The Seven of Swords presents itself just as our life's traveler is coming off all that great energy and high of the Six, which was perfect balance. Now, perfect balance is a state of existence which cannot be sustained indefinitely in everyday, human life. And would you really want it to? How would we grow? No, the scales can't help but begin to tilt and that next step is bound to be a slippery one.

When studying the sevens, one should always remember that there really can be "too much of a good thing" and that a little too much horsepower can begin to spin an otherwise finely-made automobile out of control.

In the suit of Swords, the balance of intellect exhibited in the Six begins the inevitable slip and slide. In the Seven, we see that tremendous intellectual energy being disturbed, manipulated and tampered with.  Intellectual reasoning has become almost a game unto itself. What is lost in the process is open and honest communication and a more direct approach to resolving issues.

This is not to say that delicacy and caution of thought and communication is a bad thing; indeed, many times, such diplomacy is necessary and valuable. However, the danger is when that particular avenue is misused or overapplied to situations where a more direct and open approach would have been better. When that happens, issues become muddy and obscured. Solutions become mired in haze and subterfuge. The goal is delayed or forgotten altogether as the art of intellectual gamesmanship takes center stage.

Let's look at the card itself.

Night has fallen and a hazy fog has formed. It is an environment conducive to secretive conversations and backroom plots and strategies.

In the foreground, we see a shadow man, secret agent, a human manifestation of the art of subterfuge and hidden or manipulated reasoning. He stands slightly crouched in his corner, hat pulled low over his face, his dark trenchcoat concealing the clothing underneath. One gloved hand holds a cell phone to his ear as he transmits the information he has surreptitiously and artfully gleaned from his various sources.

Slightly up the road from our shadow man is his home base, the entity which employs him. The two legs upon which this edifice stands represent the "feelers" put out to gain information. Watch how the encoded data being
transmitted by the shadow man is absorbed by those feelers and conducted into the structure itself. It is an interesting twist that, unbeknownst to him, our spy has, in turn, been "spied upon" all along. There is no trust
among these associates.

The lighthouse in the background serves important purposes. Its presence emphasizes the shadowy environment in which these gamesters conduct their business; it is conducted well under and away from the light of that
penetrating beam. The weakness of character exhibited in these figures cannot bear the light and so they exert extreme caution to avoid it.

But more importantly, the beam of light serves as a reminder and admonition that, when faced with the mental manipulations of those around you - or if you find yourself initiating such complex machinations - it is best to shine the light of honesty and truth upon the issue at hand. Such roads are slippery indeed. Their pathways meander aimlessly and lead to little that is fruitful.

It is best to heed the message of that beam of light, for verbal fencing, double entendre and less than honest reasoning can become a tangled web that gradually tightens around us. We become boxed in by our own schemes and secrets. It can happen swiftly or gradually over time, but we are seldom truly cognizant of it until we come to our senses and realize we are caught in complex cage built of our own devices...a true Eight of Swords moment.

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