Category Archives: Swords

Mystic Monkey: The 10 of Swords

Today’s was a dark photo shoot…

Sorry, Monkey. 😦

The Ten of Swords is a tough one to take. But on the bright side, it can’t get worse than this! You might have hit rock bottom, but it’s uphill from here as this cycle comes to a close and you make a new start. See that sunlight on the horizon? The yellow light fends off the black darkness looming above. So though it looks bleak, all hope’s not lost. You’ve gotten your ass handed to you, is all. You’ll get back up again. Remember that in tarot, Swords are of the mind, and so is your defeat. Yeah, it hurts. And yeah, the guy on the card looks dead. Quite dead. If he’s not, he’s a freaking medical marvel. But this death isn’t literal; it’s just some sort of ending, loss, or betrayal. Painful, but you can come back from it and stand again simply by shifting your mindset. Don’t dwell on the negative, learn from it. Grow from it. Recover, then rise.

The brown earth and red shroud, from a chakra-color standpoint, show a need to get grounded, to find stability, and the still, blue water shows calming emotion. Breathe it out and get clear on the truth of the situation, however painful it might be, so that you can see it for what it is and move on. There will always be more obstacles ahead (which I see in the distant mountains), but you’ve overcome them before and you’ll do it again. Yes, you will survive this to see another day and go the distance with new goals in mind.

You’ll see.

Once you get your face outta the mud.

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Crystal pairing: red jasper + yellow aventurine for endurance and hope.

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Mystic Monkey: The 8 of Swords

All righty, back to classic Mystic Monkey! In which I return to the original Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck for my one-card draw–just in time to leave town again and probably not post again ’til I’m back! Woo!!

Eck. Sorry. ‘Tis been one of those years with a lot of back-and-forth and disruption, and I’m horrible at maintaining routine during these times. I absolutely could maintain routine, I have the ability to, but I get overwhelmed when pulled in different directions, and my reaction is to just freeze. Press pause until distractions magically disappear and the time is somehow “right.” Which is probably why today’s card pops up for me so often…the Eight of Swords.

While the Swords can be a scary suit, I must say I love this card. It looks negative at a glance–and the situation it calls out is indeed not positive, per se–but it’s really quite empowering. Or maybe that’s what I have to tell myself because, as I said, I get this one a lot. Why? Because I’m constantly stuck in my head. My mind whirs with this thought and that, and it gets to where I’m paralyzed with indecision or fear. But it’s all in my head.

Look at this gal, for instance. She’s blindfolded, bound up, and seemingly trapped within a cage of swords, but they don’t form a complete circle, so if she could just see clearly, she’d realize she can just step right out of her confinement. There is nothing and no one else keeping her there but herself. And if she really thought it through clearly, she could even use one of those swords to cut herself loose from those ropes. In a nutshell, she has psyched herself out, wallowing in emotion that gets her stuck in the mud like the puddles at her feet. She might be throwing herself one righteous pity-party in her mind, but this card is a call to escape that victim mentality and free ourselves from the cages of our own making. It’s just a matter of shifting our mindset, gaining a new perspective and realizing that we have the ability to take our power back after giving it away in the first place. We truly do have control over our situation–at the very least, how we choose to think and feel about it–which is why this card rules. It calls you out on your shit and reassures that you can make the changes you want once you shed your self-limiting beliefs. Mind over matter. So, get over it and get going!

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Crystal pairing: epidote to enhance personal power.


Mystic Monkey – CORNISH EDITION: The Page of Swords

In honor of my recent trip to Cornwall (which contributed to my blog hiatus), I managed to stage one tarot photo there for this post. As we were staying in the renovated engine house of an old tin mine, it felt right to bring my Steampunk Tarot deck into our vintage industrial surroundings. But since I was sans sock monkey, posing with the tarot card is the next best thing: a hand-knit Cornish pasty, because AS IF I DIDN’T NEED THAT IN MY LIFE THE SECOND I SAW IT IN THE SHOP.

Anyway, getting on with it, I present to you the Page of Swords

Is she hawt or what?! The hot-air balloon and billowing cape so perfectly capture the air element, and her no-nonsense stance conveys the smart and logical essence of the Swords suit. She’s a page, so still a rookie, but raring for adventure with a head full of ideas and strategy that she’ll hone with more experience. Being that she is new to the game, she might get in over her head, but she’s got the intellect and will to try, fueled by a very inquisitive nature. A straight-shooter with a sharp mind, she’s ready for take-off at the first opportunity.

As we can see in the original Rider-Waite-Smith counterpart, there’s also an airy if not blustery quality showing much eagerness to cut through the crap and venture forth in pursuit of high ideals. There’s a risk of overconfidence with these Pages sometimes, though, if they get bullheaded with their ideas or cloud their focus with a lot of thought but little implementation.

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Crystal pairing: blue apatite to clear confusion and stimulate intellect for personal growth.


Mystic Monkey – HALLOWEEN EDITION: The King of Swords

Hear ye, hear ye! His Majesty demandeth your attention!

