Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Writerly Tarot: The Two of Swords

Hoodwinked, says Edgar Waite, one of the creators of the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot.

It's the word he uses to describe the figure on the Two of Swords. The current meaning of this word involves tricks and deceptions, but its original meaning takes us back to the same ancient sport we referenced two weeks ago in the Nine of Pentacles—falconry.

Falcons are hooded to keep them calm. A falcon's sight is much more acute than a human being's, which means the bird responds strongly to visual stimulus. Despite our decidedly inferior vision, we humans have the same inclinations. We chase distractions as if they were squirrels and mice, dashing here and there. Catch a Facebook post, pounce on an email.

The lady of the Two of Swords may be hooded, but she is hardly deceived. She has chosen the blindfold, chosen her weapons, though she is not holding them in an offensive manner. A blend of gracefulness and tension, the woman of this card is often pictured seated, with a dark body of water behind her, the moon hanging in the twilight sky. This is a challenging pose to manage, sitting poised and ready, feet flat on the ground—the swords are long, probably heavy, definitely sharp. It takes talent and skill and concentration.

The Two of Swords is a slice of edge magic, when circumstances balance on the thin clear line between yes and no, left and right, go or stay. Its power lies in its either/or aspects, and in its ability to inhabit both outcomes simultaneously until our choice unfolds into one reality, allowing the other reality to slip into the realm of "what might have been." It is the Schrodinger's Cat of magical phases, one that occupies the overlapping territory where decision and destiny meet.

This week, find your equipose, a temporary balance of force and interest. You'll find it where action and receptivity intercept, in a separate place that is nonetheless exactly where you already are. As you balance your talents and energies, as you pull away from the need to react and wait only for the time to act, you will discover what Waite called "concord in a state of arms."

What does it mean for your creativity, finding your equipose? It means to make your choices this week from a place of stillness and balance, not bustle and grasping. Yes, your to-do list may be long, but there is a reason each item is on there—you brought each item into your life. Before you engage, pull away from activity, plant your feet, arrange your swords in the proper manner...and contemplate the power of choosing. And then, when you are ready, make your move. An entire universe will be extinguished when you do, and an entirely new universe will flare into being.

May your edge magic be strong this week. May your swords swing quick and true.


Laura Valeri said...

Beautiful. I pulled a similar i-ching card talking about the receptive and stillness. It seems that right now is time to pay attention to the messages within. Beautiful interpretation of this card, and thanks for the explanation of edge magic.

Tina said...

Thank you for reading. May your magic be strong, now and always.