For a moment, perhaps, you could see it for what it was: a compelling voice that told you to conform, and to turn away from the freedom you were contemplating. Freedom from obsolete obligation, from allegiances to causes that no longer nourished you, which wanted only your time and your energy.
The kicker about the Seven of Swords is the realization that there is no outside entity needed to enforce this obligation; you’re doing most of the leg-work yourself. Yes, that voice may manifest in an outer figure — an employer or an organization, a promise you made, an unwritten agreement or code, an allegiance that lost its luster and relevance some time ago — but it’s you who took it, internalized it, and ran with it, obedient to its every whim or command, cowed into submission by — what? Fear?
And if so, is it fear of what is to come?
Or is it fear of something that has already happened?
The Sevens are spiritual struggles. They represent a moment of choice on which much hinges. In essence, they are a turning point, or they are a decision to keep going as you’ve always done.
Here, your choice point is how you choose to view your life. This is enmeshed deeply with how you learned to view it growing up and the circumstances you have unconsciously created that have reinforced your learning — your conditioned thoughts about how life works, what you can expect of it, and the threatened consequences (they don’t even have to be real to be effective) of even questioning that learning, let alone trying to undo it.
I am inviting you to look at that beast in the Seven of Swords and link it to a thought, a repeating experience, a deep-seated understanding that “things just simply work this way.”
You need do nothing more than that. Awareness by itself is a greatly underestimated force. Just awareness — for as long as you can hold it, and that might only be for an instant. It may stay with you; it may disappear. If it seems to slip out of your grasp, then, like that proverbial butterfly, wait for it to come back to you. It will at the right time.