Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot- 7 of Swords:Futility & The Barbara Walker Tarot- 7 of Swords:Opposition.
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot- 7 of Swords:Futility & The Barbara Walker Tarot- 7 of Swords:Opposition.

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Tarot- 7 of Swords-Futility, & The Barbara Walker Tarot- 7 of Swords: Opposition.

In the tarot of the Hermetic Qabalah the 7's are Netzach (the Sephira of Venus). Netzach in the Suit of Swords and means- Victory, but not victory over opposition, rather the brain's victory of association over the Truth of Higher Intelligence.

Netzach places a modifying influence on The 7 of Swords that is accentuated by the zodiacal rule of  Moon in Aquarius. This means that the mental wreckage illustrated in the Thoth card, is not as much of a disaster as it is in the 5 of Swords, under the rule of Geburah-Severity. Therefore,  the 7 of Swords-Futility, represents a wish to compromise; a certain vacillation is present; One might say, that a certain toleration is present. Of course, the success of this policy for compromise determines the nature of the mental wreckage, so when compromise is unsuccessful, then a disaster is presented. Hence, if the surrounding cards show strong violent forces, then Great Futility is expressed and compromise won't work.

The Thoth Tarot-7  of Swords, shows a Strong central sword being chipped away by six weaker swords, suggesting  that the Central Strong Character struggles in vain against the many feeble thoughts that assault it.

The Qabalistic Thoth -7 of Swords follows the Axiom, "Above all things, know thyself". However there is also an old but well established doctrine of the Gnosis, and Qabalah, "...that it is futile trying to understand the "I AM", by using words as thought".

In the Gnostic Gospels of  Didymos Judas Thomas, Jesus is quoted as saying: "If those who lead say to you,'see, the kingdom is in the sky.' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,'  then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, you  will then become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons [suns] of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who is that poverty." (The Gnostic Gospel of Thomas---The Nag Hammadi Library--)

The word Suns in brackets is of  my own insertion, because the original word is interpretation as Son (Prince) and/or Sun (Solar logos), both having similar meanings in Qabalah. The fact that many Monks who interpreted the Gospels from the original Greek, were misogynistic, required them to use the word "Son", establishing the concept that woman was  of a lesser intelligence. Qabalah and Science both know that we are all androgyny; each of us, both male and female, are to be Tiphareth (beauty) which is "the Son/Sun" and/or Enlightened Mind- number 6 on the Tree of Life.

 In Hermetic Qabalah, Six is  the number of the Sun, and is the Christ/Buddha state of conscious energy that both male and female human bodies are hard wired to receive. The fact is, the word Qabalah, means-receiving. The "Son of God", is the highest state of mind that any of us can reach and understand in a physical body- personal consciousness.  [ More research into the old papyri that was dug up in Nag Hammadi Egypt, will reveal even more Gnostic gems for the inquiring mind].

 Each of us are in the process of "Remembering ourselves", the 7 of Swords is an especial understanding of our intelligence. Considered one of the mystical feminine numbers, 7 is not only the number of the "goddess", it is also the Sephira- Netzack (meaning Victory) on the Tree of Life. Netzach- Victory, (a Victory of the Group Soul over the individual) in the suit of Swords is not as catastrophic as 7 in the other suits, as Netzach is the Sephira of Venus. This modifying influence is accentuated by the celestial fact of the Moon being in Aquarius, as the planetary rule of this card. To speak of this modifying influence simply, is that the intellectual wreckage of this card is not so vehement as is the Five of Swords-Defeat. For there is vacillation, and a certain tolerance brought on by the need to compromise. However, in certain circumstances, the need to compromise, can bring even greater disaster than defeat, depending on the success of the policy of compromise. Here in Netzach, is the Cultural Group Soul/psyche, in victory over the Soul's Psyche; not by destruction, but by  the appeasement of rational. Here, the Soul is told to be less aggressive in it's policies of "I AM",  and allow the body , "Me", to decide the identity, as that will cause "less pain". Therefore their is compromise of intelligence for an identity-of-indoctrination supplied by the Group Soul (State), enforced by "pleasure-pain training".

