In owning [our] pain, and daring to experience it,
we learn that our capacity to “suffer with” is the true meaning of compassion.
~ Joanna Macy
How interesting that this week’s card seems to pick right up from my post yesterday. It is understandable if we have a bit of reluctance, but this week we are visited by the Three of Swords.
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 a storm, rain falls.
This card sometimes relates to love triangles; but remember that Swords are ruled by Air. So its energy focuses on words, thoughts, ideas, communication, perception, 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.
This is the story we tell about our pain, rather than the event or even the feeling itself.
And in the spirit of yesterday’s discussion about Kuan Yin, I think this card offers additional guidance regarding how heartbreak is necessary at times. At this time.
In my experience, the Three of Swords often brings a message from our Higher Self that we need to open our hearts more. We hear the cries of the world, we read the news, we learn painful truths, and the resulting Wisdom within us breaks our hearts. As painful as this is, it is sometimes the only way that we can widen our perception, cultivate compassion, and discover the importance of forgiveness.
You might begin by considering, then, from the detached perspective of the Swords, if there are emotionally volatile memories that are in need of examination. This period of Mercury retrograde is ideal for sorting through old baggage and reviewing past experiences.
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 suffering right now? Who else in your life might be grieving, and can you help? What healing rains might bring cleansing, compassion and forgiveness?
This is not an invitation for wallowing, or self-pity. This is taking the time necessary to understand, and even speak the core of what troubles us.
Sometimes the only way we will let go of that which needs to be released is if we are hurt by it. Numbing or avoiding painful truths only ensures that we will have to encounter them again and again.
This week, it may be necessary to own our suffering, in order to grow and move forward. Taking all the time necessary to honor our pain brings awareness, so that we can truly heal and see with new eyes, as Joanna Macy’s Work that Reconnects explains.
Acceptance and taking our lessons to heart brings the opportunity to learn, let go, change, and become receptive to something that, ultimately, will be far better for us.