We’re just over half way through February and I’m starting to see a pattern emerge in my daily draws. So far a third of my draws have been made up of three cards, Death, the Three of Swords and The Hierophant. To be exact it has gone Death, the Three of Swords, Death, The Hierophant, the Three of Swords and The Hierophant. Whenever instances like this take place I take note, for they usually have a strong meaning behind them.

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Death – Shadowscapes Tarot

Since the last time I posted a few things have changed in my life. February the 3rds daily draw of Death was definitely fitting. I was going through a transition in the workplace, from acting manager of a store that was potentially closing down, to manager of a store which was now staying open. I had to make a decision as to whether this was where I wanted to be and allow all the past thoughts and fears to wash away. In a way, like the Phoenix on the card, who is death, rebirth and life encapsulated in one image, I was going through a rebirth. I needed to cleanse myself of the negative thoughts and feelings towards my job during that unstable period, so as to begin afresh under this new ownership.

Three of Swords
Three of Swords – Shadowscapes Tarot

Then came the Three of Swords on Feburary 7. Whenever this card comes to me I have a whole body reaction to it, it’s one of the only cards that does that to me. I think that subconsciously there is still a lingering link to my most recent heartbreak. I am so much better now than I was 6 or so months ago, but to be completely truthful I am not fully healed. The Swords have been removed, but the scars are definitely still there. When this card first came to me I wasn’t 100% sure whether it was to do with that past situation or to do with my present. For recently a new person has entered my life, a person whom I really enjoy spending time with and who makes me feel happy inside. It wasn’t until the next day when I drew the Two of Swords, the card of conflict between heart and mind, that I began to think of the Three’s potential meaning. To be honest with myself previous to this draw I felt like I was split in two, half of me really wanted to pursue this budding relationship, to throw myself in completely, but the other half, the logical half, kept bringing up the fact that I had been planning on leaving the country in August (if not for good then for a long period of time). I was and have since been stuck in this conflict between what I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. And I fear that heartbreak may ensue, I’m just not sure whose heart it is that the Swan represents.

Next up was Death and The Hierophant back to back on the 11th and 12th respectively. Over the days in between this pairing and the two swords’ cards, I had caught up with this person a few times, and a real connection was beginning to form. I saw Death‘s second appearance as another call for cleansing, a symbolic closing door on the fears embedded in my past and an opening to something new. A shedding, or more appropriate to the card in question a burning away of that part of myself that I no longer need. The anxious person who questions everything, who struggles with taking things for what they are in the present in turn for constantly thinking about the future. And this is exactly what I have been working towards since this draw. But why The Hierophant, what was he coming to tell me? I think we’ll have to come back to that!

So in between the last two draws and the next card were two days of Pages, Swords and Wands respectively, and then up comes the Three of Swords again! This was yesterday to be precise. So I spent any free time I had pondering the card’s deeper meanings. Of course it stands for heartbreak, loneliness and betrayal, the commonly known surface meanings. But over the day I found myself more and more drawn to the bleeding heart above the swan. Here we have another symbol of cleansing, and on top of that it looks as if the heart is actually holding everything together. The wall is cracking yet the heart keeps it in tact. While everything may seem like it’s falling apart when we are in emotional pain, it is in fact the strength of our hearts that keeps us going. Being a Swords’ card it is important to note that the pain this card represents is worsened by our minds and the thoughts that are ruminating during these moments. What is important is to ask ourselves is how much of the pain we are feeling is self-inflicted, for a lot of the time it is this self-inflicted pain that continues to hurt us even when the initial pain has washed away. Now for me at the present moment I think the pain I felt last year is still lingering and causing a subconscious fear of committing to someone new. So maybe the Three has come to tell me to let the pain flow away and be cleansed.

I read an intriguing post this morning, on a blog I just stumbled upon, about a Buddhist teaching called “The Two Arrows”. Really briefly it’s about how in life we get shot by arrows all the time, little problems in our life like spilling a cup of coffee on a white shirt or bigger stresses like heartbreak or loss.  These arrows are physical in there pain, and then the second arrow comes and hits us right in the same spot, but as a self-inflicted wound which occurs when we feed the physical pain with cyclical thoughts. Please head to Emily’s blog here to read more about it for she explains it much better than I, but basically I see the Three of Swords in my current situation as representative of that second arrow. For me the first arrow was the breakup last year and the second arrow is a blend between the fear of pursuing this new friendship/relationship and the thoughts about what it could ultimately become vs the fact that I was planning on leaving the country. These thoughts are constantly going around in my mind, causing stress and fear of the potential of greater pain. But I think what the cards are trying to tell me is that I need to allow these to wash away to avoid becoming stuck in the Three’s energies.

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The Hierophant – Shadowscapes Tarot

Now we are up to today’s card, the second time The Hierophant has come to me this month. Thinking about everything that I have written about the three cards stalking me this month I think that The Hierophant is possibly here as a representation of the wisdom that can be gained by the new approach to life that Death is calling for. I’m taking a slightly less traditional interpretation of The Hierophant, but in this picture I see him as representative of living faith in everyday life. He is an ancient tree, his roots go so deep and are entwined around the mysteries and histories of life, a true connection to the wisdom of the Earth. The salamanders have come to him with their questions, wishing to learn all he has to teach. One even wishing to learn to fly to which he replies with “never relinquish your dreams”. I like that! I think that what I need to take from this today, is that while it is good to acknowledge our roots, to understand where it is we have come from and who we are, it is also important not to get too stuck in old ways. The Hierophant may be representative of the ties that bind us to each other and to the Earth and a need for tradition and ritual, but it is important to understand that this is not an all or nothing thing, it is merely a suggestion for a way forward at this moment in time.

So overall I get a great sense of the need for a cleansing. This month so far is calling for a transformation, and ending of my old thought patterns, centred around a past heartbreak and the fear of what the future could bring, towards a life lived more in the present, yet still somewhat rooted to the wisdom of the past. Death brings an end and makes way for a cleansing, the Three of Swords asks me to remain aware of the pain rumination has caused me and to see the wisdom in said suffering, and The Hierophant suggests that while it is important to have connection to our pasts we also must have faith in our everyday lives. For how can I expect to live life to the fullest in this present moment if I’m constantly thinking about what effect each choice will have on my future. I should be enjoying this new relationship for what it is at this moment in time and nothing else. It’s time to burn away the past and embrace the present. It’s time to live my life like the Phoenix 🙂

Until next time, live well and be present xx

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5 thoughts on “Burning away the Past and Embracing the Present- Death, The Three of Swords and The Hierophant

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