7 min read

seven of wands: a lantern in the dark

seven of wands: a lantern in the dark
seven of wands from the wild unknown tarot

hello friends, and welcome to july.

before we get into the essay, a reminder that this is the last day you can sign up for my strength & justice themed study container, resources & resilience. the first set of prompts for discussion will be introduced today in discord, and registration will close at midnight EST tonight.

my brand new intermediate lecture series, next level tarot, is also now available! those who pre-ordered should've already received access reminders, and you can also buy for immediate download right now. and if you've been curious about the 3am.tarot conservatory, remember that next level tarot is included there too!

now, let's take a deep breath together, and let it out slowly. shake out any tension in your body, and allow your mind to find its focus. let's talk about our card of the month: the seven of wands.

an image came to mind the other day, unbidden and unexpected: figures slowly gathering at the start of a dark path, one by one, each bringing lit torches or candles or lanterns. gently gathering light, carefully stewarded, generously offered.

it was comforting to watch: a small group of quietly assembling beacons, lighting the way with their various tools. my vision gradually becoming more and more trustworthy as each new silhouette stepped up to help illuminate the path.

i've worked with a lot of talented guides over the past 4-5 years, practitioners and magicians and witches and friends who regularly use their various skills and gifts to help querents like me understand aspects of ourselves. and while each reading i've received has technically centered on a different topic, the same themes have emerged, over and over: a specific gift i already possess, unique skills i need to hone and celebrate, important abilities that are beautiful but also require discernment to utilize fully.

some gifts are intimidating to accept. some paths are terrifying to behold, especially if we're alone in the dark, uncertain of where to go next.

with every new reading, it's as if another torch or candle or lantern is being lit for me, offering a bit more truth to see by. with each new lamp, my path becomes clearer, easier for me to see and trust and follow. i'm slowly starting to walk it alone, to trust in my steps, to light my own way. it's daunting, and it's exhilarating.

in some ways, it would be easier if i'd been brave enough to just seek out this path on my own — to stumble around in the darkness and hope that i'll eventually figure it out, or to confidently light my own way and boldly embrace a new part of myself. i've certainly done that before. but in this instance, i've needed others to illuminate my path, to offer assurance and care and insights even if it makes me shy or nervous to ask for those things. i've craved friendly support and expert advice, and have been fortunate enough to receive both.

sometimes, we need someone else to hold that torch in the darkness for us: to guide us, to encourage us, to help us see what we might've otherwise missed.

other times, we are the ones holding the torch. we are the ones offering guidance, stewarding the lantern. other times, we must be the brave ones: trusting in our light, standing in the haze between shine and shadow, helping others see the path ahead.

we don't have to be able to see everything in order to find our way forward — but having a bit of illumination, and some trusted support, can certainly help.

seven of wands from the wild unknown tarot

the seven of wands is a card of courage. it's owning our fire, drilling down into our own passions and purpose, not being afraid to step into the heart of our personal magic.

seven as the chariot, the tower, the inquisitor. seven as the spiritual seeker, the demanding investigator, the meaning-driven explorer. and fire as the soul's drive, the burning in our belly, the instincts and the erotic. fire as the spark that keeps us aflame, the activation, the inspiration.

the seven of wands is being brave enough to know ourselves, even if that self-knowledge contradicts what others tell us about who we are. the seven of wands is being willing to expand our understanding of what we are capable of, even if that requires us to walk a path on our own. the seven of wands is courageously owning our fire, not letting anyone dim our shine, allowing what matters to us to light us up and make us visible in the darkness.

in this card, we find the kind of authentic, bold, dynamic, deeply necessary power that will help us see our work through to the end. we recognize what keeps us moving, what we are fighting for, what fires we alone can ignite.

in this card, we hold up our torch unapologetically, and trust that those who align with our values and our passions and our authentic spirit will be drawn to the flame we carry.

ace of wands, hermit, temperance, and seven of wands from the wild unknown tarot

this imagery of torches and lanterns feels so powerful to me, so lovely and poignant. and while this metaphor has come up often in readings i've given lately, it's also come up consistently in readings and messages i've received — that my light is one that reveals crossroads and pathways for other people. it is the honor of my life to be seen as a lantern-bearer, and to do this work: to illuminate roads for others to walk, to offer encouragement and guidance for those who are finding their own way, to serve and to support as best i can. i cherish this responsibility, and do not take it lightly.

but the courage that this work requires has not come easily. it's been hard-won, and i still stumble. i am still learning to trust in my gifts and talents, still sometimes need others to raise their torches high and help me see the path ahead, still cling to testimonials and feedback as reminders that what i do has immense value. i wasn't raised to trust myself, to listen to my instincts, to honor my own desires. i was taught instead to trust in the lampposts that were set up as boundaries, to only look at what had already been illuminated for me and to avert my precious gaze from the shadows beyond those borders.

why do you think books and knowledge have so consistently been considered dangerous? why is open communication so terrifying to those in power? why is having access to perspectives broader than our own and fighting against denial so often a catalyst for change?

because: once undeniable truths are dragged into the light, we cannot unsee them. and while some would prefer to stay within the well-lit boundaries that they have always been restricted to, others of us feel the need to grab a torch and wander out into the darkness. others of us want to keep inquiring, to keep searching, to peer through shadows and around corners until we've found everything there is to find.

there will always be people like us. people who want to know what is hidden, and who seek what others claim has been lost.

the seven of wands isn't just authentic fire itself. it's also the courage to raise that flame up high. it's also the strength to hold that torch firmly, over time. it's also the authenticity to keep the fire burning, even if it takes awhile for others to see and respect our light.

what torches do you hold? what lanterns do you carry? what fires do you tend?

it can be very difficult to clearly see the impacts that we have on other people. you may not realize who looks to you for strength, encouragement, inspiration. you may have no idea who witnesses and admires your bravery, who might watch you and through watching, learn to access new courage of their own. you won't always know what your light might illuminate for someone else. but by being bold enough to let your fire shine, to stand in the darkness, to walk an unknown path, you can become a stronger, more authentic version of yourself.

seven of wands and hermit from the wild unknown tarot

my path is my own, as is yours. but consider:

what fire burns brightly within you, one you couldn't smother even if you wanted to? what illuminates you, enraptures you, captivates you? what purpose drives you in spite of obstacles, challenges, uncertainties, fears? what do you keep circling around, investigating, returning to? what are you obsessed with? what is your burning heart?

when you light the torches of your body and soul, when you are willing to peer into the places you've never been, what do you see? when you let fire burn through your secrets, when you chase the sparks that drift into the night, what do you find?

when you stop hiding from what is unknown, when you allow yourself to embrace your gifts instead of denying them, who could you become?

wishing you a brave, true, illuminated july, friends. and if you'd like to spend this month ruminating on courage, resilience, personal power, collective strength, and impact, remember that today is the final day to sign up for my next tarot study container.

my personal torch lighters and lantern bearers: jeanna kadlec, amaya rourke, maeg keane, malorine mathurin, sasha ravitch, diana rose harper, mecca woods, and bee scolnick. bless y'all, and thank you for helping me find my way.