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78 Weeks of Tarot: 7 of Wands


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For information on what these threads refer to, see this thread;

 

78 Weeks of Tarot - Informational Thread

 

The above linked thread gives suggested dates for the cards as well as links to the individual topics.

 

Some of us may be working through the study in a different order and using different decks. If you have general questions or comments regarding the 78 Weeks of Tarot study group, please post in the topic in the above link.

 

Have fun.

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Everyday Witch Tarot (D.Blake & E.Alba 2017 Llewellyn)

 

Seven of Wands

 

Description; What action is going on:

A witch is standing and facing six other witches (only their hands and wands are shown in the picture). Her black cat is scared or angry and also preparing to fight.

 

Images, Symbolism, Colours:

The witch is dressed in red and purple. Her purple gown/dress matches in colour with the distant mountains behind her - which makes one think that’s where she’d rather be. Maybe she’d like to run/fly away and avoid the confrontation altogether.

 

From the EW Book:

- Preparing to fight

- Being on guard, defending

- Being on high alert, possibly without a clear reason

 

Traditional meanings (J. Bunning):

- Being aggressive, assertive, forceful

- Fighting

- Being defiant, refusing to yield, saying no

- Showing conviction, being sure, being firm

 

Notes:

- forced or pressured to do something you don’t want to do

- needing help!

- multi-tasking, stress

- Maybe her problems are not real, maybe she is imagining the opposition since they can’t be seen in this card. They are just hands in the air like in some old fairy tale.

- This card is sometimes about taking high ground/the high road i.e. keeping high moral standards. But I don’t get that interpretation from this deck very clearly.

 

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Deck: Tabula Mundi

Card: 7 of Wands Lord of Valour

Trumps: Lust and Tower

Last Decan of Leo ruled by Mars

Netzach of Aziluth/Fire

 

Thoughts:

This is a really interesting depiction of the 7 of Wands. It’s a bit of a departure from the RWS and Thoth imagery for this card. 
According to the book, the dragon and tiger relate to Feng Shui and the Shaolin school of martial arts. The battle between Dragon and Tiger is seen as a classic balance between male and female energies. The tiger is female and the dragon is male. The dragon represents blood and the yin within the yang while the tiger is chi and the yang within the yin. This card twists the tradition a bit by showing the tiger as making the circular, more defensive counterattack while the dragon is attacking hard style. The goal of the tiger is to take some of the dragon’s power and force the world back into balance. 
 

It shows that we need courage and possibly an act of individual bravery when meeting opposition. The imbalance present here creates a disordered, scrappy battle and it will need tenacity and strength to prevail. 
 

 

59F0A741-295E-4130-8B65-C826069F9E17.png

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7 of Wands - Fifth Spirit Tarot

 

The card 

A wooden club or stick, with tape wound around the base to provide better grip, emerges out of a group of six similar clubs. The six clubs below are either on fire, like torches, or spiked with nails, or sharpened, like a stake to kill vampires with. Their background is dark clouds or smoke. 
The seventh wand is not on fire, but alive with fresh growth of twigs and leaves and seven pinkish blossoms, some already in full bloom. A salamander is sitting on it. It emerges from the darkness towards the light. 

 

IMG_0116.JPG

 

Number and Suit meanings

In my personal understanding of numerology, Seven is linked to movement to a higher level, a spiritual quest. It is a mystical and mysterious number, a number of gaining deeper knowledge. Bringing together the dynamic nature of the Threes with order of the Fours, or, to say it in a more Pythagorean way, the union of the physical number 4 with the spiritual number 3. It has a lot of associations: the seven days of creation in the Bible, the seven deadly sins of Christianity, seven wonders of the world, the seven dwarfs etc etc. 

Wands as the suit of the element of Fire is linked to passion, physicality, sexuality, creativity, destruction, rebirth, the universal life force in its wild and untamed nature. 

 

IMG_0110.JPG

 

The Smith-Waite (and Thoth) take
In all decks, also the TdM tradition, it’s always one against six wands, never any other combinations. Six interlaced wands in the TdM, one wand singled out behind them. 
In the Smith-Waite deck it’s a person, holding that single wand, standing on higher ground, with six wands coming towards him from below. We don’t know who or what is holding these, but they seem dynamic, as if six people are trying to fight the main person on the card. Rachel Pollock writes: Through active conflict the figure in this card rises above any depression into the clear intoxicating air. 
In the Thoth deck the card is called Valour (which I had to look up: boldness, courage, determination, fearlessness) - so a similar concept. 


The Fifth Spirit take
I really like how the Fifth Spirit combines the visual qualities of both Thoth and Smith-Waite deck. The single wand is on higher ground, coming towards the light, against the conflict of the six other sticks. It is brimming with energy, with life force. But it’s not electric energy or violence, but life itself, in all the fragility of the blossoms. They might be destroyed, but they will come back. They will bear fruit for us to eat, they will nourish insects, they will bring beauty. The red fire salamander, an animal that legend has it can survive the fire, goes in the same direction. 

The guide books provides the following key words: 
Defiance, spiritual courage, standing your ground, fighting with integrity for what you believe in. 


What it means to me

Real strength does not come from physical force or violence, but from integrity and vulnerability. Overcoming the physical, fiery nature of the wands to be reminded that the life force, the slow burning of life, ot the metabolism inside us, inside all living beings, is the most persistent fire. 

From the Smith-Waite deck I take the new idea that the figure is on higher ground - so the fight or struggle might be hard, but they know they are morally on the right side and thus will prevail. 


