2017, here we are! The reading for this week sees us eagerly jumping forward into the new year. The celebrations and excesses of the holiday season left us chomping at the bit. This week we finally get to spring forward and put ourselves out there, reentering the normal schedule of our lives, getting back to work, and putting those resolutions to the test.
This re-entry is not a simple matter of picking up where we left off. We have plans. Lots of them. It’s time to make changes and set thing in motion.
We see this attitude embodied in the Seven of Wands, an eager and enthusiastic card. There’s a great deal of energy available to us right now, perhaps surprisingly so. We're not starting from scratch here, either. The Seven of Wands shows how the past year has shaped us. We have ground to defend and new paths we want to pursue. This is fortunate, because who wants a clean slate when we have so much to build on?
There is a hearty dose of challenge and conflict in the Seven of Wands, along with the more-rosy creativity and energy. Conflict can invigorate us, giving us boundaries to push against and expand on. It can also mire us in counterproductive disputes. Will we use our feisty enthusiasm to move forward or get distracted with each obstacle or irritation?
Some issues should be addressed head on, and some are meant to be moved through quickly. Others are simply signposts along the way, representations of a life we don’t want to live or things we choose to leave behind. Now is a good time to get familiar with what deserves our attention and what doesn't.
I like the Fountain Tarot’s depiction of the Seven of Wands. In the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the figure is on a hill fending off six wands from below. He wears mismatched shoes, suggesting his stance isn’t so stable. In this card, however, we see a fit man leaping down a flight of stairs in bare feet: He’s grounded and although he’s protecting himself with his wand, he’s moving towards the source of conflict, heading towards the world instead of protecting a small patch of it.
This week is a time to explore and engage with what's around us. We're certainly ready after a season of holiday decadence an introspective resolution-making. The thing is, the world right now is a bit... much. Far from swinging a stick around wildly and acting out of fear, this card suggests that we enter the fray with a sense of excitement and consider what we want to engage with. What is worth our time and what can we pass by on our path to a more grounded life?
So what lies as the bottom of the stairs? The reading takes us to The Lovers card which ties into the higher motivations guiding us. Far from hurdling down the stair mindlessly, we’re seeking a sense of connection, love, and community. Ah, delightful, you might say, but what does challenge and conflict have to do with that? How can any sort of confrontation bring us closer to unity and compassion?
The Seven of Wands combined with The Lovers depicts the often-overlooked importance of truth and communication in love. To have respectful relationships we must show up as ourselves while understanding the unique identity of the other person. Sometimes it takes a bit of confusion and miscommunication to reach this understanding. It’s a natural part of the process – understanding others is not simple and we must be willing to listen, communicate, and stretch our imaginations.
That being said, the Seven of Wands shows that we’re entering into a phase of connecting with others with a bit of baggage and a predilection for head-on conflict. This does not have to be our way. We can choose to focus on the curiosity of this Seven (to run down this stairs you have to be curious about what’s at the bottom) and remember that engaging with the world doesn’t have to be contentious.
Consider the wand the man is grasping. We might want to set down our wand and pick up another, or add one to our collection and carry it along with us. 2017 is not about swinging our stick and proclaiming it is the one true stick to end all sticks. That is most certainly not the path to empathy of The Lovers.
We end with the King of Coins, suggesting that some of the struggles in understanding we face right now center around money and power. Now is a time to reexamine how we value both. What does it mean to wield control over money and prosperity? What is our responsibility when we get there? What do we expect from those in these positions?
With the Lover’s front and center, the reading is bringing our focus to unity and connectedness. We must consider whether our attitudes towards the King of Coins as he manifests himself in our lives – in our own relationship to money and prosperity and our relationships to those who have it in our society – match up with this value. And then, what can we do to reconcile the differences.
I see the Seven of Wands as us running towards these tough questions with more than enough energy and creativity to grapple with them. Finding a way to combine the compassion of The Lover’s with the power and mastery of The King of Coins would result in a plentiful and loving world. I like the sound of that.