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Today’s card is the Five of Swords. It is usually associated with challenges, obsacles, even outright defeat. It’s considered a negative card in a lot of ways, although not as ominous as the three of swords or the devil card. It is another of the cards where I prefer the artwork in the Witches Tarot deck by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans that depicts a dragonfly flying upward, along with the swords. It hints at risk, challenge, potential damage….but at the same time hints at illusion, and self defeat. The dragonfly is still free to fly around the swords, just as the person on this Waite-Smith card is standing ready, strong and free not to mention very well armed.
There is a sense of advice around the card today. There are enough challenges and risks and defeats in life that you don’t need to add any of the DIY variety. Be on guard for tricking yourself into thinking things are more combative than they really are. If you are feeling defensive, try to understand what you are defending against. Your feelings are not unfounded, but over-reacting or compounding real concerns with imagined ones does not help the situation.
This morning’s energy reminds me of two quotes.
The first one has always been a favorite of mine, it cools off a flaring temper when, as we call it in Pittsburgh, Jagoffery abounds. James Marcus Bach, auther of Secrets of the Buccaneer Scholar once tweeted that “people get defensive because they have something to defend.” In other words, stay chill, you don’t know what other people are going through. By the same token, honor your own feelings of defensiveness. You are defending something – the helpful thing is to understand what you are defending. It’s ok to be ready, to stand up for yourself, to set healthy boundaries. For all of its peaceful zen insight energy, Tarot isn’t against a healthy sense of self and self-defense.
The card also brings to mind the quote from Eleanor Roosevelt “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
No matter how much conflict is actually happening, no matter how much self defense is actually needed, when it comes to feeling inferior or feeling judged there is no need to DIY that one. Life is challenging enough without our adding to it.
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See you soon for our next sip of Tarot.