What happens when it feels like the clouds have moved across the sky and blotted out the sun?
How does it affect you? Where do you put your attention? How do you respond?
The Seven of Disks is a special kind of a card. Not that all the cards are not special in their own way; each of them brings a valuable gift, even if that gift sometimes comes in disguise.
No: I'm using the word 'special' with the Seven of Disks not to elevate it as much as to reposition it, or to reimagine it - particularly with a word as potent as "Failure" running along the top of it.
Stay with me here if you can. Because all is not lost, or it doesn't have to be. I am not denying what may have happened. I am not of a mind to minimise anything.
Things might feel unequivocally shitty.
There may not be adequate words to describe how you feel.
You may also be encountering a sense of despondency but with no tangible reason why. There are simply those clouds, blotting out the sun.
In moments like this, it can be an image that hits on the truth far more than words ever can, and so perhaps it is worth looking at the big sky of the Seven, those ponderous spheres that feel out of balance, the hidden light source, and the dwarfed figure beneath, colourless, hunched over as if feeling the weight of the Disks above him.
However, I must be true to the whole meaning of the Seven of Disks, which speaks of "Failure" of a particular kind, and which I believe is also borne out by the card's image.
The Sevens are cards that mark a turning point.
They are not the early discoveries of the first few cards, nor the encounter with increased complexity of the next few.
The Sevens are the gateway into the kind of experience that brings decisions - particularly, I feel, around the matter of what it means to grow up.
They are an inner struggle or choice point. They are existential in nature. They speak of the spiritual journey towards wholeness.
Here, this struggle is an existential one on the material plane. To put it another way, you may feel stuck, or like something isn't working, or a long-held and cherished plan, project, or thing looks like it's about to hit the rocks.
And so we come back to this: an inner struggle or choice point.
This is where the reading is asking you to shift your perspective if you haven't yet considered doing so. It may feel like you are meeting resistance outside - that events and things are conspiring to push you down, to hold you back, to sabotage what it is that you have so lovingly nurtured.
Here's the shift:
What if that resistance were coming from inside you, and then being reflected by events and things outside you? What if you are in some key way the architect of your own experience?
I know. This can be a really hard one to look at. This is Seven of Disks territory: the search within for the genesis of an external experience, and the card of assuming responsibility.
Really getting to grips with our surroundings, including the inner environment in which we are operating, can be a sobering and humbling process. It demands that we stop pushing our own unresolved issues on to the world, and on to others.
This does NOT mean that those others are free from accountability.
Not at all.
But this is the process of claiming your own accountability, and that means separating what is yours from what is someone or something else's. Easier said than done. Perhaps hardest of all is the acceptance that it might just have to come down to you to assume responsibility - even if the responsibility shouldn't be yours, and even if it doesn't feel fair. It might not be fair.
But. But, but -
You are the only person who can accept responsibility for yourself. Therefore, there is no-one - no-one - better at this than you are, or better at this than you can become.
It's also worth remembering that "responsibility" is not the same as "blame." If you are feeling blame, or shame, then this is incidental to the Seven of Disks, and not an integral part of it.
So, to recap: if you are in some way identifying with the figure in the Seven of Disks, then the notion of "Failure" is part of the process of getting to grips with your flaws, with your inability to see the whole picture in any circumstance, with hubris, with the human condition.
What is happening is part of a readjustment - a rebalancing of cosmic scales that may not feel fair from your understandably subjective and personal perspective, but which was in some way necessary in order to bring things back into equilibrium.
These adjustments pay no attention to your plans or to your attachments. In this case, Justice really is blind (and she can feel blindly neglectful of your particular considerations), but she rules fairly when it comes to the larger agenda of the Soul and the decisions that drive its evolution.
Now, look back at the Seven of Disks, and the looming grouping of spheres above you, the figure.
First, the light is not gone; it is merely obscured by your perspective. It shines the way it always has. But maybe there's a need to pare things down, to simplify, and to go back to basics. Why do I write this? Because of the sphere at the bottom left. You remove that, and the remaining six spheres come into balance, and you have the seventh - the Ace of Disks - that you can now work with.
Remember why you committed in the first place. You will have an opportunity to recommit, and the ability to rework what is not working and what has felt oppressive and unmanageable.
You take this Disk, and, somehow, things change. There is a turning. When this happens, it may feel disruptive, but it is shifting the circumstances of your predicament. It has to change - the rebalancing has made sure of that.
Hold steady to your centre and hold to what you know works. And if nothing seems to work, know that there are larger forces at play here, and that simply holding to your centre is the best thing you can do.
Astrology Correspondences: Justice (Libra), Seven of Disks (Saturn in Taurus), The Wheel of Fortune (Jupiter)
Justice, Seven of Disks, The Wheel of Fortune from The Röhrig Tarot deck, created by Carl-W. Röhrig © US Games, Inc. Click on the image for a larger version.