Q: Is there a card that continuously stumps you when it is drawn? Why do you believe this to be so?
Yep. Seven of Swords. Way too many subtle things going on here; makes it very difficult to choose which to apply to a given question, and even harder in a daily draw with no question. Also, depending on the deck, this one can have all sorts of positive, neutral, or negative implications. Sometimes the main character is obviously stealing some swords and leaving a couple behind (RWS and other decks—but he looks a bit too smug for his own good). Sometimes it’s hard to tell if he’s coming or going (Legacy of the Divine Tarot—right).
And sometimes, it’s just entirely other (Shadowscapes or Wildwood). In the Shadowscapes version I can see a focus on making ethical decisions or regretting having taken from others, while in the Wildwood, the Green Woman seems to be the victim of the swords (arrows). I can certainly see the reasoning behind the “Insecurity” keyword; thieves and schemers are usually insecure or they would not hurt others.
If I read reversals, the Seven of Swords would be even more complicated: do we go
for a more positive strategic/clever thinking interpretation with the upright card or only with the reversal, or the opposite? How secretive is the action being contemplated, and is there a challenge to be more forthcoming about something, then? Should we be wary of being stolen from, or be doing some self-reflection on our own motives? So much will depend on the surrounding cards and the question. It’s just a very difficult card to standardize, although the seven number does indicate “going deeper” or dealing with mysteries.
But on balance, I always cringe when I see this card in a reading, because it means extra mental work for me to interpret.
I would love to hear how you see this card and what shades of interpretation you’ve used for it.
I found the questions for this series at a Tumblr account that no longer exists. A lovely person named Rhee started the thing. These are great prompts for telling stories about one’s journey through the world of Tarot, so I’ve started the series again on a weekly basis so you all can get to know me better, and also share your own answers to the questions in comments or links to your own posts. I’d love to hear from you!