7 and 9 of Wands, 7 of Swords

July 18, 2010 § 2 Comments

Hi Tarot Doctor, I always have trouble grasping the meaning of the seven of wands , the nine of wands and the seven of swords. Could please explain them to me . Many thanks Eunice.

Hi Eunice,

Thanks for the question!

A lot of people struggle with the 7 and 9 of Wands as visually they are quite similar – that is, they both show someone in a defensive position. But a significant difference between the two images is the position of the wands.


In the 7, the wands are in front of the person, effectively blocking his path. For whatever reason, he’s coming under fire and he’s clearly outnumbered. I think of the 7 of Wands as a test of your convictions. Wands are all about what we do – the actions we take, the efforts we make, the goals we pursue – and the 7 raises questions about our level of commitment. How strongly do you believe in your idea? How much do you want to achieve your goal? How fiercely will you fight for this relationship?

To give a concrete example, say you came up with a brilliant ad campaign at work but your boss doesn’t get it, the head of marketing thinks it’s way too ambitious for the budget and your colleagues are trying to pick holes in it because they’re annoyed they didn’t think of it first. You’re trying to stand up for your idea and they’re all trying to shoot you down. It’s at this point that your belief in your idea is really put to the test. If you don’t believe in it, those jabbing wands are just going to knock you down. But if you’re really committed to getting the ad campaign out there, there’s a much better chance it could succeed. Of course, as this example demonstrates, the 7 of Wands also puts your project to the test. If there are any holes in your idea or if it isn’t good enough, here’s where it will fall down.

In the 9 of Wands, the wands are behind the person. They can be seen as representing his achievements so far and he stands in front of them protectively, as if he’s on guard duty. You could come up with any number of theories about what he’s guarding – whether he’s keeping the bad guys out or keeping them in – but the specifics aren’t really important. What’s important is what he’s having to do. Keeping watch over something requires continued vigilance and effort. If you were to draw this card as advice, it’s telling you to take nothing for granted, to do what you need to do to maintain what you’ve got. Even if you’re at the top of your game and everything’s going great, it probably took a lot of work to get there and this card is a reminder that you should sustain that effort to stay where you are. Or to put it another way, you can’t expect to stay afloat if you’re not prepared to keep paddling.

Being on your guard also means being cautious. It raises such questions as, are you as safe and secure in your current situation as you think you are? Are you doing enough to keep your job or to keep that important client (and if so, is enough good enough – should you actually be doing more than you need to, to keep the competition at bay?)

Of course, the interpretation of any card always depends on the position it falls in. For example, if the 9 of Wands were to appear as “Situation”, followed by, say, the Wheel of Fortune as “Advice”, I might read that as saying I was being too cautious and too guarded, perhaps that I’m afraid of getting hurt, and that I should allow events to unfold naturally and go with the flow.

Okay, finally, we come to the 7 of Swords and here we see someone apparently sneaking off with 5 swords.

Is he stealing or is he taking what belongs to him? Again, the specifics aren’t important (it could be either, depending on the situation!) What matters is how he’s going about it. He’s clearly trying not to be seen and he’s looking back over his shoulder as he leaves. For whatever reason, he’s felt it necessary to take indirect action. Perhaps he’s already tried the direct route by asking for his swords back and it didn’t work. So he’s had to find another solution.

Swords are associated with thought and also conflict. In the 7, we’re seeing an example of how brains can be just as mighty in a conflict as brawn. This card is all about strategy, planning, and tactics. If you can’t defeat the enemy by traditional means, you’re just going to have to outsmart them.

As a descriptive card, it can suggest that someone isn’t being entirely upfront – they may be keeping something from you or working on a secret project. As advice, it’s telling you to work smarter, not harder. You need to find a creative solution to your problem. It can also simply signify working alone and keeping your plans to yourself – not to be sneaky, but maybe just because the time isn’t right to reveal them yet.

Anyway, I hope this helps a bit.

Tarot Doctor

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§ 2 Responses to 7 and 9 of Wands, 7 of Swords

  • Eunice says:

    Hi Tarot Doctor, Thankyou for your reply I really appreciate it and I found it really helpful. You have a wonderful way of explaining things. I look foward to reading your book. When will it be available to buy ?
    Love Eunicex

    • TarotDoctor says:

      I’m really glad it helped!

      My book isn’t finished yet so it’ll be a while before it’s available, but I’m getting there. 🙂 I’m looking forward to being able to talk more about it as it’s quite different to what I’m doing here…

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