of shadow work
facing the darkness /
to live in the light
to live in the light
Peace family! Let's get right to it-
The Three of Swords (Saturn in Libra) is the combination of The World (Saturn) & Justice (Libra). The World (Saturn), is about the pressure to learn certain lessons in order to close out old cycles up & uplevel into new beginnings. Justice (Libra) relates to karmic balancing in relationships, where you are forced to understand hidden/suppressed aspects of yourself through judging those same qualities during relationships with others.
When you put these two energies together in the Three of Swords (lessons in confronting the shadow side of self via another), you get a lot of hurt feelings, finger pointing, blame gaming & projecting. This card echoes Jesus' admonition in Matthew 7:5; "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." This is the energy of someone who doesn't realize they are actually sick of their own shit, which is why it feels intolerable when reflected back to them from others. Like how I yell at my kids for leaving their clothes on the bathroom floor but most times when I go in the bathroom fussing about cleaning up behind folks, it's mostly my clothes on the floor, haha.
Let's scroll up & look at the Three of Swords literally: In the foreground, there is a red heart with three swords plunged through it. In the background, we see the swords are also plunged into a woman's face (the face isn't in the traditional Rider Smith-Waite though- Julia & I added that). There are storm clouds brewing above the heart, & the light reflection of rain. The mood of this card is overwhelming sadness & unimaginable pain. If this is how someone feels inside, one can only imagine the words that might come out of their mouth (remember, in the tarot Swords represent the element of air, which is thoughts & speech). It is written in Luke 6:45, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil; for of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaketh." In other words, hurt people, hurt people, through, according to the picture, critical incisions (criticisms) & heart swords (harsh words). However, as sure as these folks are about what's right for others, they "katana make incision," or "can't make decisions." But when they ask for advice, instead of accepting wise counsel & prudent planning, they simply react. When asked to be accountable for their words & thoughts, they will tell you that whatever was said didn't hurt that bad, aka "don't-feel-a-cut," (don't feel like it). You're too sensitive & they're the ones who "worn-a-pile-of-knives" (won't apologize). This makes them unable to respond to others properly, which means they lack response-ability.
Which brings us to the Two of Wands (Mars in Aries). The Two of Wands is a combination of energies from The Tower (Mars), & the Emperor (Aries). Remember the Tower is the finger of the Most High using climactic calamities as divine course correction. The Emperor (Aries) represents the most primal, honest part of ourselves who wants what we want when we want it, has strong boundaries & loves to say NO (like a toddler). When we put these two together in the Two of Wands (calamity + NO), it creates the experience of being forced to deal with out-of-the-blue-bullshit, as a loving reminder that until we grow response-able, we will constantly be on a hamster wheel of unforeseen circumstances that make us desire a YES from the very people we love to say NO to. In other words, my, how the tables have turned. These are the situations that force us to see things from the other side & require us to take-what-we've-dished. If we lack empathy, we must be humbled (through experience). If we possess empathy, we must help (through understanding) .
Let's look at the Two of Wands literally: We have a man standing positioned in an idyllic scene from the upside (seen from the other side). He's between an unstable wand (unstable one) & a stable wand (stable one). He's watching the unstable wand, catching-it-as-it-fell (watching the unstable one catching hell). If we can assume dude lives at this house, then his personal wands/wants are stable & secure. His wands-fall-for-no-thing (wants for nothing). Because of this, he's comfortable. Proud, even. He enjoys his right-hand-globe (right to gloat). And as far as this unstable one catching hell, he's aware of his right-toes-in-cloak (right to say no). But does he say no? Because the thing is, he hasn't always had the right hand gloat (right to gloat) has he? Before he had time to observe the wand, catching-it-as-it-fell (one catching hell), what was he doing? He was securing his own wand (securing his own wants).This means he knows what it's like to need-to-hold-the-unstable-wand (need help / unstable one), but I guess that was long ago. Now he has to decide whether to keep the globe in his hand (keep gloating) & watch the wand, catching-it-as-it-fell! (one catching hell)- affirming that for that particular wand, he can't do nothing but watch (aka claims zero response-ability), OR, he can quit the globe in his hand (quit gloating), reach out, lean in & affirm his ability to respond (aka assume responsibility).
At the end of the day, we all have the choice to help or gloat. And then there's the question of whether this is a repeated cycle. Perhaps there was a time when we didn't have a globe (did not gloat), & selflessly reached out & held the unstable wand (helped the unstable one) while our own wand was unstable. Perhaps we've held two wands before (helped you once before). Who's to say? We're only observing a snapshot of the situation, & only seeing one side of it at that (one side of his hat).
But regardless of the backstory, keeping-the-globe-in-your-hand as you watch the unstable one catch hell has consequences. It means you're so occupied that you never get a moment to turn around & handle your own wand (handle your wants). You can't be all up in else's misfortune & enjoy your own success at the same time. It's best to put down the globe, turn around, let the unstable one hit rock bottom (but don't watch!) & take care of your staff (take care of your stuff),
Ironically, the one catching hell would technically only catch hell through being observed in the act of falling & being caught. It is the act of observation & gloating that defines the "catching hell." No help at all is better than assistance given with a malicious spirit.
