Distraction as self-deception.
Sometimes we're in the throes of something powerful and wonderful. A recent development or breakthrough had made our lives easier - hard work is paying off, our efforts are producing results, and best yet, it's not full of struggle and challenge. It's just flowing.
Things can get tricky here. We want to keep our success and ease, bottle it up so we can use it whenever we want. Or, better yet, have it be the baseline for our lives. What would be better than all sunshine and rainbows and accomplishments?
This is controlling behavior, and at the root of it all is fear. We're afraid about what it means when the good thing ends, or when we're no longer blessed by plenty. Instead of accepting this uncertainty, we're tempted to fight it. But guess what? Thinking about everything that could go wrong, planning for it, and envisioning it... it puts a lot of energy towards an imagined negative circumstance.
Suddenly we're no longer able to take advantage of the goodness that's unfolding before us. Instead of taking stock of all our skills and hard work and letting the pleasant reality we've spent so much time manifesting just be, we run off in our thoughts. What could go wrong? How can I stop it? Yes, maybe it's better to work in this area, putting up defenses instead of building into the future.
The Seven of Swords represents such inner trickery. We want to use our thinking, controlling minds to eliminate any issues. The figure slinking off carrying a pile of swords has a satisfied smirk on their face. Stealthily, they've been able to avoid the crowd of people just visible in the background. They've averted confrontation and done so with cunning and quick thinking.
Yet to the right we have the Seven of Pentacles, a card of satisfaction and hard work if there ever was one. This suggests that we're caught between two worldviews this week - our actual, tangible success (that's rooted in actual, tangible work) and a scenario of fear and necessity that involves sneaking and stealth. Is there something in our lives that seems too good to be true? Would we rather second guess than celebrate and acknowledge it?
In a way, the Seven of Swords has a more clearly defined mission than the Seven of Pentacles. The silhouettes in the background give us a sense of urgency. "If I don't run off with these swords now, they'll catch me." Never mind if "they" are potential collaborators, friends, or allies. It's easier to feel justified and entertained when we have a force acting in opposition to us. In contrast, the Seven of Pentacles is a little quaint. It's just you and your vine of pentacles, blossoming. Sure it's a lovely sight, but where's the drama? This card holds within it the challenge to find beauty and satisfaction in life without the crutch of fear and opposition.
Clearly, this is a sticky area right now. The Eight of Swords sees us overwhelmed and struggling with both versions of our current situation. We're feeling a lack of agency here, though perhaps the mild panic is a call for quiet in disguise. Moving away from a fear-based interpretation is scary. Without the menacing, vague crowd in the background we have just ourselves to answer to and hold accountable. Taking a break and time to address and comfort our fears will go a long way in allowing us to open up to the bounty that's actually unfolding in our lives.
We may be at a new phase that will take some bravery to commit to and achieve. We're slowly mustering the courage, and doing so will require looking into our use of fear to keep ourselves small. The water pooling around the figure in the Eight of Swords, however, shows that the shift is happening and natural. We just need to be aware, mindful of the importance of this growth, and brave enough to peek out and see how hospitable and welcoming the world is to our vision.