By Sarah Taylor
The Fool has shown his face twice before this year — in the reading on Jan. 1, and again on Feb. 1. Here The Fool is for the third time, forming the foundation to this week’s reading. Third time’s a charm; the card’s magic is being woven.
On Jan. 1, the card next to The Fool was the Ace of Swords. Today, it is the Queen of Swords, with the Prince of Swords to her right. It feels to me like the potential of the Ace — which we can choose to draw from, or not — has been made manifest, and is expressing itself actively through an aspect of the personality. This will be active in you, and it may also be mirrored to you from someone else.
What I see in this reading first and foremost, in motion specifically in The Fool and the Queen of Swords, are masks and their removal. There is a sense of your no longer needing what you have hidden behind; there is a falling away of something that you no longer need to wear. Perhaps you have noticed where you have felt you have hidden, and where there is the ability to expose and reveal your true face, layer by layer, in an act of self-declaration.
The removal of masks is your act of self-declaration and a path to freedom.
This freedom has a specific form, denoted by the court cards’ suit: Swords. Swords are associated with the mind, and therefore also thoughts, intellect, beliefs. Creatures of habit that we are, we have a propensity to form thought patterns: modes of seeing ‘what is’ through filters gathered over the course of our lifetimes, particularly in our childhoods, and shaped by people we considered, and sometimes still consider, authority figures.
Here, there is the opportunity, through the foundation of no-mind of The Fool, to identify and, if you so choose, to divest yourself of an outer enamel of beliefs that have not only shaped how you see the world — but also how the world has seen you.
Take a look at the card at centre, the Queen of Swords. Two empty-eyed, stylised masks seem to be moving away from the queen herself, with only a smaller one remaining — one that allows us to look at the lower half of her face with full mouth, and which exposes more of her eye. Part of her face is still hidden, but, now, I see her. She is beautiful, fragile yet strong. Yes, a mask remains, but the blue of it feels as if it has depth to it; it provides a striking contrast against her blonde hair. Now that I look more closely, it’s as if a tear is gathering on the rim of the lower lid of her eye. She sees more as she, in turn, allows us to see her.
The interesting thing is this: she still remains a mystery. Letting pretence fall does not make her simple. If anything, she has rendered herself more complex. As I am let into her humanness, I am also aware of a grace and dignity to her that were, also, hidden from me.
How we hide the gold along with the shadow. How you have hidden your light for fear of the darkness.
And so to the final card, on the right, in the form of the Prince of Swords. When I look at him, I see ‘birth': he has issued from the Queen — a nascent, but strong, masculine force that feels younger, and perhaps less experienced, but whose resolve to forge his own way beats like a blue heart out of the card. His face is unmasked, though we can see only one side of it. His eye glows a blue-white. This is inner-sight, or intuition. He does not need ordinary eyes to see. His sight comes from another source: a corona edges around the blue that bubbles up from his forehead, distant in space-time. He is bonded with something that lies outside, and yet is connected with him, and he with it.
At the same time, it appears as if his focus has freed him from a different kind of bond: a chain that runs down the right-hand side of the card and past his shoulder is now broken in two places — one of them a clean break. Aided by his connection to the light, he has liberated himself.
From what? From karma. From an intergenerational yoking that is forged through blood.
Because while the Queen’s masks fall, so the Prince moves away from the Queen and into his own, as yet unknown, personal destiny. The ties that bound no longer do so in one key respect. A belief or an entrenched pattern of thought whose links you can follow into the way-back-when has lost the ability to keep you in your place. There is freedom from an outmoded dynamic that has held you in check and incognito for long enough; both the mature (inner) feminine and the younger (inner) masculine can, in some way, extricate themselves from a stultifying situation and assert their independence and find new ways to be and to move.
Never underestimate a Fool, no matter what his appearance seems to be. No-mind is not ‘mindless’. Taking that step into the unknown has precipitated an emergence — a birth — from within. You are looking through a doorway to a freedom that started out as a thought, its genesis resting in the power to imagine something different.
Astrology/Elemental correspondences: The Fool (Uranus), Queen of Swords (the watery aspect of air), Prince of Swords (the airy aspect of air)
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.
Thank you Sarah
I believe that!
(In 2002 (or 3) Jonathan Cainer’s thought for my birthday day was ‘ fame is a mask that eats into your face. That fits with these three cards too?)
It sounds like it’s a fit for you, pam, and that’s what’s important in a reading: how it speaks to the person who comes to it.
In fact it depends on you doesn’t it – respect by peers is ‘fame’ , and just doing your job or being who you are means you aren’t affected?
