Thursday, October 29, 2009

Card of the Day: Three of Swords

One of the characters in "Future Tense" informed me that she reads tarot cards. And suddenly, that became central to the plot and to Matt's character arc.

I know next to nothing about tarot and I knew that tarot readings would be crucial to plot, so I put out a call and several very generous writer souls answered it. (Thank you "A" and "B"!)

In order to write about readings, I needed to really learn the cards, so I bought a deck and went off to the library for several books on tarot interpretation.

One of the things all the books recommend is to draw a card of the day to learn about the deck and its meanings. The deck I bought is slightly different than the traditional deck, and some of the cards have different interpretations. I have been using the daily cards as a meditation of sorts, letting my subconscious make connections between the art, the traditional meaning, and current life events.

Today's card is the Three of Swords. In a traditional deck, it is a photo of a heart, pierced by three swords. Meaning: heartbreak, pain, despair. The deck I have shows something slightly different: a woman collecting firewood in a winter landscape, three swords piercing the barren ground. According to the artist, this represents obstacles, opposition, separation, and estrangement.

Now, I don't believe in a fixed fate, nor do I believe that cards can show me the direct future, but it is interesting that I drew this particular card today. My husband is struggling with frustration at work, which came to a head last night. Since he has been at the same facility for nearly 18 years, in large part defines himself by what he does there, and is extremely emotionally committed to his patients and his work, this conflict and difficulty fills him with despair.

I like the interpretation at the Intuitive tarot site:
"On a more general level the Three of Swords represents storms that must be weathered if one is to grow beyond the illusions being held onto. The three always brings anguish at its darkest level but it also brings a truth that needed to be learned."

If nothing else, I see the tarot as a wealth of symbols and archetypes, that mingled with the imagination of the writer can lead to useful narratives. Narratives that illuminate one's internal and external landscapes.

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