ethical behavior

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Intro: Seven of Swords Tarot Card Meaning - ethical behavior

Tarot Alley uses the Rider Waite type of deck for our meanings, symbols, interpretations, etc.

When determining the Seven of Swords tarot card meaning, you should consider that it’s a Swords card and a Seven. The Suit of Swords represents knowledge and intellect. Sevens represent imagination and psychology.

In this way, we can determine that the Seven of Swords represents using knowledge and intellect to guide our actions in a positive manner. In other words, the Seven of Swords is about ethical behavior.

Take a look at the Rider-Waite Seven of Swords displayed to the left (or above).

What is your first impression?

What is happening? Is he an outsider coming to town to rob them? Does he live in the town and he’s stealing their swords? Is it something else?

There’s no right or wrong answer here, just your interpretation.

Now consider how your interpretation reflects your beliefs about ethical behavior. What does it say about your beliefs if you see a villager versus an outsider?

Astrology: Moon in Aquarius
Element: Air
Numerology: 7 (imagination, inner work, psychology)

Common Symbols

  • Sneaky Figure: to represent dishonesty
  • 5 Swords: the number 5 represents chaos. The sneaky figure carrying 5 swords represents chaos caused by dishonesty

Keywords & Concepts

  • Assumptions
  • Dishonest
  • Presumption
  • Sneakiness

The Seven of Swords for Personal Growth

Affirmation: I hold myself to the highest ethical standards.

The image you present to the world is just that, an image. You can project anything. You can fool others. But you cannot hide from yourself. How you behave alone provides deep insights into your true character.

Ask Yourself:

  • How do you behave when you’re alone?
  • What are you overlooking today?
  • In what ways are your own ideas being limited by the assumptions others have taught you to make?
  • What assumptions are you making?
  • How well-defined is your sense of ethics?
  • How should you respond when you know others are breaking the rules?
  • To what extent do you live up to your own highest standards?

Interpreting the Seven of Swords

Generally, the Seven of Swords represents ethical behavior. It’s not always easy to behave in the way you think is right.

You may find yourself in a situation where you could gain a lot by doing the wrong thing with zero chance of being caught. The Seven of Swords knows that you won’t take that opportunity.

You should be living your life ethically both publicly and privately.

The Reversed Seven of Swords

How you read reversals is a personal choice. You can ignore reversals and read them as if the card is upright (this is what I often choose to do) or you can interpret reversals as variations of what they would mean upright. There are 3 common ways to read reversals: as a negative interpretation, as an opposite interpretation, or as a block on the upright interpretation. Check out How to Read Reversals for more information.

Typically, a reversed Seven of Swords represents unethical behavior. Examples include:

  • Stealing
  • Lying
  • Doing bad things you can get away with, just because you can
  • Looking for ways to circumvent consequences
  • Justifying your bad behavior by focusing on how others are just as bad or worse
  • Failing to examine your motives and prejudices

Examples of the Seven of Swords

Specific Interpretations

Specific situations are the general interpretation (from above) used for a specific situation (love, career, etc). There is no need to memorize these (or even look them up) if you understand the general interpretation. However, here are some basic interpretations for some specific situations:


Secrets can be toxic to relationships. Be open and honest with those you love and accept the consequences of any wrongdoing.

If you could cheat and get away with it, would you? Consider how the answer affects your relationship(s).


Do your best and work with honest and integrity. A lack of ethics usually starts with the smallest dishonest event. But every little event makes the next one easier until you’re involved in large unethical abuses.


Everyone carries darkness within them. Pretending it isn’t there doesn’t make it go away. We must all confront and understand our own inner shadows and demons.

the Seven of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

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The Seven of Swords tarot card meaning is all about ethical behavior. Who you are as a person is reflected in all your actions and decisions, both publically and privately.

Once you feel comfortable with the Seven of Swords tarot card meaning, check out the next card in the tarot deck: the Eight of Swords Tarot Card Meaning.


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