The card has the keyword 'Aspiration', and is said to vibrate at the throat chakra. The sword is a phallic or masculine symbol in pagan thought, and of course the sword 'cuts through' things, so represents fierce energy. The symbolic sword cuts through confusion and brings clarity to situations. But as the companion book wisely notes, we can choose to cut through confusion with the Sword of Silence, or through frustration with the Sword of Patience.
I really like the idea of exercising self-control as wielding a sword, vanquishing a foe. Perhaps the dragon in the card is confusion, frustration, or obfuscation. I can take up the sword like St George and slay the dragon with Silence or Patience! I like that very much.
In SMART Recovery, it is suggested that we imagine our irrational beliefs and the Problem of Instant Gratification (also known as 'PIG') as a foe, and ourselves as a hero doing battle with them using the tools of REBT. For example, that little voice urging you with thoughts like, 'She resents you and wishes you had never come to work here,' is Darth Vader, to whom you can stand up like Luke Skywalker, activate your light sabre and say, 'Hold on, PIG. What are you up to now? What lies are you telling me?' Then you ATTACK with powerful disputes and counter statements: 'What evidence is there that she resents me? Is there a universal law that co-workers must have unconditional positive regard for one another? Even if she does feel that way, does that have any bearing on your working day or your life outside of work? There is no reason to think she resents you, but if she does, she has a right to her own thoughts and feelings and in any case, what she thinks and feels has nothing to do with you.'
All of this internal snicker-snacking can be going on internally while in the 'real world', I am using the Sword of Silence and the Sword of Patience to cut through confusion and frustration. The Sword of Silence will help me listen instead of talking, will prevent me from reacting with PIG (Problem of Instant Gratification), and the Sword of Patience will help me give others the space and time needed to express themselves, and will give me the space and time to come to some level of understanding of their perceptions and ideas.
Okay, this is good advice. I go forth into my day thinking of swords and dragons.