Alas, this week we receive one of the simplest, most obviously unhappy cards in the Tarot. As one of the very few cards with no human figure depicted, there is not a lot to describe. Even a child can see that this is a card of tears, strife, and hurt. Three swords pierce a heart. Against the background of storm clouds, rain falls.
This card sometimes relates to love triangles; but remember this is an Air card, meaning that its energy focuses on words, thoughts, ideas, communication, and intellect. So there may be sorrow and pain because of misunderstanding, gossip, false beliefs, or making a wrong choice. There could be a betrayal, or grievous words exchanged.
Despite all the bright, shiny, sparkling enticements of the holiday season (or maybe because of them), for many people this is definitely not a storybook time of year. There are many whose chronic depression, financial stress, and loneliness come to a crisis point during the winter holidays.
If this is the case for you, remember that although the Swords can convince our intellect otherwise, the truth is, you are not alone.
I often think of this card as a reminder that heartbreak can be a message from our Higher Self to open our hearts more. The Wisdom within us breaks our hearts, in order to widen our perception, cultivate our compassion, and claim our priorities.
You might begin by considering, then, from the detached viewpoint of the Swords, if there are emotionally volatile memories that are in need of examination. What relationships (current or past) need healing? In what ways might your emotional pain be in danger of taking over, resulting in the temptation to hurt or control those around you?
What wounds need to be understood? What is the core cause of your deepest heart’s suffering right now? What healing rains might bring cleansing, compassion and forgiveness?
Sometimes, the only way to move past our preoccupation with our own pain is to serve others, binding the wounds of those in greater need. Who else in your life might be grieving, and can you help?
What tenderness are you in need of? What kindness can you offer?
Acceptance and allowing sorrow to teach us is sometimes the only way forward. Let this week be an opportunity to touch with compassion the heart that needs you.