Here’s a card that we were getting repeatedly in 2007. I can’t say I’ve missed it much. As is the case with many of the Swords, and the Fives of all the suits, this one shows us conflict and strife. The man in the foreground gloats as the others retreat in a defeat. At his feet are their two swords, the spoils of his victory. Yet he bears three already – an unfair advantage that makes his victory seem empty. The sky is stormy, with jagged, threatening clouds.
Although unpleasant, this card happens to most of us, sooner or later. The question is, who do you identify with? The winner who appears to have outsmarted his foes, despite their greater numbers ? Or with the two figures near the water, who have suffered defeat? They had more manpower, but the smirking winner was more heavily armed, perhaps due to some kind of trickery, almost certainly having some unfair advantage.
If you are the victor, this card asks – is your victory ethical and how do you handle it? Gloating, humiliating and taunting those who you have bested is vulgar behavior unworthy of real champions. And it only serves to strengthen your opponent’s resolve to fight more fiercely next time. To treat our adversaries with disrespect sows the seeds of future trouble.
On the other hand, despite our best efforts, sometimes we may lose out to someone who opposes us, and who is perhaps unfairly advantaged. Have you been defeated or cheated out of success by a wily and cunning opponent? Do you feel you have suffered because of someone’s cowardliness, cruelty, or malice? Perhaps now is the time to walk away while you can.
This week there may be setbacks, and we may have to remember one of our least pleasant lessons – life is not always fair. Astrologer Pat Paquette notes, “Not only are we in a disorienting period between eclipses, but there are several inconjuncts this week that could present anything from annoying frustrations to major challenges.”
In whatever conflict may be brewing, be especially mindful to act with graciousness and diplomacy. If you must disagree with others, do so respectfully. Keep your heart open to reconciliation and forgiveness. Remember to be the peace you wish to see in the world.