The Hermetic Tarot today, with two reversed cards: the Queen of Swords reversed and The Blasted Tower reversed. Hmmm . . .
The Queen of Swords (cusp of Virgo, “I serve,” practical, sensible, work and service oriented, and Libra, “We are,” partnerships, balance, cooperation, grace) can be considered a Minor Arcana representation of the Justice card, which is about responsibility and the relationship between “cause” and “effect.” The main difference is that while Justice is about the law, the Queen of Swords is about the intent behind the law. She is Water of Air, and her feelings support her intellect and the workings of her mind.
The Hermetic Tarot Queen of Swords represents Water of Air. The image on the card shows a gracefully dressed woman with beautiful curling hair, carelessly holding a huge sword over one shoulder and the severed head of a man in the other hand, dangling by his hair. Yikes! The head is still dripping blood, his eyes still weeping tears, yet she does not even look at him; instead she gazes serenely off into the distance. This Queen is quick and confident, and she does not need to look at me in order to know just what is happening within me.
The Tower (Fire (hot/separates and dry/shapes, and spontaneous, impulsive, energetic change), Mars (action, spontaneity, aggression, drive), Phe (mouth or speech), and the Path between Hod (which provides analysis and communication) and Netzach (which offers the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration)) is one of the Major Arcana cards that talks of adjustments. This one tells of a violent or explosive correction in the way things are going that usually happens after more gentle corrections don’t bring the needed result. The destruction caused by The Tower is actually clearing away the old and expired, so new growth can begin, but it might not be fun to experience. The Tower also shows us what can happen if we cement ourselves into our beliefs. I love what Oswald Wirth says about The Tower in his book, Tarot of the Magicians: “[The Tower] . . . is less a temple, a house of God, than a sacred building of a body mistakenly identified with God.”
The image on The Blasted Tower is terrifying. Lightning bolts rip apart a tall, ornate building, sending people plummeting down. Even the sun in the upper right corner of the image is frightening. Instead of rays, we see sharp triangles like the multiple rows of teeth found in a shark’s mouth. The capstone of a pyramid is being shot into the building amidst the lightning bolts; to either side of the building is a tree of life, one white and one dark. The building itself is tall, and kind of over-fancy. To be honest, it doesn’t look like it would be sturdy even on a good day, but it would be eye-catching. All in all, the image offers a good visual of the negative side of ambition.
My Tower is reversed and in this deck, a reversed Tower is warning of an ongoing entrapment of some kind. I am being told that danger is approaching; following the old ways and offering the usual and customary responses will only draw that danger even closer. Without a willing rendering of balance, the ugly and uncomfortable adjustment will happen. In fact, it might happen anyway. My reversed Tower is being paired with the reversed Queen of Swords, who is cruel, deceitful and unreliable. Air cards can tend to lack compassion and empathy, but since my Queen is connected to Water, perhaps my feelings and emotions are being distorted. I can’t rely on feelings and I can’t rely on the intellect, unless I allow them to balance each other. We have Water, Air and Fire in this reading, no Earth at all. A bit of grounding might be just the ticket!