Three of Pentacles § Ace of Swords § Eight of Swords

The Three of Pentacles means our work is admired by others, and our most favorable opportunities will come from those who are familiar with our reputation. Sit down and write out a long list of everything you have ever accomplished—write as many items on the list as possible. Go all the way back through childhood and catalog every little thing. This is a fun exercise that is not only relaxing, but powerful in its sly ability to shift the way we are currently problem solving. Pentacles are earth: They represent what we can touch or quantify in the material world. We can stand on our own achievements right now. This might mean standing on our previous accomplishments or working in such a way as to build networks and add value over time. How you work with this card will depend on where you are in your life, but its message overall is to put effort into what makes you proud of yourself—and don’t stop.

The Ace of Swords allows for clarity and we should take our time with this tool. Go over what has worked in the past and what has not; get clear about which strategies offer the best outcomes and pursue those. Stand outside of the conflicts in your life and take them in objectively. Are you fighting when you should be trying to understand? Are you playing gotcha or getting belligerent? Be honest even if you feel righteous, because these are times to get better at how we talk to each other and solve problems. Everyone needs information on how to communicate with people who have suffered trauma in their past. Taking an aggressive path will lead to great confusion, whereas seeking to be succinct, kind, and open will benefit all who share in the conversation. It will do us all an enormous net good to try to never be mean. It sounds so plain, but the exercise of treating everyone and every situation with respect and curiosity will enhance the quality of life overall. Our desire to overcome the objections of others and their right to their own experiences is getting to be tedious.

The Eight of Swords is what happens when we become enmeshed in a belief about our own worth or options that keeps us from interacting with the present. It could be anger, shame, or guilt that has a hold on us, but things are about to change. Once, a long time ago, someone said to me, “Everyone has special needs,” and it’s true. It’s OK if you need to be spoken to with gentleness; it’s OK if you need a lot of reminders that you are loved and supported. It’s OK to need understanding and someone to help you better express yourself. We deal with aggression in our workplaces, schools, and on the streets all day, everyday, and you absolutely do not need to toughen up while you are with your friends, lovers, and project partners. These persons are the very people whose presence should empower, relax, and validate us. Use the Ace of Swords, the clarity you have allowed into your purview, to cut yourself loose from something that tends to keep you from doing or feeling what you want to do and feel. This time, though, it’s the stigma attached to your circumstance that needs to be cut from your emotional life. May we extend our solidarity, not our blame.

illustration by Gurleen Rai