I have been reading tarot cards for years and years, but since the events of the past year in which I stood up for what was right with my last employers, I have experienced a different experience of tarot. I believe this to happen when the witch reaches one of those decisive points where you either go through with something difficult or you go back to your comfort zone. The payoff is that the tarot has started acting towards me in a way it never has before. My understanding of the cards is developing in ways you will never read in any of the text books, and while I would dearly love to have my name on a text book, my own style and natural approach to writing are better suited to this blog format than to the prolonged, orderly writing a book would require.
My day-to-day deck at the moment is the Aquarian Tarot, which is a deck I have reviewed here and love dearly. While it is broadly in the Rider Waite tradition, it does alter the images slightly, so that if you are used to reading with an actual Rider Waite deck, with reference to all the details, it can feel as if too much is missed off in the Aquarian Tarot. Lately I have had that experience by comparing one of my current 'stalker cards' with Pamela's version. I say one of my stalker cards, I have actually been stalked at length for the past few months by the numbered Swords cards, which I would naturally interpret as meaning that the deck is trying to say something to me related to these cards. It has also made me reflect on the relationship as I see it between these four cards, which perhaps I should say is a relationship you only really see in the RWS-based decks, because of the nature of Pamela Colman Smith's illustrations. So perhaps I had better deal with these cards one at a time in an orderly manner and let the relationships fall into place.
Two of Swords
I shall begin by quoting Waite verbatim, because, frankly, his approach to this card is one you will commonly find underpinning people's understanding of it, but is one which personally I would want to avoid:
'A hoodwinked female figure balances two swords upon her shoulders. Divinatory Meanings: Conformity and the equipoise which it suggests, courage, friendship, concord in a state of arms; another reading gives tenderness, affection, intimacy. The suggestion of harmony and other favourable readings must be considered in a qualified manner, as Swords generally are not symbolical of beneficent forces in human affairs. Reversed: Imposture, falsehood, duplicity, disloyalty.' SourceThe Masonically-minded among my readers will recognise a phrase often used by Masons to refer to a particular piece of ritual paraphernalia, and in fact a word which must be rarely if ever used outside of a Masonic context:
Freemasonry is not the originator of the hoodwink.
Religious rites and initiations of civilizations and tribes dating back centuries before the believed or known origins of Freemasonry used blindfolds to represent going from darkness (ignorance) to light (knowledge).
Hood: The word, “hood,” in old German and Anglo Saxon refers to a head covering, as in a hat, or helmet. A hood might also be of cloth. To "hood" is to cover. Hooded garments have been worn throughout history.
Wink: The word, “wink,” in old German and Anglo Saxon refers to a closing of the eyes. The word, “wince,” , is similarly derived from the word "wink". The word "wink" pertains to the eye.
Therefore, a hood (to cover) wink (eyes) was a head covering designed to cover the eyes. Source