Reaching the mid-point: the Sevens in tarot

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Editor’s Note: If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article tells you how to use the spread. You can visit Sarah’s website here. –efc

By Sarah Taylor

When an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside as fate.  — Carl Jung

Given that the Sevens have made a regular appearance in my tarot articles over the recent weeks, it might not seem immediately obvious why we should devote another article to them. However, there seem to me to be three compelling reasons to do this.

Seven of Wands and Seven of Cups - RWS Tarot deck.

The Seven of Wands and the Seven of Cups from the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot deck. Click on the image for a larger version.

First, it is a good exercise in consolidation: pulling all of the various sources together in a single article affords an element of cohesion that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Second, when we look at them together, we are able to see themes that we might have missed when we met them individually. Third, my ideas about the cards — and one in particular — have shifted now that I have had the opportunity to write about all four of them. So this isn’t just a recapping and a review; it is also a re-visioning.

Approaching the Sevens from a broader, thematic viewpoint, let’s look at how the minor arcana is structured. There are 56 cards in the minor arcana, divided into four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, Aces); and within each suit, the cards run from Ace to Ten, followed by (in the Rider-Waite Smith deck) The Page, The Knight, The Queen, and The King: fourteen cards in all. So, in one respect at least, the Sevens represent the mid-point of their suits. I would argue that this mid-point isn’t just to do with their chronological location. It is also a pivotal point in the journey that each suit describes.

Once we have left the world of non-incarnate potential (the Aces), the complexities of life on planet Earth start to interact with the cards as they make their way through the suits. So, Twos introduce us to the world of duality, with a hint at the fact that we can never experience something as a pure opposite; Threes develop that idea by looking at what happens when a third element is added to the story… and so a multi-layered picture of life is constructed in front of our eyes, as more layers are added as the cards progress. Last month, we arrived at the Sixes, where the pause of the Fours and the confusion of the Fives brought us to, as I put it, “calmer waters, where we are able to regroup, take stock, and act with more clarity.”

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Sarah Taylor

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5 Responses to Reaching the mid-point: the Sevens in tarot

  1. Pingback: Astrology Blog, Monthly Horoscopes, Weekly Horoscopes, | The Weekend Tarot Reading -- Sunday, June 5, 2011 | Astrology Blog, Weekly Horoscopes, Monthly Horoscopes, Eric Francis, Planet Waves

  2. Sarah Taylor sarah taylor says:

    Good point, Sparky! Yes, indeed. :)

    Thank you all for your comments! — S

  3. Sparky says:

    I’d never noticed the 7s closed eyes either. But when I suggested ‘a calculated risk’, well.. I am quite sure if I ever bunji jumped, a conscious calculated risk, sure as shit I’d close my eyes!!

  4. michele michele says:

    Seven I was told, when I was little, was the number of my life. I’m not sure I’ve come as close to grasping its idea, or its tangible reality, as I have with this piece of writing.

    The in-between place, I’ve always called it. But here, now, it begins to take its nebulous always-changing shape in a new, delightful way.

    Thanks, Sarah.


  5. indranibe says:

    Thank you Sarah, that a very complex analysis you’ve presented us with. Too complex to allow for proper engagement without some serious consideration. But I do have one thing to say at this early stage regarding the 7 of Swords. If swords are burdens, then it looks like he’s trying to run away from his troubles (or something unpleasant) before he is forced to acknowledge that the situation exists (or before his troubles overwhelm him). The closed eyes (“No! I don’t want to see!”) – like an ostrich with its head in the sand, or more appropriately, like a child who runs off to avoid trouble or punishment – someone who doesn’t even want to acknowledge what confronts them lest they be forced to take responsibility for their lives. It looks like he’s thinking, “If I pretend there’s only two instead of seven, then it doesn’t look quite so bad” But who does it look bad to? To him of course! But we can’t reshuffle or move our burdens from one part of our consciousness to another and pretend it’s all fixed.

    But of course, there is a great deal of hope in this card too, because he DOES see – he’s doing all the picking up and moving, so while it may not look to us that he’s acknowledging things (do we all need to acknowledge things out loud? Is it not enough that we quietly get the job done?), things are happening, and he’s making them happen – he’s clearly not enjoying the process, but he’s doing something – we don’t know what. In fact, the message I get from this card (and in fact, all the sevens you’ve given us) is 1. “things are not what they seem”, and 2. “things are complex”. There’s a great deal of THINKING going on in the sevens…

    The number 7 is about balance, isn’t it? The centre column, three on either side. Perhaps the sevens are about learning about balance and how to work with greater complexity. The midpoint that you describe – it seems like a good place as any to review, rethink, and rework – whatever the endeavour – the overall message is that “there’s some stuff going on which suggests that serious consideration is in order before the next step can be taken – where are you, who are you, what is it you’re trying to achieve, and what is it that you have before you?”

    Hm. Lovely.

    Thank you.

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