of shadow work
facing the darkness /
to live in the light
to live in the light
Today we are looking at The Ten of Swords (The Sun in Gemini). This card is a combination of Sun energy, which represents clarity, sight, joy, understanding, renewal & youth, & Gemini (The Lovers) which has to do with the Third House of friendships & close relationships (& also confusion, deception & decisions). Combined in the Ten of Swords you get the experience of seeing & accepting yourself & your relationships exactly as you are / they are- the good, the bad & the ugly- the titties & the snakes, the pretty hair & the flaming loins, the angels & the obstacles, the closeness & the distance.
It's funny to me that this is the card that would come up after the Nine of Pentacles, because toward the end of the Nine-of-Pentacles post I was talking about the woman’s loverrrrrr & then sure enough, the Ten of Swords is an extension of The Lovers. But despite its parents, when we look at the actual Ten of Swords, dude is dead af & love is the furthest thing from our minds.
But if we look at the Lover’s card, that’s our idea of love. Perfect bodies, beautiful scenery, eyes closed in bliss, angels blessing the path. Never mind the snake in the woman’s ear making her mistrust her own thoughts, or the burning bush behind the man setting his loins on fire for anything that moves- all that is on the sidelines/ background because the focus is lllllooooove. Notice though, this couple is at a bit of a distance from each other. They have a mountain between them (pinnacles!) which indicates problems, but they don’t care about that. They figure if they can just find that perfect person, that twin soul, then somehow the angels will remove the obstacles & make all the struggles worthwhile. A happy ending. All's well that ends well.
But not exactly. With the addition of the Sun card, baby makes three. This doesn’t have to be a literal baby, this just represents the reality that there is always something new to do, deal with, understand, relate to, react to, take care of, learn from, handle, delegate, protect, experience- on the path. Life comes at you quick. Never a dull moment. Literally as I’m typing this, my thirteen year old daughter had just finished doing her hair, & it was so pretty & she was feeling herself (as she should). She was thinking about how tomorrow is her first day back to school after X-mas break, & her hair would be super cute on the Zoom call. And then she got up to make a PB & J, & then when she sat down, ready to eat her sandwich & watch a YouTube video, she discovered that somehow her earbud had ripped apart & broken. Her five year old brother said, karmaaaaa. She hit him out of anger, he hit her back, I broke them up & then lectured her about taking out her aggression on him, & now she’s sitting here crying because all she wanted to do was eat her damn sandwich in peace & now she has to either deal with no ear buds at school tomorrow or put on outside clothes & go to the store in the rain. The most chill, optimistic moment went to shit in five seconds. That’s the Ten of Swords, AKA clarity on the path, AKA the realization that expectation versus reality will have you fucked up every time.
Because the Ten of Swords carries Lover’s energy, it deals with the self as much as it deals with the other. As you have experiences that help you immediately recognize someone else’s bullshit, you also have experiences that force you to face your own bullshit too. Instinctively you want to reject other people’s bullshit as well as your own, because its not pretty, the way love is supposed to be pretty. Somewhere we got the idea that we are only supposed to love perfect, beautiful, angelic beings- & therefore we automatically reject the parts of ourselves & others that are gross, despicable, irritating, deceptive, frustrating, smelly, stupid. We try to change ourselves & change our loved ones to fit into the mold we’re comfortable showing affection & appreciation, but when that doesn’t work, we wind up suppressing ourselves & rejecting our loved ones- which only guarantees we’ll meet those same parts of ourselves & others somewhere else on the path (Sun Card, hello!!) because there’s nowhere else to go except earth & there’s nothing else to be except human, & earth is an imperfect place filled with imperfect people.
Yet there’s a fine line between being using imperfection as a motivation or a crutch. There is a difference between ‘people always lie so fuck people,’ & ‘People tend to lie so I’ll not be so naive,’ or ‘I’m flawed & there’s not point in trying,’ & ‘i’m flawed so I know I need to try harder.’ Attitude is everything.
Remember the Lover’s card is represented by the Air Sign Gemini. Air is swords, yes? So love is MENTAL. It's a choice, a decision that you make in your mind & then follow through with your body. You will never feel like pretending like it doesn’t bother you when your wife plucks her chin hairs, or flushing your husband’s poo because he got in the shower & forgot- but it is the mental choice of love & the respect of your vows that keeps your shit together when you want to scream & run.
