Choosing right over wrong, ethic over convenience, and truth over popularity … these are choices that measure your life. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.
~ Michael Moore
The Tarot now gives us our first card for 2012. Will it be the theme of the year? I certainly hope not, for the shifty thief of the Seven of Swords comes calling this week.
Smug in his stealth, he tiptoes away with his loot, while in the distance, the soldiers around the campfire are unaware of his actions.
We do not know his motivation, but he is certainly pleased with himself. This is the only card in the R-W-S Swords suit infused with sunny yellows. But although he may have pulled a fast one for now, the thief may not really be as clever as he thinks he is.
As one of Pamela Colman Smith’s “stage cards,” (where there are horizontal lines that hint the figures are on a theatre stage), there may be an act of some sort going on. All is not as it seems. As we witness this scene, what drama is being played out for us?
The Swords suit would suggest that this theft is most likely to do with words, ideas, or attitudes. This is a card that would come up if someone was manipulating the truth or harming another’s reputation.
The Seven of Swords is often about lying, but is rarely about total falsehood. We can see that there are two Swords left behind, so it is most likely there is partial truth, making the lies more plausible. And destructive.
This could therefore indicate the ways people spin the truth to suit their agenda, or even trick themselves into believing their own claims.
This card reminds me of an actual person in the Tarot community that has been creating a lot of heartache, anger, and ill-will recently. Alas, there is, in our professional circle, a published Tarot author who is known for her grievous Seven of Swords behavior, right down to the smirk on her face.
She exults in half-lies, vicious gossip, and she especially enjoys hurting people. In fact, backstabbing, slander, and bullying are her stock in trade. Like most bullies, if she is called on her behavior, she claims to be the victim while becoming even more destructive and malevolent.
But just like the Seven of Swords, despite getting away with her crimes for now, she is running with exposed blades in her fingers. Sadly, she has ensured that she will never be invited to warm herself at the fires of the community camaraderie she pretends to despise. And as she laughs over her shoulder, she is completely unaware of where she is going.
Does this remind you of someone in your circle? Perhaps someone is taking credit for knowledge they have not earned; or gaining status based on illusion, theft, or charm. Such guile can deeply compromise the ability of any victims to defend themselves.
But this is only one act in the play, and Pamela Colman Smith shows us that the thief is already on his or her way to a painful fall.
It is also interesting to note that the timing of this card coincides with the first primaries and pre-election intensity cranking up full scale in the U.S. this week. Lies, half-lies, and very stretched truths are already flying like a snowflakes in a blizzard.
Will the great democracy and open society that the United States has stood for remain by the time this year is over? By the November elections, will our nation’s integrity be intact?
On a more personal level, this may warn of our own unwillingness to scrutinize someone or something that does not possess the honor we would have hoped. In my experience, it is the most kind-hearted that are the least willing to consider they may have overestimated the trustworthiness of another.
But this is exactly what people of ill-intent count on. Confrontation is no fun, especially when it is facing down someone who has no qualms about causing pain or subverting the truth.
This week, be sure to candidly examine your own actions and attitudes. Given some conflicted situation, there could be a temptation to stretch the truth or tell ourselves that the ends justifies the means.
But remember, when we travel the path of integrity, we never have to look back.
Is there a chance that someone else is showing you a false persona? What glamour spell may they have cast, which deceives and deflects the real truth? What unsavory energy has been allowed to enter your camp?
Who or what is about to steal off with your valuable idea, project, or reputation?
And what are they leaving intact, in order to cover their tracks?
What can we do about such situations? Should we defy this behavior, or do we just wait and hope they will trip themselves up? When people seem to get away with unethical behavior, where will they stop?
At least keep asking yourself — what is being shown to you; what is kept hidden? And why? Have the courage to seek the real truth in the dramas you are facing.
Sometimes it falls to us to sound the alarm. For when you or those you care about are in doubt or in danger, who shall issue the challenge, “Halt! Who goes there?”