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13. Seven of Swords

- By Hyperion Night of Beanblossom's Tea and Tarot!

Of cleverness, trickery, deceit, illusion, deception, dishonesty.

Once, when I was leaving a Ren Faire (don’t ask), a crow tried to snatch a shiny ornament off my cloak. The ornament was well fastened, so both of us departed dissatisfied by the encounter. It was an interesting Seven of Swords moment, the crow dazzled by the flash of the ornament, and me shocked by its amoral attack. I was also oddly embarrassed.

I still feel embarrassed thinking of it.

If you examine the swords suit in a Tarot deck, you’ll find birds on many of the cards. Sometimes they’re mere dots in the distance. But they’re there, because bird are symbols of air. And like thoughts, they can vanish quickly, or travel to dark or sunny realms.

I’d like to get a better handle on my own thoughts. Because on reflection, most of my Seven of Swords moments (like when that realtor ran off with my deposit – an incident I also still feel embarrassed about), could have been shut down before the damage was done.

When those moments happen, my thoughts are inevitably flying erratically, caught up in currents of anxiety or excitement. When they are more sober, slow and steady, I’m not as easily caught up in the trickery.

There’s a myth about the language of birds. Once you understand it, the mysteries of the universe are unlocked. Perhaps it’s a metaphor for learning the language of our own thoughts, to learn the true and steady grammar of our being and so avoid mental missteps.

How to Learn the Language of Birds

Watch a hawk spiral in the sky,

And leave shiny toys for a magpie.

Light a stick of incense,

And contemplate its smoky coils.

Study the shapes of clouds,

And muse their meanings.

Feel the wind across your skin,

And listen, listen, listen.

Crows are clever birds, and I still like but do not trust them. The Seven of Swords warns us of potential pitfalls and provides us a roadmap to avoid them. Mental turbulence only exacerbates one’s weaknesses.

Images: Tea being poured, scones, and the ebook: Fortune Favors the Grave

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