Failure: Self-loathing, Corruption, and Loss
The Seven of Disks. Failure. Losing. Being Spoiled. Trickery. Corruption. Theft. Self-loathing. Disappointment. Loss of Work. Not Succeeding. Frustration. The Seven of Disks corresponds to the Sefirot of Netzach; Bliss and the Degenerate Weakness of the Suit of Disks. This card then represents what happens materially when one gives into degenerativity, and that is Failure. When one who has power and wealth – as one who has been successful in the area of Disks has – gives in to degenerate weakness, he becomes Corrupt. One who is successful materially is Spoiled. This card represents what comes after Success if one stops working, and that is Not Succeeding. One might Lose the Work that they strove so hard to accomplish before, it having been Stolen from them. Things might not come to you as they once did, leading to Frustration and Disappointment.
This card, in addition to representing the corruption one often devolves into after Success, also can be seen as the full representation of the second half of the implied dichotomy of the Six of Disks. This card allows you to examine the flipside of Success – Failure – in full, showing the reader the lower – and many would say greater – part of inequality. In this sense, this card also represents Losing, Self-loathing and Disappointment at not being able to succeed, unable to get to where you want to be due to Corruption or Trickery, and Frustration at your Hard Work Failing Accomplish what you desire. The Seven of Disks, then, has two meanings: the failure one has when they can no longer sustain their success, and the failure one has when they never were able to achieve success.
The Rider-Waite art does not at all reflect this meaning of the card, showing a man leaning on a staff and surveying the fruits of his labor. This card in the Rider-Waite tradition merely illustrates the aspect of the Six of Pentacles pertaining to success through hard work. The Thoth art shows seven disks – representing coins and wealth – lying forgotten on a field of black feathers – probably those of the raven, the harbringer of bad news.
In a reading, this card asks you to examine the role of failure in your life or the situation. Did you do all you could to succeed? Did you make a poor decision and lose all you had? Do you beat yourself up for not doing as well as you would like? Reversed, this card’s energies are blocked, hidden, or twisted somehow; perhaps your apparent success is not what it seems to be, or perhaps your failure is undeserved.