Card of the Day: Two of Swords

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Today’s card is the Two of Swords from the Happy Tarot.

This is one of the least ‘happy’ cards in the Happy Tarot at first glance.  The card depicts a IMG_0454blindfolded woman in a chair, carrying two crossed swords.  It’s the middle of the night and only a crescent moon casts a dim and hazy light over the scene.  She sits with her back to a rushing river.

Her entire posture seems to be one of a stubborn refusal to acknowledge or accept something.  It could be that she’s trying to keep out of a deeply emotional situation that she’s feeling overwhelmed by (which could be what the river represents).

She holds those swords closely over her chest, almost like she’s struggling to balance them or brandishing them at unseen enemies.  Cats look on with curiosity and perhaps a little wariness.

Looking more closely at the card you can see that she isn’t tied to her spot, she could at any point, set down the swords and remove her own blindfold.  This card isn’t one about being held down by external forces.  It’s talking about being in a situation and choosing not to deal with what’s going on.

The other thing to consider is the way she’s got the swords crossed over her heart.  Literally protecting it with weapons.  I think it’s important to recognize that this card isn’t saying that the woman has made a bad or unreasonable choice here.  Sometimes situations force you to cut yourself off from things or people that are harmful to you, and it’s always okay to take steps to take care of yourself.  The message here is to be careful of closing yourself off completely to everything.  The more we close off from everyone and everything around us, the further away we get from those things that can help us.  It’s kind of (pardon the semi-pun) a double-edged sword (get it, two of swords? Okay, I’m done, I promise).

Ignoring a problem isn’t going to solve it in most cases.  It’s okay to take a break and gather yourself before you try to face down a giant beast, but try not to let it get the best of you so you don’t end up blindfolded on a chair.

Card of the Day: Two of Wands

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Two of Wands

Today’s card comes from the Universal Goddess Tarot deck.  It’s the Two of Wands and it depicts Ataentsic, an Iroquoian goddess.

img_0542Two little boys are engaged in a fight with each other with their wands.  At first glance it looks really dangerous: those wands are on fire, after all.  But a maternal figure is watching over the scene with her arms outstretched–she almost looks like she’s about to embrace them.  The expression on the boys’ faces are sort of mixed, as though they’re not sure what they’re doing, or that they’re reluctant to fight but determined to win.  But if you only look at their feet, this isn’t a fight at all any more.  It’s a dance.

The Two of Wands speaks to a relationship between two things.  It could be two people, two ideas, two places, any kind of duality.  A casual observer sees a conflict, two situations fighting against each other to beat out the other.  Depending on where you look in this card you’ll see a lot of different ways to interpret the action.  Imagine that you’re standing directly behind one of the boys.  It might look like he’s trying to defend himself.  Stand behind the woman and you’re watching her teach them intricate steps of a dance.

The boys are dressed in dark and light costumes, and you could view them as two sides of a coin: one side must come out on top.  Or you could take a more Taoist view and see them as the yin and yang, each must balance out the other.  You may notice that I’m deliberately not talking about them as good vs. evil.  The concept of whiteness being good/pure and blackness being bad/dirty is a hurtful concept that devalues people of color by declaring whiteness to be superior.  It’s more productive to talk about the balance of energies.  Neither is inherently superior and that’s what this card is telling us.

This card reminds us to carefully consider options when we’re faced with a challenge.  You might first think you have to make a choice, one or the other, when really you could have both.  It’s a delicate balance: if one of the boys misses a step, he risks hitting his friend, or even setting him on fire.  The suit of wands is the suit of fire and it can be interpreted a few ways.  It might be that spark of inspiration that lights the way to a new way of life, or it could be that faithful night light, guiding you through the darkness.

There are two players in this dance or there are two opponents in this fight.  Can you resolve the conflict without a fight or do you have to take your place in the dance?  It might be frightening to be caught in the middle of all of this action, but this card also offers comfort.  The whole mess is being watched over by a kind maternal goddess.  The card doesn’t specify, but in some Iroquoian legends she’s the mother of twin warriors, and this card feels that way to me.

Consider all your options and double check what assumptions you might be making, did you bring a knife to a dance fight?  But don’t worry too much, you’ve got someone looking out for you.