Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Variations on the 3 of Swords Part 5

Having looked at various interpretations of the same card by different artists, I'd like now to look at different depictions of this card by a single artist.  In this way, we can see how the idea has developed across a single artist's work.  For this I have chosen the three decks created by Ciro Marchetti, as well as his iPhone app for the Legacy of the Divine Tarot.

Ciro started out very traditionally - the Gilded Tarot shows a heart pierced by three swords.  However, the position of the swords is rather different - instead of all three plunging into the heart from above, here two cross in from below, while the third pierces straight down.  Also, at the centre of the heart is a symbol which is also found on the backs of the cards, a complicated sun sign.  What then can we interpret from all of this?  I get a sense of being at cross-purposes, and then something coming in that cuts to the heart of the matter, bringing clarity although this may still be very painful.

Moving to the Tarot of Dreams, we have a crying woman, ornately dressed and bejewelled.  Her hands are cupped in front of her heart, while in front and to her left float three swords.  To me, she feels almost trapped in the situation that is causing her pain - her jewellry resembles slaves chains, although fancy and colourful, and the swords seem to block her from stepping forward.

She makes me think of people locked in loveless marriages because of financial considerations, or family responsibilities.  Through her tears, she stares out at us very directly, as though challenging us to question her choices.  Despite her sorrow, she seems very calm.

This adds a different element to this card, that of knowingly choosing to accept emotional pain for logical reasons (or reasons that seem logical at the time).  The question raised, which may be relevant to anyone in a situation which causes them sorrow, is what do we gain from being in this painful situation?

Finally, in the Legacy of the Divine Tarot we find a close-up view of a woman with a heart tattoo on her face, and a tear running down that cheek.  One of the greatest delights of Ciro's Legacy of the Divine app for the iPhone (which I have reviewed here) is that all the cards, both Majors and Minors, are illustrated by videos.  I was powerfully affected by the video for the 3 of Swords when I saw it.  Rather than stopping at the image we see in the card, Ciro continues, and we see the tear begin to wash away the heart.  I am aware that other interpretations are possible, but I see this as suggesting that tears will help to ease our heartache.  The position of the three swords is also interesting.  They rise up in a gradual diagonal procession, suggesting also using logic and communication to help lift us up out of our sorrow.

In all three cards I get a strong sense of the importance of the swords and their positioning.  I read this as being about thought processes and communication, aspects which I think are sometimes forgotten when thinking about traditional 3 of Swords heartache.

What do you think?  How would you interpret these cards?  And which of Ciro's cards speaks to you most, and why?

Images from the Gilded Tarot, the Tarot of Dreams and the Legacy of the Divine Tarot.

1 comment:

  1. I like the Legacy of the Divine the best. I love how the tear breaks the heart on the cheek. It's a lovely rendition of this heart breaker. :) I love this series you are doing.