Do you squeal with delight when the Swords cards show up in a Tarot reading? Maybe when you see the Ace of Swords and possibly the Six (phew, right?!)… but the rest? Meh. Not so strange when we consider the bleak and sometimes even disaster-riddled traditional Rider Waite Smith style images found in most Tarot decks, including many modern decks.
Should we take these cards at face value and interpret the meanings based only on the depressing images? What of the consciousness evolution that has taken place in the past 100 years? Have things changed now that we are starting to understand more about our ability to become the Observer of our mind rather than identifying with our thoughts?
I would like to think so. I would also like to think that all cards (of all suits) hold a full spectrum of meanings from darkest dark to lightest light and that we unlock their true meaning for any given situation using our intuitive guidance, taking into account surrounding cards, as well as how the energy of the cards before us rises to meet the energy of our question.
The truth of the matter is (and Swords are big on truth) that while it is our mind that most often gets us into trouble, it is also the mind that gets us out of trouble… Or it is once we learn to use it correctly. The other thing we must consider is that the traditional choice of Swords images doesn’t cover the full spectrum of possible meanings for the combination of the Number with the Element of Air. What we see in the traditional RWS card images is what the ego-mind tends to default to.
It is valuable to hold up Swords cards as a mirror for the soul to discern what is blocking us mentally, but we should not limit ourselves to interpreting depictions derived from our natural human weakness if we wish to use the Tarot as a tool for consciousness evolution.
So today, I thought we would take a look at cards that people typically refer to as ‘bad’ – Though you and I know that there is no such thing as ‘bad’ or ‘good’ Tarot cards… Oh, and I’d like to thank the person in our FB Tarot group who prompted this post with her question ‘But wait, isn’t the 3 of Swords a bad card?’ when she got this as her message for the week ahead.
Let’s take a walk through the number cards and look at the full spectrum of meanings for each card numbered Ace through 10. I’m sure you will be aware that I have not included all the traditional meanings here (such as ‘theft’ for the 7 of Swords) but rather aim to give you a feel for how the energy runs along the spectrum of each card…
Ace of Swords (Power of Air) – Light: A bright idea, a new thought paradigm, a brilliant solution, new (better) ways of communicating. Dark: a bad idea, miscommunication, forcing ideas on others
2 of Swords (Moon in Libra) – Light: a balanced decision that aligns the mind with the heart. Dark: indecision, confusion, head cut off from the heart
3 of Swords (Saturn in Libra) – Light: acceptance of emotional pain, working through it, transcending imposed limitations in matters of the heart. Dark: Accepting pain as ultimate truth, lack of hope, heart-broken, identifying completely with feelings of sorrow, grief, and loss
4 of Swords (Jupiter in Libra) – Light: mind expansion, meditation, filling up one’s thought tank, harmonious relating, peace, restoration. Dark: laziness, lack of communication, taking one’s partner for granted, caring more about what looks good.
5 of Swords (Venus in Aquarius) – Light: the ability to cut one’s losses, walking away from drama, not overly identifying with one’s emotions. Dark: really not caring at all about others, bullying, taking advantage of the weakness of others.
6 of Swords (Mercury in Aquarius) – Light: excellent problem-solving skills, a speedy resolution surfaces just at the right time and helps us move on. Dark: People’s feelings may not be sufficiently considered. Fear-driven solutions. Science is all that matters (utilitarian view).
7 of Swords (Moon in Aquarius) – Light: coming up with a brilliant strategy or plan for the future without being emotionally invested in the outcome. Dark: deception, self-deception, spiritual/emotional bypass.
8 of Swords (Jupiter in Gemini) – Light: great mental agility and the ability to accept opposites as equally valid. Dark: the inability to be discerning, overly identifying with one’s thoughts.
9 of Swords (Mars in Gemini) – Light: progressive though, being on the edge of consciousness evolution, gaining new territory with our minds. Dark: fear, neurosis, anxiety, overreaching, mental aggression, destructive thoughts.
10 of Swords (Sun in Gemini) – Light: supreme mental/verbal agility, not taking oneself too seriously, great sense of humour. Dark: completely identifying with one’s thoughts, inability to become the Observer, believing one is victimised by tough Earth school lessons.
I hope this helps you shed a bit of light on the suit of Swords. You have the power to change your thoughts and thereby your life – The Tarot can be an invaluable tool for consciousness evolution once we unlock the full potential of all the cards.
“Making friends with the Suit of Swords is the smartest move you’ll ever make.”