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3 of Swords | Weekly Tarot Card Pt 2: Meditation

~ Weekly Tarot Card: 3 of Swords Meditation ~

This is the second installment of the Weekly Tarot Card. You can read the first installment, ‘Observation and Description’ here.

Yesterday we spent some time just observing and getting a feel for the imagery in the 3 of Swords. Today we’ll spend some time getting into the essence of the 3 of Swords through this 3 of Swords meditation.

The 3 of Swords is a notoriously difficult card. It’s up there with the 10 of Swords, the Tower and the Devil. No Tarot card is a bad card. Each card has its own level of difficulty. No matter how pleasant a card might seem, there is a warning in the background that can pop up at any time. However, some cards have their warnings in the foreground.

So instead of delving into the 3 of Swords meditation as we usually do during meditations, we’re going to look at things a little bit differently, giving a jump start on the card’s definition.

Preparing for the 3 of Swords Meditation

While normally I would suggest getting a journal or a recording device, I’m going to suggest you lean more toward a recording device for this exercise. If you don’t have access to one, don’t worry. Just try to journal as best as you can from memory.

The 3 of Swords traditionally depicts three Swords piercing a heart. So, for this exercise, I want you to look inward, and see what hurt from within is projecting itself outward.

Before we begin, if you have a recording device, be sure to set it to record.

3 of Swords Meditation

Breathe in, feeling your chest expand. Breathe out and push out any mental distractions you might have. See them float away through your air flow. Breathe in again and feel yourself sinking back into your sitting position, relaxing. Breathe out and release any tension you might be carrying in your shoulders, your jaw, your neck, your legs.

Remember that you are safe and at peace.

Breathe in and feel yourself floating, supported no matter what by clouds. Breathe out and feel yourself grow lighter.

Spend several minutes like this, or as long as you feel comfortable, before asking yourself the following questions. Ask yourself each question 3-5 times to help you arrive at the core answers.

  1. What recurring conflicts do I experience?
  2. What is the common theme between these conflicts?
  3. What does this conflict make me feel?
  4. Why does it make me feel this way?
  5. What internal hurt do I have that is related?
  6. Am I projecting this hurt externally?
  7. Are my projections related to these conflicts?

Answer these questions out loud for your recording devices. If you can’t do this, then journal the questions out.

If you feel yourself becoming triggered, remember that you are safe.

There is a similar exercise written about in Tarot Inspired Life by Jaymi Elford, though geared more toward re-writing memories to heal them. Benebell Wen on her YouTube channel did a video on this exercise, and has a fantastic guided meditation to help the practitioner feel safe. I do highly encourage using this video in conjunction with this exercise.

An example of how answering these questions might go when asking yourself several times is like this:

  1. What recurring conflicts do I experience?
    1. I get mad because I come home from work and the dishes aren’t done.
    1. I’m always having to do the dishes
    1. (after repeated question) I’m tired of always doing the dishes
    1. (after repeated question) I have expectations that my partner hasn’t agreed to.
  2. What is the common theme between these conflicts?
    1. I come home and the dishes aren’t done.
    1. (after repeated question) He won’t do the dishes
    1. (after repeated question) I’m in a bad mood when I come home.
    1. (after repeated question) I haven’t asked him to do the dishes before I come home.
  3. What does this conflict make me feel?
    1. Pissed off
    1. (after repeated question) Like I’m the only supposed to do the dishes
    1. (after repeated question) Like a main in a shared house
    1. (after repeated question) Disrespected
    1. (after repeated question) Unheard

And so on. By asking yourself questions over and over, your mind is forced to generate different answers and get to the heart of the issue.

The Swords deal with the mind and with communication. The 3’s have to do with expanding beyond the self, and thus, we have to examine what’s going on internally in order to see how we can heal external conflicts. This is the message of the 3 of Swords. There is hurt, and we have to make the decision whether to walk away from the cause of the pain, or look within to heal ourselves.

If you’d like to read more card meditations, you can visit the meditation page here.

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Decks Used

The Aquarian Tarot in a Tin by Italian-born, American-raised David Palladini, was published originally in 1970 by U.S. Games Systems Inc, and then republished again in 2016 in a smaller size. Named after the Age of Aquarius, the Aquarian Tarot is a midieval depiction of the Rider-Waite Tarot system. The images are closer, and thus might give the impression of being more character-based rather than relying on symbolism. This intimate deck provides a stark reflection of the human condition in it’s journey through the tarot.

Faerie Tarot by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc, 2008. Hertz is a French artist, and the creator of several other beautiful tarot decks. The Faerie Tarot was ‘inspired by the flora and fauna of the French countryside,’ and ‘invites you to see the world in a delightful new way…blending fantasy, whimsy, and nature.’

Impressionist Tarot by Arturo Picca (artist) and Corrine Kenner (author), published by Lo Scarabeo in 2015. This deck takes works of classic impressionist paintings and recreates them to fit the meanings of the tarot. It pulls from works of Edonard Manet, Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gough, and Paul Gauguin. A truly beautiful deck, especially for those who have interest in the art world.

Prisma Visions Tarot by James R. Eads, 3rd ed., published in 2016. The deck itself is beautiful, though perhaps not for the beginning tarot reader. The suits all fit together to create a master picture displaying the energy and progression of the suits. The figures and images flow from one card to the next, showing movement within the stationary cards.

Rider-Waite by A. E. Waite. The deck used in these photos is currently out of print. I won’t say much about this deck, as it is fairly standard and probably one of the most produced decks. It serves as a standard for many tarot readers and artists, depicting classic images relating in part to the original playing cards that tarot developed from.

The Spiral Tarot by Kay Steventon. With turn-of-the-20th-century style art, this deck takes from the classic Rider-Waite deck and brings it up to the late 1800-early 1900’s, a time of industry and contemplation for the western world as it moved forward into a more technological era. I am a little biased toward this deck as it’s been my main deck for 15 years. The cards are thick with additional symbolism that can be tricky to pick out of the traditional Rider-Waite, and adds layers of Greek myth throughout the Major Arcana.

Thoth Tarot by Aleister Crowley (designer and author) and Lady Frieda Harris (artist), published by U. S. Games Systems, Inc., in 1978. This deck takes from most esoteric imagery, and requires the reader of the deck to have deep, initiate knowledge of the symbolism used. There is nothing within the cards that is without meaning. However, on a more surface level, the deck draws from Egyptian symbolism and from the style of the Marseille Tarot (mostly seen within the Minor Arcana). For those looking for deeper understandings of the universe, I recommend this deck. I would caution that this deck is highly advanced, and might be avoided for the budding reader.

Vampire Tarot – by Nathalie Hertz, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. in 2000. As mentioned above in reference to the Faerie Tarot, Hertze is a French artist who gained her notability through the publication of her tarot decks. The Vampire Tarot was a bestselling deck upon its release, and plays on more gothic symbolism, providing more jarring interpretations to allow for the accepting of negative forces within the world to compliment the positive forces. The deck brings together myths and legends in the form of vampires, which ‘gives tarot readers a macabre passport’ into the world of divination.

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