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A Tarot story from the Swords suit

March 29, 2015

There are many short sequences within the Tarot cards that suggest interesting tales that illuminate the meanings of the cards and comment on the meaning of our lives.  One such sequence that I recently considered begins with the Eight of Swords, and you can read it here. (Note, the “pip” cards in each suit of the Minor Arcana can be thought of as cycling from one to ten and then back to one again. This idea is used in the sequence below.)

Eight of Swords -- Tarot of the Masters

Eight: A pithy meaning for the Eight of Swords that recently came to me is “How often are you lost in thought?” Certainly, getting lost in thought is a common occurrence for us. In fact, it happens so often that we don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, but there is. It blinds us to what is going on around us, and it can become a trap.

 

Nine of Swords -- Tarot of the Masters

Nine: Whenever we are “lost in thought” we can easily find ourselves in a nightmare land of fear, doubt, and worry. And the longer we stay there, the more lost we become.

 

Ten of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersTen: Then, while lost in thought, we may wander into a dead-end because the “thought world” is not real. In fact, it can kill our awareness of the real world.
So what’s the solution?

 

Ace of Swords -- Tarot of the MastersAce: The way out, as indicated by the Ace of Swords, is to start fresh—return to the singular consciousness of our spiritual Self and focus our attention on the “here and now.”  But how can we do that when our minds wander? We can use affirmations to reprogram our minds (the part of our minds that I call “the robot brain”) to recognize when our brains are wandering.(1)  This is similar to a form of therapy called “lucid dreaming.” When our brains are reprogrammed to awaken us from our meandering reveries, they can return our consciousness to the present moment. And so what was once lost in thought will be found in conscious awareness.

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There are other card sequences that suggest illuminating stories. For example, the Four, Five, and Six of Pentacles may suggest the story arc of Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.”  What other stories do you see in short card sequences?

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(1) Here is a sample affirmation you may want to use for this purpose:
Whenever my mind starts to wander, I reawaken to the present moment and focus my attention on my breath.
Note that I added the part about breath because that is always a great meditation focus.  You can use it or not as you see fit.

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