betrayal and disloyalty
The Seven of Swords Tarot Card’s True Meaning: Love, Health and Money
The Seventh Minor Arcana of the Suit of Swords forebodes betrayal and disloyalty, but also personal liberation.
The Seven of Swords can be ambiguous in a reading, suggesting that someone around you is being disloyal or that you should free yourself from a bad relationship.
- Element: Air
- Planet: Moon
- Astrological sign: Aquarius
- Key dates: February 9 to 18
Visual Elements and Symbolism
In the Rider-Waite deck, the Seven of Swords depicts a man dressed in a yellow tunic tiptoeing quietly away from a camp. His stylish and colorful garb matches the three tents looming in the background, suggesting that he is breaking his ties with the group. He carries away five swords in his arms, unharmed despite their undeniable sharpness.
Though he took the majority of their weapons, symbolizing a certain selfishness or desire for self-preservation, he leaves two swords planted in the sand, demonstrating that he did not wish to leave his companions completely unarmed and powerless against whatever forces might befall them. This represents the desire to cut ties with someone without causing them a great deal of unnecessary harm.
The warm yellow sky and the man’s peaceful, wistful expression illustrates a combination of nostalgia for the past and an excitement for the new beginnings that will inevitably result from his actions.
The Seven of Swords as a Person
The Seven of Swords can be interpreted in many ways, varying from treachery to self-preservation. On one hand, it can represent someone who is sneaky, who operates in the shadows and gathers information that might later serve them. They may be planning to betray someone, or a group of people, in order to assure self-advancement.
On the other hand, they may be trying to better their situation. The Seven of Swords’ social entourage may be causing them great misery, impeding their progress or their road towards self-improvement. In such a case, they feel the need to escape their current situation without insulting or hurting those for whom they once cared.
The Seven of Swords is a complicated character whose motives are not always clear. They may seem unpredictable to those who don’t know them. As such, some may find the Seven of Swords difficult to approach, their mysterious aura too intimidating for casual confrontation.
However, those that do reach out to them may be rewarded by meeting an interesting and intricate person.
The Seven of Swords Upright: Positive Meanings
The Seven of Swords upright suggests that you’re going through some kind of transformation. You are swinging into motion, things are happening around you and you refuse to let them pass you by unperturbed.
Whatever these changes may be, you find yourself taking action that will benefit you in some way. Some might see this as opportunistic and selfish. Though such behavior is not beyond you, you prefer to see yourself as practical and independent. Others may not understand why you do what you do, but the Seven of Swords always has a plan.
You may find yourself misunderstood by those around you, even if you never intended to hurt them. You may have metaphorically stolen their swords and subsequently been judged for it by your peers, yet your motives were always righteous.
Perhaps you stole their swords as a way of saving yourself, as a route towards forcing yourself out of a difficult relationship… Whatever the reason, it will be open to interpretation by those who surround you, but those who know you well will understand.
Love and Relationships
If you are currently looking to start a new relationship, the dual nature of the Seven of Swords suggests that you hold off for the time being. You may be trying to find someone for all the wrong reasons — as a way of increasing your social standing amongst your peers, for example.
On the other hand, you may have just ended a relationship, and don’t feel confident or independent enough to make your way on your own. Refrain from latching onto someone. Instead, work on gaining independence and exploring the world without a partner by your side.
If you are currently in a relationship, the Seven of Swords suggests you may be feeling the desire to end it. This doesn’t mean you no longer care for your partner. In fact, the love you still feel for them could be what’s been preventing you from calling it quits. You don’t want to hurt them, yet you also feel the need to save yourself from the situation you are in.
Perhaps you’ve simply fallen out of love, or feel as though you still have much to explore and they’re holding you back in some way.
If this is the case, have a serious talk with your partner about your concerns, or consider going to couples counseling if you want to make it work. If not, don’t suddenly leave without warning. Communication is the best way to break things off, and it will leave far fewer scars than simply sneaking away in the night.