The policy of appeasement that is suggested by this card, is always in doubt, as there exists uncompromising-violent forces which prey on vacillation. The Soul will begin to shrug off the "mind numbing caul" of enforced identity. This "shrugging off" of the man-made self by the Greater Self, is often called the "dark night of the Soul", a phrase coined by St. John of the Cross, and it is not "less painful". It is in fact a extreme pruning of the "man made brush" of identity until the Real Seed of The Solar Psyche is the only Presence.  Therefore, the 7 of Swords reminds us that it is futile to let our-self identity be built by indoctrinated thoughts based on fear. Fearing death, is fearing the flesh. This causes one's soul to be blocked by a "greater master", for fear of death has a name of legion, as it is also fear of pain, fear of loss, fear of discomfort, fear of rejection, fear of vulnerability, fear of .... It is unnecessary to go on, for Fear, contrary to Fundamental religions,  is not your God. Your Solar Logos, Soul/Psyche is the Real Person (persona) of the Divine Creative and it is immortal and therefore, continually experimenting with Self Awareness as the "I AM" creator of "ME". There is no god other than your own Imagination! For to imagine, is to "image make",i.e., Create Self Identity!  In Qabalah 7 is a Divine Feminine number, She is Imagination, the Womb of Form! Hence, the 7 of Swords suggests it is futile to allow your imagination to be ruled by others, for your "freedom of choice" allows you to choose your very own identity: I AM ME. Preferably, one not subservient to society, for that is not of the Soul.

 To reiterate: What the Tarot 7 of Swords represents, is the futility of using this doctrine of appeasement to approach God-Self Knowledge, i.e. The Higher Self. The brain is indoctrinated by those who ruler- identity by enforcement, so the definition that has been pounded into your head, as "pleasure/pain training", (brain washing) will not let you stand in your Power of "I AM ME". On the contrary, you must kneel and bow your head to weakness and fear as your "mental master" is a software program of servitude to some "outside" master. This need to appease those who you think can hurt you, or seek what you think will give you "happiness", is a violation of your Soul's "state of Mind", as you must compromise action with reaction; For happiness is inside of you. 

Throughout my Tantric, Gnostic and Qabalistic/Tantric training/learning, I (Original Self) have always told my reactive based brain (personal consciousness), "If you wish to speak to me, you must stand, for I'll not kneel to your weakness", for this is not a thought processed policy of appeasement. It is,however, the Policy of the "Will to be", that is our Soul/Psyche-Son of The Divine Creative and is the necessary mental state needed to "above all things, know thyself". Also, it is necessary for the one who seeks Self, to keep the brain's need to seek survival at bay. The brain's need to survive is futile, it is an artificial intelligence that is necessary for the Soul's Self Awareness experiment, we call "Alive" processing. Life is the Soul's purpose, being alive, is a moment in time. Time is both alpha and omega, beginning and end of a thing, therefore it is futile to think a body can out run time.

It is also futile, to use the brain's cultural software, when seeking your memory as a "Higher Self", you must use Declaration, I AM.....rather than "I wish". To Say, "I AM the Divine's Body." rather than " I seek God's mercy and freedom from suffering", will help get you out of your miserable state of mental slavery, imposed on you by "those who control definition"; those who call themselves, your masters. In fact, just by repeating the Pattern on the Trestleboard, written by the Hermetic Qabalist- Dr.Paul Foster Case, one begins freeing their brain from useless reactive data. Each numbered Sephiroth of the Qabalistic Tree of Life, is reduced to one sentence, which opens the indoctrination-blocked- gate of receiving in the brain/self-consciousness. Freeing our "I"s", to see the Kingdom of the Divine Creative Inside, and Outside of us.

The Thoth 7  of Swords-Futility, accentuates the axiom, "above all things, know thyself", by showing the Singular Sword of Self awareness, shown being chipped away by the contest of the "many feeble" thoughts against the Strong central "Will to be".
The hilts of the six, more feeble swords, display the crescent Moon, Moonlight in its weaken state, suggesting illusion, and denial as the attaching  "feeble thoughts".  This causes the "appeasement" of self-doubt, a philosophy that will strive in vain.  As we can see, "Above all things, know thyself", carries no such burden as self doubt, rather it is the freedom of self-trust, as the Divine builds what it wants; being you is an obvious Creative want.

