The Suit of Swords


The element of Air

The Swords represent the element of Air, the world of Yetzirah, Ruach in soul.

Yetzirah is the world of formation, of synthesis and analysis, where the amorphous flames of Atzliuth and the subconscious emotions of Briah are analysed, seperated and formulated. It refers to Ruach, the spirit of human intellect and consciousness of mind.

So the Swords represent the qualities of intellect and rationality, but also to every considerated achievement like culture, science, philosophy or any ongoing process that later ends up as 'history'. This almost explains by itself why the Swords can be blessing and malediction the same time.

From their elemental dignities, Swords do not harmonize too well with Disks when the airy spirits have not much patience with the passive stillness of the Earth. The get along well with both Wands and Cups.

Some thoughts over Swords

It might not be the most usual sight to see the suit of the Swords attached to Uranus, and in the beginning of my studies I usually grabbed for Mercury or Mars just because everybody else did.
But, the more I thought about the Swords, and the more I began to see them against the background of nowadays, I began to notice that there was much more behind it than just intellect and aggression - it was science and revolution.

In most writings, the Swords are stigmatized as the 'agressive, difficult' suit. This is somewhat understandable when considering the fact that a sword is a weapon and implies the association to war. Intellect usually is attached to coldness, and science is not the most pleasant thing to deal with, either.

Long ago, science was damned because it had a nasty habit of ridiculing dogma and belief. Nowadays it is damned for it revealing the embarrassing fact that mankind's ethics and mental processes are limping along some seven centuries behind its scientific progress.

Uranus is the planet of change and revolution, independence and new inventions, usually attached to the Tower (sudden realisation, destruction), and also symbolizing the Fool (innocent spirit) and the Devil (anarchy of mind).

All this fits to the Swords, especially today. Einstein was a 'Fool', swooping down on all and sundry from the clouds when he noticed that people had found nothing better to do with his great work than to build a bomb with it. Almost all physicists are, complaining about the sad fact that the only way to receive more research funding is to work for the defense industry in one manner or another.

Then, there is the revolution of Uranus, the destruction of the Tower. Science today is far more revolutionary than ever before. We lived so happily in our Newtonian world, relying on the divine truth that an apple is an apple and will fall down on the ground when moved by a power.

And today? We can't even be sure what an apple is anymore. What exactly is the difference between us and the apple when both are nothing but a mass of spinning particles that accidentally happen to form such figures as an apple, or a mountain, or a washing machine or a human being? Our comforting view of time got cracked by a twin paradox, our trust in Einstein sabotaged by the EPR experiment and we desperately strain the limits of our sorely limited imagination in order to figure a Mobius strip in four-dimensional-space.

And finally, there is the Devil, the anarchic scientist, uneffected by fear and doubt, with no beliefs, no religions, ever able to freely and uncompromising go on his way.

The suit of the Swords is not at all a 'bad' suit, nor are the Swords dangerous, difficult or aggressive. We cannot blame them for the way we are.

Ace of Swords | Two of Swords | Three of Swords | Four of Swords | Five of Swords | Six of Swords
Seven of Swords | Eight of Swords | Nine of Swords | Ten of Swords | Knight of Swords | Queen of Swords
Prince of Swords | Princess of Swords

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