Why I love the 7 of swords
Well, he appears to be taking swords that we presume don't belong to him.
With his fancy red boots and hat, that strange smile as he looks over his shoulder- there seems to be something jaunty, reckless about him.
Yet it's a curious card, with so much going on int he background which isn't quite clear.
I see a story in this card, I have no idea if it is intended, or not. But it has influenced how I read the 7 of swords.
I see someone taking five swords (take a look at the 5 of swords & see what defeat looks like), and leaving 2 behind.
Behind him to the right there are tents, they remind me of the tents a medieval army would have used when setting up camp before a battle.
Behind him to the left there appears to be a group of people, with spears and clouds or smoke behind them. The cloud makes me think of the dust a large group of horses could make when moving at speed. (I did say this is my superstition!)
So, I conclude there is going to be a battle. A bloody battle which will end with slaughter on both sides. (as a fan of re-enactments I have seen this "played" at many times. The reality must have been horrific)
So maybe he is stealing the 5 swords (simply a symbolic number) to stop the battle, and the slaughter.
Yet leaving 2 swords so the leaders can fight it out between them, single combat.
So, yes he is stealing the swords- but to save the lives of many. I would argue the ends justifies the means.
Often this card comes up as "original thinking" "blue sky thinking" "thinking out side of the box" with a suggestion that it might be contrary to what most people do, with a slight edge of recklessness to it.
I like to link tarot cards to times & people in my life. The 7 of swords reminds me of when I was in university. One of the lecturers was useless. I checked the course details & to pass I needed to pass the essay. So i stopped going to the lectures & read the books instead. Other people on the course complained it was "unfair" though I did point out they could do it too. It was a risky strategy as I could have missed important information in the lectures. Luck was on my side & I passed the essay.
There is often a risk to the 7 of swords, maybe that is why I like it so much. I have traveled around America on my own with next to no money, gave up my job, house (& marriage) to move to Orkney and learn shamanism, and several other reckless risks that perhaps I am not prepared to share here. Somehow with a combination of luck & quick thinking I have survived!
So although I admit sometimes the 7 of swords is talking about theft or slander- and is a clear warning.
At times it is warning of "pride before a fall" or that the risk will see you fall flat on your behind.
Most of the time though, especially when reading for myself, I smile and think "O.K, time to go for it then"
I'm thinking the House-wives Tarot have focused on the "slander" side of this card!
I'm very ford of the Mary-Greer tarot. I love the bold image, and how completely neutral this image is (to me!)- leaving it wide open for interpretation.
The Robin Wood Tarot seems to have a more "shifty" feel. But it reminds me of Aragorn form the Lord of the Rings- perhaps he seems foul but is in fact fair?