7 of Wands

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The 7 of Wands Minor Arcana Tarot card is the very picture of defiance and perseverance in the face of adversity and opposition: A man, armed with a single wand, is bravely standing his ground while defending himself and his vision against six opposing wands held by unseen attackers. He is making progress towards his goals, despite not receiving any support or encouragement from his environment.

When the upright Seven of Wands Minor Arcana card appears in Tarot readings, the good news is that you have a firm belief in yourself, your abilities and your mission. You have a fire in your belly and are doggedly pursuing your dreams. However, you are faced with a certain amount of resistance and adversity, and this is putting your resolve to the ultimate test.

When the Seven of Wands reversed comes up in a Tarot reading, it indicates that you are finally becoming exhausted and overwhelmed. The adverse winds you are facing, and have been facing for a while, are threatening to extinguish your inner flame. Is it time to retreat, or is there a way to persevere despite the obstacles?

What the Wands mean in Tarot

The Tarot’s Minor Arcana consists of four suits, one for each of the four elements that make up the natural world. The suit of Swords represents the air, the suit of Pentacles earth, the suit of Cups water and the suit of Wands fire.

The fire element and the Wands suit are associated with drive, passion, willpower, ambition, confidence and desire. When you read Tarot cards and a Wands card comes up, it is is talking about these energies in your life.

When the fire element is in its positive aspect and we are in touch with our inner fire and sense of drive, we are fully alive and on-track to achieving our goals and the life of our dreams. When, on the other hand, the fire elements is in its negative aspect, the fire can either run amok and consume us, or worse, we may lose sight of our inner flame and move through life without drive, aim or passion.

In addition to being a symbolic representation of the fire element, the wand is also a magical tool, an instrument of creation and manifestation.

In the Major Arcana, the Magician archetype teaches us a great lesson in how the wand is used. In the Magician Tarot card, we see the young Magus practicing and honing his magical abilities. Standing before his altar, he is holding his wand in his hand and is using it like a magical conductor’s wand to direct and command cosmic forces. The Magician understands that in order to manifest our desires in tangible form, we have to be aligned with and in control of our inner fire and willpower.

Numerology number 7 in Tarot

The Seven of Wands Minor Arcana card is labelled with the Roman numeral VII, meaning 7. It is interesting to look at the numerological meaning of the number 7, as it relates to the 7 of Wands Tarot card.

According to numerology, the number 7 stands for introspection and critical thinking, secrets and hidden mysteries, intuition and the inner mind. The energy of the number 7 is focused inwards, rather than outwards.

Seven of Wands Tarot card description

Depictions of the Seven of Wands card differ between Tarot decks, but most versions are inspired by the Rider-Waite Tarot and include its key symbols and details. Because it is the most prevalent, the Rider-Waite version of the card is the one we will be taking a closer look at here.

The man

The primary figure in the Seven of Wands Tarot card is the man standing tall against his detractors or opponents. He is holding a large wand in a fixed position with both of his hands, and his stance is clearly defensive. The look on his face is one of anguish and frustration as he fights to stand firm and defend his choices or position against any possible threat.

An interesting detail to note is that the man is wearing two different shoes, either indicating that he has been caught unawares and ill-prepared for battle, or hinting at an elemen of Don Quijote-like madness as he pursues a very ambitions goal.

The wand

The large flowering wand in the man’s hands represents the strength of his conviction and his courage. His willpower is quite literally his weapon and his only defence. The prominent size of the wand tells us that this character is particularly strong-willed. He is determined to stand his ground and continue the battle, even if it is all uphill.

The opposing wands

Six more wands, held by unseen attackers or opposing forces outside of the card’s frame, are drawing up from below, challenging and impeding the man’s progress.

The landscape

The sky in the background of the Seven of Wands Tarot card is clear and blue, but the ground under the man’s feet is rocky and uneven. One false move and he could easily lose his balance, and with it, the entire battle. He is walking a tentative balance between all of the challenges he has to overcome and maintaining his own confidence and belief in the mission.

Seven of Wands Tarot card meanings

When the upright Seven of Wands Tarot card appears in its upright position, it tells of both challenges and the courage to face them. Here are the key upright Seven of Wands Tarot card meanings.

Challenge

The upright Seven of Wands suggest challenges, obstacles and opposition. Every time you make a move in your desired direction, you are being challenged or pushed back again. No matter how much of your time and energy you throw in, it seems the adverse winds just won’t stop blowing in your face.

It may be worth taking a step back to contemplate whether the circumstances are entirely to blame. They might be, but then again, there might be tweaks and adjustments you can make, whether to your mindset, your attitude or your approach, that would make your path to long term success and happiness both easier and faster.

