Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
This week of Lughnasadh and the Leo New Moon, I was secretly expecting more drama than this. Instead, we have pragmatic, pointed (pun intended!) guidance. So, should we gladly welcome the Two of Swords? Or not?
Yes? No? Maybe?
The twos are usually about choices, and the Swords in the Tarot are ruled by the element of Air, which is concerned with the mind, intellect, attitude, and communication.
This is another of artist Pamela Colman Smith’s “stage” cards in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, in which it appears that the figure is on an artificial platform, and behind her, the scene is a theatrical backdrop.
The woman might slowly be arriving at a decision, but for the moment, it appears to be a stalemate. Although her position is stable, the swords she holds are enormous, and certainly she won’t be able to maintain that position for very long.
She has often been compared to the Justice card. But the woman in white is under a waxing crescent Moon by a dark seaside. Justice is robed in crimson, and sheltered by two columns that are very like the columns of Solomon’s Temple that we see in The High Priestess.
And unlike Justice, the woman in the Two of Swords is blindfolded, unable to see. Nor does she hold the scales of balanced evaluation.
Instead, her arms are crossed defensively in front of her heart, cutting off her feelings, allowing nothing to come in or go out.
This is a card that often comes up when we feel we must block our emotions and make a purely rational decision. It may also appear when we feel stuck and indecisive, as if we need more and more and more information before we can move forward.
Or we may vacillate between choice A and choice B, when what we really want is “None of the above.”
More Than Mind
The Two of Swords is also a card that shows how impossible it can be to make up our mind about things that have little to do with the mind at all. The mind is a great gift, but it is only one tool for navigating our life’s journey, and sometimes it is the wrong one.
Still, we make our lists of pros and cons. We rationalize, argue, and refuse to listen to our hearts, thinking that we should trust hard data more than feelings. But as T.S. Eliot points out, there is an important difference between knowledge and wisdom, and between information and knowledge. What is lost when we are unable to discern which is which?
How many times have you been faced with a choice that looks good “on paper,” but in your gut, you know it’s not the right thing at all? When you ignore those prompts, is there something you are afraid of knowing?
And how do you know what you know? What body cues unfailingly respond to the truth? What does a psychic “hit” feel like for you? Do you feel shivers or goosebumps when something rings true?
Pay attention. Your mind may crave more information, but your inner guidance may well know that is just noise and distraction. Listen with all your senses.
The Hesitation Blues
As much as we might want to close our eyes and fade into the background, something eventually will need to happen. We postpone and avoid deciding at our peril.
This week, if you find yourself “between a rock and a hard place,” feeling like you need to make a difficult choice you wish you didn’t have to, this card offers some illumination.
Consider the ways you may be closing your eyes or your heart because of knowledge that is not logical or analytical. There is a very good chance that non-logical information is precisely what you need, in order to proceed with wisdom.
Could it also be that this is but a bit of drama, a scene being played out more for effect than authenticity? What is really going on “backstage?”
Choose something. Or perhaps let go of choosing altogether. What would happen if you just let it go?
Fearful indecision is a slow poison. Analysis paralysis gets you nowhere. Receive what is being disclosed to you.
You can’t close off your heart with those swords forever. Open your eyes. Open your spirit. The small, quiet, and very probably illogical voice you are hearing is likely to be your own Wisdom calling you.