O.L. has requested an interpretation of the above cards that were drawn according to the protocol of silently completing the sentence, “Please give me some insight into __________.” O.L. has not told me what (s)he has put into the blank space. The first three cards are the “heart” of the reading and are read as a unit. Then, the fourth card is drawn and read as a summary or clarifier. Since there are two swords in the first group of three as well as a third one as the summary, this is clearly a reading about resolving conflict; furthermore, since there is an absence of any member of the Major Arcana, this mini-reading focuses on O.L.’s everyday life.
The spotlight has been on the seven of swords, de-escalating the level of conflict. There has been some effort on O.L.’s part to handle a current conflict by minimizing the potential harm it could cause by disarming the enemy, taking away some of the weapons so that they cannot be used in battle. This may even manifest as redefining the situation so that all the participants can see that there is nothing to fight over, turning the situation into a discussion rather than an argument. This is accomplished by setting priorities, figuring out what must be taken care of right away, what can be addressed later, and what (even though it is, by definition, part of the problem) can be temporarily ignored.
The spotlight is moving toward the four of swords, exposing the foundation or basis of conflict. This particular conflict arises out of the judgment of self and others when viewed through the lens of the polarities of right/wrong, good/bad, winner/loser, etc. In this dynamic, illustrated in the stained-glass window, one figure is seen as above (better than) the other. In O.L.’s situation, there is the fear of being in the less-desirable category. (S)he is avoiding being judged on how (s)he expresses her/himself. It is time to remove the belief that everyone falls into one of those categories, which is keeping O.L. inactive and, therefore, ineffective. A wise teacher of mine once said, “What somebody else thinks of me is none of my business.” It’s just as bad when you fear your own self-judgment. The conflict is resolved here when O.L. can rise above the level of the polarities and appreciate all the components that contribute to the flow of life.
The spotlight is moving toward the three of cups, the celebration card. This card almost always shows up for someone who pushes her/himself hard to get things done. It emphasizes the need to slow down, “smell the roses,” be “in the moment,” and get a perspective on what has been accomplished before launching full-tilt into the next thing on the “to do” list. Sometimes, this requires looking back over several months or a year to fully appreciate how far you’ve come. It is important to include others in your celebration so that they feel free to include you in their own celebrations instead of seeing you as as an intolerant perfectionist who stresses because there is always something more to be done.
The summary card is the ten of swords, a card that urges discernment. the secret of this card lies in the right hand of the figure pictured. The red color, by the way, is NOT blood; it is her/his cape. (S)he walked into a situation to bring it a blessing but forgot to pause on the threshold before entering to make sure the situation needed and wanted what (s)he was bringing. This card is sometimes called the “Don’t cast pearls before swine” card. The bottom line here is that swine can’t use pearls. O.L. needs to be reminded that before (s)he gives (of time, opinion, money, effort, etc.) (s)he makes sure that the offering will be received in the spirit with which it is given. If this does not appear to be the case, O.L. is advised to pick up her/his toys and go play somewhere else. The price-tag for ignoring this caution is to be wounded in the back with psychological swords that may engender other psychological fears and negative consequences as well as removing the well-intentioned giver from the picture entirely.
Does this make sense? I hope it was helpful. For more information about using tarot cards for insight and guidance, please see http://www.tarotforalltime.com and consider purchasing the book Tarot for All Time, available in paperback, e-book, and downloadable PDF format. Thank you