One thing I like about this deck is how they use intense colors to express the emotions within the cards meaning. I actually took a double take at this card because it was so dark. It seems to tell a story of gloom.
Often we hear it said that trouble comes in threes. It really does sometimes seem that once hardship happens it can grab a hold of us and will not let go.
The Three of Swords represents a time of rejection, sadness, loneliness, heartbreak, betrayal, separation and grief. Every person goes through some kind of hardship in their life. There really is no way around it.
This card has a dove that is rising to indicate that the storm is passing. But in this card even the dove is in shadow showing that though the storm has passed the problem does not simply just go away. The only light in this image is a thin line of light peaking out from behind the dove. Often, the storm itself is not as hard to deal with as the aftermath of the storm.
During hurricane season we see lots of coverage of the coming of the storm and the arrival of the storm. We brace ourselves as best as we can by boarding up windows and bringing in things like drinking water, as we buckle in to ride the storm out.
Most people in hurricane country know that the storm pushes the water inland and causes the rivers and inlets to fill up creeks and swampy areas pushing in river waters that wash out streets and flood homes far inland. Septic systems get flooded out and have to be drained. Sewage can spill into the drinking water further complicating things. It can take weeks and sometimes months to resolve all of these issues.
How we cope with the aftermath reveals what we are really made of. Some people crumble as soon as they hear about the storm. Others listen to the news and leave their home to stay in shelters or with family that lives inland. They face their fears by leaving until the storm passes. Many stay and wait it out knowing that anything can happen. They feel the need to look the storm right in the eyes and meet it at the front gate. None are wholey right or entirely wrong. We simply have different methods of coping. I stand and meet the storm at the front gate. Having lived almost my whole life on the water, I have learned that true strength really is revealed after the storm is over and clean up has to happen.
I agree with Eleanor Roosevelt when she said,
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
However we choose to fight through our trials, it is important that we gain something from the experience that teaches us something about ourselves. It is important that we take time to review how we held up under pressure. Do we need to reconsider certain choices we made before during and after the storm? Are there things we did that we should not do next time? Did we forget to do something that we need to make sure we remember to do it next time. No matter what happens there is always a lesson that can be found in reviewing the situation.
Hardship cannot be avoided. It happens to each of us in one way or another. What we do when under pressure teaches us important lessons about ourselves. Take the time to do the review before you set the situation aside. Be proud that you did the best you could do under the circumstance. Remember that a lump of coal becomes a diamond because of the pressures it went through. It faced the pressures it was under and it emerged stronger an more beautiful because of the trials it faced.
The Mary-El Tarot; Landscapes Of The Abyss