Continuing to experiment with different spreads…I drew my two cards for the day, and then decided to draw a third card showing what these two cards lead to or how these two cards should be brought together. I drew the reversed Knight of Swords and the Emperor, and then drew the Hierophant to tie them together. This mini-spread looks like this:
The Knight of Swords suggests that we have strong opinions about something (swords = ideas, truth), and those opinions want to come out. The Yoga Tarot book entry for the Knight of Swords asks, “am I bearing inner wounds that are absorbing my energy?” If you have something to say and are swallowing it, again and again, then yes, what you have to say may be absorbing your energy. It may take all the energy you have just to hold these thoughts and ideas in. In fact, you might even end up overeating, using food to try to push the words back down. And that can lead to a weight problem that can take a toll on your energy as well. Moreover, knights often relate to situations that test us, and feeling that you are expected to hold your opinions in can test us in many ways — it tests our patience, without a doubt, and can also test our strength, our courage, and our personal integrity. Notice that this yogi is in eagle pose, but reversed, the proud eagle posture looks more like a person who is tied up in knots from anxiety. Poor eagle!
The Emperor is a lovely card that Molly Field advised me depicts Proud Warrior 2 pose (see Molly’s comments in the Cards for the Day post from two days ago, when I also drew The Emperor–he’s showing up a lot lately!). The Emperor tells me that we have the strength to deal with the test referred to in the Knight of Swords card. Molly advises that she thinks this card means, don’t start a battle, but hold your ground. I think this is perfect advice when you are looking at a situation in which you feel called upon to hold your tongue. We can say what we truly think without starting a fight, or at least without intending to start a fight, but we can also hold our ground and be ready for the fallout! Molly also called my attention to the plant growing out of the warrior’s open hand. This is something that my attention keeps returning to also. To me this is a positive sign that holding our ground isn’t necessarily going to result in a fight. It can result in peace and positive growth, instead.
To me, The Emperor generally symbolizes order and control, or taking control of a situation. And that is what’s called for at times when we feel like we are being forced to hold our tongues. Often at times like that, when another person is bullying (or when society is), the very act of speaking out transforms us from anxious victims of the situation into the person controlling the situation. Knowledge IS power — but only when we choose to share it. So this combination of cards could be a sign to survivors of abuse, as well as to victims of bullying, that speaking out and sharing your truth may be the next step on the road to empowerment. But speaking out does not only apply to survivors — it also applies to whistleblowers, to journalists, to people stuck in highly politicized work environments, to people who are trying to get their families to acknowledge who they really are (this could mean coming out, in all sorts of ways)…and it could mean refusing to look the other way about something. If you’re in a situation that these cards apply to, I think you’ll recognize it, whether or not it is one of the examples I have mentioned.
But there is one way of speaking your truth that you may not have considered: teaching. When I drew a card to ask how we should react to the reversed Knight of Swords and The Emperor, or how we should tie them together, who should appear but…the Hierophant. And what is the Hierophant doing? Speaking his truth, not for the sake of cutting through a negative situation or to obtain personal power, but for a very different reason: to empower, by teaching others. Ultimately, this should always be our goal when it comes to unveiling the truth. The truth doesn’t have to be a sharp cutting weapon. It can be a tool that supports us and other sentient beings on our path in life.
Where does the truth the Hierophant is teaching come from? Look at the green all over this card. This teaching, this truth, comes from the heart.