A figure stands on an unsteady surface, balancing precariously. In their hands they hold two swords in the shape of an 'X' across their chest. In some card decks they have their eyes closed, in others they are blindfolded. This is the Two of Swords.
Balance at What Cost?
For a tarot reader there can be only a few greater frustrations than the feeling of belated realization encapsulated by this card. The Two of Swords can often feel like we have missed something right in front of our noses.
It's that bill we put off paying and then forgot about, the plans we meant to make and never followed up on, or it's the great idea we had that one night and never got around to writing it down before forgetting.
Like the Two of Pentacles, where we are expending a lot of physical energy, the Two of Swords has us spending our mental energy in maintaining our current situation but at the cost of ignoring, or just plain forgetting that there are other factors to consider other than the obvious one currently taking up so much of our concentration. This card is often shown with the figure balancing on a scrap of land or some other debris, a body of water ready below them should they lose their concentration and slip. All the while they spend more energy in order to maintain everything they can—no matter what seems to be going on externally.
Metaphor for Mental Health?
Perhaps this card could best be described as a call to check on ourselves before we lose our footing. It can be so easy to be caught up in doing the tasks we need to in order to keep our ships afloat.
As an LGBTQIA individual, mental health is often something to check in about. From the closet we struggle to maintain a veil over ourselves—often fooling no one in the process, so one must ask who wears the blindfold then. After coming out there is seemingly never ending process of self-discovery, as we are and as all humans are, constantly coming to understand ourselves in this exact moment in time. And that changes constantly.
Untenable Balancing—The House of Cards Effect
It could be that human nature just makes us so damn stubborn, but we will try to ignore the elephant in the room for as long as we can. Even if we end up paying for it later. But the Two of Swords is a subtle reminder that when it comes to staving off the inevitable, we are all washed up.
That isn't to say that this is a bad card, not at all! It can be a portent of awareness that comes just in time. When this precarious card appears we have to ask ourselves what we are ignoring. How can we go forward without ignoring the things we need to focus on? What does it mean for us to surrender to the moment?
Just remember, even if the figure ends up falling on their butt in the water below, there's dry land and a warm towel somewhere. We just gotta get there first and we can't do that wearing a blindfold along the way.