The Tarot of the Old Path, presents the Seven of Swords as a thief, dressed in leathers, with five stolen swords, while fleeing with a grin on his face.
He leaves two swords in the back ground, the total being seven swords in all. He seems very proud of his booty, as he flees a tented area that may be a fair grounds.
His clothing is predominately yellow, the traditional color for the alchemical element of Air/Consciousness which rules this card. He is also showing all the skills associated with the element of air, such as, cunning, intelligence, and foresight.
The primary meaning of this card seems to be theft without remorse or mistaken confidence caused through greed.
The Hebrew word Netzach meaning-Victory- is the 7th Sephiroth and governs love, feelings and instincts. It is the Group Mind Sephiroth, 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."
The Thoth Tarot 7of Swords, is called Futility or Lord of Unstable Effort. Here,the Moon is in Aquarius which indicates sociability, and religious inclinations; However, the fact that the Moon is less fluid and less changeable here than in other positions, doesn't keep the balance from being precarious and easily upset.
Here, Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris (artist) has precariously balanced the 6 planetary swords, one against the other, aimed against the Larger Sun Sword. Implying unstable effort, vacillation and untrustworthy character.
You may note, dear reader, that Netzach in the suit of Swords, does not represent as much catastrophe as in other suits, as the 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 history knows.
The Six 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. Simply put, one has too many self defeating thoughts to reach the goal. One is so busy battling the many small thoughts, that they cannot concentrate on the One big thought that will get them what they want.
When The Seven of Swords-Futility-is thrown during a divination:
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