In a Reading
Again using the spread / reading method that I will now call the Opening of the Book - I shuffle, look for the 7 of Wands, and read it with the card before and after, and came to a reading that turned out surprisingly political: 
King of Wands - 7 of Wands - 9 of Pentacles. 

 

IMG_0115.JPG

 

A tweet someone shared on my timeline pops into my head: "Ancestors, forgive me for the times i desired a seat at a table you would’ve flipped." (@SKARLETT3JA on Twitter)

The wand the king carries combines both the growth of new leaves and the fire. They are the people, the activists, the fighters for social justice and a better world that have come before us. If we balance the fire of that external fight with the fire within, the fire of self care and exploration, we are in the best position to change a system where the table is laid out so richly for just the few - read the 9 of pentacles in this context as neoliberal capitalism. 

Edited by le_charior
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Seven of Wands - True Black Tarot by Arthur Wang


 

Image Description: Surrounded by a hostile environment, a wand stands planted firmly in the ground, sheathed in iron and topped with an open hand. In the palm of the hand iIMG_1858.thumb.jpg.38eab7767c4badc3e435e580afc716ab.jpgs a golden sphere and 6 more wands approach the central one but are struck down by shards immerging from our firmly planted one.

 

By the Book:  Territorial, defensive, resistance, conviction.  This energy is in full defense of a something dear to them whether that be a firmly held belief, a position they are unwilling to give up, a deep conviction or even their sanity in the midst of chaos which is represented by the golden sphere held in the hand.  The multiple attackers represent a challenge that calls for resilience, strength of will and firm footing to prevail.


When I think about this card and the whole theme around the 7, the spiritual quest, I can almost see (image in the minds eye) the minors as guides of the Chariot.  I keep coming back to that balance needed to drive the entire quest forward to victory and that being reliant on so many moving parts functioning as a whole.  All driven by the confidence and firm hand of the Chariot.  I see the seed having been sown and nurtured which is now ready for harvest.  The time is now and knowing this as well as taking action on it is key.  The quest can't happen before you are ready.  You can't fake it nor can you hesitate.  When it comes, see it for what it really is and focus on the clear path.  Do not be diverted by great imaginings and the trappings of fantasy.  Learn to look beyond the mist to the end game.  Be willing to fight for it and defend the true path with conviction.  Let no one and nothing turn you away from the quest.  Challengers will come and go but the path is yours alone and you must be resilient.  The path to Victory requires a fine tuned balance and there is no time for acts of impulsiveness.  No time for games or deceit.  Being false will only bring isolation and your victory will be hollow.  Truth is the light and the way. 

 

It sounds like madness but when I tried to meditate on the idea of the 7 of Wands, this is what came to me.  How all of these minor 7's inform the greater victory through their seemingly simple lessons.  I dunno.  Funny week....


 

In a reading:  It struck me last week when le_charior used the Lost Person spread to locate the Chariot in their deck that it reminded me of the process I use for learning a new word.  If all I do is define it I will lose it quickly from my memory but when I  simply ask myself to use that new word in a sentence it tends to stick.  I feel like this spread has given me the opportunity to do just that, to "use it in a sentence" so to speak and give it form and structure rather than just a fleeting descriptor.  To do this you shuffle, cut and then search out your card of interest and pull the card in front of and behind the card as well to create the reading.  Just brilliant!  I did this with the 7 of Wands and it was so relevant to the moment for me as well as cementing another layer of meaning for me.


 

 

2 of Cups - 7 of Wands - Knight of Cups

Pulling two cups along with this defensive and active energy really threw conflict into the scene.  Certainly I was forced into a position where I had to defend my position at work with all I had against a boss that is young, eager and not always realistic about how things are meant to be.  It has pressured our friendship and strained things greatly but I have to remember what a sensitive reactionary he can be and use that to guide my defense tactics.  Initially I was all or nothing fighting for my rights and have learned this week that I can still accomplish this using tactics less warlike.  He would like to passively work this out and sees the ideal solution within reach whereas I am feeling attacked and isolated even though I am well right.  I have to stand my ground but I must also find a way to stop myself from smashing everything in the process.

 

 

 

IMG_1851.thumb.jpg.085a1314bb84242e284aee3945616fbf.jpg

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On 2/28/2021 at 6:40 PM, SheBeast said:

When I think about this card and the whole theme around the 7, the spiritual quest, I can almost see (image in the minds eye) the minors as guides of the Chariot.  I keep coming back to that balance needed to drive the entire quest forward to victory and that being reliant on so many moving parts functioning as a whole.  All driven by the confidence and firm hand of the Chariot.  I see the seed having been sown and nurtured which is now ready for harvest.  The time is now and knowing this as well as taking action on it is key.  The quest can't happen before you are ready.  You can't fake it nor can you hesitate.  When it comes, see it for what it really is and focus on the clear path.  Do not be diverted by great imaginings and the trappings of fantasy.  Learn to look beyond the mist to the end game.  Be willing to fight for it and defend the true path with conviction.  Let no one and nothing turn you away from the quest.  Challengers will come and go but the path is yours alone and you must be resilient.  The path to Victory requires a fine tuned balance and there is no time for acts of impulsiveness.  No time for games or deceit.  Being false will only bring isolation and your victory will be hollow.  Truth is the light and the way. 

I wanted to chose one sentence I like most, but I resonate with everything you wrote here - and nice how you bring it back to The Chariot also. Great entry - and a nice depiction of the card, with this golden sphere in the hand!

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