well ! here's our first entry in the new format - settling in, getting used to typing it up this way. and we're for sure off with a bang here! i get kind of a "and they're off!" starting-line feel from pulling this card at the outset of a project like this. but i feel i should note, this isn't a race horse, it's a war horse. let's check in with waite:
"He is riding in full course, as if scattering his enemies. In the design he is really a prototypical hero of romantic chivalry. He might almost be Galahad, whose sword is swift and sure because he is clean of heart. Divinatory Meanings: Skill, bravery, capacity, defence, address, enmity, wrath, war, destruction, opposition, resistance, ruin. There is therefore a sense in which the card signifies death, but it carries this meaning only in its proximity to other cards of fatality. Reversed: Imprudence, incapacity, extravagance."
a prototypical hero of romantic chivalry ... the galahad reference is interesting. galahad is a knight from aruthurian legend, a chosen one destined to attain the holy grail ... doesn't get much more romantic than that. the swords in tarot are often referred to as "double edged" in this way where they represent weapons, but also the "cutting edge" of the intellect, noetic discernment, and the like. im thinking lately about how this perception of the sword must have evolved over time alongside the tarot itself, from the first medieval decks to the waite-smith (first published in 1909) to today - from the de-facto deadly weapon of war and conflict to an image of a romantic past. like, not to do that super corny thing where brad pitt has a pistol called "broadsword" in romeo plus juliet, but what if this guy was driving a car holding a gun? its a very different image, less romantic but more potent in other ways - somewhat more immediate, and scary!
i ask about the gun because im curious to strip some of that accumulated romance away from this image and see what's left. for me it kind of drives home the "sword is swift and sure because he is clean of heart" bit. the image is an action shot, a real short exposure, possibly a "moment of truth." and it's easy to romanticize that moment in the abstract, placed some time in the future. but when it comes, there's no time to think - we'll act as we've prepared ourselves to act. my read for the week is this: we're called to make those preparations now which will make our actions swift and sure when the wave does crest, to assess our capacity with honesty and discernment, and build it up from there. big stuff, but delivered i think with big love. see ya next week!