SEVEN OF COINS
I thought this was a depiction of the parable of sowing the mustard seed from the New Testament, but it’s a generic farmer sowing seed. To have well-being we must sow love and God is like the sun providing growth to our seeds. I’ve always liked the Rider-Waite card for this with the fellow leaning on his gardening tool and looking tired and seemingly impatient for his garden seeds to grow. There is a bit of that here if you contemplate the seed as being the words or actions you give to others and how they come to fruition. That is not always a good thing, and it also takes time.
You know how some days you try and try and put loads of effort into something but it doesn’t work and you feel like you’re going nowhere? That is this card, you can’t rush or make things happen, they unfold in their own time like seeds sprouting.
I will quote a piece from a book called Follow Your Heart by Andrew Matthews that explains a way of looking at this card:
“Take a block of ice that’s been frozen to minus twenty degrees fahrenheit, and start heating it. For some time, nothing happens. Lots of energy for no visible result. Suddenly at thirty-two degrees, it melts. Water!
Keep heating. Again, lots of energy and no excitement. The, at around two hundred and twelve degrees fahrenheit, bubbles and steam! It boils!
The principle? It’s possible to put loads of energy into something – e.g. a block of ice, a project, a career–yet it seems like nothing is happening. Actually, your energy is already producing change, but you just can’t see it. Continue to put the energy in and you will surely see a transformation. Remember the principle, and you don’t panic so much–and you don’t despair.”
SEVEN OF SWORDS
Seven swords fall randomly without a pattern as a snake cannot reach its tail. I thought this was the ouroboros, but it doesn’t completely form one according to Place, so it’s like a new beginning that is not quite formed yet, but is coming. The time is right for possibilities but also dangers and who knows how the swords will fall? I think of this as The Sneak card, because in the Rider-Waite tradition it shows a fellow gleefully stealing seven swords.
That would make a great title for a book: “Almost the Ouroboros.” In Almost the Ouroboros time, you have to be on guard and protect yourself from sneaks because you don’t know what is going to happen; awareness and alertness is necessary against those randomly falling swords. Or you could think of it as Almost the Ouroboros, the time when the snake is sneaking up on its tail, ready to complete the circle and start the party. There are two ends to every snake. . . or sneak.
SEVEN OF CUPS
This is a ciborium which is similar to a pyx or monstrance that I covered before in the Aces. The monstrance holds one wafer for show on the altar and it looks like a sun or solar cross. The pyx and ciborium are really the same, although the pyx is often smaller, sometimes more like a small box, and used when priests make visits to people’s homes and hospitals. Ciborium comes from the Greek word for “cup” and does indeed have a cup shape.
I found many images of monstrances and in the Aces discussion you can see the monstrance montage, but my montage of the pyx and ciborium from various ages in history is attached to the discussion of St. Clare on the Queen of Cups.
The path of inner purpose, inner like the inside of a container for the Host or wafers used in communion. The monogram of Christ is on the cup, which is also called the chi-ro. I discussed that in IV – St. Constantine – The Emperor. I like the idea of sanctity with this ciborium, the inner sanctum.
I was recently looking at the meaning of this card in relation to the Nine of Cups, which I found confusing. The Seven can mean wanting too many things or letting your dreams take hold of you to the detriment of real life. Reflecting on that, I can see how some people get a bit too focused on some sort of magic bullet from Jesus to fix everything and give them everything they’ve ever wanted, when the reality of the human condition is that God allows life to take place, not fantasy. I find when looking at Robert Place’s illustration, that I get a deeper sense of the danger of fantasy with the cup of sacred wafers. I wouldn’t have seen that if I hadn’t spent some time a couple of months ago examining this in a thread called The Seven, the Nine, and the Scanner Compared Notes and Ate Some Bickies. Read it if you dare.
So if Jesus doesn’t give you a Cadillac after you prayed hard and ate your communion wafer, don’t sweat it, that’s life. You might feel better for a bit of prayer and meditation, which is also a result, just not the one you wished for in the Magic Cup of Dreamland.
SEVEN OF STAFFS
This is Cain and Abel at the moment Cain kills his brother through jealousy and envy: the original sibling rivalry of argument and violence.
I usually think of this as the Self-Defense card, which does tie-in well with Cain and Abel. Amazingly, you can find yourself defending against those who should support you, like family. I think in general this card speaks to me of sudden defense being needed; unexpected, from unexpected quarters, and because of that your defense might be a bit shaky and you need some bravado to cope with the attack.
It didn’t help Abel though, so have a care.