In the world of metaphors where the rain and clouds are gloom and doom, the swords are the truth or knowledge, and the heart is a heart-shaped heart, the THREE of SWORDS is pretty literal. The heart is pierced and and betrayed by the truth, and nobody is happy about it.
This is a time to face and acknowledge what is really happening. Up until now the reality of the situation has been avoided, hidden, or denied, and now there is no where to be but present with it.
The good news about this card is it is not actually literal. Our real hearts cannot actually be broken or stabbed by knowledge, however painful it may feel to learn something upsetting. In moments like these, it's helpful to try to see what is what. What is the truth? What is the feeling? And what are the stories we are adding to the truth?
It is important to be honest with ourselves when we are pulling this card. Is it our hearts that are being pierced? Or is it us doing the stabbing, and potentially hurting someone else?
me to stand up. I didn't understand what she meant and was sure that there was no way up or down without seriously hurting myself. So I just kept repeating "I'm stuck, I'm stuck!" Finally she rephrased, "just straighten your legs". When I understood what she was telling me, I straightened my legs and felt so relieved (and pretty foolish) because the top of the boulder came to my waist. It was actually my position and perception that kept me in fear and unable to move ahead.
That is usually the case with the eight of swords. Going back to the image on the card, if we can get out of the terror of being trapped just enough to remind ourselves to shift our position and perception, we will often find that we are not really stuck, we just need to relax our bodies so that the bondage can loosen even more and we can wiggle our way out.
The beautiful boulders of the Sandia Mountains -
I call them Nana Tierra (Grandma Earth)
Giant Granite Boulders (c)SR Euston
The swords are thoughts, nothing else. Thoughts are our interpretation of truth. As soon as something becomes a thought, it is not entirely truth because it goes through our personal filters and perception. So this is a great opportunity to observe our own perception and filters. We have a choice not to suffer in this moment.
Try this: Deep breath. Hold your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your left cheek. Another deep breath. Close your eyes and repeat.
(Thank you don Miguel Ruiz for teaching me this beautiful exercise)