Knowing & the King of Swords

One of the things I have been busying myself with for about a year is doing some intense study. It started when I was injured and couldn’t do much else. Then I decided to make a career change (terrifying, exhilerating!) and started taking some classes at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). And, well, I’ve been SUPER excited and eager to learn and discuss and grow ever since. It has always been my way when something interested me to delve deep without coming up for air. As a kid, I remember wiping out whole library shelves at school when some topic stirred my heart. I would squirrel myself away in my room until I had exhausted them. As an adult, I do pretty much the same thing – research, read, ask questions, write, meditate, find any way I can to absorb the information in order to make sense of it.

Yesterday in the middle of a disagreement with a friend, she told me that since I started school, I think I know everything. As someone who has always had trouble expressing her voice, it really took me aback. I am someone who is a dissertation short of a Phd and there is this inner part of me that still balks at speaking authoritatively on my subject, despite the years I’ve devoted to studying it. I’ve spent a lot of time (and am STILL working on) trying to overcome a childhood of suppressing my voice. I am a singer and there are literally times when I am feeling insecure that my voice shuts down to the point that I can barely get out a croak, even though I was able to reach the same notes an hour earlier. It left me wondering, “Do I come off as puffed up and overconfident, like I know everything?” It’s certainly not how I feel and it’s most definitely not the kind of person I want to be. So, to ease my mind, I did a little survey of friends and relatives, asking them to be brutally honest. Thankfully, while some did say I have grown more confident, directed and excited as I’ve started to find my path, all of them assured me that I have not been obnoxious about it.

And, then, because all of this devotion to learning is in service to a business I’d like to open in the future and I have been making a habit of drawing a daily card (to reinforce what I already know about the Tarot and learn more!), I asked my Tarot deck, “What do I need to do to best position myself in preparation for a successful business? Am I doing the right things? Am I a know-it-all? What should I be doing? What qualities should I be emulating?”  And who did I pull, but the King of Swords? And what are swords, but the suit of the mind and intellect? Someone is definitely listening to me!

The King is an interesting figure. When I was a young woman, my first serious relationship was with someone who always seemed to me like the archetypal King of Swords. He was a few years older than me, handsome, insanely intelligent, confident, analytical, measured in his thinking and decision making, successful in his business, and very mindful of his responsibilities and doing the right thing. Any time you wanted clarity, he was the person to talk to. He was someone I in a lot of ways admired and looked up to.

At this point in my life, the King of Swords is very much a card about claiming one’s power, not in a domineering way, which can be part of its shadow, but also sitting comfortably with one’s knowledge, gifts and the responsibility that comes with them. If you look at the traditional representation on the card, you see a figure seated on a throne adorned with butterflies and crescent moons (transformation and mystery — something I’d never noticed before today!). He is wearing Blue, red and purple. Red is, of course, the color of vibrancy and passion. While the blue of his robe bespeaks intellect, clarity and spiritual understanding, this is a man who is not only intellectual, but filled with emotion and life. Purple has, of course, been used throughout centuries of art history to denote royalty and spiritual royalty and holiness in particular. The sum of all this imagery together is one of a person who is measured, intellectual and clear, but not without compassion and the desire for spiritual understanding in addition to a more mundane mental sort.

What I found particularly interesting in doing some research, is that the blue of his robe also represents communication, teaching, and self expression. My career change relates to opening a private practice that employs tools like life coaching, story, music, spirituality and creative expression along with modalities like aromatherapy and hypnotherapy to help empower women to create the best and most fulfilling lives they can for themselves. I started my professional life as a teacher and this too is a kind of teaching, so my eyes lit up when I read:

In the meaning of colors, blue relates to one-to-one communication, especially communication using the voice – speaking the truth through verbal self-expression – it is the teacher, the public speaker.

The color blue is idealistic, enhancing self-expression and our ability to communicate our needs and wants. It inspires higher ideals.

That fits right in with our King. He is someone who uses his intellectual prowess and knowledge in service to his responsibilities. He may hold a sword to cut through ideas and find clarity in them, but his other hand also rests peacefully in his lap. He carries within him a balance between rest and action. When he comes up, we are being asked to deepen our understanding and to honor that part of us that needs for things to make sense mentally as well as intuitively in order for us to feel a connection to them. And that’s really what all the learning and studying I do is about. I LOVE to learn. I am enthusiastic about it. I love to share what I learn. I love to discuss it and meditate on it and write about it. I want more than anything to grow and find whatever gifts I have to offer to the world. And, lately, after a lifetime of searching, I’ve been getting inklings of what they are. My once caged heart is starting to flutter its wings and SING! I am happy. I recognize that my work does not have to be tedious, impersonal or superficial. I can choose a path that is deep, loving and fulfilling and there’s room for my love of learning in implementing and creating it for myself. And, so, no, I do not know everything. I am nowhere even close. And, really, I’m not sure I’d even want to, because what would be the fun in that?

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