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Ouch! and courage. 3 of swords.

The 3 of swords, our card of the month for September is not a card you hope to see in a traditional reading, foretelling, betrayal and heartbreak, but when used for personal development it is an invitation to heal and grow stronger.

The imagery is strong, 3 swords plunged deep into a red heart. We get a strong visceral sense of the emotional pain it represents. One sword is not enough to show the complexity of your emotions. I say emotions plural here as depicted by the three swords. When we feel let down and emotionally hurt or fearful of losing someone we love, we suffer alone. Behind the initial quick, hot flash of anger there may be a slower, older sadness tied to fear of loneliness and hiding way back could be a sneaky dose of shame too.

But amidst the heaviness described, there is also hope in this card. Firstly, remember this is a minor arcana rather than major arcana card and therefore does not carry quite the same weight. Secondly, see the storm clouds in the image, they are beginning to clear. This is temporary and it will pass. Thirdly, three in tarot relates to growth. Some of the greatest learning and growth comes not through ease and success but pain and failure.

Take note that the pain or injury is caused by swords, the suit of logic and intellect, and also communication. Words can wound but they can also heal. By tapping into your logical side you can see the situation with more clarity and find solutions. Perhaps your fear and anxiety are worse than the true situation.

Exploring your emotions with compassion and courage is hard. The pain is real. It is hard to release until you have faced it straight on. Recognise it, name it, accept and assimilate it, then you can move on.

If you are ready to work at looking at your feelings head on to understand what's behind them please have some self compassion. Go gently, just one step at a time. Only go as far as you feel ready for as emotions have a tendency to flood us.

Exploring these feelings with someone you trust can help to keep you more grounded in the here and now and far less alone.

If It feels to big to handle reach out to a professional counsellor or therapist.

Suggestions for ways to explore difficult emotions:

Talking it through with a friend.

Working with an independent thinking partner.

Engaging a counsellor or therapist.

Mindful walks to ground yourself and feel connected to the world at large.


Mediation with the other party.

Journaling through your emotions.

Expressive art.

Physical practices to aid release eg. dance or somatic exercise

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