Competition

When the Seven of Wands Tarot card appears in its upright position, it can indicate competition, competitors and rivalry. Whether a talented newcomer at work is vying for your position or you are toxically comparing yourself and your progress to that of others, you are seeing competition all around you and feeling vulnerable and pressured by the results others are achieving.

Sometimes, the Seven of Wands suggests that you may be too competitive and stand-offish with others. Could it be that the people you regard as your competition might actually turn out to be great inspirations to you, or even collaborators?

Opposition

The Seven of Wands indicates opposition, people around you criticising, condemning or detracting from your progress and growth.

You might have goals and dreams that are bigger than the goals and dreams of the people around you – this might scare them, and cause them to worry about you, or worry that your success and growth is going to show up their own inadequacies. As a result, they criticise, caution and berate you when you express your true goals and plans, and slowly, they chip away at your self-belief, until you begin to doubt the light and magic that are in you.

Opposition can take other forms, as well, such as being up against an authority at work who is unwilling to let you express or trial your ideas, or cumbersome barriers of legislation or paperwork slowing you down from making progress in your new upstart.

Perseverance

The upright Seven of Wands always indicates perseverance, a strong sense of self-belief and the ability to keep going when the going gets tough.

If you are pursuing a dream or are working on a project that is of vital importance to you, the upright Seven of Wands encourages you to keep at it. You may be much closer to the goal than you realise. A lot of people eliminate themselves from the competition simply by giving up. Those who stay in the game the longest have the disproportionate advantage.

Seven of Wands reversed Tarot card meanings

When the reversed Seven of Wands appears in Tarot readings, the pressure exerted by your opposition becomes too much, your self-confidence falters and you finally cave in. Here are the most significant reversed Seven of Wands Tarot card meanings.

Overwhelm

The Seven of Wands reversed can indicate a state of overwhelm. You may have multiple assignments, commissions or projects on the go at once, while also dealing with a set of unforeseen obstacles and juggling your usual obligations.

You have so much on your plate that you are slowly sinking under the weight of all of the responsibilities, tasks or opportunities that you have taken on. It is time to unload a little and set some healthy boundaries to secure your own well-being and success in the long term.

Exhaustion, burnout

If you have already been feeling overwhelmed and under enormous pressure for a while and the reversed Seven of Wands comes up in a Tarot reading, it is probably a sign that you have reached burnout, the final stage of exhaustion. Or perhaps you are nearly there, with just enough time to hit the breaks and call for a time-out before you crash.

Remember, the goal here is to live to fight another day. If you continue burning your candle at both ends, you are bound to lose the momentum and progress you have already made.

Giving up

Occasionally, the Seven of Wands reversed can indicate that you are finally collapsing under long-term pressure. Tired of fighting a relentlessly uphill battle, you finally decide to call it quits.

You could be making a mistake, or you might finally be making the right decision. Continuing to give all of your life force and passion to a project, a career or a relationship that isn’t going anywhere and isn’t bringing you any enjoyment anymore and has turned into pure struggle, simply isn’t worth it.

It can take a strong character to admit defeat and walk away from an untenable situation, but the same tenacity and inner power that kept you fighting is now spurring you on to accept a situation that you cannot make work.

Seven of Wands Tarot card interpretation

Each Tarot card is a multi-layered, many-faceted prism of meaning. Which one of its many nuances stands out more in any particular Tarot reading is always going to depend on a number of moving pieces, including the other cards in the surrounding spread. What follows is a few examples of how the Seven of Wands Tarot card might be interpreted within the context of different Tarot readings.

What the Seven of Wands means in a love Tarot reading

Upright

When the Seven of Wands appears in its upright position in a love Tarot reading, it suggests that you are facing your fair share of challenges when it comes to romance. If you are in a committed relationship, there seems to be a lot of opposition and discord between you and your partner. They might be trying to discourage you from pursuing a new career or direction in your personal development. Your relationship is not necessarily doomed, but you and your partner will have to find more common ground.

Reversed

The Seven of Wands reversed is bad news for romance. It seems that you have tried everything and given it your best to make it work. You and your partner may simply be too different.

What the Seven of Wands means in a career Tarot reading

Upright

You are fighting for every morsel of success that comes your way at the moment. Perhaps you are working to get a new business or career off the ground and are having a difficult time getting a foothold in your industry.

Reversed

You are overwhelmed, on the verge of complete burnout and of giving up. It is time to re-evaluate your options, and most likely, to change career track.

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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