Tarot Circle meets the third Monday of every month at Unity Church in Jupiter. Last night, we decided to take a journey through the suit of Swords.
I know – ouch, right?
Actually, I love the suit of Swords. In most decks, Swords relate to the element of air. Air rules powers of the mind, including thought, reason, communication, integrity and intelligence.
It is important to note, though, that in a few decks, Swords is fire and Wands is air.
That in itself was a good jumping off point for conversation. Metaphysically speaking, how are fire and air similar? How are they different? For me, the meeting point of fire and air is inspiration. I see inspiration in both the Ace of Wands and the Ace of Swords.
When we look at the Fool’s Journey through the suit of Swords, beginning with the Ace and traveling to the Ten, we see a story that starts out really well. The Ace of Swords holds the promise of new truth, new ideas and new inspiration.
Even when our story takes a dark turn at the Three of Swords, the card of sorrow, we see recovery by the time we get to the Six. Sadly, it’s all downhill after that.
From the dishonesty of the Seven comes the anxiety of the Eight. From that, we see the sleepless anguish of the Nine. The total devastation of the Ten concludes our story. Luckily, we have the clarity of the four Court cards to help us learn, recover and grow after such a difficult journey.
If you are not familiar with tarot, Google on the suit of Swords and look at the images, you will immediately see what I mean.
If we think of the Swords as literally representing thoughts, the cards start to make some sense. In the Eight of Swords, for instance, we see a woman who is blindfolded, bound, and trapped in a cage that is made up of her own thoughts.
Last night I asked this question. How is it that we started out so purely – with the wisdom, integrity and intelligence of the Ace of Swords, and ended up with ten swords stuck in us, in the brutal image of the Ten of Swords?
One student had the answer – an answer I had never before considered.
He said that the more thoughts you have, the worse it gets.
Ain’t that the truth!
In the Ace, there is one clear thought, one clear vision. By the time we get to the Five, we have conflicting thoughts. With each added thought/Sword, things get murkier, confusion sets in, and we lose our clarity.
What a wonderfully clear illustration of what we all do to ourselves, all the time. The suit of Swords serves as a cautionary tale against over thinking. Just as too many cooks spoil the broth, too many thoughts clutter the mind.
That’s when we need to ask the element of air to silence our chattering monkey mind. That’s when we need to simply breathe.