The Card of the Day: The Three of Swords
As you might imagine the Three of Swords symbolizes the wounded heart. Every human being experiences betrayals, cruelty, unkindness, and even abuse to varying degrees. These traumatic events feel like actual swords driven into the heart. Like any penetrating trauma, the shrapnel must be extracted for the injury to heal. Likewise, the swords pictured in the card here need to be drawn out and released from the heart so that it can heal. Sounds easy, right? Well it's not! This is because the only thing that can give you the power to release the sword from the wound is forgiveness...... What?! Forgive that @%^*@*+?! Never!
Are you unable to forgive individuals from the past who betrayed you? Do you still get angry and feel victimized? What emotions do you feel when you conjure the image of this person up? Hatred, revenge, rage, sadness?
The heart on the card is the victim of devastating injury. Three large swords symbolizing the wounds inflicted by three traumatic past events. The swords are weighting the heart down beneath grey clouds. Rain continuously pelts down on it. And yet look at the proportions... The floating heart is actually quite large when compared to the swords. This symbolizes that the heart is stronger and more resilient than any wound to it. It also symbolizes that the wounds (swords) can weight the floating heart down. This negative energy prevents it from rising above the clouds to bask in joyful sunlight.
The Three of Swords reminds us that even though “another” may have put the sword in your heart through a betrayal, we perpetually betray ourselves by not letting go and releasing the resentment. So, if the only thing that will unburden the heart is forgiveness, then why is there such resistance to doing that?
Swords represent power... Righteous indignation is seductive, and feels very empowering. The heart may want to hold onto the swords because it feels that somehow it now possesses more power. Although it gives an immediate illusion of being the moral victor (we are not the bad one after all), it also leaves us feeling hollow and empty. This sense of "power" is held onto for dear life, so that we aren't suckers caught off guard again! And yet, the heart remains heavy and isolated, and we miss the joy of the sunlight above the clouds.
Practicing forgiveness allows for releasing the negative energy within, so that you are not carrying it with you everywhere. Each day you refuse to forgive, you actually decide to keep carrying all that toxic poison within you for another day. There is an anonymous quote that says "Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to drop dead!" Think about our world affairs, and how lack of forgiveness perpetuates war, hatred, and conflict.
Forgiveness does not mean "condoning" the reprehensible behavior of another. It does not mean you need to call this person over for tea and pretend nothing happened. Forgiveness is less about them, and more about you. The wound happened, but it's not still happening today unless we hurt ourselves with it. This means that you also have to forgive yourself for holding onto this garbage for so long. Forgiveness gives you the power to let the painful past go, allowing you to move on in your life unencumbered and free.
Today work on forgiveness. It often doesn't come overnight! Today you can draw the heavy swords out of your heart. Then it will rise like a phoenix above the rain, light and free.