3 of Swords

Separate your emotional response from the rational

Threes are the response or reaction to the two + Swords relate to our thoughts and mental processing.

from the Herbcrafters Tarot

And so the center or balanced position of the Three of Swords shows realization and reminds us to consider our response. We may realize the truth about something (piercing an illusion?); but here we are reminded to separate ourselves from our emotional response in order to examine what might be objectively true.  Reality as we know it occurs in the space between stimulus and response. Victor Frankl said “Between stimulus and response, there’s a space, and in that space is the power to choose our response, and in our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

This is not a card of emotion, but of realization and truth informing us of how to proceed (remember, threes expand). Consider it, turn it over in your mind, integrate information, and you will then know how to proceed with clarity and grace.

In resistance, the truth may be difficult and we may try to protect ourselves by refusing to see it.

In excess, we’re triggered and we react. What may be a better response?

Questions to consider when this card comes up may include

  • Is there a situation which could benefit by putting things in perspective?
  • Is there a situation you see as a crisis which could instead be an opportunity? How can you step toward that?
  • Is there someone with whom you could clear the air?
  • Has a part been activated and could use some tending?

What else? There are so many more, depending on the spread and surrounding cards. How has this card come up for you? What insight have you gained from it?

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