The Traditional meaning of the Tarot 7 of Swords, is illustrated by the Barbara Walker Tarot card. Traditionally, the 7 of Swords meant opposition from relentlessly hostile forces. These oppositions are mental in the suit of Swords, so the Thoth concept of indoctrinate thoughts, implanted in your brain by a hostile society (all societies are hostile to individuality), which relentlessly runs as software in your brain, shutting down individual creativity and therefore the ability to receive Higher Thought is made futile.

The implications here are that the source of this opposition is hard to identify or to confront. Which is true, since this indoctrination of thought that opposes your individual action, has been unknowingly implanted by your fear of rejection, as you reacted to displeasure, real or imagined, of your elders, your peers and/or society.
Therefore, traps of "knee jerk" thought are implanted by, parents, media, religion and public school or state sponsored indoctrination. With the child's natural fear of rejection, elevated to a social fear, one fears slander's might be spoken behind their backs; a type of paranoia becomes the operational basis of life as one fears unknown impersonal powers of the natural or the social environment that might be aligned against their well-being. A common modern example of this fear, manifests as the mental fears of a "conspiracy theorist".

In the Medieval mind, difficulties that are associated with the 7 of Swords-Tarot, were attributed to a Witch's curse. The prevail thought was that these curses worked harm in secret, hence, they were more dangerous than the seen. Just as depict in this painting that the artist Falero did in 1878, witches were seen as evil consorts of the Devil (a revision of the Hindu-Devi-Lingam). 

Therefore, Barbara Walker illustrates a Crone-Witch, and all her paraphernalia, including the common black cat familiar. These "cursing witches" were usually suspected to be crones, women whose "wise blood" was retained to build up irresistibly powerful death-dealing magic within her. These crones were often labeled Hags, a word that used to mean "holy woman", as well as a synonym for "fairy". In the matriarchal traditions of pagan Europe, Hags were once tribal rulers or "princesses" who refused to accept the indoctrination of Christianity. They kept worshiping their Goddess in defiance of the Roman Church, so their identity was revised by the Church to that of "witches".

Since cats were sacred to the goddess, from Scandinavia to Egypt (such as the Egyptian goddess Bast), the black cat was revised to represent the "demon-familiar" that helped the Witch to cast her evil spells.

The Thoth Tarot 7 of Swords:
 In the Tarot of the Hermetic Qabalah, the 7's are ruled by Netzach is the Seventh Sephiroth, Victory, which governs love, feelings and instincts. It is the Group Mind Sephira, of the Natural Animal Survival Mind, influencing nature and the arts.  As quoted from the Qabalistic Tarot Text book of Robert Wang:
"The beams of Chesed and Geburah meet in Netzach and thence in Netzach arises a green, pure, brilliant, liquid, and gleaming like an emerald. And the Sphere of its operations is that of Nogah or External Splendour, producing zeal, love, harmony, and it ruleth the Sphere of Action of the Planet Venus and the nature of the Vegetable World. And Jehovah Tzabaoth is a God of Hosts and of Armies, of Triumph and of Victory, ruling the universe in Justice and Eternity. And its Archangel Hanial, is the Prince of Love and Harmony, and the Name of the Order of Angels is Elohim, or Gods who are also called the Order of Principalities."

 Netzach being in Yetzirah, influences the Astral World; a world of deception and fantasy where victory is more deception than fact. To a Qabalist, this is Netzach (Victory) in Yetzirah (Astral World). The Astral world is fluid and deceptive, while Netzach is success after battle. Which indicates that much struggle is wrought before achieving what you envision, although the envision success is a futile effort towards happiness.

