The Seven of Wands is the 7th card in the tarot deck’s suit of Wands of the Minor Arcana, and depicts a man steadfastly trying to defend his position at the top of a hill. It represents a struggle to protect your territory, stand up for your beliefs, and the work of battling one’s inner critics.

Tarot guides associate the Seven of Wands card with the element of fire and the 3rd decan of the Leo zodiac sign (20-29 degrees) in astrology. This decan is ruled by Mars, the planet of action, aggression and willpower, and points to this card’s inherent quality of struggle and tension. Mars relates to our capacity to fight for what is meaningful and to stand up for ourselves when opposed by combative forces.

Where the key meanings of the Major Arcana focus on life’s overarching themes and events, Minor Arcana cards like the Seven of Wands explore and reveal the more subtle changes impacting one’s day-to-day life and near future. Likewise, the suit of Wands tends to explore our feelings and emotional states, while the suit of Pentacles, for example, gives us a closer look at our material reality.

The Seven of Wands can also be considered with relation to the number seven’s meaning in numerology, where seven symbolizes deep introspection and untapped potential. This same internal struggle, which both the Seven of Wands and the Major Arcana’s High Priestess embody, is a challenge one can expect on the path to self-actualization.

Seven of Wands Keywords

Upright Keywords

Reversed Keywords

fighting a battle, protecting your territory, opposition from others, perseverance, inner critic

weary of fighting, a losing battle, defensiveness, trying to force a situation, accepting change

Description of the Seven of Wands Tarot Card

The acclaim experienced in the preceding card of the Six of Wands has given way to the group’s desire to attack the central figure’s position, either out of jealousy or because they are in opposition to what he stands for. Now he must defend his territory and assert his right to maintain his position on top.

In the Rider Waite Smith deck, the six wands, which were symbols of support in the previous card, have now become symbols of dissent as the group wields them in an attempt to dislodge his status. The figure in the card uses his wand defensively as he tries to keep his attackers at bay.

He’s pictured with a harried and distressed expression on his face and wearing two different shoes, which suggests that he’s a nonconformist who stands out from the crowd and must work to defend his unique position. It may also suggest that he’s been caught off guard by the attackers and is unprepared for battle, which may give rise to the hastiness that can be found in the proceeding Eight of Wands.

Seven of Wands Upright Meaning

In the upright position of a tarot reading, the Seven of Wands suggests that you’re in the midst of a battle and are facing opposition to your views, your success, or your position from external forces. You have worked hard to achieve a certain level of acclaim or visibility, which may come with the consequence of also having detractors, those who wish to tear you down or take your place.

This card symbolizes the importance of insisting on your original point of view and persevering to have it respected. The way you think or express yourself may be unconventional and in opposition to certain traditions or conventional wisdom. This card encourages you to embrace your differences and defend your right to express yourself in your own idiosyncratic ways.

This card may also signal that you are facing strong internal pressure from your inner critic. As you attempt to put yourself out there, express your authentic self, and publicly stand for what you believe, you may be facing fears about what other people will think and doubts about your right to take up space. This card is a reminder that you can work through these internal pressures which try to diminish your self-confidence and true expression of self.

Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)

The Seven of Wands upright suggests that your relationship is experiencing tension as each of you try to assert your will, your desire for dominance, or your point of view. This card asks you to assess if there’s a need to stand up for what you believe is right if your sense of ethics is being violated in some way.

This card can also symbolize that you are approaching your relationships from a place of guardedness, defensiveness, or possessiveness. If you have been criticized, judged, or shamed in the past, you may be carrying that desire to defend yourself into the current situation. If you are overly emotionally guarded, it may be difficult to form deep connections or establish compatibility.

Love/relationships upright keywords

Career/finance upright keywords

standing up for one’s beliefs, defensiveness, possessiveness, overly guarded

defending a position of leadership, defending integrity, shifting work roles, accepting new possibilities

Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)

The upright Seven of Wands suggests that you’re ardently defending your position of authority or leadership and that you’re facing opposition from others. You may have recently experienced a moment of heightened success which now must be guarded or maintained. You may need to persevere to defend your integrity, your unconventional point of view, or your original self-expression in your work or career.

This card can also speak to the feeling of having your job, position, or title shift and the need to redefine the way you approach your work. You may be fighting against the changes that are underway by trying to insist on maintaining the old way of working. This card can suggest that when you let go of what formerly gave you a sense of security, you can open up to new possibilities in your career or job.

Seven of Wands Reversed Meaning

In the reverse position of a tarot card reading, the Seven of Wands may represent a feeling of exhaustion from fighting a long battle. If you realize that what you’ve been fighting for is not truly worth the struggle, you may be ready to find a compromise. You may have been pushing for a specific outcome, which is not necessarily the best or the only solution, and are now re-framing your situation and accepting new possibilities.

The reversed Seven of Wands can also indicate that you are approaching life from the self-belief that you must fight to defend your position or point of view and that this orientation to the world is creating blockages in your life. You could be acting from the feeling that you have to fight to be heard, loved, or respected, but this attitude only serves to create barriers between yourself and those you want connection with.

This card suggests that if you approach life with more openness, vulnerability, and acceptance, you will feel less burdened by the attitude of always being on guard. If the opposition you’re facing is coming from within, this card symbolizes the need to confront your inner fears and doubts and not allow them to hold you back from expressing your truth.

Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)

In a love tarot reading, the reversed Seven of Wands can represent the feeling of tension within a relationship caused by clashing viewpoints, desires, or needs. One or both parties may be refusing to consider the other’s point of view and are only interested in defending their position. This defensiveness is causing an impasse in the relationship and can be overcome when both parties express their wants and needs, allowing both to feel heard and understood.

This card can also indicate that you may be approaching relationships from a place of guardedness and defensiveness, and this is making it difficult to form the connections you desire. If you are trying to protect yourself because of experiences of being wounded in the past, this card is a gentle suggestion to remind yourself that when you practice emotional vulnerability and openness, you can form new bonds and connections.

Love/relationships reversed keywords

Career/finance reversed keywords

guardedness, defensiveness, need for more vulnerability and openness

feeling worn down, struggling to assert yourself in the workplace, shifts to job or position, accepting change

Love/relationships reversed keywords: guardedness, defensiveness, need for more vulnerability and openness

Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)

In the reverse position, the meaning of the Seven of Wands suggests that you’re feeling worn down by the demands of your job, the opinions of others, or the feeling of struggle when trying to assert yourself in the workplace. You could be realizing that it’s no longer worth your energy to continue to fight for something that is not yielding the results you hoped for and are ready to find a new solution or compromise.

The reversed Seven of Wands can also indicate that you’re facing changes to your position at work or within your career and that these shifts are causing you to feel anxious about maintaining your position, security, or status. This card suggests that if you can relax into the changes that are taking place, you will rise above the haters and discover new opportunities and ways of working that are in greater alignment with your higher self.