Tarot Tuesday: Embracing the Gray Area

Tarot Tuesday: Embracing the Gray Area

Wands represent the materialization of ideas, specifically those that involve innovation, perspective shifts, and otherwise new, creative ways of doing things that yield next level results. A heightened level of creativity is flowing into areas of your life that have been struggling or sickling due to lack of circulation. You may be receiving an influx of new ideas about monetizing your passion, for instance, or a sudden interest in learning a new skill.

With the Five of Swords there is a sense that this period of creativity will involve reclaiming a certain level of authority over your life, and a reigning in of energy that’s been somehow squandered.

In this new world with unlimited options there’s a growing emphasis on cutting people or situations out of our lives if they are “not in alignment with” our most precious goals. But this harsh approach to relating to one another often leaves little room for flexibility and for considering the possibility that our big picture vision is impaired. The reality is that the things we deem cut-worthy—and our motivations for cutting—aren’t always what we think they are. When cutting someone off is driven mostly by the urge to control, we risk growing into rigid behavioral patterns that don’t serve us.

The Queen of Swords asks: Is your agenda to know what may not yet be yours to know driving your need to treat people like malignant growths instead of human beings?

And at what point does exerting control by making cuts become an aversion to accepting the uncertainty of life?

Let’s talk about another way you can reclaim your energy that doesn’t involve trying to control your external reality. Feelings are one of the most crucial and potent sources of power, and one of the ways through which we can give away or claim authority over our lives. Difficult feelings are full of rich data that can inform everything from our individual lifestyles to the policies that create our communities. But they only work if we allow them.

When you refuse to feel what challenges you, you deny your higher self access to important information. The Five of Swords is a reminder that having a sense of authority over your life means being willing to hold all of the things that belong to you, and this includes your emotions, even the ugly ones.

The character depicted by the Five of Swords is often interpreted as a lone wolf type, and this stark sense of autonomy may be necessary now in order to feel what you need to feel and accomplish what you need to get done. The reality may simply be that you get your best work done solo—when you’re free from the temptation to use interpersonal relationships as a way to escape from your feelings. In fact, cuts may still be necessary, but perhaps not for the reasons you think. The Five of Swords may also suggest that you’ve been worrying too much about what other people think; that’s a bad habit and it’s time to stop.

Are you using a relationship to avoid or minimize contact with internal events that you’d rather not deal with? Are you relying too much on others for your sense of security or validation, or even simply to advise you on which way to go? Do you have a hard time trusting your own ability to make good choices? To some extent this is all normal, but when it comes to your creativity, what you personally are thinking and feeling—challenging as it may be to embrace—likely contains the information you need to move forward.

Sandwiched between this new creative energy (Ace of Wands) and the call to reclaim personal authority (Five of Swords), the Queen of Swords also suggests that for your creative projects to materialize, you’re going to need the ability to see things for what they really are. That is, to detach, in a sense, from emotion-driven urges.

This detachment is not to be confused with avoidance or escape—the Five of Swords clearly states that when it comes to your feelings, the only way out is through.

It may seem counterintuitive, but this ability to gather up and claim the things that plague you is the first step to being able to step back and defuse from them. You cannot truly step back and detach if you can’t first feel. Notice that the Queen is seated in a throne above the clouds. She didn’t just appear there; she had to first pass through a layer of clouds in order to reach a space from which to see things clearly. 

The Queen of Swords deals with facts and when she appears in a spread the situation in front of you likely requires a similar approach. You must feel your feelings, but now is not the time to let them dictate your actions. To what extent do your feelings typically inform your decision making process? How often are the choices you make and the resulting actions you take based on the facts in front of you?

Being a Queen, in this case, means allowing your heart to feel what it feels without compromising what your head is telling you. At the same time, don’t go around making cuts when cuts aren’t called for.

The backdrop color of the Ace of Wands card reminds us that our skills for creativity and innovation are truly trained and tested in life’s gray areas. The Queen aims for precision and control, but the long, broad blade of her sword limits her flexibility and leaves little room for anything that’s not black and white.

Practice willingness to be with uncertainty and relinquish the urge to make harsh, sweeping decisions for the sake of control. So much of life is beyond our control, anyway. Better we learn to allow it.



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