The Queen of Swords

The Queen of Swords - Tarot Card from the Rider-Waite Deck

Representing the maternal nature; the Queen of Swords is forward thinking planning for the future with the desire to nurture future generations. The emphasis of the Queen of Swords is that of legacy and heritage.

In the upright state the Queen of Swords represents preparation and planning. She believes that the return of conflict is inevitable, no life can be lived free from conflict but preparation can be made to help resolve disputes before they reach that level. The Queen prompts us to develop our diplomacy, to remember our past, and to pursue harmony, but to ultimately accept that not every conflict can be avoided, we can only control our motivations we cannot control those of our adversaries.

In the inverted state the Queen of Swords represents the risk posed by a lack of forethought; to leap without looking would return us to the 2 of Swords and the idea of blind faith. To build upon the evolution and iteration achieved thus far we must therefore remember what has been learned, not discard it.

In the Rider-Waite deck the Queen sits upon a throne looking to the right, the Latin word for right is ‘ius’ which serves as the root for Justice. The focus of the Queen is balance and justification of our actions. The Queen holds out her left hand which is empty representing the absence of the sinister nature, with a single sword in her right hand she balances her judgement holding onto the opportunity held within the Ace of Swords.

The throne upon which she sits is engraved with 3 butterflies in an inverted triangle, the butterflies in some beliefs are regarded as masculine, the inverted triangle represents femininity, taken together these elements represent balance. At the centre of this inverted triangle two crescent moons sit in opposing directions representing risk and danger, their duality of direction represents awareness of these influences kept in balance.

Above these engravings there is the face of the Archangel Raphael who returns from the Lovers card of the Major Arcana, representing connection and emotional harmony, Raphael represents the motivation of the Queen to maintain peace through a balance of connection and communication.

In self-reflection the Queen of Swords serves as a prompt to consider your environment and reflect on where your understanding of that environment is rooted and how to impart that understanding.

The King and Queen of Swords both deal with fostering understanding. The Queen of Swords focuses on the individual, the role you will assume here is that of a mentor for those who come to you specifically for advice.

It’s important to stress here that the other person has to come to you seeking understanding, this is an indicator of an open mind that is ready to receive counsel. You cannot impart personal growth on an individual who is not ready to do so, in fact such an act can be incredibly destructive.

This is your prompt to develop the means to communicate your understanding to others. Helping others to reach a new level of understanding and value of life. It can be helpful here to consider your younger self and how you would communicate what you now know and what you have experienced to them in a way that they could comprehend. A simple exercise here is to write a letter to your younger self explaining your current situation and what you have learned from it, go on to tell them what you wish you had known before embarking on this journey.

In time, you will inspire through example, by living your life authentically and being open with your experience, you will naturally draw others to you who are seeking that counsel. They’ll be able to recognise your personal growth and come to you for advice.

Knowing how to relate what you have learned is important, knowing how to subtract emotion and leave only the indifferent impersonal elements of knowledge here is important.

Wisdom is a compound variable; it combines knowledge and experience; but it is not possible to give someone your experience it is only possible to give knowledge. You can recount your experience in great detail, but that still does not impart the experience itself, it only imparts knowledge of that experience – or foreknowledge where this relates to hypothetical communication with your past self.

Until they experience it for themselves however, they will not gain the same level of understanding that you have gained. It is important to recognise this so that you do not expect the other person to “skip over” those experiences and reach the same level of understanding that you do, where our experiences have shaped who we are, it is not possible to shape others through knowledge alone.

There is a limit to how much you can communicate to another person, no matter how much detail you attempt to give. Ask yourself “What would I need to know before going through this?” and be realistic about the answer, and remember that your current state of mind is the result of the journey you have taken, even confronting your younger self you should be able to recognise that any attempt you would make to alter the course of your life would likely fall on deaf ears as you wouldn’t be ready to hear what your present self has to say, your efforts should not be to change the past but to prepare the way for the journey they must inevitably face to reach where you are now.

Think about the universal truth in what you have learned and ask “What would they relate to?” and identify what they can identify with based on the experiences they have already had up until that point. Where this relates to other people and external sources you need to recognise the limit of your understanding of their life journey and if necessary, learn more about it before you find an effective means of communication with which they can relate.

This does not mean you have to be vague and generic in everything you say, but rather that you have to recognise where they are in that moment in their life and what they have experienced. If you have been through trauma and they have not, they would not understand the gravity of what you could impart, going into excessive detail in that scenario is a wasted effort for both parties. However, if they have also been through trauma then their frame of reference changes and you can be much more specific about trauma related elements.

This may at times seem vague and generic, this is because it has been written with the widest possible audience in mind, this framework could be made much more specific with precise examples and detailed wording but that would be of little use to the vast majority of readers. This is also why I haven’t gone into great detail when mentioning trauma, I’ve mostly glossed over the specifics because there’s a much more critical approach that needs to be taken when dealing with it due to the dangers of revisiting past trauma without preparing your mind first.

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