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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Best laid plans

7 of Swords 

'The harlequin attempts to swallow his swords in a dramatic display of skill, yet his plan is flawed. The rope which binds the blades is frayed and will soon break, leaving him in a tragic predicament.' ~ Patrick Valenza, Deviant Moon Tarot LWB (US Games 2013)

He does appear to be in considerable peril, but I wonder what happened to his right foot!

The divinatory meanings given in the LWB are: ill-conceived plans, a path to failure, a poor attempt. These are a bit different from the usual RWS meanings of cunning, deception, or the more innocent pursuit of knowledge (study).

Thoth tradition names this card Lord of Futility, which doesn't quite have the same feeling as this particular interpretation of 7 of Swords, as Lord of Futility is more about feeling too doubtful to take a decisive course of action. The figure in this card doesn't seem to doubt his abilities, in fact may be overconfident and not seeing all the factors involved in his current course of action, nor their possible consequences. On the other hand, few activities seem more futile than sword swallowing.

This leads me to the following questions for today:

What have I got myself into that I might not be able to get myself out of until it's too late?
Or, to be less alarmist, what plan have I embarked on, the consequences of which I have not fully considered up until now, and what can I do to change the likely outcome?

The thing that springs to mind for me is the evening class I'm taking, every Tuesday night for 32 weeks. I am not loving it. I'm not going to let it stab me through the back of the throat, though!

What could the figure in the card do to help himself? He's got to either 1) notice that the rope is frayed and take the time to fix that before carry on, or 2) recognise that the entire enterprise is pretty stupid and stop doing it altogether.

So the question is, what is the fray in my rope, and how can I fix it? Or would it be better just to quit entirely? The temptation is to quit, go for the easy way out, but there is also the possibility of taking a few elementary precautions in order to proceed with something that is personally challenging yet holds no mortal consequences. If the figure in this card fixes the frayed rope, he can proceed with his sword swallowing routine which might be personally frightening or challenging, but wouldn't actually be dangerous.

And that leads to the next question -- how can I change the situation so that I am still personally challenged and able to grow, without being in any real danger?  The answer would be to speak to the tutor and tell her my concerns and confusions about the requirements of the course and see if I can get on with it without the 'danger' of either failing it or losing interest completely. (The fray in this rope is that the tutor is a counsellor and not a teacher, and her slipshod presentation style and lack of teaching skills leaves me at a bit of a loss as to what it is she trying to teach me and what she expects in the work I produce.)

There are also work situations that this card might be pointing to, and I will take them under consideration as I move through my day today.

How do these questions ring true in your life today?

Deviant Moon, US Games 2013. 


  1. Sorry to hear the course is disappointing. It's true not all counsellors make good teachers, it's a different skill set. Still, the college should have guidance and protocols in place for what is expected and marking criteria. You could also ask admin staff for a student handbook or similar...
    As for the sword swallower, he could still indicate study: trying to 'take in' ideas :D

    1. Four days later was the big bad. I look at these draws from that week differently now...

    2. Yes, I can imagine! Secrecy, deception, and what are you being asked to swallow all spring to mind :/