In the workplace, the Seven of Swords suggests that someone might be working against you, or is planning to betray you. In this scenario, you are one of the people in the tents whose swords are being stolen by their companion.
Refrain from accusing those around you, but remain vigilant that someone, maybe an associate or a partner, might be looking to quit, leaving you high and dry.
You may also find yourself contemplating new horizons. Though you currently enjoy many aspects of your workplace, you feel yourself stagnating, lacking upward mobility. Nevertheless, you’ve enjoyed your time with your coworkers and feel like you may be letting them down. Although this is a difficult process, keep in mind that you control the direction of your life. Be frank with your colleagues and don’t let a new job or career keep you from seeing them from time to time.
You may be feeling lucky and bold, but don’t let these fleeting feelings conceal the reality of your financial situation.
The Seven of Swords suggests that you’re treating yourself to the things you’ve always wanted at little or no cost to yourself. Perhaps you’ve been borrowing a spouse’s credit card without telling them, or making major unilateral decisions while using their money without their approval. This could not only hurt your financial situation, but also destabilize your relationship.
The Seven of Swords may also indicate that someone managing your finances is taking advantage of your ignorance in these matters. They may be charging you more than they should be or taking a greater piece of the pie than you realized.
If you think something might be wrong, don’t hesitate to run the numbers by another professional.
Physically, you’re in great shape. However, the Seven of Swords can sometimes represent being conflicted or feelings of anguish caused by your social environment. This may impact your mental well-being, as high anxiety levels can lead to sleepless nights or depression.
You may be feeling particularly indecisive and trapped, knowing that no matter how you act in a given situation you might end up unhappy.
Feeling like you’re in a permanent state of “catch 22” is exhausting, so don’t hesitate to see a psychologist. They’ll be able to help you sort out your thoughts, and show you a way out of the endless lose-lose situations you tend to believe you’re in.
The Seven of Swords Reversed: Negative Meanings
Like its upright position, the reversed Seven of Swords’ meaning is ambiguous. However, it almost always denotes an underlying insecurity, a feeling that you’re doing something wrong and out of place.
It may also indicate that your attempts at departing, socially or physically, from spaces you often frequent have been failing. For whatever reason, you find yourself either unable to start this process, or simply unable to finish the job and depart for good.
You may also be lying to yourself in order to justify a failure or inability to complete something you set out to do. You may be trying to convince yourself that you’ve “made it,” you’ve achieved what you wanted. In these instances, the reversed Seven of Swords represents self-betrayal, the act of lying to yourself in order to feel gratified despite not having done what you’d intended to do.
Love and Relationships
The reversed Seven of Swords indicates that you’re desperate to find a romantic partner. You may have gone on several dates searching for someone special, and not feeling sparks with any of them, nevertheless settled on a less than ideal partner in order to prove something to yourself.
Perhaps you only want to demonstrate that you’re desirable to others and be seen as prime “partner material.” Whatever your true motivation, it’s self-centered and hardly conducive to maintaining a healthy relationship. You should consider kindly ending your involvement with this person and work on yourself before trying again.
Don’t worry, the right person will come along soon enough, and you’ll know it immediately once they do.
If you’re currently involved in a stable romantic relationship, you should scrutinize your recent behavior in order to establish whether you’ve been listening closely enough to your significant other. Put aside your pride for a moment to examine how you’ve been acting and how it might be affecting your relationship.
Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself — nor to your partner — that you’ve been doing something wrong. No one is perfect, and you can work on bettering yourself once you’ve faced the truth head on.
Drawing the reversed Seven of Swords in a career reading reading suggests that your professional life could be suffering as a result of your insecurity. For whatever reasons, you just don’t feel like you’ve earned your place, that you belong.
While being self-conscious is perfectly normal, especially when starting a new job, you’ll need to overcome this impostor syndrome in order to thrive.
