The Hermetic Tarot today, and the theme of discomfort continues with the Seven of Swords reversed and the Nine of Swords.
The Seven of Swords (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, cause-oriented, the group, aloofness), which I had the other day in an upright position, tells of the effort to maintain things as we want them, often through the use of deception and without considering the wants or needs of others. Trying to keep things the same is an exercise in futility, but sometimes we get so caught up in our own story that we forget we are affecting others.
The Hermetic Tarot Seven of Swords is called the Lord of Unstable Effort, and the image reflects this. Seven Swords of varying heights, widths and shapes attempt to meet at one point at the top of the card, with mixed success. All seven Swords do touch, but not all of them touch at the designated place. There is a rose in the center of this card, similar to the Six of Swords except one of the Swords pierces the rose. This progression is presented in a similar way in the image of the Two of Swords (which contains a rose) and the Three of Swords (where the rose is cut and petals are falling). This progression is clear: the success of the Six of Swords is being held over beyond its time. The Seven also tells of yielding or surrendering before the end result is accomplished, and of being distracted by abundance or compliments. Reversed, the Hermetic Tarot Seven of Swords tells of spying and vacillation, and the betrayal of confidences, either on purpose or accidentally.
The Nine of Swords (Mars, action, spontaneity, aggression, in Gemini, “I think,” curious, talkative, social, dual) represents brooding and worrying, usually self-caused, and usually unproductive. Often the worrying attached to this card is connected to insecurity or suspicion, or it is connected to things that are over and done with, and thus unchangeable. Thankfully my card is reversed, so I should be able to avoid the agony of the mind that is needless worry.
The Hermetic Tarot Nine of Swords is a nightmare; every part of this image is distorted or decayed. Eight of the Swords in the image are rusted, distorted, bent or broken each in its own way, and the flower has become 12-tentacled monster. The ninth Sword rises up from the bottom of the card, wickedly curving and coming to a sharp and deadly point. Called the Lord of Despair and Cruelty, the name of this card describes perfectly its meaning. It tells of loss, misery, and suffering, burdens and oppression, and lying, slander and dishonesty. There is an obedience laced through this card, as if we can’t help but continue the despair and cruelty that is manifesting.
So, what does this mean for today? I do need to be aware of the fact that my thoughts, words or deeds carry with them the tendency to perhaps betray or harm. Knowledge is power, and if I strive to keep my intentions pure and for the highest good of all, I just might prevent any bad stuff from happening. I should think about the big picture rather than my own personal needs, and maybe even keep my brain busy with some good things.