The Empress & The Thief

Seven Swords

The Seven Of Swords tends to pop up in the Tarot when someone is thieving off you – I’ve seen this proven true countless times. Here, the fabulous Aries Carla Ciccone demonstrates.

I use the Tarot on your site the way my grandmother prays—often and with faith. While I was in Florence last week, I hit “play again” at least four times, because the Seven of Swords kept appearing. He wasn’t always in the same spot, but always in the spread, looking over his thieving shoulder. The Empress came up every time, too, but she’s a welcome sight, and her presence in my life has been steadily growing since I got to Italy.

A month before this, I found my scent soul mate in a small, crammed Verona profumeria. There was a #3 on the bottle and the word L’Impératrice aka The Empress, underneath it. I felt like a more sensual, fierce version of myself when I wore it, and I loved it so much that I got two more bottles to give to friends.

On my last day in Florence, I packed my bags, but didn’t zip them, spritzed myself with The Empress, and went out. When I returned, my bags were open and stacked on top of each other in the hallway. Greta, the cleaning lady, was there way early, and rambling about how I should have left by now and she got the guy renting the other room to help her move my bags into the hall so she could clean.

Greta’s distress made me feel incredibly guilty. I scrambled to close up my bags while she talked non-stop, only moving out of my personal space once to get me an espresso, which I didn’t want, but had anyway. Kind Greta even helped me zip my luggage up. In the kitchen, while I washed my coffee cup, she asked about my travel plans. “Beata te,” (lucky you) she kept saying. In Italian, this expression seems to be laced with a bit more envy than it normally is in English, so I explained that no, I’m not lucky, not rich, and this move has been equally as financially and emotionally stressful as it has been wonderful. “Beata te,” she said again, smiling large and stepping so close to my face, I could see her lime green coloured contact lenses move around as she blinked. Bye, Greta!

The next day, in another part of Italy, I finally started unpacking. I pulled out the case to my Sofia Loren-style designer sunglasses. A dear friend gave them to me, and I had miraculously kept them intact, scratch-free and safe for four years. They were like magic. Put them on, and instant glamour, ease and Empress, no matter how crap your hair looked that day.

The sunglasses weren’t in the case.

I searched through my bags like a Labrador digging for deep buried bone. No glasses. It only dawned on me that they had been stolen after I realized that also missing were: a pair of shoes, jewellery, a hat, and every one of my L’Impératrice perfumes.

The Seven of Swords flashed in my mind. He stole The Empress from me. Or, Greta did, but still, the cards knew.

I can’t afford to buy new perfumes or fancy sunglasses, and right now, it’s all ruined for me anyway. Besides, it’s not really about what was taken, it’s that it was taken, and with a Cheshire Cat smile and a cup of coffee. At least one of those seven swords is now lodged in the most innocent part of my being, twisting itself ‘round, making me feel like a fool. In it, echoes of cheating ex-boyfriends, deceitful, slippery friends, and old scars that still itch at times with the uncomfortable memory of the thing that caused them. The lessons I should have learned but still haven’t, perhaps. The ego hurts, too. I honed my streets smarts in high school, only to be taken by a shady cleaner as a full-grown woman. Brilliant. Am I regressing?

Or, maybe this all comes at a time when I don’t need help to evoke The Empress because I’m becoming her all on my own.

How’s that for a Venus into Leo spin on this steaming dung pile?

Mercury retro fuqery? Is there something to the astrology of betrayal? The fishes of my 2nd house Pisces Moon and Venus stopped swimming in circles and are now bobbing listlessly in the shade underneath some table coral.

Carla Ciccone

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Scorpio rising

The queen of cups keeps coming up in every spread, I’m curious to know what it means?!


If it’s that often, then I would say it’s the card that represents *you*.

I’m the Queen of Pentacles… not what you’d expect from someone with a chart full of fire 😉 And yes, she used to appear in Every. Single. Spread. (not Mystic’s tarot so much as RL tarot cards, but I think the point still stands.)


I sprayed some of this perfume on while out running errands yesterday. Too fruity for me personally but my mom loved it and asked me which scent I was wearing.

Suddenly Leo

You are still The Empress.

In case that didn’t sink in:


Betrayals of trust are always challenging for what they dredge up, but honey, your Crown Is So Bright that I can see it from here.

You are still The Empress.


