You don’t always have to chop with the sword of truth. You can point with it too.

– Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

I love this quote – a succinct way of explaining the power of swords, of air. Swords represent knowledge and wisdom, truth and justice. As we go through life, we gather scars. We are hurt by people, by this world. We become more cynical, more aware of human selfishness. And we can use this wisdom to ‘chop’, as Anne Lamott says – to hurt or to destroy, to carve things up into black and white, right and wrong.

But there is a gentler way to use the sword – just as the Queen of Swords does. Tarot’s swords are also about communication. About passing on knowledge, about explaining things clearly and being understood. The Queen of Swords brings a lifetime of lessons learned, and though there is an air of sadness around her, she is not bitter. She gathers strength from what she has seen and learned, and she passes this on to others.



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  1. Ellen says:

    I totally relate to this queen. Even to the touch of sadness which brings forth the compassion. fitting for a queen. The chopping is more a knight’s way of handling the swords I guess.
    I love how she holds up her sword motionless and without difficulty. Did you know how heavy such a sword is?

  2. Little Red says:

    I’ve never held a real sword Ellen…but I can imagine the weight. I think she derives her great strength from that wisdom. Like the strength in the ‘Strength’ card – the power to act with love in the face of pain (now or in the past). It enables us to hold aloft swords like this, to tame lions…

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