Seven of Swords tarot card

Seven of Swords Tarot Meanings

The card of deception, strategy, & caution.

Last Updated: April 16, 2024.

The Seven of Swords is the seventh card in the Suit of Swords (also known as the suit of blades) and one of the fifty-six suit cards from the minor arcana. In divinatory tarot, the Suit of Swords is associated with thought, intellect, mental strength, and integrity. They can also represent conflict, hardship, and misfortune.

Divination practices such as cartomancy can help us make decisions, offer guidance, and help us tune into our intuition when we are at a crossroads in our lives. Understanding the meanings of each tarot card can help you sharpen your interpretative skills so you can get the most out of your readings.

The Seven of Swords is a Minor Arcana card that shows some dangerous moves or adventuresome behaviours. The Seven of Swords is a card that stands for caution. It also stands for the sabotaging spirit of someone that can use their thoughts to prevent the further development of a situation.

In this article, we will discuss the meanings of the Seven of Swords in various tarot reading contexts as well as the different symbols and nuances that can be found within this court card.

Table of Contents

Pictorial Symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck

The artworks from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck contain deeper esoteric meanings that tarotists love to decipher. 

The Seven of Swords card shows a man that is leaving a military camp with a bundle of five swords in his hands. He is wearing a red hat that looks like a fez and red footwear. The man is looking back while tiptoeing forward. Behind him, two more swords are stuck in the ground. Maybe he is looking at these two swords that he also wants to steal later.

Seven of Swords Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck

In general, he is looking if someone is following him or if someone has noticed his theft. Nonetheless, there is one more possibility for the interpretation. The man might have closed his eyes while sneaking away. This would indicate that he does not really see what is behind him, which would suggest that he is closing his eyes to avoid responsibility and not to see the consequences.

At first glance, the man looks harmless but his facial expression shows a sense of overconfidence as if he is very sure about the success of his action. He sneaks away with caution.

The man in the card stole the swords from the camp where it seems to be peaceful. However, a small group of people can be seen in the distance where one person has raised their sword and a dark cloud covers this group of people that seem to be quarrelling. The card represents some type of war situation. Nevertheless, the man with swords does not belong to any of the sides. He is rather using the situation to profit for himself. 

The dominant colour of this card is yellow. In this case, yellow represents mostly the intellect. But in alchemy, it is the colour of the air. Yellow colour everywhere should illustrate that the act has been well prepared, with a lot of thought and creativity.

The Seven of Swords key correspondences

Upright keywords

unpredictable, fraud, relocation, betrayal, theft, deceit, escaping, strategy, manipulation.

Reversed keywords

responsibility, mystery, loneliness, confession, indecision, laziness, ignoring warnings, getting outsmarted, two-faced, coward

Yes or No



7 (VII)



Ruling Planet

Uranus, Saturn

Astrological Sign

Aquarius, Moon in Aquarius, Feb 9th - 18th

What does the upright Seven of Swords mean in the Tarot?

In general, the card talks about the bad side of the intellect. When this card appears in the reading it usually talks about unpredictability. The card signifies that the situation the person is inquiring about might be unpredictable. 

The Seven of Swords card can indicate that someone might be working against you, which means that the person might be manipulating or deceiving you. It also speaks about feeling cheated and frauded. On the other hand, it can also represent that you are trying to deceive someone because sometimes it is better not to reveal true motives in some cases. In addition, the card speaks to that you do not trust people around you. 

Another meaning of the card is that a person is fleeing from the consequences of their actions which indicates that they will be in constant fear of being caught. This misconduct keeps reminding them of the guilty conscience they might have in everyday life.

The card can also talk about relocating or change in careers.

Upright Seven of Swords

When pulled in the upright position, the Seven of Swords is associated with unpredictability, fraud, relocation, betrayal, theft, deceit, escaping, strategy, and manipulation.

What does the upright Seven of Swords mean in a love reading

The Seven of Swords in a love reading is usually associated with negative connotations. It talks about cheating, betrayal and bad intentions. However, if the person is single the card might be advising them to plan well in advance their dates and flirting attempts. 

If you are in a relationship, this card signifies that someone might have betrayed someone and maybe even got away with that. It often represents a lack of trust. The card also is another swords card that represents great callousness. The person does everything in their power not to be discovered. If someone is expecting a clarifying conversation, it is in vain. 

The Seven of Swords also illustrates that someone is thinking about another adventure and nods towards a lack of loyalty or commitment.

What does the upright Seven of Swords mean in a career reading?

The Seven of Swords in a career reading may suggest that someone is watching you do your job. The card can also talk about spying or competition. Maybe someone is spying on you, or you are spying on someone. 

Sometimes this card might represent a dirty business. This card can also refer to literal theft and legal problems. The time has come to distribute debts and pay off loans. The card is also asking you to review your projects and to focus more on those that are promising ones. 

All moves should be prepared carefully, as in a chess game. Maybe you will hurt someone or someone’s interests in order to have personal gain. In this scenario, that action can be better for you. Remember that not everyone can be pleased. Further, the card talks about a lack of seriousness at work. 

The Seven of Swords might be telling you that some colleagues are acting behind your back which means that you should be careful about what is happening around you. In case of conflicts between colleagues at work, you might have to take a side. 

If you are inquiring about starting a business with someone, this card may suggest you to abstain from that idea.

The Seven of Swords as feelings/emotions

Swords in tarot are usually talking about intellect, thinking, and logic. Emotions and feelings are here in the background usually. If you are asking how someone is feeling about you, this card indicates someone who is being careful with feelings. This person maybe does not trust you yet. Someone has a difficult time showing their true self. 