To overcome this you’ll need to change the tone of your inner dialogue. Accept that you feel uncomfortable, but try to move forward and always give it your best, as that’s the only thing you can do anyway. If you feel like you stand out, embrace it. Uniqueness is highly coveted and will only make your employer appreciate you for the better.
In a money reading, the reversed Seven of Swords indicates you’ve been trying to change your financial situation to no avail. You just can’t seem to make any headway, no matter how much effort you put into it — it feels like your money is constantly slipping away from you.
Instead of focusing on increasing your income, take a good look at your spending habits. You might think nothing more can be cut from your budget, so it may be worth becoming more thrifty, reusing, and finding alternative ways to shop for necessities.
If you don’t have a predetermined fixed budget, now would be a great time to figure out where all your money is going. Start making a log of your daily expenses as it will force you to face the reality of your actions.
The reversed Seven of Swords means that something is wrong with your physical health, but you are denying it. This self-deception can be harmful, as your efforts to convince yourself that everything is fine won’t necessarily make your problems go away. Instead, go get a check-up and convey your worries to a medical professional.
If you recently received bad news from your doctor, you may be feeling the need to keep it to yourself. While this is a personal choice, sharing your concerns with your loved ones could help to alleviate some of the stress you’ve been facing lately.
Your Past, Present and Future
In the past position, the Seven of Swords indicates that your current situation was greatly influenced by your decision to leave. This could be an amicable breakup, a change in career paths, or the direct result of your choice to move to a new location. Whatever the reason, trust that you’re better off because of this choice.
On the other hand, the Seven of Swords can also symbolize a negative event, such as someone you love leaving you or being laid off from your job. In either case, you have grown from the experience and it should be looked upon as a trial you have overcome, rather than a bitter betrayal.
When read in the present position, the Seven of Swords represents either your decision to make an important change in your life, or the possibility that someone else will make that change for you. If you’ve been toying with a decision, now may be a good time to take action.
If you are currently satisfied, and no major decisions are weighing on your conscience, someone else in your life may be grappling with such a choice.
In the future position, the Seven of Swords becomes significantly less ambiguous and points to your own actions rather than those of a third party such as your partner. Nevertheless, you will likely have to make a difficult decision for your own benefit. This doesn’t mean that you’ll suddenly become a cruel or selfish person, rather, you will immediately recognize the opportunity to better your situation and won’t hesitate to take it.
Try to avoid instilling feelings of betrayal in others by communicating your intentions clearly and openly before acting upon them.
Important Card Combinations
Shrewd, calculating, liberated — the Seven of Swords modifies the card it’s paired with to include these qualities. It contextualizes the other card, digging deep into your personal history to reveal decisions and character traits that have deeply affected your life.
Seven of Swords and Fool
This pairing heralds great potential and reveals that you have a brash streak in you.
On one hand, this pairing could be a sign you’ve made an impromptu decision that will ultimately bring you great happiness and freedom — this is the Fool’s childlike innocence speaking. On the other hand, this particular combination may be suggestive of a hasty decision that will deeply impact your relationship with your loved ones.
Seven of Swords and Lovers
This pairing suggests that you’ve made an important decision motivated by your love for someone. Though you may be leaving something behind — perhaps a career opportunity, family, or even an ex-lover — you feel no regrets.
The Lovers card suggests that you’re totally confident about your heart-driven decision, knowing it will bring you great happiness.
Seven of Swords and Strength
Together, these cards predict a decision that will steer you away from villainy. You’ve been feeling a deep uncertainty recently, yet have been unable to pinpoint the source of your unease. You may be unwillingly supporting someone whose values go against yours — perhaps your boss or a political leader — yet you feel powerless to defy them.
The Seven of Swords and Strength together suggests you will find a way of freeing yourself from a situation or a person that is causing you to feel this way. At a key turning point, you will find the power to turn the tables and free yourself from the feelings of moral bankruptcy plaguing you.
Yes or No Questions
The Seven of Swords typically requires a “no” answer. While this card represents freedom, it also suggests the possibility of negative consequences resulting from your decisions.