This is a beautifully written post. My favorite line was about how she uses the Tarot like her grandmother prays “often and with faith.” Genius. Thank you Carla. 🙂


Such great writing! I’ve had a lot of stuff stolen so my sympathies- it doesn’t breed much faith in your fellow man or woman. I hate getting that card (and I just got it).


I’m not into perfume
but l do love a good stink!
Haha ha!




like any Uranian worth their salt 😉


Im in trubs at work for two provokes l did at work both a result of not dealing with MercRx.

And totes unrelated: Steve Smith batted (199) “Mercurially”. I wonder did the ABC Sportscater know he was a Gemini?


Sorry for the random but I can’t find where to re-sign up to the mystic emails. Have been thru all(?) The links, I think.


Sign up for them here, Pi. 🙂


thanks Kim! XX


love that you are the tech hand on site


Bahahaha! Tried the tarot app – got both the Empress and the Seven of Swords.


What a coincidence about the name of the perfume. It is D&G’s i think becoz just a few days ago i was given a bottle #6 L’Amoureux, which i assume The Lovers w/o looking. At first i thought waaay too sweet for me until a while later where it entranced me. Love it! Moon in LIbra & love of aromacology 🙂 Have been experiencing the most draining lack of energy over the last 3 weeks. Walking outside my shoes as the French expression goes. Am examining diet to find cause as have never experienced my mind as so blank, nothing… Read more »



MM’s tarot on site is for real, did a spread here last year at a particularly gritty time & I felt a connection with the reading that has stayed with me. It was extraordinarily accurate & following spreads have proven to be since.


I absolutely love this tarot app. Really amazing. I don’t get the same level with the oracle (probably because I ask really different questions) but I adore the tarot app and I am really fussy about this kind of thing <3


Random ruminations that have nothing at all to do with the above story: This is the Alice in Wonderland card for me – the “knave of hearts who stole the tarts”. Or the “backdoor man”. He indicates getting away with *something* but it’s not always outright thievery in the literal sense. But is our knave stealing, or is he merely disarming an enemy with his cunning and wits so he can have the last laugh? He hasn’t taken it all, but can certainly claim the majority of spoils. Note how the tent has been carelessly left unguarded with the door… Read more »

Moved on

I too have been getting this card in readings – both online and off. I have recently discovered my husband’s persona is a complete fabrication but it’s the support worker that I’m concerned about. Since this little ball of emotion has started I’ve had CD’s, cigarettes, toilet paper access to my son’s iTunes account go missing as a definite. Food, alcohol possibly (who keeps absolute track of these things in a houseful of others?) We have a cctv system in place and hubby has wired it so I can watch on the computer but still haven’t used it. It’s a… Read more »


woop just got seven of swords in the 11th house…aiiite tarot, im listening. card in 12th also told me to seek therapy if i believe there is a black hole in me which means i feel i dont deserve the awsome….. is eft a good exorcism? lols. obsidian in the yoni? walking on coals…hmmm

Jessica McOmish

Delightfully written.

I’ve often had Seven of Swords come up on my 5th, which I’ve taken to mean that someone is stealing my sunshine/genius/mojo rising. My joy.


Beautifully written

I was getting the 7 of swords a lot with my double gemini friend in a reading

nothing outright was stolen so I had to look at the alternative meaning of theft beyond literal possessions


Did you seen 50 cent quote on MM’s daily mail?

it went something like: I hate thief. A thief is only after my salary, a liar is after my reality

i really liked that one



see! not seeen…


(my new lover has 3rd language as english, all my msg’s look like this now I am speaking other tongues, don’t worry)


very good, yeah! MM does good quote references 🙂


I have had this a bit. How did you pin down the issue in the end?


well the card in the situation makes you think of the alternative meanings because I know said person would never take anything of physical material value from me but I would not put it past them to be mercurial to save ones own skin or borrow an idea or concept. So I had to think about the dynamic. I was away at the time (for almost 3 months) Said person has been quite strange with me since my return and I could not fully understand the concept of theft but obvious deceit behind play and not on the table cards… Read more »


I guess half of it is being able to decipher who is being referenced in the reading by the card. Maybe thats where one might name a specific card as the person, mentioned in a comment above..
Yes if it’s not reputation, ideas outright… could it be the relationship itself… someone stealing the show?! the limelight, petty tales (is reputation I guess), your collection of 3B pencils,…


relationship itself. well said. I had to meditate on it but was able to open to some new angles and let life show me the rest.

no fear, the pencils are safe 😉


very interested how other people have dealt with this in readings around 5th house position or other non obvious (i.e. breakup crap) meanings.

