All cards / Latest Cards / All other posts / Notes from Agla

Major Arcana / Minor Arcana / Court Cards
Wands / Pentacles / Cups / Swords
(For a list of all card articles, open March 2008 on the sidebar).

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Three Of Swords

two blows to the heart, but
two blows to the head

rain from the clouds, and
the light of the day

I made a mistake.


Images of this card tend to give me a Sims 2 moment; there's weather in my heart.

I'm not certain why the weather on this card is so unvarying; always rain, always daylight. It's usually shown as internal, striking the heart directly; but the weather is intrinsically external to us, something we can't reason with or control, only take shelter from, and the Three of Swords does not look for shelter.

(I should say, something we traditionally can't control. We can, and we do; we're making it hotter in here.)

Along with this weather comes sharp pointy intrusion. I love the Intuitive image; one of the three blades pierces both head and heart - from what I know of the energies in the spine, I'm almost tempted to see that sword as being drawn, coming free, rather than penetrating from the outside. The others go the way Swords go; one to the head, one to the heart. Yet. They're clearly visible, outside, as he turns away. He's wearing his heart on his sleeve, literally - blades graze this decoration, and his face and his hair, but don't go inside him.

What does it mean, to have a heart outside the body? A quick Google hunt makes one thing clear; the Three of Swords is a popular tattoo image. Heart motifs get everywhere, particularly around that one day in February that all decent sorts ignore. This card shows a representational heart far more often than a genuinely injured person; they save that one for the Ten. This idea that the heart you wear on your sleeve can be broken while the one within you is still whole reminds me of something I had in mind when I wrote about Death yesterday, and asked why, if we reincarnate, are we born so damn stupid;

How is it possible to lose your innocence over and over again?

I have. My faith in humankind has been demolished on multiple fronts, and whenever I think there's none of it left, another part reveals itself as vulnerable, and yet, I still have that faith in humankind. It just comes with its tongue in its cheek these days. Really, I trust more easily than I did when I was young, because now I know what happens when you get let down, or betrayed, or forgotten - and it's not that bad. It's just weather beating on your external self, and fuck if it doesn't hurt, but in a sense, it all happened while I was elsewhere.

The structure of the card I'm looking at is toying with being a triangle - threes have form, though no solidity; the ideas of the Ace becomes the momentum of the Two becomes the consequences of the Three. But it's a geometric figure, not a box - there is no depth to the Three's suffering. And yet it suffers. It's just lost its innocence again, and we have sympathy for that.

Images of the Three of Swords:

The Intuitive whatsit.

The RWS card: doom doom doom doomity doom.

The Osho Zen 'Ice-Olation' brings a different sort of weather, and implies a different sort of solution.

No comments: