Dangers untold! Hardships unnumbered! Mostly a new day job, which is great, and LARP season, and finishing up the first draft of a novel about which I’ll write more soon! And now I’m in PA with my parents, which means leisure time and booze, and thus we continue with the Tarot posts.
(I’m thinking I’ll alternate with other stuff going forward, so next week is going to be Happiness and Fiction, or, Why Tolstoy Was Full Of Shit).
Ace of Swords
Our buddy Disembodied Cloud Hand is back, and this time it’s ARMED. (I’ll be here all night. Try the veal.) The sword is point up, with a crown kind of levitating around said point, and some weedy bits coming off it. Given the suit, I’m going to go ahead and say that they’re laurel garlands. As usual per Tarot, this varies, and can involve entire people rather than hands, or no people at all, or lightning, or a crab getting skewered. I am totally serious about that last one.
Basic meaning: new beginnings in power, intellect, knowledge, and freedom.
Power, knowledge, and freedom combined give you clarity, which is the individual meaning of this card. The sword cuts through deception or confusion. Laurel is victory, so maybe your new perspective will let you triumph, or maybe you climbed over mountains of skulls and/or waded through rivers of blood to get to that point–real, metaphorical, whatever. We’re not judging, here in Swords.
Wiki says “some people associate this card with Excalibur,” but frankly, if you give some people a sword, they’re going to associate it with Excalibur. If you’re one of them, enjoy yourself.
Two of Swords
A woman’s sitting on a stone bench, with her back to the ocean. Some wildish body of water, anyhow. Could be a river. Could be Lake Michigan. But “body of water” is usually “ocean” in Tarot, unless a figure is pouring water into or out of it, so ocean is what we’re going with now. She’s dark-haired and blindfolded, her arms are folded across her chest, and she’s got a sword in each hand–which, since traditionally the swords go beyond the edges of the card, means she’s got some killer wrist muscles.
With the posture and the blindfold, there’s a Justice thing happening on this card, but Two of Swords Chick lacks the authority of the crown and the throne. She also doesn’t have the scales, and both swords are pointed upward. There’s the same danger for or from her on either side, or at least (given that this is not the most combat-effective position in which to hold giant swords, as far as I know) the same possibility of getting mildly poked, and/or dropping a sword on your foot.
System says this is potential for growth in power, knowledge, and freedom.
This is one of those cards where the interpretation varies a lot between books–and, I think, where it says a lot about the person writing. (Anyone who wants to analyze mine, go to. We strive to amuse at Drunk Occultist Central.) It’s balance and serenity, or it’s confusion and avoidance and indecision.
I think it could be any of the above (which means I’m probably indecisive, ha ha), because Tarot’s all about context, and this is also where you can see the individual meanings deriving from the systemic base.
The Two of Swords says that there’s a decision you can make, and you haven’t made it yet, and the consequences will be significant. Maybe that’s good, or at least fine: there are times when it’s good to wait for more information before choosing, and there are situations where you can balance both sides or take a third path entirely. (Two Chick doesn’t look like she’s unduly stressed by either the position or the weight of the swords, I note.) Then again, you might be stalling, and stalling might only make the situation worse.
As one of my GMs says regarding PC actions, not choosing is also a choice.