Mummy Monkey is really using his head for this one…a.k.a., my little fluorite skull, Lula. Sorry the card itself appears so faded in the image, but what we see here is an owl-masked King of Swords smoking his pipe as a mist of swirling smoke envelopes his head. The Swords suit in tarot represents the air element and is all to do with our noggins–that is, our thoughts and intellect. In contrast to the touchy-feelier King of Cups, this monarch rules with reason more than emotion.

The King of Swords from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck.

This can make him seem a bit more detached, aloof, as he approaches life rationally and objectively. He can cut through the crap to see a situation with clarity and troubleshoot it without personal baggage or compassion influencing his decisions. Not that he’s completely cold-hearted; he’s just able to distance himself with a mental acuity that enables him to make the tough choices, the ones that are probably in everyone’s best interest in the long run even if might hurt feelings or seem callous in the short run. I can’t help but think of a sociopath as an extreme example–not the serial-murdery kind, but the sort who remains utterly cool under pressure. The kind we actually need in society because someone’s gotta diffuse that bomb without freaking out! So, this card tends to pop up when you need to check your emotions at the door and think things through more intelligently and less impetuously. It could also mean seeking out an advisor who can offer sound logic and advice.

To supplement this card, I also drew one from The Halloween Oracle. I swear I do not make this stuff up…

I mean, seriously, the owl?! The owl! After I just said the King of Swords from the Trick or Tarot deck is wearing an owl mask and represents intellect and reason–or one could say, “Wise seeing, wise action,” as this oracle card indeed does. The accompanying guidebook goes on to say:

Should the hooting owl come looking for you this Halloween, it indicates the need for wise council or further information before you make a decision. Considered action is warranted. Think before you act emotionally and ensure you think strategically, not impulsively.

Well, gol’ darn. If that’s not a perfect counterpart to today’s tarot card, I don’t know what is.

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Crystal pairing: clear quartz + purple fluorite for clear thinking and discernment.


Mystic Monkey: The 6 of Swords

Ooh, ouch. Swords in tarot always make me flinch, but luckily we’ve got a harmonious six to numerologically smooth this one out. At least a little.

The Six of Swords shows us a family fleeing on a boat. My perception of this card has certainly evolved since my very, very first glance at the Rider-Waite deck–in which I saw the trees in the distance as mushroom clouds, like explosions in the distance, and the swords sticking into the wooden boat’s bottom made me fear they’d cause leaks! And perhaps those initial thoughts were fair enough–that monochromatic, apocalyptic landscape in my imagination being the troubles we must escape, and the holes poked in the boat signifying that, even when we leave, we’re not totally free and clear of woe (making it all the more urgent that we skedaddle while we can!).

But generally I see this card more positively in the sense that sometimes we have to cut our losses and set sail for stiller waters. This can entail an actual, physical relocation or simply moving on mentally and emotionally. A change of scenery in our outer or inner landscape so that we can leave a negative situation or behavior behind and hold hope for brighter shores. So then, rather than threatening the boat’s seaworthiness, the swords here become a protective shield for these passengers, bracing them against winds of necessary change. And though swords are of the air element and mind–expressing our need to be rational and objective in making the best decision for ourselves–there’s a lot of water present here to convey the emotional aspect of moving on; it’s difficult to leave some things behind, and we don’t always do it without sadness and regret. Yet the man’s oar is like a wand evoking fire energy as well, a need to take action and go. There’s no promise of smooth sailing, but this forward movement is ultimately for the best.

I did a reading with The Raven’s Prophecy Tarot deck yesterday (which feels so nice and autumnal and Halloween-y for this time of year! Although it isn’t a seasonal deck, per se), and the Six of Swords showed up there, too, in the position of my subconscious. It made meaningful sense to me within the context of my question, so its reappearance today has greater impact. Pulling the same cards over and over again tends to happen to me a lot, like the cards are saying, Hint, hint? Get the message already, lady! Which I genuinely appreciate, as tarot’s become my esteemed and much-needed ball-buster. 😀

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My chosen crystal pairing: apache tear + aquamarine for release and moving on.


Mystic Monkey: The Ace of Swords

Ahh, today’s tarot card blows in like a breath of fresh air: the Ace of Swords.

With its cool, clear simplicity, this card embodies the pure essence of the Swords suit–intellect, rationality, ideas, communication. No mincing words or getting clouded with emotion; this sword cuts to the chase with sharp insight. Easy breezy. This bodes well for achievements of the mind–our intelligence, ambition, and ideology. A call for decisiveness and ingenuity. Of the air element, this card also has a little fire to fuel our innovation and taking the offensive. It can perhaps become a little too cool and calculating, though, verging on callous and contentious.

At any rate, just looking at this card clears my muddled mind, helping me shake subjective fears to get to the heart of a matter and do what needs to be done, say what needs to be said, in a logical, reasoned manner. Or at least I try to. “Monkey Mind” is kind of an occupational hazard. 🐵

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My chosen crystal pairing: blue calcite + Tibetan quartz for calm clarity.


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