A man is clearly sneaking away from a distant encampment, traveling towards the viewer’s left. He carries five long swords against his shoulders by the blades and looks smugly over his left shoulder at the gaily adorned tents in the right of the card. Two more swords are planted in the ground behind him. Three men can barely be seen in silhouette in the left of the card. Presumably, they are ignorant of the thief’s heist and exaggerated getaway.
So many pretties, so little time. This card is more than just a tale of an over-eager thief. It is the attitude that leads one to taking on more than what one can bear. Just as the thief in the card looks back at the two swords he could not carry, those described by this card have the sense of “never enough” in their circumstances. Accompanying the unfulfilled sense is the hope that the last thing needed to fill that desire is “just around the corner”. So now there are schemes in place to satiate the desire, and wild-eyed hope in impossible happenings. But why let reality get in the way of making it big, right?
Ill-dignified, the thief comes to his senses. He still makes off with what he has successfully grasped, but he doesn’t try to go back for more or try to increase his haul. He realizes that he has managed to make it this far by luck alone, and that if he persists his luck will quickly run out. As such, the ill-dignified 7 of Swords is a call for good advice, level-headed counsel, and honest reality checks. On rare occasions, it can read quite the other way, with gossip moving faster than the thief can run for cover. This gossip can work in the thief’s favor if he has the wits to take advantage of it, but usually it exposes his schemes and directs the forces of authority towards him.