Reflections on The Seven of Wands

From today’s one-card reading . . .

Q: What is the best way, at this stage of my life, to express love unto others?

A: This.

VII

Whenever we read a Tarot card, we should be mindful of what they conceal about themselves as much as what they reveal about ourselves. In this instance, the scene depicted may seem like a strange kind of loving, though perhaps, again, it’s best understood by what the card does not convey—that is, a state of inner peace and tranquility that can nurture loving relationships. Perhaps we have “kept our guard up” against others for too long, and now is the time to “lay down our arms” and surrender to love—with all the emotional risks that may ensue. Those unseen lancers might be hostile to our warrior on the hilltop, or they might only be trying to convince him to come down and join them—they might only be playing a game with him! As we cannot see them, we likewise cannot divine their mood or motives. But we do see someone whose “high and mighty” attitude and desire to dominate others—to be the the literal “king of the hill”—has separated himself from his fellow voyagers; and when we do that in our daily lives, we separate ourselves from God, and from our true Selves. We can see this implied in the card when we note that our brave warrior is wearing two different shoes—this might suggest that he doesn’t know which way to walk in life!

There is another way to read this card. It could be that our warrior on the hill is a teacher—a general of sorts—who is training his charges in the art of war, and he has volunteered to be the object of their “target practice.” If that is the case, the card reminds us that life is a never-ending “teaching experience”; that knowledge can sometimes only be gained through struggle; that “leading by example” earns the respect of others; and that by humbling ourselves—subjecting ourselves to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune—we simultaneously exalt ourselves in the eyes of Heaven. The hill we ultimately seek to conquer is not of this earth, after all, and if we wish to reach its lofty summit, we cannot ascend it alone. In the Tarot, the number “seven” is ascribed to the planet Venus; let us pay tribute to the goddess, then, in all our dealings with others.

Dante DiMatteo

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