swords can be a message to step back from a situation and analyze it from a different perspective," shares Herrera.

So although this card may highlight that you don't have all the information you need, it can also remind you to focus on yourself. "On a positive read, that could mean making yourself a priority," says Herrera.

According to Amy Zerner and Monte Farber, authors of many tarot and oracle decks, "The Seven of Swords is a reminder to try to eliminate your most negative behavior patterns because a great deal of the opposition you are currently encountering is self-created." 

This card's specific interpretation will depend on the question you asked your tarot deck when you pulled it, and any other cards that appeared in your spread.

What does it mean for love & relationships?

When pulled upright:

If you pull the Seven of Swords for a love or relationship reading, Herrera tells mbg that this card may represent deception or a secret. "Secrets like cheating are a possibility, but it can also mean that deeper, more honest communication can provide a deeper union," she says. "Swords cut and it may be that one person in a relationship does not want to hurt or 'cut' the other."  

Zerner and Farber add that the card might represent opposition in this particular reading. "If you've asked about a specific person's interest in you, then the answer could mean that person is opposed to you having a relationship," explains Zerner and Farber. "It could also mean that circumstances or the influence of one or more people could be opposing you getting together with this other person." 

For another perspective about love readings, Herrera says, "It can be read as a warning not to settle" and to be more honest with yourself about what you deserve in a relationship.

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When pulled in reverse:

Pulled the Seven of Swords reversed in a love meaning? "With the swords [reversed], I always come back to the phrase, 'The sword cuts both ways,'" explains Herrera. This can be a warning not to hurt yourself for the sake of another person in your relationship. Depending on the context, this card could also be a sign that your relationship is coming to a close.

If you're asking about the potential for new love, the card may be asking you to reflect on your patterns and how you engage in relationships.

"We have seen time and time again that the Seven of Swords reversed means that you have to evaluate what is opposing you in your quest for true love and a lasting relationship, even to the point of asking yourself if you are in some way being your own worst enemy," say Zerner and Farber. "If you are not playing self-defeating games, then the [card] probably means 'know your enemy' and do your best to understand who or what is standing in your way so you can successfully manage the situation."  

What does it mean for professional & financial matters?

When pulled upright:

When the Seven of Swords comes up in a professional or money-related reading, it's time to pay attention to the details of your finances. Herrera tells mbg that this card suggests being honest and handling business dealings and money matters fairly. When it comes to personal finances, the card suggests taking caution and not spending in a foolish way.

And be warned: "The Seven of Swords can indicate an upcoming failure, negativity in the thinking of those you are involved with, or harsh words or deeds directed toward whatever you asked about as you drew the card," explain Zerner and Farber.

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When pulled in reverse:

If you pulled the Seven of Swords reversed in this reading, this, too, may signify doubts or deception. "The Seven of Swords reversed warns you about using trickery to get things," say Zerner and Farber. "If you are not playing that dangerous game, then it means someone else involved with your situation is doing so. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself, but don't play a deceitful game."

According to Herrera, this card can speak to doubts you have about a business partnership or investment opportunity and remind you to proceed with caution and do some more self-assessment.

What does it mean for challenges that lie ahead?

When pulled upright:

When you're going through a tough time, this card can provide perspective. "The Seven of Swords often means that you should prepare for things to become more difficult," say Zerner and Farber. "This card encourages you to do what you can to become as self-sufficient as possible," they say, adding that this may mean using different strategies than you have in the past.

If you pull this card in a reading about challenges that lie ahead, Herrera recommends asking yourself if things in your life are being divided fairly of if there's too much for you to take on alone. If you feel overwhelmed, the card is an invitation to lighten your load and prioritize.

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When pulled in reverse:

If you pulled the Seven of Swords reversed, Herrera explains this card usually signifies doubt. But "doubt has its purpose when you view it as a means to strengthen faith," says Herrera.

According to Zerner and Farber, "We see the Seven of Swords reversed as a reminder not to berate yourself or work against your own best interests so that you can best deal with the challenges that lie ahead." They say that doesn't mean forgetting the mistakes you've made, but it's important to "get back to living your life as best you can."

The takeaway.

When the Seven of Swords card comes up in a tarot reading, it could be a sign of deception, opposition, or hidden information. On the bright side, this card is also a reminder to put yourself first and make yourself a priority moving forward.

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Lauren David
Lauren David

Lauren David is a Chilean-American freelance writer. She writes about gardening, food, health and wellness, and sustainability. She has been published in Allrecipes, Greatist, The Healthy, The Kitchn and more.

When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time in her garden, experimenting with ingredients in the kitchen, or spending time by the ocean. See her portfolio on her website.