The Seven of Wands is linked to the Mars in Leo, and the final ten days of the Sun’s passage through Leo (12th-22nd August). Mars is associated with ‘masculine’ energy – drive, determination. It’s sometimes described as war-like, Mars being the Roman god of war. Here Mars joins forces with the strength and courage of Leo, the ‘heart’. This is a battle that will be well-planned. Again, like Jupiter in Leo in the Six of Wands, there’s a danger of arrogance – Leonine pride combined with Mars aggression. But as long as that’s kept in check, Mars in Leo suggests initiative and drive, confidence and creative flair.
The Seven of Wands is often associated with the idea of fierce or stiff competition, and with keeping the momentum gained in the Six going. After all that glory and acclaim, we can’t just sit back! The Seven is about being ready to take on whatever comes next. That’s where the Mars in Leo energy comes in. We can draw on the Leonine daring and strength, allowing ourselves to take risks. I think of the phrase ‘take no prisoners’ with this card – there’s no room for compromise here. In the Thoth deck, the Seven of Wands carries the word ‘valour’. There’s also an awareness of our fears, something else that comes through experience – perhaps through overcoming the obstacles in the Five of Wands.
The Shadowscapes Tarot shows this through the vixen taking a stand, defending what she believes in – the thing that’s most important to her (her family). She’s ready to do what’s necessary to protect them, the key word being ‘necessary’. The Seven of Wands is about doing what’s needed; it’s more than simply courage - although I recently met someone who pointed out that the word ‘courage’ is made up of ‘cour’ (heart), and ‘rage’ (as in fiery determination to take action) so courage is certainly part of this.
The Wildwood’s Seven of Bows focuses on the idea of clearance. After celebrating the abundance of the Six of Bows – what we’ve achieved – it’s time to decide what’s still useful, and what we can clear away. So yes, we’re still keeping the momentum of the Six going, but this brings in some discernment, perhaps. Not necessarily what you’d think of with Mars in Leo, perhaps...but it might take strength and courage to let go of some things, rather than cling to them. Mars gives us the drive and determination to make those choices, to cut away what’s no longer of service. “Change is a natural part of the process of renewal”, to quote Mark Ryan and John Matthews in their accompanying book to the deck; sometimes that change is easy, but at other times it’s challenging. Mars in Leo helps us to deal with that.
Shadowscapes Tarot created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn
Sharman-Caselli Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by US Games Systems, Inc.
Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections