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(For a list of all card articles, open March 2008 on the sidebar).

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Six Of Swords

I shall not look back.

Looking back is not so important as escape
The way behind is gone from us, and the way ahead
It needs my eyes, your hands
I watch the cutting waters, and I know you'll see us through

There is nothing left behind so dear as what I hold
No memory worth as much as the future
anything before us,
though it show us six points of steel,
more treacherous than the
nothing behind.

Til I wrote that just now, I had no idea how rational this card was. Well duh, it's an Air card; it's done its sums, okay. It did what it had to do; by crossing water, it threw me off the scent.

Even in the water, there are sharp pointy things. Ideas. I think the Rider-Waite-Smith deck has them carried in the boat with the robed one and the child; the Intuitive deck has them ahead in the water, hazards to be navigated. That's a huge difference, really - are you trying to take them with you, or stop them from holding you back - or from sinking you into the sea?

Either way; sometimes you've got to move on. The way some people read Air cards, those swords are not just logic but pain, and I think the two possible positions are two ways of dealing with pain; setting it aside as you cross the surface of the Waters, or navigated around as you do the same. I've done both, at different times, with the same burdens; while many would call the second a more worthy way of coping, I honestly think they're much the same.

If you draw this card reversed; well, I hope you can swim.

Images of the Six of Swords:

Osho Zen's Burden: I love this one. The 'Burden' carried by the stooping man beneath is an improbably bright, extravagantly attired version of himself with a chicken on its head. This is an awesome Six of Swords because it's so true; carting a ludicrously large ego about is the quickest way to back yourself into that corner where you have to walk away, set it down and cross the sea.

Roots Of Asia: the boat sails not over the sea, but through the clouds, leaving the swords far below.

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