Seven of Swords Tarot Card

Seven of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

What does the Seven of Swords card mean in a Tarot Reading?

The Seven of Swords in the Tarot is an Arcana the meaning of which is easy to understand even for a beginner. The card symbolizes the rejection of morality and ethics, moving forward no matter what. It is up to you to decide how justified these actions are.
This is the card of cunning designs. Minor Arcana Tarot card Seven of Swords means new thoughtful plans, built strategies, thinking over tactics, calculating options.
The meaning of the card is easy to understand from the picture: dishonest actions, illegal acts, loss of moral principles, cunning.

Goal: big lies
Element: Air
Planet: Mercury, Moon
Astrological sign: Aquarius, Libra


The Seven of Swords Tarot card depicts a dodgy kidnapper who sneaks on tiptoe with a sly smile, holding five swords in his arms. Two more swords are stuck behind him. In the background of the Arcana are tents. This is a military camp from which this thief or spy escapes, taking the stolen swords with him.
(For a detailed depiction, analysis of the Symbols and all Elements of the Seven of Swords Tarot Card, click here)

The Main Meanings of the Card In an Upright Position

Key Words and Phrases

Deception. Indiscretion. Cunning. Fraud. Savvy. Duality. Shifting something onto others. Insincerity. Ability to take advantage of others. Thoughts about travel. Career change or job change.

Seven of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

Moving to a new location. The need for good governance. Sabotage. Evasive or prohibited methods. Diplomacy. Caution. Agility. Evasion. Indirect actions. Attention. Roundabout ways. Mind dominates power. Need to get professional advice. Unique worldview. Dishonest behavior. Illegality. Theft. Robbery. Bad luck. Guilt. Disorder. Betrayal. The pursuit. Unworthy actions. Self-defense. Short trip. Desire to escape. The escape. Moving forward. His own enemy. Self-protective behavior. Feeling awkward, escape from reality. Feeling betrayed or defeated.

The main meanings of the card in an upright position

solving new problems with old methods;
a trick that fails;
a warning against dangerous, impulsive behavior;
failure of plans;
desire to get something at the expense of others;
cheat trust;
a sharp mind turns into cunning and intrigue;
evil language, intellectual arrogance;
faint-hearted avoidance of problems;
advice not to take your views to absolute;
lies, anger, avoidance of direct conversations with a partner;
hope, expectation, intention, desire;
difficulties, confrontation;
open confrontation should be avoided;
hope and confidence;
dangerous enemy, secret enemy;
an attempt on the property of the querent;
agility, intellectual superiority over the enemy;
surmountable difficulties and obstacles;
gossip, slander, difficulties in business;
the hope to get settled, the hope to achieve prosperity;
surmountable by logic and common sense;
unknown opponents.

Witchcraft Tarot by Ellen Dugan
Witchcraft Tarot by Ellen Dugan

Situation and Advice

Perhaps you suspect that you are being deceived, or you feel uncomfortable with your recent act. You want to run away, but you shouldn’t be defensive. Do not become your own enemy, you need to show diplomacy, dexterity, flexibility, and then you can easily cope with the opposition and achieve your goals. Be careful, perhaps they are trying to shift someone’s problems onto you, or they are damaging your reputation. Some envious people can take advantage of the fact that you are now busy with other things, but it is not excluded that you yourself can strike when your opponent turns his back.
Your unique outlook and penchant for doing unexpected things can help you. The plan you make may not work the way you would like it to. You may need professional legal advice. This card may indicate that you are embroiled in intrigue, deception, an elaborate web of gossip, or illegal activities. Sometimes the Seven of Swords indicates a real robbery or theft (especially if there is another “deception” card in the spread, the Moon, for example), but, most likely, the damage will be done to you verbally. Pay close attention to what you are currently saying or writing. Perhaps a great “battle of the minds” awaits you. Someone is interfering with your intellectual freedom and independence. This card also means moving forward and saying goodbye to some part of your life that will remain in the past. You can harm yourself. Theft is possible in the literal sense of the word. There is a high probability of betrayal and stabbing in the back on the sly.

Persons designated by Upright Seven of Swords Tarot Сard

Inventive people. The thieves. Dexterous people. Scammers. Those who are constantly moving from place to place.

