Saturday, 25 June 2011

Damming the Pain

This week I will be drawing from the stunningly beautiful Shadowscapes Tarot, by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, published by Llewellyn.  The companion book is written in part by the artist, and in part by the fabulous Barbara Moore.

For my first Card of the Day, I drew the Three of Swords, a card which many consider to be one of the "worst" in the deck.  However, I have long had rather a fondness for it, as discussed in seven posts in August 2010.

Certainly, this card raises the question of whether we can find beauty in the pain we go through.   There is a poignancy in the swan's pose, and a hopefulness in the blood-red heart above.  The cracked wall behind seems to be held together only by that bleeding heart - and what cost using our hearts to dam up heartache, sorrow, and betrayal?  Yet the cost is higher still if we don't let ourselves live and feel.  It is our ideas about heartache, rather than heartache itself, which cause us such pain.  So, the message I see in this card is to trust to our hearts, rather than our minds, in questions of love. 

I am grateful that past hurts have not stopped me loving.


  1. very beautiful card.. not as negative as the other 3 of swords cards of other decks

  2. I'm using Waking the Wild Spirit this coming week and have been perusing Poppy Palin's website this morning. She is an animal rights activist; when I saw this image on your blog my mind went to how callously cruel the human can be to our innocent animal friends. Something like this swan can and is done for the fun of it. Now that is heartbreak in the third degree.

  3. Hi Kareena,

    I agree, this deck is generally less dark than a lot of others, and very beautiful. I wonder sometimes though, whether the beauty hides just how much pain these images can still contain.

    Hi Sharyn,

    Oh, I love Waking the Wild Spirit - I'll look forward to your blogs! Yes, animal cruelty really strikes a chord with me, too. Being cruel to a being that cannot really fight back - it's like beating someone when they're down, or bullying: even worse than other violence.