And here, at the 3 of Swords, we’re encountering sorrow at a very personal level. How much more clear an illustration of heartache can we get? Since we can’t spit it out, how do we deal with this distasteful card?
Look back to the heartaches in your life. What brought them on? Loss of a love? Loss of social standing? Loss of a cherished pet? Loss all around, isn’t it? Nothing we would have asked for.
Then again, when have you heard yourself say “he certainly asked for that one”? We could look at any situation and see how the ending had its seeds in the beginning. Heartless as it is, I’ve had people tell me that I was just asking for trouble by living in an hurricane evacuation zone.
And there’s the opportunity in the 3 of Swords. We’re putting our mind – the mental world of the swords – into our hearts. Rather than dissociating our thoughts from our humanity, we come to a deeper understanding of why it’s worth making connections regardless of the inevitability of endings.
For a writer or an artist, this can be a brilliant opportunity, this meeting of intellect with emotion. What needs to be expressed? Is there a story to tell? Is there a sorrow to be danced, painted or composed?
For the rest of us, the lemonade out of lemons involves developing compassion. For ourselves. For others who’ve travelled a similar path. And that requires taking heart in the positive sense: courage. Courage to believe in a life that continues. Courage to look outside ourselves again.
But how do we deal with the pain? You’ve got lots of clues in the multiple images for the 3 of Swords. The sad grey puss in the Baroque Bohemian Cat image finds the pain too difficult to take in. She has her angel holding the pierced heart. It’s still close at paw, but she’s got assistance. Who are your angels?
The Haindl Tarot image speaks to the isolation that pain can bring. Is that necessarily a bad thing? Time alone to mourn the loss, to replace what’s no longer there with tears, is a healing action. Recognize where your paradise has come to an end and grieve. It’s not necessarily fun, but healthy grief helps us move forward, back into life and connectedness.
By getting to the heart of our sorrow, by understanding what happened and who we’re becoming as a result of our loss, the Gilded Tarot image offers us the possibility of enlightenment. Our old way of thinking, our old way of expressing ourselves has cut us to the heart. As we recognize the old ways, we can move into the light of the new.
But not too quickly, says the Contemplative Tarot image. Life is possible, says the vine around the bleeding heart – and life with love, says the heart shape in the vine. It’s even going on around us. But so is the fish out of water, belly up in the cloudy sky. It speaks to the discomfort of no longer being the self we recognize. Allow the new life of connection to grow out of the wounded self, in its own time.
In your own life this week, what has pierced you right at the quick? How can you use your mind to get to the heart of the matter? And how can you express yourself about it all?
Let your mind and heart work together to keep compassion in the foreground this week.