Emily The Gemini Artiste

Ugh….. i am pissed FOR you. damn. 🙁


Carla! I remember you from xoJane back when I still followed/enjoyed it and wrote a few articles for them myself (the Strip Club Science articles haha). I am so glad you are still writing, this was a beautiful read despite the events within the story being so terrible. ESPECIALLY when you are traveling often it’s the little things like your favorite perfume and sunglasses that make you feel pretty and *together* and home even when everything else is chaos and you’ve got a backpack full of neutrals in heavy rotation because life on the move eventually makes your clothing choices… Read more »


Backpack full of neutrals.. YES omg this is the worst thing about travel… The sartorial necessities trumping delicates and less versatile and/or covetable by thieves :/ so right about the little things.


Henceforth if I want to creep anyone out I will whisper “beata te”
Under my breath.
Definitely sinister. Like “bless your heart” in the American South.

It’s that “Iwill eat you for breakfast while smiling ” thing that freaks me out the most. But I am conversationally deeply naive so I would have missed it entirely with the rushing and the tut tatting. She is a pro, maybe not at cleaning, but a pro.

I usually end up throwing money and apologizing to this type of person. Then I find out all my stuff is gone.


Sometimes the seven of swords will appear on my readings and I sense it as someone wanting to steal my ideas for their benefit. I have certainly become more careful and more intolerant with those things. I also get the Moon that says to “beware of Lover Neptune/Pisces people after your stuff”. I take that seriously. It’s very sad but it’s my reality. When I think I can let my guard down a little I see that no, I have to set/keep boundaries around some people who are skilled but are not original and they are dying to lap your… Read more »


That comes from the person who has “the thief’s journal” as thier avatar. But I’m more about stealing moments, not as the 50 Cent quote that’s been sent with the Daily Mystics, I’m not after people’s realities like that, I don’t tolerate that degree of irresponsible soul-sucking. Maybe it’s time I change my gravatar and mentality to shift the vibes.


You know it’s dangerous when I saw Big Eyes in the movie theater and identified with the leading lady a bit too much. Fuck that shit.


I watched the preview for that and knew that I would not be able to sit through the film!


I wish I’d only ever had some perfume & a pair of sunglasses stolen from me. Babe, count your lucky stars!


But yeah, the Tarot never lies.


Where’s Leo in your chart? 7th house? 8th? Where’s your natal Jupiter? Luck.

Prince stolas

My heart goes outo to you having your stuff stolen! 🙁 terrible! And yeah 7 of swords is coming out a lot in my love readings. I uncovered a treacherous plot in an already insane scenario. A person i trusted, granted i am not close friends with is trying to gimp me because i had enforced a boundary months back. Basically last year, i gave a donation of my biz services to their non-profit but the person who used the donation, who does not work for or represent their np, came in and abused my workers and our policy. I… Read more »


Great story – very well written! I’m sorry that people are scum sometimes! FWIW Mercury squaring a Neptune-affected 2nd house would tend to be a ringer for the possibility of theft. Hermes was a pickpocket, fast-talker, and Trickster….it was during his Rx that he stole Apollo’s cows. And boundary-less Neptune certainly would have no problem helping himself to things that weren’t his. He’s just “lightening your load”, or “giving it to someone more deserving”. Yeah, right. The bullshit people can tell themselves under Mercury square Neptune is absolutely astounding! I don’t know when the theft occurred exactly, but I would… Read more »


Also, just puttin’ it out there: If you want, I can make some phone calls. I may or may not know “a guy” who can go all Liam Neeson on this. Let me know if you need muscle. 😉


With love from a Hadean Mars just itching for an opportunity to trounce a thieving mofo and who would do so for you in a heartbeat!


Your love for those items stolen from you shows you truly to be an Empress with the ability to discern what’s beautiful and worthy of your love and affection. Your items were beautiful on you because of who you are, an Empress. On a thief, those sunglasses, shoes and, especially, that fragrance will manifest the ugly fear, desperations and bad energy behind the theft and Greta will find that those things that were so beautiful on you are ugly on her.


Sorry to hear that story …. though the way you wrote gave me such pleasure 🙂

Miss Lisa

I was on board till I got to the lime green contacts. Green contacts have to be specially made unlike other coloured contacts. They are very expensive. And lime green ? Not sure if it even exists.
Some poetic licence maybe.
Sorry about your loss.
Yes Mercury Retrograde ending party time!


