The Wild Unknown Tarot - VII Swords


I think that apart from decks that show pure pips on the Minor Arcana, this has to be my favourite depiction of the 7 Swords in all the decks I own.

There's no colour on this card.
At the top of the card are 6 horizontal swords, their hilts to the left, their blades pointing to the right... All of these swords are different.
At the bottom of the card, below the swords is a fox, curled up and with one eye open, peeping out from the brush of his / her tail. The fox is lying on another, seventh horizontal sword, this one is facing the opposite way to the rest though.

The 7 Swords has never been a card of deception to me. I can see that interpretation in it but it's certainly not the only one and not the main one either.
Sevens relate to The Chariot - 7 is a very mystical, magical number and it's usually about going deeper, challenging oneself, looking within, moving forward. It comes after the harmony and balance of the 6s and is the challenge that we give ourselves to move forward from the comfort of the 6s towards the harvest of the 8s..
Sevens are about overcoming obstacles and the 7 Swords to me is usually about using wit, strategy and intellect to do that - hence the depiction of the guy sneaking off with the swords in most versions of this card that give that very narrow interpretation of 'thief' or 'deception'..

This card says to me that something isn't being shown, something is being held back. The querant (the fox) is using his brain to get around a problem and that may mean showing a different face to the World, it may mean keeping some information just for himself and not telling something.
He's keeping his cards close to his chest because that's the best strategy right now.

I'm not sure at all of the significance of the sword that the fox is lying on facing the other direction to the rest but that's because I've only just noticed that and it hasn't been apparent in any readings that this card has shown up in so far.


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Wow, I love your description & whole post, Sulis! It has helped confirm & expand my view of this card, especially re. using intellect & strategy to overcome a problem.
(I believe the Druidcraft 7 of Swords shows a scholar sitting studying hard at his desk, amid piles of books - again, using his brain to achieve greater knowledge / understanding.)

Isn't the fox letting the world see the swords facing in one direction, but hiding his/her own secret plan to run off in the opposite direction - as when they are trying to escape the hunting? 'Sly fox & all after'? (Sorry for the upsetting thought. :( )


Isn't the fox letting the world see the swords facing in one direction, but hiding his/her own secret plan to run off in the opposite direction - as when they are trying to escape the hunting? 'Sly fox & all after'? (Sorry for the upsetting thought. :( )

Yes I like this.

I've been thinking about this and the sword facing in the opposite direction could also show someone working for his own ends, going against the flow or what everyone else is doing. This is also a card about gathering information, taking what you need from a situation to make things better for yourself and to me, that fits with this imagery as well. He has his sword, the information he needs and he's keeping it to himself :).
I've also read this as a card of diplomacy before and I can see that in this image too.. Sometimes when being diplomatic, it's best not to just say what you're thinking - best to keep some things to yourself for the benefit of others or for the situation that you're in.


Yup, I can see the fox is keeping some information to herself. It's not always good or necessary to share everything at once!


I pulled this card yesterday when asking for advice about my relationship with someone who's feeling pretty bad because she's put quite a bit of weight on recently and really isn't feeling good about herself.. I thought this card was very appropriate and was telling me to be careful with my words so as not to upset her... I thought this card was saying that I should use tact and diplomacy during our conversation - don't just blurt out tactless advice.

So no deceit there at all but there is a sort of being careful with words for the sake of kindness..


Sulis and Starshower, your interpretations of this card have helped me see it in a new (and much more positive!) light. I was trying to understand its connection to the Chariot, and now I do.

I also prefer to see this fox as holding his/her information close rather than being deceptive. The fox might be thinking outside the box (as shown by the sword in the opposite direction from the others) and might simply not be ready to reveal those thoughts or might be waiting for the appropriate time to do so.

The dark color of the tail and the light color of the fox's coat seem to represent duality or conflicted opinions. I love that the six swords above the fox are each different, perhaps representing various people and views, which really aren't as unique as they might want others believe, since they're all facing the same direction.

With the background pointing to the fox, it would seem that he/she is the central character, and that this seemingly quiet little being is fully aware and will prevail when the time is right.