I used to be indecisive; now I’m not sure.
This week of the Sagittarius New Moon and a challenging Mars T-square aspect with Uranus and Pluto, we have a visit from the Two of Swords.
The Twos are often about choices, balance, duality, polarity, and opposites. And the Swords in the Tarot are connected to the element of Air. They indicate matters to do with the mind, intellect, attitude, and communication.
This is another of artist Pamela Colman Smith’s “stage” cards, in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The straight horizontal line running across the card makes it appear that the figure is on a stage, and behind her, the scene is a theatrical backdrop.
In what way, then, is this merely a drama or a story being played out? What is artificial about this situation?
The figure has often been compared to the Justice card. But unlike Justice, the woman in the Two of Swords is blindfolded, unable to see. Is this by her choice? Or is she a victim?
She does not hold the scales of balanced evaluation. Instead, her arms are crossed defensively in front of her heart, cutting off her feelings, allowing nothing to come in or go out.
This is a perfect portrait of analysis paralysis.
And while the woman’s position is stable for now, the swords she holds are enormous, and certainly she won’t be able to maintain that position for very long.
This is a card that often comes up when we feel we must block our emotions. It may also appear when we feel indecisive. We may vacillate between choice A and choice B, when what we really want is “None of the above.”
More Than the Mind
It is also a card that shows how impossible it can be to make up our mind about things that have little to do with the mind at all. The mind is a great gift, but it is only one tool for navigating our life’s journey, and sometimes it is the wrong one.
Still, we make our lists of pros and cons. We rationalize, argue, and refuse to listen to our hearts, thinking that somehow this will be smart. But sometimes we can be too smart for our own good.
How many times have you been faced with a choice that looks good “on paper,” but in your gut, you know it’s not the right thing at all? What are you afraid to know?
Mars, Uranus, Pluto, and New Moon! Oh My!
My friend, astrologer Diotima Mantinea writes of this week’s influences:
Mars forming a challenging T-square aspect with Uranus and Pluto. Mars’ exact square to Pluto was this past weekend, and the opposition to Uranus is Thursday, but the overall aspect is in effect for about 2 weeks.
So, yes, if you are wondering if this is reflected in the remarkable levels of violence and violent rhetoric going on, you’d be right.
There is not much we can do except be aware and careful, and take the high road by standing up to injustice and initiating change. And I’m not just talking about writing a letter to your senator.
This is going to be affecting people on a very personal level, so even if this aspect doesn’t hit your birth chart directly, there will be a lot of people needing your attention, compassion, and action.
There will be a tendency this week for destructive change. Impulses towards freedom and autonomy can lead to irrevocable losses.
Meditations, magic, or just your focus on carefully considered, constructive change can make a difference.
As I mentioned last week, power and how we source it will be an issue. Be aware of “energy vampires” and figure out ways to turn confrontations into constructive assessments…
And addressing that tough square we are all dealing with, she writes:
Sunday, the Moon triggers that Mars-Uranus-Pluto T-square I mentioned earlier. Keep in mind that you can be practical without being cruel. The tendency today is to control and most of us are likely to be feeling even twitchier than usual about being controlled in any way. Conflict is likely.
Practicality is the excuse that will be used to take control, so remember that you don’t have all the answers, and the most practical approach almost always involves teamwork. Remind others of that as necessary.
One remedy for the Two of Swords’ dilemma, then, can be to stop acting like we are the Lone Ranger when it comes to our choices and actions.
It may be an invitation to come in from our dark, lonely seaside and join with like-minded people of warmth and depth. Teamwork, collaboration, and fresh input from people of good will may be exactly what is needed.
I think it is no coincidence that we see the tiny crescent Moon in this card, just as the Sagittarius New Moon arrives on Friday.
This adds emphasis to the message that if we would rather not be in the difficult straits of the Two of Swords, courtesy and respectful awareness are imperative at this New Moon. Diane Neith explains:
Using the New Moon in Sagittarius to forge ahead is a natural response to the bold, enthusiastic energy swirling around in the atmosphere. As long as we don’t trample others on our way out the door, we’ll be good.
Failure to take other people’s wishes and dreams into account can come back to haunt us in the future because nothing breeds resentment like feeling used and discarded. Working hand in hand with like minded people on behalf of the community is a far better plan.
The Two of Swords can be helpful when we feel stuck. Swirling all around the woman is the great, dark sea of emotional, subconscious awareness, the deep of dreams and intuition. Yet she refuses to, or cannot, access it.
Much as we might sometimes want to close our eyes and fade into the gray background, something eventually will need to happen. We avoid the truth at our peril.
This week, if you find yourself “between a rock and a hard place,” feeling like you need to make a difficult choice you wish you didn’t have to, this card offers some illumination.
First, have compassion for the role fear may be playing, disguising itself as an insatiable need for information and options.
Consider the ways you may be closing your eyes or your heart from knowledge that is not logical or analytical. There is a very good chance that emotional or even intuitive information is precisely what you need, in order to proceed with wisdom.
Could it also be that this is but a bit of drama, a scene being played out more for effect than an authentic situation? What is really going on “backstage?”
Choose something. Or perhaps let go of choosing at all. What would happen if you just let the chips fall where they might?
Fearful indecision is a slow poison. Drop your weapons. Open your eyes. Most important, open your heart. See what happens.