This last Thursday in the class Tarot for Successful Living, we studied the journey of the Sword symbology. The Swords relate to the element Air. The intellect. How we see things, how we respond to things . Therefore the Swords show how we respond to the problems, challenges, grief and sadness etc.
The Ace of Swords is the one in which we need to understand fully, as it shows what to do whenever we have a problem/challenge or issue arise. Whatever it may be we always have a choice. We have a choice of either facing it, and deciding what we want to do with it, or we can choose to ignore - two of swords -. The important part here is to know if you do not choose to deal with it directly, while whatever it is is small and present, the journey that follows awaits.
In the two of swords, it shows how we just don't want to see. The woman sits with her two swords across her heart. The river of life behind her has a couple of rocks protruding above the water and in the distance is another shore. How often we do this will determine how often we are exercising our right to be able to choose effectively. Be open to what is occurring and not sitting and waiting for everything to go away.
In the three of swords, a heart with three swords piecing it it demonstrates the hurt, pain, disappointment and grief we will experience if we have not dealt with the original issue. All of us who have lived for a wee while have experienced this. Sadness comes, and it is part of life. It is how we handle it which is important.
Therefore, the four of swords shows how we can deal with the pain. That is to go inside and resolve it within. A knight lies down with one sword underneath him and the three on the wall above. It is the window, up in the left hand corner, a stained glass window showing a woman and child (it has a black line between them). Inner communication is important here. Go inside, be quiet within and resolve the issue.
If you do not do that, then you will be at the five of swords. More confusion and more defensive behavior. Here we once again are holding onto our pain, and choosing to last out, defend, or do whatever it needs to to resolve, rather than protect and fight.
Once again the sword symbology shows how to resolve, here in the six of swords, the man is propelling his boat across the river (seen in the two of swords). Inside the boat are six swords (not piecing the bottom of the boat) a woman and child (see in the window of the four). In the front right the water is rough, but where they are heading the river is quiet. This action is taking you away from what has been bothering you, and you will reach the other side. You just need time.
If you choose not to do this, but rather hold onto your pain, your grief, then the seven of swords takes over, wherein, you choose to hold on and feel more isolated and away from everything that could and will support you. Here a man steals away with all his swords, not holding them very comfortably (reminder of the ten of wands where the man does not hold his wands well either).
By choosing this course of action, you will arrive at the eight of swords, where you are stuck and feeling like you will never get to where you want to be. I love this symbol because of the promise of the castle (the goal) right behind (just as in the five of cups). The woman is tied to a stake (unseen) while three swords on left side and five swords on the right side are stuck in the ground. The woman is bound loosely, her blindfold is loose (wherein in the two of swords is quite tight). In front of her the river of life is just a few puddles. If she was to make some movement, she could easily remove herself from this stake, turn around and see what she wants is right there.
If you do not do any action, then you come of the nine of swords. Here the woman is lying on a bed, with nine swords on her black wall. She has her face in her hands (she cannot see). On her bed is a bedspread of red roses of desire and astrological symbols. Underneath her on the bottom part of the bed is a sculpture of a man being killed by another. He has been struck down with a sword. Here it is important to get up out of the bed, use the energy of desire and begin resolving the problems etc, that are on the wall. I usually recommend people begin with small things, so they build in success. So often we begin with the big things and therefore fail. We must go step by step resolving these issues until the are no more.
Because if not, then the ten of swords takes over. In the ten of swords the man is lying on the sand in front of the river of life. He has nine swords up his back and one beside his head. Behind him is the river of life, and the background is the dark moving upward while the light, is beginning to shine through. This is the end. The man lying on the sand has his hand in a position, which is a benediction, which is also seen in the six of pentacles and the Hierophant. If you do not take care of your issues, they will take care of you, and as there are no endings, only beginnings, you will move forward. You will move into the new....
The court cards of the swords, also shows the defensive aspect of us. How we protect ourselves.
The Page of Swords is in a defensive stand. Holding his sword up in the air while his arm is across his heart. In the sky is ten birds flying in a formation of a fish (the early Christian sign).
The Knight of Swords is reactive. His horse is rushing forward over rough ground, he has his sword upraised, you can tell by the trees in the background he is going against the wind the ten birds are now scattered so only five are visible. (The Hierophant).
The Queen of Swords, looks open, as she sits on her throne, with her beautiful butterfly crown. The sylph of air is on her throne with a butterfly and crescent moons facing outward. She holds her sword in her right hand, while her left is raised to welcome. She can be seen as defensive, holding the swords to protect, or she can be seen as a person who will do what it takes to achieve what she wants. She has one bird in the sky (Magician).
The King of Swords, I have found over the years is very logical, you must make sense. He does not relate to emotion. His Sword is at an angle, showing he is open (must logical though). His butterfly behind him is encased within the crescent moons (his beauty - open heart is not shown). He has two birds in the sky, (High Priestess) showing he has choice. He can choose to be stubborn, or open.
I have always enjoyed the journey of the Swords because when I first began to study the journey I realized there is lots of ways in which we can get back to having everything work out the way we want. Putting aside pride, stubbornness, rightness etc. We need to be clear in ourselves and with others. Communication both inner and outer is so important. Not to defend our hearts but to open our hearts. To be able to admit to being wrong if we are, or at least saying we made a mistake. Yes, the swords show how our live can be so much better. When reading for yourselves, watch which sword symbols come up. Some are tremendously powerful in advising how we can resolve issues.
To learn more about the Sword symbology and the rest of the Tarot you can order Pathways of the Tarot ebook or regular book
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