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Two of Swords

Two of Swords

 

Last year, I wrote a poem called Ice Queen that was partly inspired by this card.

In this card, we see a woman sitting on a stone block, an ocean behind her. She’s blindfolded, and she has two swords crossed in front of her.  Above her, a sliver of moon hangs in the sky.

This is, to me, a woman scorned.  She’s been hurt, and because of her past pains, she guards herself against present situations, isolating.  The blindfold she wears makes me think of the phrase, “Out of sight, out of mind”.  She doesn’t want to see what’s before her.  These wounds she’s suffered are emotional, which is why she’s got her back to the ocean, as water represents emotions and feelings. Her crossed swords are like a sign that says, “Keep Away.” Her heart has been broken – severely – and rather than risk having it broken again, she keeps it locked away, tightly guarded.

Swords represent the element of air, and the realm of intellect. This could indicate that the woman in the card is thinking too much about past experiences, allowing thought to over-ride emotions.  She’s trying to be logical in guarding herself, thinking she’s doing herself justice by engaging in self-preservation, but what she doesn’t realize is that by cutting herself off from her own emotions, she may be preventing her own healing and missing wonderful emotional opportunities.

The moon indicates fears and potential depression based on those fears.  The realm of the moon is one of illusion and mystery.  The person in this card is afraid of the unknown (hence, the blindfold keeping her from seeing the truth).

This card is represented by the number two, and twos indicate indecisiveness, choices – and they also mean good things are on the way, but may take longer than anticipated – as if life is waiting for the right choice to be made so that the rewards of that choice can be delivered.

Reversed cards mean one of three things – either the energy is just manifesting and hasn’t reached its peak yet, the energy is waning – already peaked and on its way out, or that the more negative attributes of the card are being projected.  In this particular case, I believe it means all three.  I’ve gone through this phase of being emotionally guarded.  Then, I took all my shields down, put my heart on a platter, and handed it to someone who would eventually shatter it.  Then, I went back to being guarded… moreso than ever.  So I think I’ve been here in the past, I overcame it, and now I’m back in the position of guarding my heart.

It makes me think of the Tarot reading for July.  One of the cards in that spread (position 10, Advice, Two of Cups) suggested that I express my emotions to the person I’m with, to tell them openly and honestly how I feel.  Well, I don’t feel like I’m in a position to do that just yet, and the two of swords is making that clear. I’m afraid to do that, I have reason to be afraid to do that… and so I try to approach the situation with logic and reason rather than with emotion and feeling.  So yeah, I’d say this card’s energy, as I understand it, is right on time, and very strong.

Here’s what the other sources say:

From Solitary Witch: Book of Shadows for the Next Generation by Silver Raven Wolf:

Can’t see forward and can’t see backward; stuck between two opposites; coming to grips with the duality of a situation; dealing with gossip; indecision; a search for balance.

From LearnTarot.com:

blocking emotions
denying true feelings
stifling a natural response
keeping another at arm’s length
hiding distress
turning a deaf ear
being defensive
maintaining your cool

avoiding the truth
refusing to look at facts
pretending everything’s fine
ignoring the warning signs
closing your eyes to what’s going on
avoiding an unpleasantness
choosing not to know

being at a stalemate
feeling afraid to act
reaching an impasse
staying stuck
refusing to decide
being unwilling to rock the boat
staying on the fence

On the Two of Swords, we see a young woman who has put a barrier of swords across her heart. Her rigid posture tells us of her struggle to keep her feelings under control. She is fending off any approach from the outside. “Nothing comes in, and nothing goes out,” she seems to say.

The Two of Swords is about the barriers we put up between ourselves and others and those we create within ourselves. Internally, we block off emotions and refuse to feel them. We avoid looking at the truth and pretend that everything’s OK. We think one way, but feel another. In countless ways, we divide off parts of ourselves and try to maintain them even when we know they need to be reconciled.

In readings, the Two of Swords often appears when you are not willing to accept some truth about yourself or the situation. What are you really feeling? Are you resisting tender feelings because you might be hurt? Are you furious even though you’re smiling? What are you refusing to look at? Notice the blindfold on this woman. She can’t look at the truth or even acknowledge that there is trouble.

The most common barrier is a closed heart. When we cut ourselves off emotionally, we sever the connection that allows our love to flow outward. Sometimes this action is necessary, but it always comes at a great price. Every time we close off our heart, we find it more difficult to open again. Another barrier between people is a deadlocked situation. When two parties are set in their positions – cut off from each other – there is a stalemate. To break it, the “opponents” must come out from behind their swords and listen to each other. The lesson of the Two of Swords is that barriers are not the answer. We must stay open if we are to find peace and wholeness.

And from Aeclectic Tarot:

TWOS
The twos are related to the High Priestess. As such they indicate duality but, more importantly, they indicate instinctual knowledge. Aces are undirected energy; the twos are, in a sense, the knowledge of what the direction for that energy should take. Thus:

Two of Swords

This is the infamous blindfolded lady with the crossed swords. Crossed swords suggest a clash of ideas or words. The blindfolded lady, indicating impartiality, cannot uncross the swords, but she keeps them still. This is the knowledge of how to compromise, keep these two sides in balance and at peace. Note that this is a temporary compromise. The Querent may be in the middle, or just forced to accept it. Either way, they must be told that it won’t last. The direction of your new brain power here is how to keep these two ideas from fighting, to hold off trouble and make peace.

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