The King of Swords
Let us face ourselves bravely as we are.
For only a philosophy that recognizes reality
can lead us into true happiness,
and only that kind of philosophy is sound and healthy.
— Lin Yutang
This week, the King of Swords visits us for only the second time since I began my weekly posts. Of course, the Swords are the suit of Air, of the mind and intellect, and of communication and decision-making. The King of Swords is the only court card that looks directly out at us. He is very similar to the Emperor and Justice, two other figures who sit upon their thrones, gazing at us, and passing judgment.
He represents someone who has reached the ultimate authority of what logic and intellect can achieve, yet he can also have a tendency to use his supreme command of words and thought to argue for its own sake. He may be a perfectionist, and his exacting standards may sometimes be unrealistic or rigid.
As you can see, this King’s throne is in the clouds; he is a leader who is may be an idealist, or even out of touch with the ordinary lives of those he rules. He can be remote, arrogant, and even cold. Rigorous and precise with his sword of analysis, in his shadow aspect, he can be sharply critical and controlling. He may dislike surprises and ambiguity, preferring orderliness and predictability. But at his best, he has the clear-eyed view of how things really are, and he can intelligently, impartially wield his sword for social justice and progress. Will he?
This Tuesday is scheduled to be the second of the three Presidential candidates’ debates. As I write this on Monday morning, the Republican campaign has announced that “the gloves are coming off,” and they plan to hone in on issues of personal character.
But it seems to me that it is a King of Swords response that is our best hope for our country. For rather than hitting the relatively unimportant hot buttons of the “base,” the King would offer constructive dialogue and well thought-out solutions for this perfect storm of economic, health care, Constitutional (and here), educational, mortgage, and environmental crisis in which we find ourselves.
Meanwhile, in your own life this week, you might find yourself dealing with attorneys, government bureaucracy, and academia. In addition, this can be an opportunity to take control of something in your life that you need to make a decision about. It would be a good time to break free of things and energies that stifle you, or about which you may have been in denial. In your personal dealings, although they may be justified, make sure you are tempering your criticisms of others with a generous measure of forgiveness, tolerance and compassion.
This week, we all need to get real. We must look our difficulties straight in the eye, and ask the important questions. Emotional theatrics may be entertaining, but they are manipulative and nonproductive. These extraordinary times call for a clear head and honest answers. Denial, dumbing-down, and obfuscation only lead deeper into the morass.
It’s time to tell and hear the truth.