From the Robin Wood Tarot

Tricky this one – the 3 Swords Upright is such a – well – uncompromisingly bad news card that I really don’t know where to begin with it in its reversed aspect.

So, in some despair, I turn to Sundew in the hope that it will help to make sense of its Tarot companion.

I notice as I write that in the course of keeping this journal I have come to assume there is a connection between two randomly chosen cards and indeed that’s how it is most days. Is that the power of the human mind and its drive to join the dots between unrelated and chance events in its endless quest for meaning? Very probably. Let’s see how mine works today… 

Sundew is for the daydreamers, who split off easily and would seem to prefer living in a pretty fantasy than the real world.

Ah… I think I have it. The 3 Swords is about the howling pain of the end of a relationship, and can also include a good dollop of betrayal. Yes, yes, I know it well. But today it’s reversed so does that mean less heartache or more? And how do you calibrate heartache? You don’t. A better question perhaps is how do you deal with the pain.

An upright 3 Swords suggests a more healthy acceptance of the reality of the situation and an ability to work through and grow from the pain. Sounds easy, and of course it isn’t. Is there a greater emotional pain than a heart’s rejection? No wonder the instinctive reaction is to deny, to attack, to seek to blame, to turn to drink, drugs, another relationship – anything really to dull the senses and ease the dreadful stabbing pain of every hurtful word and thoughtless deed in the dying days of a love relationship.

And so I conclude that the difference in aspect relates to the journey of heartache. We can try to avoid it, refuse to accept any responsibility for it, escape into the fantasy state of Sundew. And, as I know too well, we can stop functioning in other areas of our lives. In my own case, the blow to my confidence and self-esteem when John left me after 20 years together made it impossible to pick up my chosen career after we left England and now I clean other people’s toilets and quake at the thought of a job interview.

It’s only natural. But it can’t last. Sundew addresses indecision and an inability to focus on the realities of right here, right now. Heartache will do that to you.

The lesson of today’s cards is that the pain is inevitable, that it must be endured and worked through if future relationships are not to be blighted by the failures of the past.