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What does the Seven of Swords mean?

June 27, 2015

Seven of SwordsHere is a pithy meaning for the Seven of Swords:
Holding on to that secret can hurt you more than telling it would.

Let me provide a bit of explanation about this one.

First of all, I’m talking about your own secrets, not those of other people. (Don’t use this pithy meaning as an excuse to go around blabbing other people’s secrets.)

Now for a deeper exploration of this pithy meaning:

I am currently reading a book called Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, written by a neuroscientist named David Eagleman. At one point Eagleman talks about the psychic damage caused by holding onto our secrets. He defines a secret as something about yourself or your life that one part of you wants to reveal and another part wants to keep hidden, and that creates internal tension that can become debilitating.

He goes on to cite research that shows that if a person has been sexually abused and they keep that fact a secret (which people often do out of shame), their health is impaired by the keeping of the secret.  Once they tell their secret to someone, their health improves significantly. And it’s interesting to note that just the telling of the tale is helpful, regardless of whether or not they get helpful advice about it.

Of course, it is important how and to whom one makes that revelation. It must be in a safe environment. This is why people will tell strangers sitting next to them on an airplane—people who they’ll never see again—things they won’t tell their friends. This also accounts for the immense popularity of the website,, where people can anonymously send in their secrets. And it indicates part of the usefulness of the Catholic confessional, psychologists, and professional Tarot readers. These are all people to whom someone may confide without fear of their secret becoming common knowledge. Thus both parts of the person’s mind are satisfied: the part that wants to reveal the secret, and the part that is afraid of the ramifications of its revelation.

So when this card comes up, it might indicate that the person getting the reading has a secret they need to tell someone in a safe, non-judgmental environment. Perhaps you, as a Tarot reader, can provide that environment.


Note: Each of these pithy Tarot meanings is just one facet of its card. Find more of them on my Card Meanings page.  Also, get my Pithy Tarot eBook or the FREE app that uses my pithy Tarot meanings … and LIKE my Pithy Tarot Facebook page!




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