Monday 14 August 2017

Leo in the Minor Arcana: The Seven of Wands

7 of Wands (trimmed):
© Sharman-Burke/CaselliT arot
The Seven of Wands is linked to 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.  

7 of Flames (trimmed):
© Margarete Petersen Tarot
In Margarete Petersen’s Seven of Flames, we see the feline (looks more like a tiger than a lion!) energy emerging from the shoulder of a human figure, surrounded by all the fire of both Mars and Leo. According to the accompanying LWB, the tiger symbolizes releasing anger, with a focus on the shoulder and pelvis – the joints from which action springs, perhaps? In more general terms, I can see the idea of ‘focused growth’, being willing to take risks for what we want to achieve.

7 of Wands (trimmed):
© Shadowscapes Tarot
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 know that people sometimes see the word ‘courage’ being made up of ‘cour’ (heart), and ‘rage’ (as in fiery determination to take action), and courage is certainly part of this.

7 of Bows (trimmed):
© Wildwood Tarot
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.

Beginner’s Guide to the Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA/Deep Books, 2004.
Shadowscapes Tarot created by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law and Barbara Moore, published by Llewellyn
Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections

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