The Main Meanings of the Card In a Reversed Position

Key Words and Phrases

Positive values
Good advice. Constructive criticism. Something that once belonged to you will return to you. Acting in your own interest. Return of the stolen. Timely loan payment.

Negative values
Indecision. Laziness. Pessimism. Cowardice. Unfinished projects. Missed opportunities. Failure to learn from past mistakes. Lack of dexterity. Gloomy mood.

The main meanings of the card in a reversed position

firm conservatism, unwillingness to do otherwise;
reprimand, reproach;
restoration of trust.
good directions, life-saving warnings, instructions, lessons.
supervision, reflection, observation
notification, announcement, consultation, exhortation.
foresight, wisdom, restoration of reputation, return of the lost
return of the stolen, reward of effort, potential opportunity
vigilance, constant effort
prudence in business management, the need to be on the alert.

Situation and Advice

If you are robbed, the thief will be caught, and the stolen items will most likely be returned to you. If you have been wronged, expect an apology. Now you should especially value criticism, as there is a high probability that it will turn out to be constructive. What was taken away from you by dishonest means will also return to you. Someone will offer help or good advice. Now you need to collect your thoughts if you want to be successful. Compliance with conventions and abandoning the imagination will get you nowhere.

Seven of Swords. Mirage Valley Tarot by Barbara Moore
Mirage Valley Tarot by Barbara Moore

Persons designated by the Reversed Seven of Swords Tarot Сard

Fools. Dumb ones. Loser thieves.

In the Spreads

The general meaning of the Seven of Swords Tarot card is simple enough to understand. Arcana means immoral acts, machinations, dishonest play, cynical calculation, and achieving a goal by any possible means.
Both the upright and the reversed position indicate any dishonest, illegal or immoral act. There are still small differences.

In an Upright Position

This Arcana symbolizes finding a non-standard way out of a difficult situation, when we need to act not head-on, avoid conflict and look for alternative ways. The meaning of the Seven of Swords Tarot card indicates ingenuity, logic and resourceful “creative” solutions, as well as the presence of strategy and tactics.
This Arcana is not about deception in its purest form, but about what is called “cheating”. Indeed, the strategy of the Seven of Swords is sometimes simply necessary in order to avoid serious conflicts and at the same time remain the winner in a given situation. Of course, it is about the ability to negotiate as well.
The Seven of Swords Tarot card shows that the querent meets constant opposition. Its source is known, but it is unclear who is in charge. Plans are disrupted, progress is slow, the querent feels frustrated and useless to continue. However, avoiding open confrontation, working carefully and diligently, cleverly and skillfully using his talents, the querent will be able to defeat an unknown, but even more dangerous opponent.
The Seven of Swords stands for hope and confidence. New attempts to overcome previous failures, and this time they may be successful. Perhaps good advice (from yourself or from someone else), instructions to help you cope with difficulties.
The upright Seven of Swords acts in its classic meaning: sacrificing conscience and advancing towards the goal by all available means, even if you have to step over heads. The manifestation of prudence, cunning and intelligence.
However, the Seven of Swords of the Tarot always speaks of cunning and small lies under specious intentions. However, the card can only mean that we have to solve problems for the speed of thinking and sharpness of mind. One of the traditional meanings of this card is perseverance, coupled with a developed intellect, which helps to find solutions even in the most difficult situations.
In an upright position, the Seven of Swords most often indicates a feeling of futility of efforts, strong pessimism, causing a feeling of meaninglessness in performing any actions. Belief in your abilities is completely absent, and the successful implementation of any plan or deed seems completely impossible. In a milder form, it can be an evil language, intellectual arrogance, or the position of indifference, unwillingness to notice some things, the habit of playing around, dodging, etc. At the same time, it is not clear who is deceiving whom here, and who we are – a swindler or a victim. The card describes situations in which, in order to achieve success, it is advisable not to go into conflict, clearly demonstrating one’s strength or superiority, but to act carefully, “bypassing”, without pressure. The card suggests that sometimes you can lie, that you need to be able to adapt to circumstances.
In an upright position, the Seven of Swords warns the querent against ill-considered, impulsive actions, which he may later regret and which may badly affect his reputation.
In the spreads, this card can mean such events as fraud or deception in order to achieve its goal, dishonest play, intrigue, cunning and dexterous moves. The Seven of Swords warns that your cunning ideas can help you achieve what you want, however, they can greatly damage your reputation, and as a result, bring achievements to zero.
Another possible meaning of the upright card Seven of Swords is an insidious secret enemy, the existence of which you may not even suspect. In this case, the Arcana advises you to double your vigilance by preventing this dangerous person from disrupting your plans.

In a Reversed Position:

The reversed Seven of Swords warns that it is unacceptable to lose vigilance and stop working once having achieved some success in the fight against the opponent. Any weakness of character (shyness or indecision) will allow the enemy to regain the strength to strike.
The meaning of the reversed Tarot card Seven of Swords: slander, plans that can collapse, annoyance. Excessive self-confidence leading to instability in business.
A reversed Seven of Swords speaks of overconfidence, about difficulties and obstacles due to gossip, lies, questionable advice. It indicates the instability of the current situation, feeling weak or helpless. Sometimes the card shows that the querent has become involved in someone’s secrets, a showdown, or that some ill-wisher has a hidden and implicit, but very noticeable influence on his affairs.
In a reversed position, the Seven of Swords Tarot card means that the querent has opponents or enemies leading a secret game against him, but he successfully copes with this. The presence of this card in the spread indicates that you are acting correctly, not allowing opponents to gain the upper hand over you. However, you must not lose your vigilance as your enemies are not asleep.
In addition, the reversed Seven of Swords promises that if you previously suffered as a result of someone’s insidious actions, now you have every chance to return what you lost. We can talk about the returned property (if there was a theft, dishonest trial or fraud), about the restoration of the previous position, reputation in the eyes of others, etc. In other words, the Seven of Swords indicates that justice will still prevail in your life.
The reversed Arcana indicates that by using dishonest methods you can really get what you want, but think again whether it is worth sacrificing your principles. There is a high risk of self-disappointment and inner emptiness.

In the Spreads for Different situation

In an Upright Position:
The Seven of Swords can mean deception on the part of someone from your social circle, or dishonest actions towards you. Use a diplomatic approach, adjust to circumstances, and be careful with people around you.
In a Reversed Position:
Seven of Swords in questions over a specific situation means that dishonest actions towards you will stop, deception will be revealed. You may be offered help, do not refuse it.

In the Spreads for Relationship

In an Upright Position:
Here, the spectrum of the upright Seven of Swords is very wide: from small troubles, like gloating and hypocrisy, to low lies, anger, meanness and betrayal. On the other hand, the card can indicate a lack of openness in the relationship, when partners avoid direct conversations or dodge an important decision. It may point to talks about problems that hide under false, ostentatious well-being. In matters of fidelity, Arcana unambiguously points to treason, cheating, double life.

Seven of Swords. The Tarot of Vampyres [With Phantasmagoria] by Ian Daniels
The Tarot of Vampyres [With Phantasmagoria] by Ian Daniels

The meaning of the Seven of Swords is a beautiful shell with dubious content. It may look to be a wonderful union in which everything is perfect, but in fact one of the partners is behaving immorally. This is either manipulation, or treason, or deception. Moreover, the second partner may not even know about it.

In a Reversed Position:
It symbolizes a painful unhealthy relationship in which one partner is emotionally dependent on the other. This leads to depression, nervous breakdowns, illness.
A reversed Seven of Swords means excessive exposure to someone else’s influence, blindly following the advice of others, over-emotional attitude to reproaches and criticism from a partner. Arcana is often interpreted as defamation, which can lead to negative emotions and destroy relationships.

In the Spreads for Dates

In an Upright Position:
A new relationship awaits you. Be sure, you will succeed.
In a Reversed Position:
Previous relationships or hobbies keep you from going forward. Free your heart.

In the Spreads for Family

In an Upright Position:
Your parents or guardians do a lot and sacrifice a lot to give you the very best. Make sure you show them your appreciation.
In a Reversed Position:
Stop living in the past. Instead, focus on the future.

