According to the Golden Dawn tradition, the title for the Three of Swords is “Sorrow.” Of all the Minor Arcana Tarot cards it most clearly presents an image of distress. However, for all of its desolation, this image depicts a certain kind of balance. The three swords are neatly embedded in the heart in the midst of a rainstorm. Sadness requires one reaction–we must take the pain into our hearts, welcome it and go beyond it. The test is to bring the sorrow deeply within us until it is changed completely by love and trust. Pushing the agony away only distances us from the lesson we are being asked to learn. Oftentimes we ignore the situations or relationships in our lives that are too stressful. We try to avoid any stressful thoughts, but this only serves to cement the hold the pain has on us. The evolution of our healing depends on our ability to accept the heartbreak.
In her book, Who Are You in the Tarot?, Mary K. Greer describes the Three of Swords as a gift.
It is the ability to experience your emotions fully, even pain and heartbreak, so that you don’t get blocked. It is the cleansing and purifying process of grief, through which you let your feelings wash over you and release any anguish that has built up. It says that even in the most loving of relationships there are times of conflict, hurt, and separation.
Creative expression is the best way to recover from sorrow. By allowing yourself to articulate your feelings in a new form you release deep-seated trauma and stress. Talking with someone in a safe environment can also help. Healing is possible if we release our attachment to the pain.
If you are are feeling the Three of Swords at work in your life, and would like to investigate new ways to find acceptance, the Tarot can help you with your process. Contact me today to schedule your Heroic Tarot reading!
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