Five is the number of independence and in the Five of Swords we see a character who embodies the energy of the lone wolf and the experience of feeling on one’s own in the world. In contrast with the balanced, fulfilling self-reliance of the Nine of Pentacles, you may be dealing with issues around sense of self and the need to be seen as an independent entity in relation to others.
What do you sacrifice when you stay determined to go at every thing alone? When you refuse to cooperate? When you insist on being different? The character in the foreground wants so badly to be special that he insists upon it even when it means alienating himself from his friends or comrades. His obsession with being special and seen as “in charge” separates him, heightening the amount of ego present in his consciousness.
While the need to be special probably emerges from the desire to be deeply seen by others, it tends to do the opposite and winds up isolating us. There is an inherent aloneness in being special.
Is your insistence on doing everything yourself causing problems for you? Are you struggling to connect with others at the level that you wish because you cannot let go of the need to control everything? The Five of Swords asks that you challenge your need to be special or fiercely independent at this time. Take some space (the Hermit will help you with this) to determine what you are really trying to accomplish.
The Nine of Pentacles represents a different kind of aloneness marked by self-reliance that also allows space for being a part of something bigger. Nines depict compromises and choices, and indeed there is a need to compromise whether that be your need to be special or your obsession with doing everything your self in fear that it will either not be done correctly or that you will not receive due credit. This beloved card reminds us that it is possible to access a state of balanced interdependence while maintaining a healthy level of self-reliance.
Often times being alone is just the medicine one needs to reach this state of equilibrium. Too much reliance on others and the inability to be accountable for one’s gifts and soul purpose leads us nowhere. On the other hand, an obsession with being different, being independent, or the inability to trust others typically yields equal stuckness.
If you’re struggling to trust and be in harmonious relationship with others, The Hermit suggests that it may in fact be intimate quiet time alone you are needing. A lack of trust in others is really a lack of trust in our selves and in Source, and often addressing this mistrust means spending some time in quiet and solitude to build trust in Spirit. Once a secure connection is built with the self and Source, interpersonal connections tend to follow suit.
Also marked with the number nine, The Hermit brings the nine’s vibrations of spiritual awakening, light work, and life purpose. His presence is an example of one who has withdrawn to gain higher perspective and acquire the motivation needed to move toward one’s true purpose in this world.
Some numerologists say that the nine is also about boundaries and learning to say no. Of course, when you say no to one thing you are saying yes to another. In the case of The Hermit you may say no to socializing with others, and yes to connecting more fully with your self and Spirit. Through this process, you begin to see clearly both who you are, and how you fit in to the larger context of coexistence with others.
The theme of this spread is about the spectrum of healthy self-reliance and self-knowledge versus isolation and mistrust that saps meaning from life. In what ways are you isolating or resisting connection with others? To what extent are your actions or goals motivated by the desire to be special and set apart from others? It may be that you need to take more time for yourself to develop that foundational relationship, or that it’s time to step out and learn to trust others. Only you can determine which makes sense for you.
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