You may note, dear reader, that Netzach in the suit of Swords, does not represent as much catastrophe as in other suits, as this Sephira of Venus means Victory. There is, however, a wish to compromise. a halting tolerance and a certain vacillation. When over done, this need for compromise can bring disaster; not always does a policy of appeasement produce peace as any student of WWII knows.
Hence, the 6  Swords chipping away at the One Strong Sword, suggests a contest between the many feeble and the one strong. The Strong One strives in vain against the pusillanimity of the many.



The mundane divination meaning of this card is unstable effort, vacillation and untrustworthy character.
More over, the  Thoth 7 of Swords Tarot card also represents wanting something but believing you can't have it. You are resigned to giving up. However, there is  the desire and possibility of victory over this feeling of futility within the nest 7 weeks or 7 months. The feeling of futility is really just creating problems for yourself by not believing in your creative potential. The mind has become inflexible and focused on fear of lack.  Mental flexibility is the up side of this card. It reminds us to experiment in all areas of our life; lifestyle, daily routine, beliefs and communications, To settle for is to practice futility----because life is a constant transformation of Force and Form...Form and Force. We En-Force our will upon the Motion of our Form by creating Beliefs, dogma, ideas and emotion, this is the paradigm of Psychosomatic function. To know that Energy-in-Motion, is the Will that is you and not the follower that is body---is to avoid futility.  I Am the E-Motion that operates this body, rather than, I am emotional which implies that the bodies  natural survival mind (self-conscious) is moved by environment rather than the greater intellect of the Soul/Psyche.  When Emotions are just let loose with out Willful focus on oneness, they are a unstable effort, vacillation, and untrustworthy character. Like all Motion, Energy-in-motion (emotions) requires guidance systems in order to "hit their target". "Above all things know thyself", also describes a vital character who knows what it wants and is able to line up its sights and get it without harming others in the process. "To know thyself", means that every thing you see is another way to be you [Energy-Force and Form] so you knowingly treat them well, but here is the caveat; to treat others as yourself is a law which you never have broken! If you think ill of yourself, you treat others ill! If you think Well of yourself, you treat others well! That is how the One Conscious operates, since all that is, is another way to be the One Energy that can't be destroyed or created, only transformed and transmitted!

It is indeed FUTILE to seek happiness when you are unhappy with you! Victory over chaos, comes from an Ordered Mind/Emotion union; Love being the Greatest Balance of Order! Love thyself, makes all things possible. Dislike yourself, makes everything a horrendous effort of futility! This card says," Wake-up to a new perspective about you or all your actions are futile; you're good enough to inherit the All!"  Remember, inheritance is not earned, it is accepted. Accept that you are Divine Self Awareness. Mental Justice states, that what you think you are worth, is what you get! We are all the Children of the Divine Creative (Divine Parents)---our presence is enough to inherit the Universe but we decide our identity by our perspective of ourselves! Why limit your presence? As a Spiritual Will and consciousness, Rock On with your body-dance partner! You are the Force of your Forms, so dance!

Therefore The Thoth 7 of Swords-Futility, represents the sabotaging mind where you know what you want symbolized by the central sword and then go about defining the reasons why you can't obtain it, as shown by the six swords surrounding the central one. This is the yes-but mindthat often keeps us from making our dreams work. Again, astrologically the 7 of Swords is Moon and Sun in Aquarius, the circle with a dot in the center is a symbol of the Sun, the Crescent is the Moon and the wavy lines at the bottom are Aquarius.

Each of the six swords of procrastination bear a planetary sign for the six ways we sabotage our selves.

  1. The yes-but aspect of Saturn is telling us there is too much red-tape or it's too complicated.
  2. Another Sword has on the handle the symbol of Mercury which is about the negative communication of " I can't... I wish I'd a ...If only..." all negative reasons why "it won't work".
  3. Another sword handle bares the planetary sign of Jupiter; the planet that symbolizes flexibility and expansion. The negative self-talk of Jupiter is  "it's too limiting and constricted" or " I am not lucky" or "I am not talented enough".
  4. Another sword sports the planetary sign of Mars. Positively Mars is a sign of dynamic energy, vitality, and assertion but the negative side of Mars is " I don't have the energy to...I am burnt out...it's dull and boring etc."
  5. Another sword handle is adorned with the sign of Venus; the planet of Love. The Venusian negatives would be," I really don't care...It doesn't mean anything to me anyway." 
  6. Then there is the final sword whose handle supports the double loops which represent the Sun and the Moon the negatives of which are consciously and subconsciously you sabotage yourself out of doing what it is that you want to do. In other words, you are caught in wanna-be-ism which is a viscous cycle of indoctrinated mental inferiority.

