Did you ever have to make up your mind?
And pick up on one and leave the other behind?
It’s not often easy and not often kind.
Did you ever have to make up your mind?
John Sebastian and the Lovin’ Spoonful
This week, after those Major Arcana messages the last three weeks, we get a break (kind of). As Jupiter stations and turns direct this Sunday, and Uranus stations to turn retrograde (also on the 11th), we are faced with important choices to be made. So is the Two of Swords a welcome visitor?
The twos of the Tarot are about matters of balance, polarity, decisions, and often tackle the concept of duality – this or that; me/not me; either/or.
The Swords in the Tarot correspond to the element of Air, which rules the mind, intellect, attitude, and communication.
Sharp-eyed visitors will recognize that this is another of artist Pamela Colman Smith’s “stage” cards, in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. Although at first glance, the woman appears to be at the seashore, a closer look reveals that there are two parallel, horizontal lines, indicating that she may actually be sitting on an artificial stage platform, and behind her, the scene could be a theatrical backdrop.
So is this scene real? Or is it a dramatic enactment?
Although the woman’s position is stable for now, the swords she holds are quite large, and certainly she won’t be able to maintain her posture for very long.
This figure has often been compared to the Justice card, and there are notable similarities in their two poses, as well as both being sword-wielding women sitting on stone benches. But unlike the Waite-Smith Justice figure, the woman in the Two of Swords is blindfolded.
Is it because she is refusing to see? Or is it because, as is often done in traditional mediumship, her blindfold helps protect her from outer distractions and aids her inward concentration?
In another departure from the Justice card, she does not hold the scales of balanced evaluation and her arms are not open, but instead, crossed protectively in front of her heart. Is this so that she can cut off her feelings, allowing nothing to come in or go out?
She could easily be the poster child for defensiveness and denial. “La-la-la, if I don’t see it, I don’t have to deal with it.”
Or could it be instead that this is a depiction of the most objective possible intuitive knowing? Thanks to her blindfold, she is shielded from outside influences, relying only upon her inner vision.
Which do you think?
This? Or that? Choice A? Or choice B?
See what I mean?
As you may recall, last week’s Hanged Man card indicated that we may be in a limbo situation, someplace that is not quite here and not quite there, at least yet.
This week, the Two of Swords brings practical insight into the nature of that indecision and in-between. Is there some determination you are being asked to make?
This card 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 blue, something eventually will need to happen. We avoid the truth at our peril.
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.
Making lists, cataloging pros and cons, scouring the Internet, and endlessly weighing conflicting advice and opinions are frequently behaviors that are symptomatic of the Two of Swords’ influence.
Sometimes dissection and reasoning are not the best tools for making the best decision. 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?”
As, from our viewpoint on Earth, the two giant planets Jupiter and Uranus grind to a halt and prepare to shift directions (for more astro-details, visit here and here), the momentum of those areas in your life under their power may also be slowing and preparing to make a turnaround.
The Two of Swords recommends that the antidote to this week’s hesitation blues is to stop second-guessing yourself, and at least choose something.
Or perhaps let go of choosing altogether. What would happen if you just allow things to unfold, letting the chips fall where they might?
Fearful vacillating can erode our confidence like a slow poison. Analysis paralysis can be more disastrous than making an imperfect choice.
Drop your weapons. Open your eyes. Most important, open your heart. See what happens.