A man assumed to be the farmer of the field he stands in is holding his hoe with the spade against the ground. Standing wide-footed, he lays both hands on the upright end and looks over them at a tall bush to the viewer’s left. Six large pentacles are placed on the vined and broadleaved bush, as if they are the fruit produced by this plant. A seventh pentacle lays on the ground between his feet, as if an errant fruit from a running vine. No clouds mar the sky behind him, and the peaks of hills or low mountains can be seen far in the distance at his feet.
The scene would tell you this card means “patience”. Waite would tell you this card is about money, bartering, and the anxiety that comes with financial insecurity. Crowley would tell you this card is a miserable one, such that his title of “Failure” is sufficient alone to understand it. As such, how it reads it very much dependent on context supplied by surrounding cards and the query itself to determine how it should be read.
The Seven of Pentacles often advises the Querent to wait and not interfere unless necessary. In questions relating to business or financial matters, Waite’s anxiety comes clear. In matters of love and family, this card tends to refer to a parental patience unless it appears as the first card in any reading. When I am reading with the Thoth, I do defer to Crowley’s “Failure” as the theme of the card.
After learning the Thoth and the methods Crowley used to derive his meanings, I fell into the habit of using the Seven of Pentacles as a “Stop Card”. When this card appears as the first card in any reading except for a one card pull, I stop the reading. Even going so far as to refund any monies paid for a reading and apologizing for my sudden withdrawal.
The Seven of Pentacles has appeared very rarely in this fashion after beginning this habit of mine. The even fewer times I’ve been persuaded to continue the reading immediately despite the appearance has ended in unpleasantness. If the querent insists, I will put the cards away for two hours before starting over to answer the query. Often before the waiting period has ended, the querent informs me they have either decided to abandon the query entirely, or have contracted another reader to read for them. I hold no spite, and I wish them well.