The Card of the Day: The Three of Swords (Reversed)
“The past is past.”
As you might imagine the Three of Swords symbolizes the wounded heart. Everyone experiences betrayals, cruelty, unkindness, and even abuse to varying degrees. These traumatic events can feel like swords driven into the heart. Like any penetrating trauma, the shrapnel must be extracted for the injury to heal. Likewise, the swords pictured on this 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 symbolize wounds inflicted by three past traumatic events. The swords are weighing the heart down beneath grey clouds. Rain continuously pelts down on the sunken heart. And yet look at the proportions... The floating heart is 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 can weigh down a normally buoyant heart. This negative energy prevents the heart from rising above the clouds, to bask in joyful sunlight.
The Three of Swords reminds us that even though “another” may have put a metaphorical sword in your heart through a past 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 letting the swords go?
Swords represent power... Righteous indignation is seductive and can give a false sense of empowerment. 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 are deciding to continue 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 doesn’t mean you need to call your abuser 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 choose to hurt ourselves with it. This means that you also must 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.
The Three of Swords indicates that it’s time to let go of any painful people or things that are weighing your heart down. Forgiveness often doesn't come overnight! It takes time and continual affirmation before the swords are released. An opportunity for major healing is being presented to you now. Like the rising phoenix, let your heart ascend above the rain clouds, and into the realm of light.
When the Three of Swords appears reversed it calls your attention to any self-inflicted wounds that are being perpetuated through negative thinking. Holding onto negative expectations is a form of self-betrayal. The clouds that appeared in the sky are now on the base of the card. Clouds symbolize the element of air, and air represents your thoughts. The Three of Swords reversed reveals that what is makes you feel bad are thoughts that you may be holding onto. This includes thoughts projecting catastrophes into a future that hasn't even happened yet, or replaying the mental tape of a past trauma, and anticipating it will happen again. Your anxieties aren't harbingers of disasters to come. They are merely fears, and they rarely resemble the future that will actually come to pass.
When the Three of Swords reversed appears, it’s best to not borrow trouble. Negative projections into the future will cause you to miss out on being joyful in this moment. If you are anxious about what hasn't even happened yet, then you are harming yourself with your thinking. Catch yourself when you notice you are falling into this. Release harmful thoughts and know them for what they are: thoughts. Choose to focus your thinking on something that really interests you or brings you joy. Remember, the heart on this card is much larger, and stronger than any wound it's experienced. Your heart is stronger than your fears and wounds from the past. Love is always a viable answer when this card appears.