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 Journey of the Swords
Swords: A Drawerful of Knives

(c) Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2005
The 9 of a Swords is a card I have always called the "tremendous headache" card - as 
in someone is giving me a tremendous headache. Traditional imagery depicts a women 
sitting up in her bed holding her head in her hands while 9 swords dangle over her. 
Obviously a woman with a lot on her mind and no one to share it with. She has pain and 
sadness that has come from the dealings of her heart and from putting her faith in people. 
Every wound she has suffered, every knife in her back or through her heart, is now firmly 
stuck in the drawerful of knives that is her mind.

Knives are a very old tool and they come in infinite varieties. There are knives we use
for cooking, eating and food preparation so we have a knife in our mind over every failed 
dinner, uncomplimented meal, missing ingredient and every criticized supper we have ever 
prepared. This is a knife of all the times we took the least for ourselves and let others have 
the quality and choice of what was available. We did not think ourselves worthy of even the 
crumbs off the table.

There is another knife in the drawer and it is the one that filleted us and removed our backbone 
in one clean swipe like a fisherman gutting his catch, leaving us limp and in shock, unable to 
move or take action. It happens when we surrender our personal power to another person who 
is not worthy.

One of the knives - this one seems like one of those vicious looking Bowie knives - that feels 
like our guts have been ripped out and splayed in some sloppy, gory mess for all the world to
see. Someone with a strong arm wielded that knife against us.

We all have a machete in that drawer too. We use it to go through our emotional house hacking
mercilessly through the weeds and tears that only the thwarted can shed. These weeds have
choked out the untended garden of our own self. We have been too busy tending to other people's 
gardens and forgot to make time for our own. We get angry when we realize this and we slaughter
ourselves with that machete for every weakness, misplaced kindness and every cleverly insincere 
promise we ever believed.

Some knives are much more like a scalpel - they are so sharp that the damage is irreversibly 
done before we even realize we have been castrated spiritually by it. This is often the weapon of
choice of our nearest and dearest friends These are the friends who smile in our faces while 
they plunge the sharp blade into our already aching backs and then they give it a really
good twist.

There are also knives that are extremely useful for stripping skin from muscle and muscle from 
bone. We stand there like a bloody striped ribbon and wonder when the ones who are hurting us 
will see the damage and offer us some kind of help or, at least, an acknowledgment of what
they have stripped from our very being. We weep and we wail, the pain is so intense, and we 
wonder why no one hears and no one sees us in this painful disarray.

There is also a knife there that we have used for our own private rituals. The one we envision
we could use as a weapon to exact our revenge against the aggressors against our being. I am
sure a few of us have visions of a trophy penis and testicles impaled with a knife to the wall.
Some things are better left in the realm of fantasy though and you can buy fake sets of testicles 
that you could utilize in such a manner. It might be very psychologically liberating and definitely 
a conversation piece.

We also have a knife in that drawer that is about the endings that we have endured in life.
The deaths of a friends and family, the ending of friendships and marriages, the loss of a job 
or a career - life is full of endings and partings of the way. This knife reminds us that life is a string, 
don't cut it.

The most important knife in the drawer is the one for carving and discerning. This is the 
knife that will enable us to carve out new beginnings, create things of beauty and prepare
a feast for the ones we love. This is a knife of clear, sharp insight and being able to cut away 
all that is no longer pertinent in our lives and allows us to make things fit by cutting away that 
which is not necessary.

So when someone is giving you a tremendous headache, remember the drawerful of knives
and reach for the one that will enable you to create a new design for your life and whittle the 
problems away to nothing. It is really the only one of any importance anyway.

ABOUT Cheryl Lynne Bradley
Cheryl is the founder and president of Tarot Canada International. She is an artist, photographer, 
writer, an energetic lady who manages to devote time to all these endeavors. Add to this she is a 
single mother of two,a beautiful daughter and equally good looking son.Find out more about
 Cheryl and Tarot Canada website:
Tarot Canada
Journey of the Swords
The Ace of Swords