What does the Seven of Wands mean?
Note that this pithy meaning for the Seven of Wands may be its shadow aspect or its reversed meaning if you use reversals.
One of my keywords for this card is “resistance.” However, as the Borg from Star Trek were fond of saying, “Resistance is futile.” This is not always true, of course, but there are many situations in which it is. However, although this seems to be a rather disheartening piece of advice, that’s not necessarily so. What follows is an interesting example of how this guidance can lead us out of darkness and into the light. In this example we see how resistance is not only futile, but actually counterproductive, and consequently non-resistance can be a very good thing.
In an article titled, “Time Bending: What Your Mind Does With Your Minutes & How It Affects Your Life” the author, Hazel Gale, explains why time seems to go so slowly when we are forced to do something we don’t like, even though “we … attempt to lengthen pleasurable events and whizz through the less happy moments.” The problem arises because of our resistance, which is both futile and counterproductive.
We resist the things we don’t want to experience, but to resist something, we have to focus on it, and by doing so we allocate it more airtime in our awareness.
Furthermore, Gale notes a paradoxical way in which “resistance is futile.”
Our understanding of everything we’ve … been through [is] affected by this time distorting function of the mind.
In attempting to [resist] fear/pain/hurt/failure/loneliness in our lives, we end up maximizing those things. By assigning importance to the hard times we’ve been through in an attempt to steer clear of them, we unintentionally color our whole perception of life to be, by and large, a negative, scary, or sad experience.
Luckily, this article provides advice and hope for a better future. Its advice is based in large part on embracing rather than resisting the challenges of life, which is something that the practice of mindfulness can help us attain. Here is what Gale says:
To be in the now [i.e., to practice mindfulness] is to accept each moment as equal, and as a gift. [Thus,] we can welcome any occurrence with open arms and embrace it fully as a moment of growth.
By embracing life’s challenges, we avoid making the potentially painful moments so sticky. And simultaneously, by experiencing them fully, we can attribute more focus to the good times. This means we can recolor our perception of life to be rosier, and thus experience more happiness.