In the Spreads for Friendship

In an Upright Position:
As you move forward in life, you leave your friends behind.
In a Reversed Position:
You trusted too easily. Be careful.

In the Spreads for Money

In an Upright Position:
An upright card in the financial side can mean the appearance of ill-gotten money, illegal earnings, under-the-counter salaries, and winnings.
The calculated risk will pay off in full.
In a Reversed Position:
Financial fraud will not bring the desired result. There is a risk of dubious spending or loss of money.
Have you appropriated something foreign to yourself? Or did you spend the money of somebody else?

In the Spreads for Education

In an Upright Position:
Sometimes you just have to rely on yourself and sort things out on your own. Now is just such a case.
In a Reversed Position:
Cheating is always bad.

In the Spreads for Career

In an Upright Position:
When a card falls out in questions for work, it is recommended to show maximum intelligence and prudence. Make informed decisions only after thinking through all the pros and cons and drawing up a plan. Somewhere you can use manipulation and cunning moves. This will help you on your way to the desired result.
The upright Tarot card Seven of Swords indicates that the querent can be deceived, or he is deceiving himself. Perhaps a person is trying to achieve something in a dishonest, fraudulent way. In addition, the Seven of Swords indicates a complete disbelief in the success of any business or in their abilities in any activity, a feeling of complete senselessness in continuing to work in the current position.

Seven of Swords. The Dragon Tarot
The Dragon Tarot

Arcana testifies to obstacles, dark affairs and other moments that are not conducive to career and business development. In some cases, the Seven of Swords denotes difficulties associated with ill-conceived plans or objective obstacles on the way to the goal.

In a Reversed Position:
The reverse view of the card indicates the possible consequences of your actions. Therefore, think a few times before doing anything. This is especially true of dishonest or illegal methods.
The reversed Seven of Swords indicates a lack of funds and opportunities to bring what has been started to completion, instability in a career associated with the intrigues of ill-wishers, or with one’s own uncertainty of success. Sometimes Arcana describes a situation when a person retreats, being already halfway to the goal, because he sees the upcoming difficulties. He is afraid of them and begins to consider his business or plan as hopeless and as a failure.

In the Spreads for Health

In an Upright Position:
The appearance of Arcana indicates the need to be checked by a doctor for the presence of hidden diseases. You should especially pay attention to your nervous system.
In a Reversed Position:
A reversed card has a good meaning for health. It indicates a cure for the disease, the restoration of the body.

Answer to Yes / No Tarot Spreads

In an Upright Position:
In a Reversed Position:

Self-Development Lesson

When there are important things to think about, do not allow yourself to be sidetracked (from the pressing issues). Calculate the consequences of your actions. Don’t act hastily or impulsively.

Type of person in an upright position:

The card shows a secretive person, but curious and cunning as an eel. He has an answer to any of the trickiest questions. He is not so much smart as cunning. Changes color, like a chameleon, has the ability to get out of any, even the most difficult, alterations.

Type of person in a reversed position:

Seven of Swords. The Bruegel Tarot
The Bruegel Tarot

Means a person with a bunch of “cockroaches” in his head. He himself does not know what he wants and what to take forward. Cowardly, fearful, indecisive. He drags on the settlement of problems to the last second, hoping that they will be resolved by themselves. Inclined to gossip and condemnate of others.

Arcana’s warning

If you have made a decision to act immorally, illegally or harshly, be able to answer for it and stop in time. Otherwise, you can lose yourself.

Final Advice of Arcana

Arcana advises you to think carefully about your actions, determine how necessary and legal they are, calculate all the consequences and be ready to bear responsibility for them.

In an Upright Position:
Do not open your cards, keep quiet for the time being. Curiosity is not a vice.
In a Reversed Position:
Go to the enemy with an open visor. Speak the truth without fear, because it is on yur side.


It is a card of hope and renewed self-confidence. It looks like the worst is over. If your confidence and your plans are based on experience and knowledge of the situation, then you can still succeed. Beware of overconfidence and don’t try to bluff. Your experience has taught you what to know, and your powers will guide you through the difficulties. There is no need to rush forward. Don’t tell too much about what you need or plan to do as your talkativeness will play into the hands of your enemies.

flower dividing line, tarot

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