In this article Seven of Wands Symbols, I refer to the Seven of Wands card from the Rider Waite Tarot deck, also known as the Waite-Smith, or Rider-Waite-Smith, or Rider tarot deck. In the Thoth Tarot deck this card is called Lord of Valor.
The symbolism found on this card is primarily drawn from mythology, religious text, occult and astrology.
Seven of Wands: Key Symbols
Attackers, mismatched shoes, green tunic, mountain summit
“A young man on a craggy eminence brandishing a staff; six other staves are raised towards him from below.”A.E.Waite
The Original Rider Waite Pictorial Key to The Tarot
7 of Wands symbol and imagery: metaphor, allegory, meanings
Who is Attacking and What Does The Attack Symbolize in The Seven of Wands?
Our hero defends himself from a group of six unseen attackers. He uses a single wand to defend himself from above, but appears to have the advantage.
The artist Pamela Colman-Smith chose to depict faceless, body-less, attackers in this Tarot card. Her choice thus opens up possibilities in how this card can be interpreted. On one level, it can mean you are defending yourself from people who wish to take what you have, or who want to hurt you with their words or actions. Alternatively, your attackers may be more abstract, you could be defending an idea, religion or philosophical concept.
The hero looks angry, possibly annoyed by the attackers audacity, after all, he is ‘up here’ and they are ‘down there’. This is understandable when you remember that our hero was just celebrated in a victory parade in the Six of Wands. One feels that success should afford a person some degree of cushioning from upstarts.
This is a reminder, that no matter how high you fly, someone – or some idea – will always try to better you. It is worth keeping your guard up if you wish to remain top-dog.
Why is The Man in the Seven of Wands Wearing A Different Shoe on Each Foot?
Notice that the figure in this card is wearing a shoe on his right foot and a boot on his left foot. This can be interpreted in a few ways:
He dressed in a hurry, which suggests he was not prepared for this attack. This reinforces the idea of remaining on your guard and not relying on yesterday’s victories for your status.
Straddling Two Worlds
His legs are straddling a small stream of water, symbolic of straddling two different worlds or keeping two worlds separate. Each shoe represents a different identity, like wearing floppy slippers at home and Prada designer shoes to the office. Each type of shoe reflects a different mindset and sends a different message.
The man’s green tunic may be symbolic of his desire for balance and harmony in a certain area of his life. In color therapy, green promotes love of home, family and friends. In contrast, his red tights are symbolic of action and ambition, more representative of the workplace or world at large.
One feels here that the struggle to keep the worlds apart is becoming ever more difficult, perhaps work is taking over and destroying his balance at home.
Sometimes the 7 of Wands appears in a reading, when a person has taken an interest in spirituality and mysticism, but is struggling to keep their interest compartmentalized and hidden from people in their life.
Masonic Blue Slipper
The odd pair of shoes may be a masonic reference to the Masonic Shoe, also known as the Blue Slipper. In ancient times, removing one’s shoe and giving it to the other person was considered a way to seal an agreement. The Masons adopted this Hebrew custom and would give a small pin in the shape of a blue slipper to symbolize an oath, that what has been said, will be done. Perhaps our hero is trying to keep his end of a bargain, or he is battling others to ensure that they do the ‘right thing.’
What Does The Mountain Top Symbolize?
In Tarot, mountains represent obstacles to overcome in the future. When in the future, depends on how far away the mountains are in the distance. The further away, the further away the problems. In the 7 of Wands, we are right on top of the mountain, symbolizing issues coming to a head.
What Sphere Does The Seven of Wands Represent in Qabalah?
Qabalah (Kabbalah): In western occultism, the 7 of Wands depicts the seventh sphere or sefirot of the Tree of Life called Netzach. Netzach translates roughly as ‘eternity’ and in the context of Kabbalah refers to ‘victory’ or ‘endurance’.
According to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Haniel is the archangel who resides over the sphere. The order of angels that reside in the sphere are the Elohim.
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Complete List: Tarot Card Symbolism
Karina, author of Tarot in 5 Minutes.
The Ultimate Guide to Seven of Wands Symbols