The 7 of Swords

The 7 of Swords - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing reinvention; the 7 of Swords is associated with the potential for renewal and redevelopment. The potential for growth is emphasised here and the path forward is filled with hope and optimism.

In the upright state the 7 of Swords represents counsel and prompts us to embrace the concept of reconciliation and focus on the potential to build something new that goes beyond what existed before. Where the 6 of Swords incorporated reconciliation as the outcome of conflict resolution and closure, the 7 of Swords focuses particularly on ambition and aspiration for the future, and the implementation of ideas that can bring us closer to that future.

In the inverted state the 7 of Swords is a warning that old conflicts could be renewed once more and a return to disturbance may be approaching. Where the 6 of Swords warned of stagnation as the consequence of our failure to gain closure, here the emphasis is placed on the potential of further hurt from wounds that remain open.

In the Rider-Waite deck an emissary stands in front of 2 upright swords rooted in the ground these mirror the 2 of Swords representing balance here they represent the apparent victors of their past conflict standing before the settlement in their wake.

In the hands of the emissary 5 more swords can be seen, potentially combining to create a new 5 of Swords portending conflict, these 5 swords are separated at present with his right hand holding 2 swords representing their opponents and the righteous pursuit of balance, meanwhile in his left hand, 3 Swords represent the intent to establish connection once more with the sinister potential that connection could hold.

In self-reflection the 7 of Swords serves as an opportunity to start over if necessary. You do not have to give up everything you have built upon so far, the emphasis here is iteration and growth, through revision and reconfiguration.

With the 4 of Swords, we noted that you are already seeking the tools and developing the skills to respond to your thought process; the 7 of Swords is your prompt to reflect upon that toolset and how effective it has been. This is your opportunity to revise and refine your approach and change what is not working for you.

If you take this in the context of these templates you may want to make changes, adapt them to your needs, or scrap them entirely and begin again with an entirely new set. As outlined in the Spiritual Approach to reading Tarot cards, the only element that is essential is consistency and familiarity with your deck, you can redefine everything as you please where that new meaning makes more sense to you.

Ask yourself “What could be changed?” and “Has this had a positive or negative impact on my life overall?” these questions here relate specifically to your use of Tarot but also to the broader definition of skills and tools you develop, more succinctly referred to as your coping mechanisms.

This entire guide outlining the approach to using Tarot Cards as a reframing tool for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is intended to serve as a starting point. These questions and descriptions are examples which you are free to adapt to your own needs. Each description is motivated by the traditional meanings and significance of the Tarot cards themselves as a starting point to give you an idea of templates that you can use. There’s nothing to stop you from scrapping the entire list and creating your own templates that aren’t even remotely related to what is written here.

To reiterate, the key point of developing reframing templates however is consistency, if you think about a physical toolbox filled with screwdrivers, you know the size and shape of each one and recognise which one fits when needed – this is ultimately the goal of developing your own set of CBT tools, to develop the ability to recognise recurring problems and similar situations, that you can then draw from past experience and employ the tools that proved most useful in those situations.

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