In case you are in a relationship, the card suggests that there is a lack of honesty in your communication together. They might be confused about the way they want to go with you. They might not be ready to take a step forward and would like to slow down a bit. However, they might be worried about hurting your feelings. Hence they are not true to you and themselves. Speak with your partner about any concerns you have regarding communication.

If you are asking about a past relationship, this card indicates that the person felt betrayed. If they have betrayed you, they are unable to fix the situation.

The Seven of Swords as a person

As a personality archetype, the Seven of Swords represents someone who is unpredictable and looking outside the box. This person can do unexpected things and surprise everyone. They like to keep quiet about their goals and plans. This card may signify a person who lacks ethical awareness. 

The Seven of Swords indicates a smart person. They believe that their acts will stay unrevealed. They think about every move. They might be spying or putting their nose in everyone’s life. It is an intelligent person who might be mystical and analytical. They are also sneaky and daring – as an archetype, they are the Thief. The card indicates a selfish and irresponsible person who only looks at how to profit.

The Seven of Swords as advice

The Seven of Swords advises starting to look outside the box, being more flexible in thinking, and accepting new ideas. Furthermore, the card asks you to analyse yourself and look deeper into your motivations and behaviours. Try to come up with a plan for a problem. 

Additionally, this card may be a warning sign to avoid the “goal justifies the means” approach. If someone has done something behind your back and you are hurt, focus on yourself now.

The Seven of Swords is asking you to face your situations logically and honestly and try to be diplomatic. 

Depending on your situation, the card may ask you sometimes to be dishonest or not to speak at all. In case of conflicts, the card shows you to give up and step down.  

What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with the Seven of Swords?

This card is associated with Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus according to modern astrology. In traditional astrology, Aquarius is ruled by Saturn. Aquarius is independent and free. However, they sometimes lack empathy because they analyse emotions. It is a fixed air sign. The tarot timing of this card is February 9th to February 18th.

Is the Seven of Swords a yes or no card?

The 7 of Swords is most definitely a NO card.

Below are some of my interpretations, as an experienced tarot practitioner, based on different types of questions:

  • Will I get the job? No. Maybe you should ask yourself if you really want that job. 
  • Is this new person in my life good for me? No. It seems like it is difficult to trust this person.
  • Will I achieve my current goals? Not now. If you change your approach and way of thinking, you can have better chances in future.
  • Should I start my own business? No. The card may indicate a financial loss.

What does the reversed Seven of Swords mean in the Tarot?

The reversed 7 of Swords indicates that a person knows how to enjoy life. Someone may be giving you the wrong advice. However, be open to other people’s suggestions. In the reversed position, this card asks you to stay vigilant and warns you about possible fraud. 

It is important to harmonize emotions and thoughts if you want to succeed. This card in the reversed position may also indicate that someone is indecisive and lazy. Be careful not to waste an opportunity due to laziness or indecisiveness.

Reverse Seven of Swords

When pulled in the reversed position, the Seven of Swords is linked with responsibility, mystery, loneliness, confession, indecision, laziness, ignoring warnings, getting outsmarted, being two-faced, and being cowardly.

What does the reversed Seven of Swords mean in a love reading?

If you are single, the reversed Seven of Swords indicates that you are suffering in this state. You feel lonely. You might be fearing rejection which can prevent you from letting new people get closer to you. Nevertheless, you are responsible in your search for a partner. Think about changing your approach and be yourself with those you like. 

The reversed Seven of Swords indicates in the relationship that you and your partner are a great support for each other, especially in difficult times. The difficulties from the past are over. Now you are focusing on supporting each other. Additionally, the reversed Seven of Swords signifies that some things will stay hidden from the partner. However, it does not necessarily imply something negative. It could be the things that concern only one partner and lie far back in the past.

In the reversed position, the Seven of Swords talks about moving on after the breakup. The truth might have come to light.

What does the inverted Seven of Swords mean in a career reading?

The reversed Seven of Swords can signify that you will receive recognition for your work. However, you should take responsibility for your actions. This card may announce the reveal of a secret. If you were the one lying, taking responsibility will bring more benefits than hiding the truth. This card can also indicate that your colleagues are two-faced. 

If you are planning something, it might be impossible as of right now. This card is asking you to think better through your following steps. Sometimes we have to be strategic in order to get what we want. 


In conclusion, the Seven of Swords tarot card is a powerful symbol of defeat, argument, conflict, and violence. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that you need to re-evaluate your decisions and choose a more successful approach. It cautions you that someone may be trying to deceive you and that it’s important to stay alert.

Nevertheless, it also serves as a warning that engaging in dishonest behaviour or working against others is not likely to bring desirable outcomes. Consider its message carefully.

Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot practitioners, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Jungian archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.

The 56 lesser arcana cards relate to the day-to-day events of our lives, the more mundane aspects of our existence. Even though that part of the tarot is about the “smaller picture”, it symbolizes the constant choices we make that shape our lives, our characters, and ultimately our destinies.

Have you ever had a reading where the 7 Of Swords appeared? What was the outcome? What does that card mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice?

Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below.

Additionally, If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out my complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.


I have been reading Tarot for more than 15 years. I have always enjoyed using my intuition to provide clarity and insights to others. Tarot is one of my favorite forms of divination, and I love sharing that passion with like-minded folks.

Learn more about the Suit of Swords

This page is part of our comprehensive list of the 56 minor arcana tarot cards & their meanings. If you enjoyed the read, then you’ll love the following articles.