Wednesday 1 October 2014

Libra in the Minor Arcana: The Two of Swords

Now let’s turn to the Minor Arcana.  In the astrological correspondence system that I follow, Libra is linked to the Two, Three and Four of Swords. Today I’m going to look at the Two of Swords, which corresponds to the Moon in Libra. It also corresponds to the first 10 days of Libra – this year, from the 23rd September to 2nd October.

Libra is the cardinal Air sign, so we’re looking at creative energy around activity involving thought, ideas, logic, reason.  Libra, as we’ve already seen in previous posts, is also about partnerships of all kinds, but the emphasis isn’t on the passion but rather on the contractual side of things – wanting to ensure equality and fairness within the relationship, be it personal or professional.  Libra, through its rulership by Venus, is the peacemaker, the lover of harmony and refinement.
Thoth Tarot
The Moon is associated with the element of Water, through its rulership of Cancer, and so we have a link to the watery realm of feelings and emotion.  The Moon in Libra, then, will bring sensitivity to what could otherwise be a quite detached, ‘airy’ approach to relationship.  The Moon in Libra will want to protect and nurture those partnerships, and will quite probably be very aware of their partner’s emotions and how they might react to situations. They may also be very vulnerable to their own emotions!

So how might this play out in the Two of Swords? I’m going to start with the Crowley Thoth deck, not least because the Two of Swords in this deck carries the keyword ‘peace’.  The two crossed swords in the image pierce a rose; the symbolism suggests surrendering to love (the rose) rather than war. Remember that slogan ‘Make love, not war’?!  The message is about being able to use intuition and awareness (the Moon) to see things clearly so that a decision can be made.  The windmills in the background represent the ideas – the inspiration (‘in-spire’ – to breath in) – in our imagination that need to be brought forward.

Sharman-Caselli Tarot
A more traditional depiction of the Two of Swords can be seen in the Sharman-Caselli deck. Here we have a woman, blindfolded, with two swords crossed over her chest, sitting with her back to a stormy sea.  There’s a waxing crescent moon in the sky behind her; that, and the fact that her back is turned to the sea, suggest she’s chosen to ignore her emotions.  She wants to protect herself (the Moon, again) from the challenges and difficult decisions facing her.  The blindfold is part of that protection; the challenges are in front of her but by choosing to cover her eyes, she doesn’t have to face them.  No sign of the ‘peace’ that the Thoth’s Two of Swords shows us (although the crossed swords in that image represent the sense of being at a crossroads).  However, the message is similar – hiding from reality takes a lot of effort, and that effort can’t be maintained indefinitely; those two swords will become too heavy.  By drawing on intuition rather than over-protection (i.e. using the Moon’s energy in a different way), a way forward can be clearly seen.

Druidcraft Tarot
The Druidcraft follows the tradition of the blindfolded woman and the crossed swords, but here she turns her back to us, facing instead into the forest.  Two paths stretch out ahead of her, both leading into the forest but where they will end up is unclear.  By wearing the blindfold, she avoids having to make the decision as to which way to go.  Again, if she were to choose to use her awareness, rather than choosing to hide (thinking she’s protecting herself), she might be able to ‘see’ which path to choose.

Wildwood Tarot
In the Wildwood , created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, and beautifully illustrated by Will Worthington, the Two of Arrows also shows a blindfolded woman with crossed arrows against her chest. We also see the scales of Libra overhead, against the backdrop of a stormy, cloudy sky, but the scales are not balanced.  The reading points for this card talk about injustice and inequality – very Libran themes – and the need to balance the scales through honesty.  We’re asked here to question, to use our mental awareness – the cardinal, airy qualities of Libra as well as the instinct of the Moon – to decide what is just and fair.  In that way, the scales will be balanced, bringing perhaps that sense of ‘peace’ of the Thoth’s Two.

Druidcraft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections

Sharman-Caselli Tarot created by Juliet Sharman-Burke, illustrated by Giovanni Caselli, published by Connections
Thoth Tarot created by Aleister Crowley, illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris, published by US Games Systems, Inc.
Wildwood Tarot created by Mark Ryan and John Matthews, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections

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