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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Prairie Tarot--7 of Swords

Prairie Tarot, Glow in the Dark, 2011
Today's card is 7 of Swords, from Robin Ator's Prairie Tarot: A Tarot of the American West. A man, likely a white man, judging from his clothes and hair, approaches an Indian camp or reservation. Behind his back he clutches seven swords. From the front, his ramrod straight posture is, I'm sure, accompanied by a look of studied guilelessness. The unwary Indians must all still be in their teepees, probably not even realising that he's walked up with his nice little surprise.

The card speaks to me of duplicity, deceit, betrayal. Why, though, are the colours of the swords arranged into the colours of the chakras?? And do my eyes betray me, or is the man's left hand dripping blood from the blades he clutches with his oversized, greedy hands?

Who is the man most deeply betraying here? The Indians? Or himself? Maybe he doesn't want to be here. Maybe he was sent on this mission to trick the Indians and doesn't want to do it. Maybe there is a crisis of conscience within him. Maybe.

Either way, there is a strong sense that the present moment of quiet depicting in the cards is about to end. There is a tension in the man's posture and the eye is drawn to the flaps of the teepees, as if the Indians are just about to begin emerging from them. Whatever is about to happen, is to going to happen within seconds, and whatever that may be, it's going to be painful for someone. This is not a win-win situation here, no way.