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Discussion: What card? (Response to insults)

February 12, 2012

Here is a wonderful quote I found today:

If someone insults or makes fun of you, thank him (even warmly) and say, “I appreciate your reminder that I’m very far from perfect. Since perfection is what I hope to attain someday, I consider it a helpful reminder to be told I still have work to do.” — Swami Kriyananda

Which card do you think this advice would be perfect for?

Addendum, as of 2/14 —

Okay, here are my thoughts about what card I see illustrated by this quote. I decided to put them into the body of the post this time.

I want to thank everyone for your comments below. There are, of course, no right or wrong answers, only thought-provoking ideas about the cards, this story, and life itself as stimulated by this tale.

First, about the cards suggested here so far…

Three of Swords:
Three of Swords -- World Spirit TarotTWL, I can certainly see the Three of Swords here. This card can indicate words that hurt and it can give the advice to learn from painful experiences instead of just suffer and complain about them. As for “Think of the insulting one as simply a mirror–we’re making these angry remarks to ourselves” I would note that the Three of Swords in the World Spirit Tarot features a mirror on it.

You have an interesting take on this card, Lauren. I wouldn’t have chosen it because I don’t usually see it as you do. But based on your interpretation, I can see why you would associate it with this quote.
By the way, as for your take on this card, I hasten to point out that I’m not criticizing it by any means. The cards speak to us in individualized voices. In addition, your thoughts on it give me a new way of looking at this card. I do often see aspects of balance in it, but I hadn’t before really associated it with shopaholics, workaholics, alcoholics, etc.

Two of Swords:
Arwen, the crossed swords often seen in the 2/S suggests fencing. Now,I don’t know much about fencing, but I suspect that parrying a thrust, as suggested by this quote, might be an effective strategy. (PS: I like your quote, “internal/infernal demons.”)

Five of Swords:
This card is my association with this quote. I see a lot of ego drama in the Five of Swords, along with (on a spiritual level) the suggestion to walk away from that drama and to avoid engaging in it. There’s also an element of someone being nasty in the Five of Swords (Robin Wood calls it the “Nyaa-nya-nya-nyaa-nya” card in the book that she wrote for her deck — and excellent book, by the way) which is the person who “insults or makes fun of you.” Also, the Swords suit is about the mental aspects of ourselves, so the cards in the suit are about learning too, and the Five of Swords is about learning from that nasty person and the difficult situation s/he brings to you.

To find more posts of this type (what Tarot card does this remind you of?), see this list:






  1. I’d say the 3 of Swords. Because if someone has the balls to insult us right up close and personal, then that’s some wicked energy being reflected back to us. Think of the insulting one as simply a mirror–we’re making these angry remarks to ourselves. And it’s not likely or typical that our candy-coated “not perfect” comment will appease him/her. They and that angry one within us, just wants attention, and pretending to hide one’s own anger isn’t getting it. We have a right to stand up for ourselves and say, “hey, that’s not acceptable, I won’t be disrespected by you…this is my line, and you just crossed it…don’t do it again.” Now that will garner more respect, and it will begin to heal that injured one within. We’re not saints, and we disrespect ourselves when we try or even suggest that it’s possible to be “perfect.” We’re already “perfect” in our imperfection. Heal that injured heart by allowing our perfectly healthy fear and anger to be when it needs to be. Otherwise, we continue to carry it, goading the Universe to “bring it.”

  2. Lauren Fein permalink

    This is fun! I’m going with Temperance on this one, because it isn’t just the card for shopaholics, workaholics, alcoholics, etc. Those behaviors are outer manifestations of some inner imbalance, but unless we are “perfect,” we all experience some inner imbalance from time to time, and especially when somebody insults us! What’s being “poured” back and forth between those two cups in the Temperance card is a very volatile energy current. The Temperance card doesn’t ask us to deny or suppress that energy current within us, but rather to go ahead and feel that current fully, and then choose to act from a deeper, wiser place. This is certainly what is going on in your quote, and I hope I can master it someday!

  3. I’d have to lean towards the 2 of Swords which I see as facing one’s internal/infernal demons. Having someone else hold up a mirror can make you do that.

  4. Haha you can’t do anything else but love this qoute 🙂 A great way of living in times when not everyone lives by the golden rule and treat other people as the they want to be treated themselves. To many people these days live for making other people miserable wich is a horrible way of being towards others. But maybe this qoute is a good way to help them realize what they are doing.
    Looking forward to your next post!

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