Sunday, September 09, 2007
I've been thinking a lot about the Three of Swords. It's a difficult card to see in a reading as it's undoubtedly referencing something painful occurring. The Rider-Waite-Smith rendering of the pierced heart and clouded, raining sky reveals that the realization is not merely cerebral but emotional as well. The water falling from the sky and the pierced heart are a graphic representation of the kind of emotions that proceed from this revelation. This is the "truth hurts" card, and yet it isn't without hope. It reminds me rather of lancing a boil or cutting out a cancerous tumor. The process is painful but the truth revealed is a necessary one that brings the situation to a head and clears away the confusion so healing can begin.
If we look at the cards immediately preceding and following the Three of Swords, one can almost feel the angst of the Two of Swords, the refusal to face the issue, trying to decide not to decide, then the relief felt in the Four of Swords where the subject is able to finally be at peace. The Three is the event between them which brings about the healing and recovery of the Four.
Some truths are just incredibly difficult to look full in the face. I've lived for years in that Two of Swords place, knowing the pain of the Three would be just too difficult that I could not and would not decide nor face the reality of what was actually true. I had to fully recognize and admit that my marriage of fifteen years was over and that the differences were irreconcilable and that I would have to begin the process of starting over in a new life. I wavered and hesitated for an extremely long time in the hope that something could be resuscitated. When it finally became clear to me that I had no more strength to hold those two swords crossed over my chest, their weight had become unbearable and heavy, they, along with the third sword dropped and all three pierced both mine and my ex-husband's hearts. Certainly the pain felt and the truth realized was different for each of us, but my hope is that with this truth and the reality of the divorce genuine healing can begin for everyone.
In a reading when the Three of Swords appears, there's no denying it hurts. Nobody likes to tell a seeker that. Being the bearer of news of a heartbreak or painful revelation is uncomfortable. However, if you understand and convey that this is a truth that must be told, understood, and accepted before anything else positive can happen, there is less to fear from this card. Denial only works for so long before it becomes destructive. If this card shows up, you might ask your sitter if there's something they've been avoiding facing, or if they've felt there is something "hanging" in the air, things left unsaid or unclarified that is making them uncomfortable. In this way you may get to the root of the Three of Swords and identify exactly what issue will be revealed or should be addressed. You might even show the sitter the Four and tell them the way through to that peace and recovery is only through the Three, hurtful though it may be.
If we could avoid the Three of Swords in life, we would. We can't. So it's best to face them honestly and head on. Otherwise, being stuck in that Three of Swords place is much like having your heart pierced again and again and again, over and over and that is far more painful and destructive than one brutal blow that cuts away the bullshit and denial.
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