This week, we are visited by that fierce, smart, sometimes naive youth, the Page of Swords. Does he come to liberate last week’s damsel in distress?
Pages in the Tarot are often messengers and risk-takers, with little in the way of possessions, protection or equipment. Unlike the more stormy scenes in the other Swords court cards, the sky behind the Page is blue, although the clouds are gathering. The landscape is rough, the water is choppy, and his windswept hair and the circling birds all point to turbulence.
It is worth noting that the Page of Swords is the oldest of the four Pages. It will not be long before his initiation into knighthood. So his message is almost certainly challenging. What confrontation is he preparing for? What challenge is coming?
I love Paul Quinn’s observation in his wonderful book, Tarot for Life, that, unlike the other Pages, this one is not gazing with fascination at his suit’s symbol. The infatuation has passed, and now he is ready to put it to use. Or at least he believes so.
Arthur Waite summarized this card with the word, “vigilance.” What enemies does he expect? Is there danger on the horizon?
The swords, of course, represent the element Air, and correspond to the energy of the intellect. The Page may represent the tumultuous nature of intellectual discovery and inspiration, before experience and wisdom can temper them. Maybe he is a reminder that the price of our freedom is vigilance and we must always be prepared to defend our freedoms. Or perhaps he prepares for a battle of ideas.
Drawing this card on Memorial Day, I can’t help but think of all the young men and women who have gone to war and died, to protect their country (or so they are told).
I live in North Carolina, which is host to Ft. Bragg, one of the biggest Army bases in the world, and home to the 18th Army Airborne Corps, the U.S. Army Special Forces Command, and Joint Special Operations command. Just down the road is Camp LeJeune, the training grounds for the United States Marine Corps, as well as Cherry Point, one of the biggest Marine Air Corps training and readiness sites. We are also home to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Pope Air Base, and a U.S. Coast Guard Air Station at Elizabeth City, NC.
Unlike many parts of the country, because of the huge military presence here, night after night, our local news lists the names of the daily casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. The tearful deployments and returning reunions are broadcast live — month in, month out; year after year. To North Carolinians, these stories are local and personal to us. These young men and women who draw their swords in vigilance, and who fall in combat, are our neighbors and friends.
What is the price they are paying, and what is it for? Their courage, loyalty, commitment, and their service are forever honorable. But our own vigilance as a democratic nation is the only way we can be sure that their sacrifice is not made for a pack of lies and greedy covert agendas.
On a more personal level, the Page’s appearance this week may suggest that dramatic discussions are on the horizon. Or perhaps an opportunity for growth is coming your way in the guise of a problem or dilemma.
Where might you need to embrace a difficult situation and meet its challenge? What test is the Universe sending you that, if you meet it head on with clarity and cool detachment, might ultimately make you stronger and more resilient? In what area of your life might you benefit greatly from being more vigilant?
Meet your challenges head-on this week. Avoid pointless argument or intellectual showing off, or you could create hard feelings that will have to be defended later. Instead, know that the sword of truth and knowledge you hold has two edges and needs to be wielded with both honesty and compassion.