& If you're the unstable one, once you work your ass off to secure your stability (with no wands/one to help), there's nothing wrong with standing proud with your globe-up (proud of your glow up). But DON'T GLOAT.
Here's my Three of Swords / Two of Wands story:
My father is mean af. I love him but he has talked to me in ways that I wouldn't talk to my worst enemy. When I was a little kid he often told me I was a jerk (just like yo' mama) & that I was stupid (it's not rocket science, its as simple as A-B-C & FUCKING D). When I turned 19 he sent me a birthday card with a letter inside that said I would never make more than $8 an hour & that I'd be a dress size 120 (yes I know that's not even a number). When I turned 21 he bought me a stationary exercise bike & an outdoors bike & a mirror, & said he was giving me the gift of watching myself lose weight. When I got my first tattoo he told me no man would ever introduce me to his mother. When I told him I was pregnant with my second child he said he figured because I looked fat the last time he saw me. When I got upset he said, maybe your man won't tell you but I will. When my younger sister was 8 he gave her a few driving lessons in the country & when she didn't steer very well (bc 8) he told her she was driving like she had a dick up her pussy. He told me my mother's parents were dumb to send their three kids to college instead of buying a house & they had nothing to show for themselves. When I graduated with my bachelor's degree, he said to me (at my graduation), you only have a bachelor's but I have an associate's AND a bachelor's.
I thank God my sister is a psychiatrist bc she's the one who officially announced Daddy is a narcissist. She said during her residency, the other doctors were astounded by how my sister was unmoved by the things some of the mean things that insane patients said, trying to get a rise out of them. She was like, them little insults are nothing compared to my Daddy, they weak af. She said surviving him was the perfect training for dealing with some of the folks she's had to deal with.
Nonetheless, he is my Daddy. He's a hilarious, extremely talented & creative dude. He's a brilliant writer & documentarian, & has been a skilled camera operator for the last 35 years. He's a Virgo so he's a hella hard worker, very industrious, responsible & sought after in his field. He's very stable. He's owned his home since he was 26. He survived two tours of Vietnam, & this very week he asked me to send him a $100 each Walmart X-mas wishlist for all five of my kids. He's a good dad/horrible person/great person/bad dad. Once I told him I forgive him for everything & he said he never asked for my forgiveness & he'd like to read whatever book I got my memories from. Once I got arrested for having weed in my car in Oklahoma & he paid $700 so I could have a lawyer in court. But when I decided I wanted to go to grad school (beyond his bachelor's lol) & I asked him to help me with the $150 fee to take the GRE, he said absolutely not.
My dad always has ideas for businesses. He's been trying to be an entrepreneur since for-e-ver, but none of his ideas ever panned out well enough to replace his day job.
Five years ago, the summer before I moved away from Chicago, I was strapped for money to make rent & I asked my dad to loan me the difference. He did. But then my younger sister called me & said that her husband had seen my dad shortly after he'd given me the money, & he bragged about how I didn't have shit & my husband was worthless, & he'd had to bail me out. My sister was like bitch I'd eat nails before I ever accepted help from him. Now, my sister has a lot of money & she's never had to choose between rent / food/ lights, etc. so while I understood what she meant, I didn't have the same pride or fire for the situation. I was just glad the nigga hadn't said the shit to my face & I spent his money. We fell out soon after though, because he was not ok with us taking his grandkids & moving across country. We haven't spoken much over the last three or four years. He knew we lived in Cali but he didn't know where. All his attempts to locate me failed & I blocked his emails. & Then one day I got an email from him saying that I can't forget about him because I see his face every time I look in the mirror, & as much as I don't want to deal with him, you sure do love to use the name I gave you.
Y'all! That means he GOOGLED ME hahahaha. He must have found my website, etc. & realized I'd made a business for myself that was... you know... legit. I know he knows I'm successful at something because whereas he used to be all up my ass about what I do for a living, he doesn't ask me anything about my work anymore (which is crazy bc for the first time, I'm excited to explain).
When the pandemic first started, there was this one day when we had to check out of a hotel because I didn't have the money to renew the room. I texted my dad & asked for help (bc he'd made it clear that he missed having his family around very, very much), but he lectured me instead of helping me. I wound up making the money + a good amount more that afternoon so I turned out not to need his help after all, but he talked real greasy to me via email in the meantime. From a pretty secure place (since I no longer needed his $$) I typed I ask God everyday why he took my mom & stepmother to heaven but left you here. Maybe its because they did their job & were free to go, meanwhile you STAY FUCKING UP.
Then I apologized immediately because he's still my father & only a fool disrespects their parents. He shocked me by sending me $100 a couple of days later, too.
I've learned that instead of begging people who make you feel bad for asking for help, its better to just fall on your face & pick yourself up. This prevents bitterness (& negative karma) on both sides, & makes you more resilient (& less entitled).
I'm also realizing just now that "globe up," is also the declaration that the unstable one needs to GROW UP.
all of us.