By Sarah Taylor
There have been a lot of Sword cards in recent readings. That means a lot of “mind”: your thoughts, your beliefs, your self-talk, the rules and regulations — official and unofficial — you set up with yourself and others.
Stay with me here as we move into Qabalah 101 — this reading gets a little technical, but I believe it’s worth the time spent on it.
Swords govern the plane of the intellect and how you express that in words. Exercised with grace and elegance, you get insightful observation, discernment, negotiation, and wisdom. In other words, when it’s informed by your creative capacity (the Wands as an initiating force), and delivered with heart (the Cups that follow on from Wands), then Swords as the third suit is an expression of your inner alignment.
But, being the third suit along, there’s so much more to reckon with when you arrive in the land of the blade: the balancing act gets more demanding. It asks you for skillful precision if you are to keep that alignment of creativity, heart and mind. Think of the shift between juggling with two balls, and then adding a third. It tends to up the stakes a little.
Today, that balancing act is expressed in these three cards. The first card and the third card are the first and last active Swords cards: they run the range of experiences you can have with your mind, Two through Ten. They also flank the Ace of Disks: the potential that is birthed from your thoughts, as the first card of the fourth and final suit, Disks — the one that deals with material reality.
Disks are “earth”; they are the descent into matter. All of the other suits are the ingredients that you’ve mixed together to be able to experience yourself as a body interacting with a world.
So. You know that saying about your thoughts creating your reality? You are slap-bang in the middle of being able to see this, to understand this, to live it out. You may not know it, but you are the magician of your own life. And as a magician, you are not simply passive: you have agency.
And you’re being asked to assume that agency. As the third suit in the tarot deck, Swords are denser, and so they are more obvious. You can access Swords much more easily than you can Wands or Cups. And there’s a downside to this: it is far easier to neglect the presence of Wands and Cups in your life than it is Swords. Mind seems to rule if it is left unchecked. It can dampen your energy; it can interfere with your heart. To take back your agency, today’s reading is saying this to you:
Stop relying exclusively on your mind. You cannot think your way into this one, or out of it. You can go for “Peace,” you can go for “Ruin.” Or you can choose not to identify fully with either, and understand that they are simply one part of a far larger experience.
The possibility exists that you can acknowledge and embrace every aspect of your mind without holding it as the only thing that matters.
Where is the energy that moves through your body, the initiator of everything? Can you let it run free, knowing it moves with its own wisdom? Where is the space that you give to your feelings — the ones that make themselves known before you have time to label and pigeon-hole them? Can you feel them without needing to know what you’re feeling?
And then, finally, can you use your mind as a collaborator with your creativity and your heart, to express the truth of both without distorting them? To honour their integrity with no need to second-guess them out of existence?
To speak your truth, even if it makes you tremble?
To give shape to your world, even if it asks more of you than you thought (note: thought) possible?
There is a time for Peace and a time for Ruin. But no creation of yours needs to be caught up exclusively in either. That’s not what your mind is there for. Your mind is there to sift and make sense of something that has already been called into existence. Your mind is there to discern and then to direct, not judge and coerce.
The Ace of Disks holds a significant amount of potential. It is no less than the sum total of what was called into existence through you some time ago. The mind has its role to play, but it is by no means the headlining act. This is an ensemble piece rather than a star vehicle for your mental gymnastics.
When your mind grasps because it absolutely has to know! — step back and see if your heart has something to say. If your mind wants to turn on you, and tell you that you’re a failure, disengage if you can and track the flow of your energy.
When that moment comes that everything falls into place — when it not only makes sense, but you feel sense — you don’t have to be moved into action by a fear that you have somehow missed out or that you’re letting things slip through your fingers. No. Find a higher ground; a higher vision. Find that star that has been calling to you through space and time. You can’t command it to come to you, and you don’t need to.
You, and it, are one and the same thing. Separation has only ever been a mental construct.
Astrology/Elemental correspondences: Two of Swords (Moon in Libra), Ace of Disks (the pure, limitless potential of earth), Ten of Swords (Sun in Gemini)
If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.