When people will not weed their own minds, they are apt to be overrun by nettles.
~ Horace Walpole (1717-1797)
English writer, art historian
This week, as Mercury goes retrograde and the challenge of the First Quarter Moon arrives, the Queen of Swords comes to visit.
The Swords suit corresponds to the element of Air, so it is concerned with matters of the intellect, choices, communication, discernment, and judgment. You can see the Air symbols in the butterflies featured in the Queen’s crown and carved on her throne, as well as in the blue sky and clouds on her cloak.
And as a court card, which are the “people cards” of the Tarot, this is an indication there are important people that will be affecting us in the days ahead. Or perhaps this is an aspect of ourselves we need to call upon.
The torn tassel hanging from the Queen’s left wrist hangs quietly, although the trees in the distance are blowing and stormy clouds billow around her. She holds out the left hand with the tassel, showing it to the world, as if it is proof of her freedom. Whatever bondage she has escaped, she has not forgotten it.
Her serious, frowning expression hints that she is a woman of sorrow, and in traditional interpretations, she is often described as a widow. The bird flying above her head may indicate the purity of her motivation and her idealism.
On Thursday, Feb. 6, mental Mercury turns retrograde. By now, you almost certainly know that Mercury retrogrades are often accompanied by disruptions in travel plans, negotiations, communications, and technology. (Hint: back up your computers, mobile devices, and other gizmos NOW!).
But as astrologer Elisabeth Grace notes, not only do we have its retrograde to contend with, but the potential for misfires is compounded as “mental Mercury sloooowly slips into dreamy Pisces until February 12th. Thoughts, travel and communication could be sublime or surreal over the next week, as nebulous Neptune is close enough to Mercury to cast its usual rose-colored, pixie-dust spell.”
With this triple whammy, we would be wise to tap into our “inner Queen of Swords” this week.
The Queen would advise that we take extra care to choose our words with clarity and precision, that we pay close attention to important details, and that we keep our eyes unflinchingly open. Logic rules here.
The downside is that this Queen has a tendency towards bitterness, perfectionism, and hurtful sarcasm. She can be judgmental and severe in her attitude. Once her mind is made up, she is hard to budge.
Might you be living “in your head” too much? In what situations are you being harsh or too critical? Or is this someone else’s personality that you are coping with?
She holds us to the highest standards. Are they unrealistic? Or are we just complacent?
This is not the time for excuses or “spin.” The Queen of Swords is merciless when it comes to pulling the weeds that threaten to choke our intelligence. Under her unwavering gaze, sloppy thinking and wishful fantasy simply will not cut it.
This week, the Queen of Swords urges us to be impartial and intellectually rigorous. She demands excellence, and offers the wisdom that is gained from hard-learned lessons.
May she bless us with the courage to know truth when we see it. And, like her, let us strive to communicate directly, clearly, and honestly.