Beth Owl’s Daughter

Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

“Drink deep of the immortal Wine,
It gives the laughter to the Strife,
Drink deep, and throu’ the Shadow and Shine
Rejoice in the Green Fire of Life.”

~ Fiona Macleod

Tarot Card of the Week, May 20-26, 2019: Two of Swords

Beth Owl's Daughter Two of Swords

I must have a prodigious quantity of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up.
Mark Twain

This week, we receive a visitor that hasn’t come calling for a couple of years. Should we gladly welcome the Two of Swords? Or not? Maybe yes? Maybe no?

The twos are usually about choices, and the Swords in the Tarot are ruled by the element of Air, which is concerned with the mind, intellect, attitude, and communication.

This is another of artist Pamela Colman Smith’s “stage” cards in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, in which a small, parallel double line hints that the figure is on an artificial platform, and behind her, the scene is a theatrical backdrop.

In this moody card, the woman might slowly be arriving at a decision, but for the moment, it seems to be a stalemate. Although her position is stable, the swords she holds are enormous, and certainly she won’t be able to maintain this position for very long.

Blind Justice

She has often been compared to the Justice card. But unlike Justice, the woman in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Two of Swords is blindfolded, unable to see. And she does not hold the scales of balanced evaluation.

(Of course, there are plenty of other renderings of the Goddess Justicia that do feature Her as blindfolded. The symbolism of this represents Her impartiality, and ability to weigh Her verdict based on unbiased evidence only.)

And rather than signifying blindness, a case may be made that by covering her eyes, as is customary for some traditions of old-fashioned mediumship, she is intentionally veiling her ordinary sight so that she may intuit on a deeper level.

Still, though, her arms are crossed defensively in front of her heart, cutting off her feelings, allowing nothing to come in or go out. So it seems less likely that her blindfold is for the enhancement of her psychic abilities.

Having just been visited so recently by the most essential Two, the High Priestess, one can’t help but also see the similarities between these cards. In both we see a waxing crescent Moon, a twilight blue sky, and a dark body of water (behind the Priestess’ curtain).

In the Two, though, the figure is in a simple gown, unadorned. She does not sit in a temple, and in the distance there appears to be an island. Nearby there are stones or reefs emerging from the water, perhaps suggesting hidden depths unknown.

More Than Mind

This is a card that often comes up when we feel we must block our emotions. It may also visit when we feel stuck and indecisive. We may vacillate between choice A and choice B, when what we really want is “None of the above.”

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. Analytical thought 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 smarter. 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?

The Hesitation Blues

As much as we might want to close our eyes and sit quietly in the gathering dark, something eventually will need to happen. We postpone and 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.

Consider the ways you may be closing your eyes or your heart because of knowledge that is worrisome or not exactly “sensible.” There is a very good chance that non-logical information is precisely what you need, in order to proceed with wisdom.

Could it also be that this is just 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 altogether. What would happen if you just dropped those big swords and let go?

Fearful indecision is a slow poison. Analysis paralysis gets you nowhere.

Open your eyes, open your heart. Be ready to move forward sooner, rather than later.

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