Living in the present- in the now – is the place to BE. We all know this. We hear it from every wisdom source there is. Let go of the past and the blame or shame of supposed failures in our lives. Don’t worry about the future. It hasn’t happened yet and most of what we worry about doesn’t happen anyway. Yet, how often do we find ourselves really not in the present? We have slipped backward or forward into some other place of attention.

For those caught in endless rumination of dwelling on mistakes, losses, fears, or devastating events (those which have happened or we fear may yet occur) the Tarot has a card for you: the Ten of Swords. This is the one where a man lies face down in the snow with ten swords stuck in his back, his blood turning the snow red. 

Yikes. Who DID that to the poor guy?

Well, he did. The Swords are about the mind; no one lives in your head but you and those thoughts that rattle around in there endlessly are all yours. Our thoughts create our story about ourselves. Much of our story is based on actual facts-our birth, where we lived, friends, family, lovers, events. We love to tell our story and we tend to hold it as sacred memory. However, our memory can be very opinionated. It likes to embellish certain situations or conveniently forget that which we really don’t want to think about. As we habituate our thoughts, our stories, they become the hard-wired programming by which we operate and create the path we follow into the future.

It is true that some of our thought patterns were downloaded onto us while we were children or in some very vulnerable state. They might have originated from someone else’s thoughts but if let them “live” in our head we have taken ownership of them.

The Ten of Swords gives our tortured minds a gift many overlook. When this card shows up in a reading it is usually seen as one of those “oh no” kind of cards. So why is it is a gift? First, the 10’s indicate change. They are the last of the minor arcana suit cards and from there we move into the Court Cards of Mastery. Tens are ruled by the Major Arcana card of the Wheel of Fortune, the card of Change. We all know we do not optimize every opportunity that comes our way. When Change is offered we often shrink away, preferring to stay in the cozy area of the known (even if it is a miserable known) rather than take a chance on something new, allowing those habitual patterns to imbed deeper and deeper into the patterns that have become our lives.

The gift of the Ten of Swords is the opportunity to leave the old stories behind, free yourself of their repeated outcomes, and move forward on the Wheel to new opportunities and happier stories. Pick any situation or story of your life that is holding you down in the bloody snow of your mind. Look at it carefully and objectively. You will discover a repeated pattern that keeps looping through your head. If this story/pattern is causing you to be stuck from moving forward then I suggest you try rewriting it. We cannot change what has already happened but we can most certainly change how we go forward with it.  The most essential element of healing is to create a new image in your mind and hold fast to it. This is the same principal of affirmations and manifesting. We CAN change our minds and bodies, whether we want to lose weight, sell our house, find a new job, or create a beautiful work of art.

Everyday we are manifesting exactly what we are focusing on. So if what is showing up in your life is more of the same sad story with the same unhappy ending then get to work on writing a new ending to that story and create new stories to carry you forward in a more positive way. Rise up from the bloody snow of the Ten of Swords and release that cold and leaking energy to invite new ideas and thought patterns that bring happiness, success, and peace to your troubled mind.

…Kathryn Ravenwood

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