Just amazing, Sarah – once again. Thank you.
Wow. I will be re-reading this many times, Sarah – it is so resonant with all that is going on for/within me – subterranean change which feels like a kind of metamorphosis. Thank-you!
Just beautiful Sarah and it flows right along with the coming of the spring equinox – a new way of being in the world; an ability to extricate ourselves and forge ahead without masks that hinder our truest way of seeing the world and how we are seen. The oracle today also talks of what keeps us bound to the past and family dynamics that were perhaps painful or constricting. The tarot helps me to see – everything is connected. Thank you for bringing such a wonderful Sunday gift each and every time. Blessings!
I read the Oracle as soon as I saw your comment, Dorothy. Their appearance together feels fortuitous, one underlining the other.
and The PlanetWaves Community ~:
“The removal of masks is your act of self-declaration and a path to freedom.”
Your readings with the Rohring Tarot deck delight me doubly,
because I’m immersed in The Builders of The Adytum’s
Paul Foster Case deck. Rohring
in a less
structured way, yes?
My week-end’s reverie
with a colleague
Friday at lunch break,
“spoke down to me”
in a public environment.
(The Lunch Room.)
I’ve been asking,
“How come I “fought”,
My next (self-assigned),
challenges me every day.
The Fool, The Swords Queen and the Swords Prince ~
My received message:
My Way Forward.”
I can now imagine
applying to run for
Creating My Next Corporation.
and your story
“The Special Gift of Courage”
every fool carries ~-
stepping off the cliff!.
Thank you, Sarah,
And All You Wave-Riders!,
Water ~ ~
~~~Because ~~ ~ ~
‘ We All Live ~ ~ ~ ~
~ ~Down ~ ~
~ ~Stream ~ ~ ~~~.’ “
Thank you, Gayin. Your poem and the reading dance beautifully together.
This is priceless, Sarah. “divest yourself of an outer enamel of beliefs” and “If anything, she has rendered herself more complex.” “How we hide the gold along with the shadow.” This reminds me of something I read earlier this week:
When the Japanese mend broken objects they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold, because they believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful. Barbara Bloom
stronger at the break!
Yes, absolutely, Mandy – there is a thread of gold to what you’ve seen in the cards this week
Hi – I really love reading these every week, and I find them very useful and resonant.
WONDERFUL! That last sentence said it all for me! Thank you!
I truly appreciate the depth, dearheart — a pleasure to read and ponder, apply and accept. Your talent blesses us all.
As much as your insights, Sarah, I am loving the perfect sense of flow between this week’s cards: the sense of masking (through split faces and makeup) on The Fool — with its orange tiger peeking out and the curve of the Fool’s hat and orange bell — flowing right into the curve of the Queen’s hair that arches from mask to mask. And then the orange and blue on the right-hand mask, somehow looking “not quite finished,” and the nascent orange cutouts at the top coalesce into the eyes/butterfly spots/eggs in the Prince. They feel both watchful and inviting and pregnant with new growth.
Even the colors themselves intensify in saturation from left to right.
A birth from within (from within the spread; from within the unknown; from within ourselves) indeed. I guess as we step into that freedom of maskless-ness, we become saturated in ourselves — in our truest colors. And that’s not even the end-point, it seems, if we imagine those eyes/spots to be the eggs of some unknown and exotic critter we are gestating… After all: would the caterpillar recognize itself as the butterfly it eventually becomes?
And Amanda doesn’t the fool look as though he too is about to unmask – his hand on the side of his face like that. Just a beautiful trio of cards and meaning.
or literally ‘pulling the rabbit out of the hat’ gesture
Yes! All of that, Pam.
Fabulous observations, Amanda – thank you for expanding the inner conversation with the cards!
Sarah, I’ve read and reread this several times. I know there is something important speaking to me and as I ponder deeply it occurs to me that the immature inner-self is really determined to go and be the honest expression I came here to be, but most importantly, has finally accepted the unknown and seems willing to accept also the mistakes inherent in the journey.
I feel like the inner beauty was taken captive at the point where mistakes were condemned by the mind that that so confuses beauty with perfection. That mind is the masks that are falling away.
Thank you, everyone, for your comments, your willingness to be vulnerable in your sharing. That, in itself, moves with the energy of this week’s reading.
This qualifies as my “birthday” reading, so I keep coming back to it, Sarah. All that is coming through clearly is the unmasking. This birthday has been celebrated by unmasking myself: in a photo shoot, in some spontaneous videos, and the peeling continues. Thank you for this reading.