My Rapier Wit


The clear sky sees everything. The clouds symbolize doubt and confusion. The winged sword of perception has cut a keyhole through to the sun and opened the eye of awareness. The whole shape is reminiscent of a light bulb, which symbolizes the birth of an idea. Someone turned on the light!

The snake represents wisdom and knowledge. The snake is the seer and the source of the oracle, which is why I am always painting them. I got to meet a python this month and stroke its skin. How incredible! It was softer than silk and seemed to radiate with energy. Beautiful!

The feathery wings also suggested a quill, because of course the pen is mightier than the sword. History belongs to those who write it. This is why this is my personal Ace of S Words.

And of course knowledge is a double edged sword. Like a snake, it bites. To be fully sentient is to see things you would rather not see. No wonder the swords are the suit of suffering. But they are also the suit of freedom and liberation. Just because our society is fixated with the so called rational mind, at the expense of all other kinds of intelligence, doesn’t mean we should dispense with it altogether. It’s important to use all four weapons equally, even for an artist. I sometimes think artists overcompensate on principle, throwing away our sword and disc functions to try and compensate for the fact that these are all mundane society cares about. But ultimately we need to find a balance, and not sacrifice ourselves to our dreams.

Staying sane in an insane world is a feat not many people manage. Our compulsive thinking is often our worst enemy and most of us are victimized by self defeating internal babble. It is necessary to make the mind your servant not your master, and learn to silence it when necessary. If you wish to have any useful creative ideas, you have to cultivate the emptiness from which they emerge. The rational mind has never created anything original. All it can do is catalog and interpret. If you know its limits it becomes a much more useful tool. The wit cuts and refines and edits what the Higher Self brings forth.

Overly rational types are usually unspontaneous and inhibited. Their thoughts imprison them in cages of doubt and fear. They become addicted to pain and self sabotage. This is the demon Choronzon. But you don’t learn about functions by ignoring them or rejecting them. I am finding the swords card surprisingly enjoyable and cathartic, though from my sketches I am beginning to realize my deck is going to be somewhat confronting…

3 responses

  1. I can so see aspects of the overly-rational in myself at times. Fear of making a mistake can be paralyzing.

    Another very powerful card. And much to think about, appropriately 🙂

    January 5, 2011 at 9:43 am

  2. Oh, this is beautiful! Choronzon live sin my head 😦 “The rational mind has never created anything original.” – I’d like to see the Aces of Swords and Wands have at it!

    There is _nothing_ wrong with a confronting deck, especially in the suit of Swords. Certain types (*cough cough points to self*) need a little Sword-confronting with our mysticism.

    January 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    • Ah all that stuff I wrote sounds so preachy now I read it again, but it is really advice to myself. I have spent years working on shutting up my destructive internal chatter and self criticism. It’s an ongoing task. Swords are my suit, being a Gemini.

      I get accused of being overly mystical sometimes too, but I think both you and I have a strong rational iron fist hiding under the mystical fluffy mitten.

      As for confronting, I won’t hold back on principle. I suppose because to me this is art first and foremost and art has to confront. But people might find reading for customers with this deck a bit of a minefield.

      January 12, 2011 at 6:34 pm

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