The Three of Swords: When You're Going Thru Hard Seasons of Life
The end of the year is always the busiest, isn't it? Some of us are grateful for the distraction of being busy, and others are overwhelmed by it. And 2018 just seems to have been a YEAR for most people. Massive life changes, undeserved betrayals, unexpected losses. It was a Tower year for many, a shaking down of exteriors and an exposure to the elements.
And suddenly, laid bare though we may be, we're thrust into celebration and renewal season, even if our hearts just aren't up for it. It can have moments of joy. There's the rush of holidays and gatherings, get togethers, things to plan and buy and bake. And there's the drop and the crawl through the fog. The strain of trying to make ends meet, dealing with broken marriages, health issues, family troubles and grieving losses.
I've had it in my heart since I started writing for Mama Tracy that I wanted to discuss the Three of Swords at Christmas. Just a glance at this card and you certainly wouldn't say it has holiday vibes. Three swords pierce a vibrant heart, and it doesn't take a vast knowledge of tarot to sort out the meaning. It's a painful card, generally considered a card of trauma and life altering experiences. So I wasn't sure why I felt called to write about it until just this past week when the Three Swords came for me.
Some of us simply are walking around with swords in our hearts, seasonal goings on be damned. The Walking Wounded are all around us. Behind registers, next to you at stoplights, at work parties, living next door, smiling for photos, taking long drives home, recording their child's holiday concert, trying to fulfill obligations and survive and bear their pain and sadness. It can be lonely. It can feel unfair.
When I see the Three of Swords in a spread, I understand it to be both burden and opportunity. And that's why I've chosen to share the way it's depicted in The Moment After Deck, which imagines the Rider Waite cards a few seconds later. What I see in this version:
Wherever the Three of Swords has appeared in your life, maybe years ago, maybe this week or maybe it feels like over and over and over...your experience is deeply personal and you have a right to your emotions and you deserve to grow from it. And since I know what a properly impaled heart feels like, I'll spare you the platitudes. "You're strong! You got this!" Yea. I know what it feels like to not be sure people are so right about how strong I am. And I know what it feels like to have well-meaning people who love and care for you squeeze your arm because they just can't think of anything to say to you.
The Three of Swords is inevitable, it seems so unlikely we should be able to go through life without confronting this energy. And sometimes the best we can do is just to allow bad situations to teach us something. Maybe about ourselves. About others. There may feel like there's nothing salvageable about your situation. But maybe hard times can inspire positive momentum and growth anyways. Whether you see the Three Swords in a spread or you feel them in your life, I hope you can picture them safely removed from your heart eventually.
Because as sucky and platitude-y as it is, the wound really IS the place where the light enters you.