“This may pinch a bit,” the card seems to say. The suit of Swords symbolizes the element of Air, and represents intellect, thought, communication, ideas, and Springtime. Threes bring the element of the suit from conception (one) to union (two) and into manifestation (threes).
And, as we imagine the owner of this pierced heart may be, I am confused. This picture seems so bleak when the original idea (swords) looked so good in conception. There was agreement, the idea became a thing and… Now in formation (threes) there is disillusion in the harsh reality of what was once just a bright and gleaming thought. I don’t know anyone who likes this card. The picture is gruesome. The outcome severe.
But this is not a card of utter destruction, even if pain is implied. The trouble comes in trying to pin down the human heart. Try to make it hold still long enough to get an idea, any idea, through and you may find it beats no more. This is bad enough if it is your own heart. It takes a surgeon’s hand to try with someone else’s.
Bringing any idea into manifestation means bringing it from the ideal into three dimensions and therefore also giving it duration (time). And this is the ultimate pinch of this card is understanding the ultimate death of anything that lives in time. This card is about pinning down all that big-hearted idealism. It is a loss of innocence. And it is the sigh of Understanding.
Images from The Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck are used in this blog. They feature the artist, Pamela Colman Smith’s, original coloring and lovely back design. The cards are a bit oversized and printed on sturdy cardstock. This deck is one of my personal favorites. =:->AD
Rider-Waite images used with permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.