Actually they don’t. You can get all sorts if colour very cheaply! They are more like the cheapo reading glasses from chemists here in Oz. Not prescription lenses.


Sorry … Typos on the phone!


Please go on writing Carla Ciccone.
I wish you every kind of wonderful, so that you’ll always have joys & wonderful serendipitous windfalls to write about…
But your disappointments & betrayals haven’t let you down completely, in that they’ve give us an opportunity to experience (obviously) one of your greatest talents.
Do continue to write… & let us know when & where we can access/buy your work.


Click on her name.
It links to her work and amazing blog.


Doesn’t matter how big or small, having something taken from you is always a huge violation. Horrible.

The 7 of Swords is one of my most dreaded cards, it’s always pretty literal and there’s never any soft soaping it.


Yeah. I was getting it for ages in the work/health areas (card 6) hence deciding to cut cleaner’s hours in half, to give her some time to find other work and time to get into the habit of doing it all myself. So far so good. Was absolutely a good call. Next stop is find a naturopath type person who does blood work to check for nutrients or mineral deficiencies.
I often get 4 of swords when I have anxiety or insomnia to financial worries. I think the position of the card makes a big difference.


Oh Goddess! More of that sort of writing please! What a breath of fresh air. I was an editor in my past life; it’s rare, these days, for someone to write so well that I sit up and take notice. Actually it’s one of the reasons I subscribed to Mystic too. Such refreshing writing. This was such a pleasure to read, if not the happiest of tales. Thanks so much for sharing Mystic and Carla.

Taurus Vixen

Love how you write and the story. I am sorry it happened to you. Ask the Universe to bring into your life the perfume and similar or even better Sunglasses. I believe you will be gifted in no time at all. Keep the faith.


Oh, so sorry to hear your story. Theft is so, invasive. Yuck.

Anyone have magical tricks for identifying the thief when you keep bringing up the 7 of swords?

Taurus Vixen

Ask to be shown and listen to your gut.


Thank you.

Moved on

I am currently reading a book on tarot and the writer said when specific answers are required, nominate certain cards for $amounts, or people’s names etc. I haven’t even done a spread yet as I am still working my way through the book but the writer said it was a method that worked very well with his clients


Ohh I didn’t know that about the seven of swords. I don’t know the Tarot that well, so any kind of ‘if you get this, it often means that’ glossary would be fab for this rookie. Not wanting to be reductive, obvs, but I would find it a helpful way in to getting the most out of my readings.


I found one thing, it might have also been the theft card ? Or some other resource-leak card description… It was saying if not actual theft, then something a bit blurry in the material/$ department. So I trawled some rolling commitments: I had set my phone bill is auto direct debit payments and I was months ahead, so I could stop that for a while. My superannuation -with no salary inputs for 4 years 🙁 – I hadn’t cancelled salary protection insurance, which was nibbling away at the total. So I wrote and cancelled that. And the place where I… Read more »


I get several cards so frequently that in the beginning I kept clearing my cache. Newbie that I am, it never occurred to me that perhaps *those* cards had something to tell me across all readings. This has given me new perspective.
Page of Cups, Queen of Cups. Queen of Swords. Must do more research x


Page of cups represents an offer or invitation, possibly one that carries an amount of naiveté surrounding it. Lots of feelings involved. He’s a messenger of the Water element, i.e. emotions. Queen of Cups vs. Queen of Swords could indicate a struggle between following intuition/fantasy or discrimination/logic. Classic “head vs heart” dilemma. Are we being delusional, or are we cutting ourselves off from our feelings as a self-protective measure? Maybe the answer lies in synthesizing these two facets of the persona – even with her emphasis on rational analysis, the QoS in the RWS deck still does manage to keep… Read more »


Thankyou so much LV, this is really helpful, I will copy and keep it in my (now growing) Tarot folder xx


Do you have a regular deck? I like the tarot here and the interpretations are fab, but sometimes I like looking at the entire spread to make connections. I was gifted my first deck about 20 years ago, and I use them off and on but I have to use the book every time. I think it’s part of how my brain works, I try to connect and understand and it’s just so much information. One thing I try to do is look at the spread and figure out what it means before I open the book. That has helped… Read more »


No I don’t have a deck, I use the tarot here – I find the interps by houses really useful and practical.
I like the idea of a book to help look across the spread and make connections. I’m going to start paying more attention to the cards that come up frequently.


