Staying with Charissa Drengsen’s Steampunk Tarot for another night, today I drew the intriguing Seven of Wands.
I gazed at it in confusion for a while, wondering what message it was giving me, and how I could link its image with the ideas of defence, fighting, taking a stand that I tend to associate with other versions of this card.
Here, we have a girl in a bright, golden, strangely shaped dress, balancing on top of a fence – this echoes traditional images in that she is positioned above the other figures present. Rather than a sea of battling wands waving at her angrily, instead we have a bunch of women, turning their backs on her or looking slyly over at her, covering their interest, or envy, or dislike, beneath the shade of their parasols.
When I opened the companion book, all became clear. This card is about being who you are, and being that proudly. The girl on the fence is not ashamed to show herself in her true colours, and it says more about those around her that they can’t look her in the eye, but instead have to exclude her.
Drengsen writes “standing up for who you are, testing limits / stading apart from the crowd, daredevil / being challenged, gossip, going it alone” What a useful interpretation to add to my repertoire, and what a wonderful new way to view the Seven of Wands.
When we speak our minds, or dare to be our truest selves, it’s often the case that we find out who our true friends are. It’s so easy to blend into the crowd, to like what everyone else likes and think what everyone else thinks. As the ‘young lefty’ person in my small team at work, I often feel like I simply can’t be bothered to argue my ideas as my colleagues say things I find personally find unpleasant, offensive and often plain wrong. Today was such a day. My workmate spent a portion of the morning trying to bait me, telling me tale after tale of benefit scroungers he knew, or had heard of, or had read about in the paper. They get pregnant so they don’t have to look for work, he told me, they should have their homes taken off them and be put in a slum. My reaction (unusually, I must say) was to bury my head in my work and say nothing, but the Seven of Wands is encouraging me to go in tomorrow and fight fire with fire. It’s like the opposite of that ‘anything for an easy life’ mentality, where you put yourself out there, fight for what you think is right, and deal with the conflict and gossipy back-turning that may well ensue.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.