Seven – Futility

Seven of Swords - Futility

Seven of Swords – Futility

Futility means quality of being ineffective, useless.  Lack of purpose or meaning.

The Seven of Swords wonders if all that inspiration, all those new ideas and experiences, were they worth it? Is there any point to them? It is time to come out of your comfort zone and extend and stretch your intellectual experiences. How much do you really believe? Can you extend your mind? What is mind anyway?

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Image of Seven of Swords in Rider-WaiteDesign, attempt, wish, hope, confidence; also quarrelling, a plan that may fail, annoyance. The design is uncertain in its import, because the significations are widely at variance with each other.

Additional meanings: Dark girl; a good card; it promises a country life after a competence has been secured.


Good advice, counsel, instruction, slander, babbling.

Additional Meanings: Good advice, probably neglected.

Book of Thoth – Futility

Seven of Swords - Futility
Seven of Swords

The Seven of Swords is called Futility. This is a yet weaker card than the Seven of Wands. It has a passive sign instead of an active one, a passive planet instead of an active one. It is like a rheumatic boxer trying to “come back” after being out of the ring for years. Its ruler is the Moon. The little energy that it possesses is no more than dream-work; it is quite incapable of the sustained labour which alone, bar miracles, can bring any endeavour to fruition. The comparison with the Seven of Wands is most instructive.

More information

Golden Dawn – Lord of Futility

Imaginings beyond possibility, the jolt of shattered dreams.


Hope, Confidence, Desire, Attempt, Wish.


Wise Advice, Good Counsel, Wisdom, Prudence, Circumspection.


Image of Seven of Swords Etteilla
Seven of Swords Etteilla

Hope, Expectation, Expect, Want, Promise Yourself, Brag, Essence, Design, Will, Desire, Wish, Longing, Craving, Liking, Fantasy.


Sage Advise, Good Counsel, Useful Warning, Instruction, Lesson. Observation, Reflection, Remark, Catching Sight Of, Thought. Reprimand, Slander. News, Announcement, Public Notice. Consultation, Admonishment.

Paul Foster Case

A rose is combined with the ankh, but it has many thorns. The rose is a Venusian symbol, and in Qabalah No. 7 is sometimes called the Sphere of Venus.

Time period

Third decanate of Aquarius, under rulership of Venus, from February 9th to February 18th.


Partial success; the Querent is a little too easy-going, or does not draw on his reserve force sufficiently; has good opportunities, but may not make the most of them; given to compromise too easily.


Love of ease and display cause loss; the Querent suffers from the insolence of others, and may be insolent himself; danger of the betrayal of confidences.



Thierens: Seven of Swords

Hope, wish, design, will, taste, fantasy. Another version says: “Also quarrelling; a plan that may fail.” (W.) Reversed: Good counsel, advice, helpful warning, news, announcement, consultation, observation, reflexion, lesson, instruction, slander, babbling.
The element Earth on the Seventh house indicates the actual and material union of the Self and the Not-self in the organism, as a material building. In this we have to see the ‘accomplishment’ or attainment of the Self, that which the Self wishes to join. Since the seventh house represents ‘the opponent’ as well, there may be something like quarrelling in this card, attempts to reach agreement with an opponent; this will be done in a practical, business-like way. A combative spirit, ready for the defensive. Owing to the diplomatic and fox-like qualities of the house of Libra, the querent may, by this card, attempt to steal the weapons of the opponent, as the figure rightly suggests: using the arguments and fighting with the weapons of the enemy.
Tradition is rather elusive in its definitions of this card; there are some particulars of Libra indicated, curiously enough, but they are not much of the nature of ‘swords’ — earth. The card must indicate everything in the line of material ability, from the science of the use of tools, crafts and arts up to tricks of abuse. It may equally favour a labourer, an engineer, a dentist, a surgeon and a burglar.
Meeting the opponent, perhaps some fighting, but more probably the strategy than the fighting itself is indicated. Using the weapons of the enemy. Practical ability. Science of the arts and crafts. Tricks. Understanding of practical and material obstacles, and of the work to be done. The enemy will be disarmed, arguments undone. A person of technical ability; favours technical professions. Success by means of capability, combined with diplomacy. Good care taken. Scheme, design.
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Seven of Swords - Futility tarot meanings
Seven of Swords wonders if all that inspiration, all those new ideas and experiences, were they worth it? Incapable of sustained labour.

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