I don’t know if it would help but MM’s reading can pdf’d & perhaps you could cut out the cards & lay them out to study. I know it’s not card material but the layout is what you’re after 🙂


Brilliant idea! I will defo do that thank you xx


Great idea! I’m going to try this.


Ugh, I am totally with David and Venus fly on this one. Theft like this (versus say, stealing food to feed your children)..rraahhh

But. When the threat is diffuse and the tarot can’t actually say, “the cleaning lady will flog your stuff”… I mean what are you supposed to do? How does one pre empt a vague but persistent clue? Is it a case of diligently reviewing security protocols?

The Venus Fly

Food is the one exception in my ‘no stealing’ rule. And cooking utensils from Ross. If you are STARVING, go get food. If you have nothing to cook with, go get the basics from Ross. Everything else, especially cash, is say no go.


You know, I think sometimes we just can’t know until after the fact. I was a diligent keeper of a dream diary for years. When my marriage busted open, I discovered my husband had been reading my diaries plus a bunch of other awful betrayals. Re-reading my dream diaries for that period and time and again there were dreams about a guide or a figure warning me that all was not as it seemed, there was treachery, betrayal, someone crossing boundaries. It was so clear but only afterwards.


Yes, this is exactly the sort of thing I mean…
So close to home in your case.


It makes sense and confirms a situation I sm dealing with .


I feel you fellow Aries, and can imagine the Tarantino revenge fantasies that followed. Reminded me of my most painful robbery. I was the best man at my best friends wedding. My friend and I had lived together for years but when his love arrived on the scene it was pretty clear that I should move out. Anyway I moved in with another mate and soon the wedding approached. At the time I was really broke but really wanted to buy them a great present. I ended up spending all the money I could beg borrow and steal on a… Read more »


This story is downright terrible! My heart goes out to you (it really does), especially since I’ve been through something similar myself. Think it may be a rich vs. poor thing or just plan old jealously. Many ppl think you are if you “appear” to be so. Why oh why did she get have to get up in your face tho? Just to rub it in? Not nice. SMH about the glasses… Can maybe recover tho. Online research 😉 Great writing! (P.S. – Astrologically, I blame mercury retro in geminI against your 2nd house pisces thing. Plus, neptune adding extra… Read more »


Off topic but yay! Mercury Retro officially over! Was craving white buttered toast yesterday, so strongly, all day. Possibly related to being ill. Odd because not only do I never eat white bread – hardly ever eat any bread except “accidentally” such as in a restaurant when the food is taking ages to arrive! I don’t own a toaster. Anyway my coffee machine has been in Mercury Retro Dysfunction Mode for a few weeks and I just decided that was fine because the last thing I needed during the shenanigans of the past few weeks was caffeine … after reading… Read more »

Gosh. I will never take the 7 of swords lightly. Love the tarot app too. It’s brillo.

The Venus Fly

The Taurean in me is ready to knock a thief to a ground for you. I loathe, absolutely LOATHE thieves. They have no idea of what your life is about, assume and feel entitled – it disgusts me. To have PERFUME taken though – ITALIAN made-on-the-premises perfume? And a sly goodbye? I would have accused her on the spot, but I’m a little more…intense when it comes to guarding my ish, lol. As far as the 7’s, yes, it’s true. For awhile I kept getting that card in the ‘thieving’ section. It wasn’t until 6 weeks later I realized someone… Read more »


Your blog is awesome!


Oh wow.
That was so vivid.
I lived in Italy for while, up north in a small village and that scene unfolded so vividly. Brilliant writing!
Sorry about your loss, really.
You put such a spin on it and describe it with such flair.
I’m going to read it again.
Beautiful and interesting!
I often get the seven on swords and the empress in a spread.
I’ve never hit, “play again” to see more but perhaps I will now.
Such juicy writing, really gorgeous!


This is so brilliantly written, I enjoyed every moment of it. But no! I hope this is not the end of that series of events, that any moment now your scent, and your crown will be restored via magical or earthly means. That said, I don’t think being taken by a thief posing as a cleaner is anything less than classic fairytale. I bet you she’s not ‘really’ a cleaner at all, but a shapeshifting spirit right now playing someone’s favourite auntie or magical provider … of sunglasses, shoes, hats and perfume …

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