And it is the same with ourselves. The longer we walk the path of life as our own soul mates, we recognize certain phases we’ve gone through & come out on the other side. When we realize suddenly we’ve grown out of being who we were, there always the blindingly uncomfortable clarity of who we’ve been- God, I was such a BITCH, I can’t believe I used to dress like that, my hair was so UGLY, ugh my ass was so FAT. In these moments we can become overly infatuated with who we’ve become (Look at ME, I’ve come such a LONG WAY) as a knee-jerk rejection of who we used to be. Which is crazy, because how can we be who we are, if not for who we were?? How can we honor our progress without paying homage to our problems? One begat the other, yes? Baby makes three.
On top of that, the very thing we feel “proud” of one day, we’ll one day evolve past & instinctively want to ridicule, unless we make the (mental!) decision to love & accept ourselves in all our phases, with all our faces, with all our chins & ass & pimples & breath & teeth & skin & should-a, could-a, woulda-s - & it is the same with those we proclaim to love. We must love them beyond the fairy tale, the ideal, the filters, the likes. Love is REAL. And it is the same with those who claim to love you. Do you want to be loved for your highlights, your waist trainer, your paycheck, your laugh…? It's easy to be loved for those things. But those things are not the REAL you, only the things you use to soften your essence, like using soap to soften water (but it's the water that gets you clean).
Speaking of REAL, the picture on the Ten of Swords is what we do to those we REALLY love, including ourselves. Swords behind their back (gossip/ betrayal), overkill (harping on flaws), abandoned-him (abandonment), felled / killed-he (feeling guilty); & then the realization that they-murdered-him-then-missed-his-eye (there’s more to him than meets the eye). A pile of knives (apo-lo-gize). God, mourn him (Good morning!); handles in the storm (handled the storm), here comes the new sun (here comes someone/something new).
The Ten of Swords is a snapshot of true, everlasting love (both of self & other): betrayal, fuckery, hurt, sadness, depression, the pointlessness of existence, the repeated attempt to bury the words & thoughts that speak the name of this fucking awful reality & kill it once and for all- yet inexplicably, despite the worst storms, the wounds, the pains, the KILLING (S)WORDS, inexplicably here again is the light, the sun, the joy, the terrible desire & overwhelming compulsion to seal his fate / see his face, despite knowing exactly how this shit finna go.
Love is mental yet it makes NO SENSE, lol.
(One + One = baby makes three)
What’s y’alls Ten of Swords?
P.S. I named this post after the movie titled ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’ starring Kate Winslet & Jim Carrey because it is exactly about the stupidity & invincibility of love. Watch it if you haven’t, it's so good!!
P.P.S. I have hella shadows with this card! This card IS a shadow, or naw? One thing that stands out particularly for me, is the fact that my older sister & my husband are both Gemini’s with the same birthday. They both get on my last damn nerves, & I’m estranged from one & divorcing the other- but I have to also be honest & say no one has ever loved me higher, deeper, wider, longer, stronger, more loyal, more freaking...TRUE- than my sister & husband. And also, no two people have hurt me more, or been more disloyal, shallow, deceptive, selfish, dramatic, violent, careless, dangerous. Our relationships are exactly like this Ten of Swords, where we hurt each other & apologize again & again, but I noticed the exact same shit always happened. Eventually, I chose the opposite of love when dealing with them- I did what made sense to my Virgo (Hermit) mind- I cut them off. I quit fucking with them. Which I guess means I made the mental decision to stop loving them (because the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over and expecting a different result & loving them drove me fkn crazy). I still love them in my heart but what good does that do them? None because I refuse to show it. I will never have one of those swords in my back again, as it pertains to those two. For them, I have no more (s)words. But that’s kind of messed up, no? Or naw? I guess that’s the part where I’m fucked up, but nonetheless I honor my choice.
I’ve had the exact same conversation with both of them, too. They each apologized to me for a bunch of shit, & I half-ass accepted, more to shut them up than anything (can't get a s-word in). And then they each (in separate conversations mind you!) asked me, do you have anything you want to apologize to ME for? Silence & a shrug was my answer both times.
Let me think about it, I said, after a pause.
(dead-man-at-sea / in-san-i-ty)
(deadened- wait-for-ship / dead end relationship)
all of us.