Free Daily Tarotscope — Feb 1, 2014 — Nine of Swords

Nine of Swords

Nine of Swords

Today’s card — the Nine of Swords — is referred to as the “nightmare” card, due to its association with overblown panic and fear. Often these are self-imposed: as in having gotten into a predicament of our own doing and now being forced to deal with the consequences. There’s sometimes a sense of impending doom associated with this card, also self-created. 

The Nine of Swords in this version comes from the beautiful painting Head of Woman by Italian Renaissance painter Leonardo da Vinci. Of course da Vinci was many things. He was a true Aries and renaissance man. The quote at the bottom: “The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us,” comes from the French philosopher Voltaire

This quote reminds us of the power of thought — of doubt, uncertainty and apprehension — to render us powerless against our own fears. The more we focus on our problems the larger they become, until they finally take over and become larger than we are.

This is the essence of the Nine of Swords. Not only do our fears have the capacity to paralyze us, but finding the courage to face them has the capacity to extinguish them. If we want to move forward, we’ll have to be brave enough to “take back our power” and face our fears head on. Along those lines, this card has always reminded me of this poignant segment from the Arthur Miller play After the Fall:

“I dreamed I had a child, and even in the dream I saw it was my life, and it was an idiot, and I ran away. But it always crept onto my lap again, clutched at my clothes. Until I thought, if I could kiss it, whatever in it was my own, perhaps I could sleep. And I bent to its broken face, and it was horrible…but I kissed it. I think one must finally take one’s life in one’s arms.”

 

Today’s tarotscope — Nine of Swords is part of the Art of Life series, by Charlene Livingstone, distributed by U.S. Games. Each card features a well-known work of art paired with an insightful quotation. For over 25 years, Charlene Livingstone taught Art and English to gifted students in Toronto. She is still very involved with the arts and writing, and currently works as a Gallery Guide at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The Art of Life Tarot brings together Charlene’s literary interests and her background in visual arts.

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