By Sarah Taylor
Three cards, one central to the WTR last week, all of them working their energies through our lives simultaneously rather than in succession; this is an ‘everything-all-at-once’ reading.
The card on the left is the Seven of Swords, or Futility. It is also referred to as The Lord of Unstable Effort. Here, one sword — representing the Ace — is beset by six swords that seem to hold it captive with the tips of their blades. The Ace is straight, whereas the others are curved: only one holds integrity, aligned as it is from above (the world of Spirit) to below (the physical world). Where the point of each of the six blades touches the Ace, there is a jolt of electricity, as if the central blade is being discharged of its energy, which then weakens its ability to act from a position of alignment.
M. M. Meleen writes:
Since the sephira Netzach [from the Kabbalah Tree of Life; Netzach is associated with the Seven of Swords] means Victory, there is some hope if one overcomes inertia and puts forth effort. The problem here is vacillation, and the theme of many against one. …
[It is] a form of mental impotence. An unconscious self-protective mechanism is triggered — if one gives up, then by rights they did not really lose. … This card warns against insincerity, especially towards oneself, as the amoral mind is not capable of deep insights. There is no time for hesitation and inconstancy if the goal is victory.
The word “sincere” comes from the Latin “sincerus,” which, according to oxforddictionaries.com means “clean, pure.” Its opposite suggests something being sullied or impure. The truth of the Ace has been compromised. However, M. M. Meleen suggests that this insincerity is “especially towards oneself.” If there is no sincerity to the self — if we cannot speak or live out the truth that we discover in ourselves when we are in alignment — then sincerity to others lacks the necessary foundation for it to be both consistent and pervasive.
Where is it that you are not aligning with the truth that lies at the core of you? Or, if you don’t know what that truth is, where is it that your thoughts feel conflicted? This card suggests that at the heart of that conflict lies the truth.
Next to the Seven of Swords we find the Nine of Cups, or The Lord of Material Happiness. Both cards set aside each other; both cards set against each other. In the Seven, the curved sword at centre right has taken on the rose-pink hue of the Nine of Cups. It is as if the Nine is reflecting itself in the Seven and the swords are defending against it, curved away from it, resisting it.
Against what are the swords defending? If the Nine of Cups is anything to go by, we are looking at the resistance of love, happiness, and the belief that we can experience something that, up until now, we have perhaps believed we were incapable of experiencing.
The symmetry of their arrangement reflects the correction of the imbalance of the seven and eight. … The Nine of Cups is known as the “wish card” as when it appears it is an indication of wish fulfillment. There is love on a spiritual level — and faith in the goodness of the universe. We have a higher purpose, we have gratitude, we have belief and we get satisfaction.
This is what we are fighting: a truth that sets us free to know love and goodness. The central card of the reading, the Nine represents a reality that is available to us, the Seven the possibility of what our mind is telling us about this reality. How do we reconcile these two opposing forces?
The key is in Lust. When we work with the Lust archetype, we step up to the business of owning our instinctive, sexual natures. The Lust card indicates that at some point we learned to repress or suppress (the former an unconscious act, the latter a conscious one) our sexuality — that, somehow, we developed the belief that we could not be ‘spiritual’ or worthy (of God) if we gave in to our impulses and deepest erotic desires.
Our warped sense of truth — reflected in the warped swords — has been bent out of shape by this act of denial. And, when held down for too long, these impulses erupt from us, seeking expression in ways that are out of balance and equally lacking in integrity and alignment. This throws us into a hall of mirrors where the true path — our connection to the Ace — is concealed by what is reflected back at us from our outer and inner encounters.
The invitation with Lust is to the process of understanding that eros is equally divine; it does not run counter to our higher natures. When looked at and expressed consciously, it becomes like the beast in the card — in the service of the part of us that is connected to Spirit.
And when we do this, we liberate our hearts to the potential for love and fulfillment, and our actions are imbued with a sincerity to self and others that reflects our connection to Truth, whatever that is for each of us.
Astrology correspondences: Seven of Swords (Moon in Aquarius), Nine of Cups (Jupiter in Pisces), Lust (Leo)
M. M. Meleen’s website: www.rosettatarot.com
To purchase the Rosetta Tarot or The Book of Seshet: http://shop.rosettatarot.com/
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.