Instead of the Power of
I AM,
we are caught in the self-denial of
I Ain't...
Often we run "mind loops" that constantly repeat our past as today's reason for not progressing or going forward with our life. These mind loops are the "nag within" syndrome that fear of discomfort/fear of vulnerability, often generates in our subconscious to avoid presumed pain.

When the 7 of Swords Tarot Card is thrown during a divination:

  •  You will have the opportunity presented to you in the next 7 weeks or 7 months to break out of your self-imposed defeatism and move towards creating what you really do want.
  • It's time to "damn the torpedoes and go full steam ahead".
  •  You do know what you want, that is the truth you may be trying to avoid.
  • The falsehood is the feeling of hopelessness and helplessness.
  • Remember that the 7's are associated with the Charioteer, which is the originator of motion and change. So this card is not nagging at your weakness but advising you that choosing you wants moves you forward into a satisfying life motion and that you have the inherent power to do so.
  • You have the capability to release sabotaging thought processes that where developed in a past that may go back to 7 years or when you where 7 years old.
  • Focus on what you truly want; focus your heart, creative mind and passion on it, and your programed self-defeat won't be able to impede you , it just becomes white noise in the back wash of your powerful wake on the ocean of possibilities.
  • The querent maybe experiencing thoughts of futility.
  •  A sense of resignation produced by wanting something but believing they can't have it.
  • Giving up.
  • There is a possibility of breaking through this futile cloud, in seven weeks or seven Months. 
  • This card suggests that because of guilt feelings or resentment, the querent is creating problems for themselves.
  • There is a certain craftiness displayed, schemes and actions are brought to bear, that solve nothing.
  • There is an opportunity to regroup and review, if one forgoes the schemes and seeks advice from others.
  • There is suggested that there is just too much noise in the brain for focused action, as many feeble thoughts of vacillation out shout the One strong will to act.
  • Experiencing 7 weeks or 7 months of  futile effort because of the characteristics of, self doubt, such as,  being untrustworthy, due to mental vacillation.
  • This brings about unstable effort in all that is attempted. 
  • There is also the prospect of journeying over-land, with mixed results. 
  • Partial success is suggested, because of  yielding  when victory is at hand.
  • Such a yielding is brought on by the self-defeating thoughts of self doubt which tend to "drain  strength" because of internal conflict.
  • In such thought, there is an inclination to let loose when on the point of gaining, through the process of not continuing effort.
  • There is also suggested, a love of abundance, a fascination of display (where the wrapping is more important than the gift), given to compliments, ease of affronts and insolence's with need to detect and spy on others.
  •  Also, inclinations to betray confidences, not always intentional, but subject to vacillation, causing unreliability. The strength of which all depends on the dignity of the accompanying cards.
  • Vacillation, untrustworthy character, unstable effort.
  • There is a partial success here, but total success is not achieved due to discontinued effort, as if strength has just run out.
  • Very close to achieving a goal but the assault of many feeble self defeating thoughts scatter the will and the querent is unable to continue.
  • This card is about the futility of seeking to please everyone with your actions. You need to focus and proceed. This does require you to treat everyone as you wish to be treated, so that you confidently know your actions will not really harm anyone.


  • But if you are suffering from an inferiority complex-----well this card says it all.
  • There is also a tendency to love abundance, which makes an enthusiastic collector or even a miserly character, who is fascinated by display, given to compliment, affronts and insolence.
  • A tendency to detect or spy on others.
  • There is also an inclination to betray others though not always intentional.

Now there seems to be a large amount of interpretation here, but as always, the dignity of the accompanying cards will decide if the influence of the Seven of Swords is more annoying rather than destructive.

Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.

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