It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.
Albus Dumbledore (in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K Rowling)
Alas. Less than a month after it reappeared following a break of several years, we are back in the land of bullies and the unfair fight. Let us prepare ourselves this week for another round with the Five of Swords.
Because its last visit was so recent, I don’t have much to add, but if you want more details, here is my article from September.
The interpretation is not difficult for anyone who will take a moment to gaze at Pamela Colman Smith’s illustration. The sky is stormy, with jagged, threatening clouds. The man in the foreground gloats as the others retreat in defeat, perhaps even humiliation. At his feet are their two swords, the spoils of his victory.
Yet he bears three already – so it appears that his victory has been sneaky, even fraudulent.
Arthur Waite is harsh and clear: “A disdainful man looks after two retreating and dejected figures. Their swords lie upon the ground. He carries two others on his left shoulder, and a third sword is in his right hand, point to earth. He is the master in possession of the field…
“Degradation, destruction, revocation, infamy, dishonour, loss, with the variants and analogues of these.”
The Minor Arcana Fives depict conflict and strife, and most of the Swords suit is also challenging, so this does not portend an easy time, especially regarding communications, truths and lies, perception, propaganda, and attitude, which are the matters ruled by Swords.
Yes, I know. Yuck.
And, yes, this has already been an area, publicly and for many of us on a personal level, that has been marked by aggressive, divisive difficulty.
I am sorry to say it looks like there may be even more on the way.
Trouble Ahead, Trouble Behind
As brilliant astrologer Elisabeth Grace noted last week, upcoming challenges that we need to be aware of include:
- on Wednesday (Oct. 7), Mercury opposes Uranus, suggesting disruptive communication — likely tied to the P45 Administration.
- Friday, Oct 9: Mars squares Pluto — ruthless effort; brute force; stamina; all matters of warrior Mars in the extreme, and
- Sunday Oct 11: Sun squares Jupiter — buoyant & expansive — also involving leaders, for better or worse.
And as you surely are aware, Mercury stations retrograde on Tuesday the 13th. We are already in the so-called “shadow period,” so back up your data NOW and please watch your words!
We are also just beginning to assess the impact of Sunday’s shift, as Pluto, planet of transformation, revelation, and ruin turned direct. It had been in retrograde since April 25, during which time we were given the opportunity to go inward, reflect, examine our shadows, and (hopefully) heal our fears. Now, it moves forward into the external, active world of manifestation once more.
Lorna Bevan writes:
Sunday, as Pluto turns forward on the Master Degree of 22 Capricorn, we enter a time of pure karma and pure possibility as the old, the atrophied and the akashic dross is eliminated, when the Universal Law of Gravity makes itself felt. An old life is going dark. These are new magnetics and new encodements.
Naturally, we must be prepared for setbacks, my dears. Such is the nature of paradigm shift.
So while a battle here or there might be lost, the larger awakening is what we are truly about, and by understanding the wisdom of a strategic retreat, the day may yet be won.
As most of you reading this will agree, there are forces at work that are consolidating their power by lies, deception, and extreme aggression. We need not return in kind, but instead, we might wish to find alternative ways to prevail.
And with that in mind, I strongly recommend that you spend some time reading my friend Diotima Mantineia’s brilliant series, America the Conflicted. Part One opens with a superb examination of the American Sibley Chart’s coming transits, illuminating the challenges ahead. However, it far exceeds the scope of this week’s card.
Because I was so dismayed to pull this card, I did something I have never done before in the Card of the Week. I do it for my clients all the time, so it occurred to me, why not?
I asked for a follow-up card. I asked how we might best respond to the challenges of this week’s Five of Swords?
And the response was the Four of Wands.
For a more comprehensive analysis of the Four of Wands, feel free to see this previous article.
But as an antidote to the Seven of Swords, the timing could not have been better. Now between the Northern Hemisphere’s two Autumnal harvests, we are called to gather in our bounty. As the ever-perceptive Hecate-Demeter cautioned on Sunday, Winter is Coming. (This should also be required reading this week).
This echoes the idea that we would be wise to find alternatives to fighting with the same weapons that the enemy is using. The Four of Wands points us in an altogether different direction.
While the medical, astrological, political, economic, and environmental experts are all coalescing with a darkly foreboding portrait of the days to come, now is the time to find our courage (Wands=Fire), stay well grounded (the Four), and renew our most treasured alliances.
Get away from the castle, and out into Nature at Her most beautiful. Get off the screens and out of the thrall of the hypnotic spell of the Occupant-obsessed media.
The Four’s couple is bedecked with wreaths of victory; the sky is clear and sun-filled, and the golden yellow foreground (or stage, as this is one of Pixie’s “stage cards”) are all signs of joy and success.
Sooner or later, that which is hidden and wrong will be exposed. One’s choices tell who they are far clearer than any speeches, P.R., and manufactured optics.
So let us walk away from the sword fight that has been rigged for centuries.
Instead, let us prepare and be thankful for our homes, our friendships, the fruitful harvest celebrated after focused efforts, and the magic of the hearth.
No matter the sneering fool that would love to engage you over and over; may you instead enjoy and share the abundance that is now bearing fruit.
The choice is yours.