The Three of Swords

I doubt that anybody feels comfortable when they pull this card in a reading. The Lord of Sorrow almost always indicates some sort of disruption which will cause pain and uncertainty. Such disruption leads to loss of balance and disharmony.

At worst, the Three of Swords will indicate loss or separation. In order to determine how serious this is liable to be, you need to consider the cards surrounding this one. With Death, or the Tower, the loss is liable to be of a serious and deeply distressing nature.

With cards like the Seven of Disks, you'd expect to find unexpected changes in the working situation - redundancy for instance. With Cups, the impact will probably be felt in the emotional area. Wands could indicate loss or damage to your inner nature - a big blow to the self-esteem, as one example.

However, sometimes, particularly when the Lord of Sorrow is not badly aspected by the cards around it, there's another more complex reason for its appearance. This card will always come up during a period of unhappiness, confusion or disturbance. There will be doubt (especially of the self), inability to make decisions, sometimes ill-health which wears you down and makes you feel that you cannot cope.

And often during times like this, there are choices and decisions to be made, which you feel too uncertain to tackle. Yet the fact that you are unable to make your decisions perhaps prolongs a difficult or unsatisfactory situation, adding to your anxiety and worry.

To identify this as a meaning for the card, look for cards indicating weariness and apathy - Seven of Swords, Five of Disks, the Moon etc - and the absence of other 'bad' cards. If you feel that the Three of Swords is indicating that you are too untrusting and insecure to make important decisions, first and foremost, agree to give yourself a break!

Let things develop on their own for a while. Rest and allow yourself time to build up your energies. Then you will stop feeling quite so inadequate, and will be able to make the choices which will shape the next phase of your life.

And if the Lord of Sorrow brings grief and sadness into your life, try hard to look forward in the reading to the start of the recovery period, in order to give yourself something positive to hold onto. Sometimes this card will appear to mark a shocking unexpected event which, whilst painful, is not as awful as it might first appear. It helps a little to know when the tide is going to begin to turn in your favour.

The Three of Swords

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