"My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.” ― Franz Kafka
The issues of the Minor Arcana often have to deal with those daily toils and challenges. None face us more frustratingly than those of the Swords, which often appear as challenges of our own perception.
The Seven of Swords, often referred to as the Thief Card, begs us to use our intuitive skills to read--is this perception or reality? The card shows a man, wearing a fez, tiptoeing away from camp with all the Swords in his hand. He sneakily checks behind him. Is anyone following? The others in the background of this card are busy with war and battle. He is taking advantage of this preoccupation to steal the very weapons they will use for defense.
But who wins here? Certainly not the thief. His guilt and secrets condemn him. And so, this card often is a call to examine one's motivations. Where are deceiving yourself? As kKafka says, "Guilt is never to be doubted." When you want to figure out where you are most hookable, what is the part of your life you feel most guilty about? Where do you feel less than ethical? Where do you feel like you are getting away with something?
Sometimes, but not always, this can mean that you are being deceived. It begs you to open your eyes and check the motivations and behaviors of those around you. Swords are about communication, and this card sometimes comes when someone is sweet-talking you, telling you everything you want to hear. This is the card of liars, thiefs and cheats, so in a relationship reading, make sure you asking the right questions. This card can come when one partner is cheating, or one partner is AFRAID the other is cheating. (See how tricky that suit of perception can be?) And so, who is really suffering? The person unable to trust.
Most often, though, this card is about self-betrayal. Where are you being dishonest? Where are you betraying your own moral compass? Are your actions aligned with truth and integrity? Trust your guilt to be your conscience and deciding factor. Rely on this guilt-o-meter to point to the truth of your behaviour, and make amends. This card asks you to stop running away, hiding your true self, cease manipulating people around you, and ultimately, and most spiritually, face the shame. Release it. This is the true blockage to the Divine, to other humans, to your Highest Self. This thief holds his stolen swords right across his heart. This heart blockage can be overcome, by putting down what is shaming you, and facing your demons.
A great meditation for this card might be:
I live my life with the utmost integrity and align my will with the Divine.