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Woundology. Ten of Swords and Overkill!

‘’There’s a fine line between compassion and a victim mentality. Compassion though, is a healing force and comes from a place of kindness towards yourself. Playing the victim is a toxic waste of time that not only repels other people, but also robs the victim of ever knowing true happiness.”

Bronnie Ware. The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.

If one card literally ‘needed’ another card then it would be the 10 of Swords.

The 10 of Swords needs the Earth Mother's ‘let’s get on with it and love’ of the Queen of Pentacles. Sitting them side by side it is palpable; the Queen gently pulls the swords out and says 'why kill yourself with 10 swords when only one will do - you can be crucified just once!’ The Queen believes in the power of nature whether it is herbalism or a walk in the woods, she knows that being outdoors will do everyone the greatest of good. She is prompting the violated ten to do something for the self which is unconditional love towards the self, but will the ten listen?

Will the spirit be able to break free and inculcate the change?

The Ten of Swords requires nurture and support, loving kindness and most of all an honest, in depth look at the past, especially the bits that took chunks out of the soul.

We have all met one or even been one…a victim, some are more perpetual than others. The victim, unlovable, neglected and abused. The aesthetic vision of yourself as Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, doomed to live amongst the flying buttresses of the cathedral, now itself, a victim of fate and fire. It will be interesting to see the process of its rebirth.

The question the Ten of Swords is asking is ‘will I continue to exist after I have let go?’

I can see in this card something akin to the fear of dying. After the event then, is one completely annihilated and thrust into the void? This existential crisis comes as we decide are we the victim or the champion?

Sometimes, in order to heal the wound, it is appropriate that we hit rock bottom.

We have to feel, smell and touch our pain. The wound takes on a life force, an image of all that hurt. The secret is not to unpack and live there. We have to witness our own descent into the wilderness of the soul before we can begin to shake off the dark spectre of suffering. Then we can make a choice. The Ten of Swords tells us that it is time to bring closure to the misery, say goodbye to our suffering, to learn the humility of being human. No experience is ever wasted and as we transform that pain into the glistering treasure of wisdom we can leave behind all that is no longer relevant. I think it is not about forgetting or forgiveness, those little beauties are paths and one is thrust upon them as one recovers and remembers, they are certainly not overnight sensations. You just don’t do the forgiving immediately, besides some things are harder to come back from than others. Acceptance is much more valuable and allows for self-forgiveness. Acceptance is key to moving on.

As readers it is very probable that you will meet people who want to be the victim.

They refuse to let go of their painful circumstances as they hold close to their breast the violations and the wounded heart. It becomes patently clear that they are crying out to experience love; to give it and receive it.

We bear witness to that spirit crying out for redemption. Yet we are also listening to the ego as it refuses to loosen its grip on an identity that clings to itself like a limpet to a rock. Being a victim is an act of rebellion, a denial of responsibility, a disregard of personal accountability.

It is a shout in the darkness for somebody to take charge, to do the work, to make the decisions.

The victim is calling out to break the shackles of the past, a past which created the conditions of lack and need.

The spirit wants to return to love but how?

As consultants, storytellers, problem solvers, inspirers and guides we can use our insights to encourage movement forward and empower the spirit to co-create with the ego to facilitate meaningful and workable life choices. However it is important to note that the shadow archetypes we adopt are not always ‘bad’ for us. It can sometimes be the best bit of ourselves. It is the part that will make growth an option that will eventually become a priority. There is always choice.


Witnessing someone's pain can be daunting. A natural reaction might be to relate it to your own stuff but in a way that strengthens a new pain body. Empathy, whilst noble, is not compassion. You are holding space so that a person can explore their suffering which may be multi-faceted. Be patient and calm. Let the person know you are listening. Compassion is recognition of the journey in another. Allow your heart centre to open; we can’t help people but we can love people.

We can be afraid of saying the wrong thing or being impolite or trespassing in the emotions of others but that is your job! With the right language we can say what needs to be said. Respect and honour the journey of your client.

Trust the information you receive from your cards and from your psychic awareness.

Put it together and tell the story of your client so they can stand back and get some clarity. Leave nothing out; try not to censor your insights.

Don’t make the session about you! Your stuff is not important now. Your personal experiences are useful as they add to your wisdom, we can only intuit what we already know. However, work with your perception for the greater good of the client.

Avoid telling someone what to do. You can only point out the influences that are salient and meaningful at the time. Remind your client that what you say is not written in stone, they have to make their own choices. Their destiny is in their hands and is their responsibility.

Don’t take your readings home with you. Leave them in the consulting room.

Send the intent that the sessions are over; the last thing you want is somebody else’s suffering sticking to you. Believe in yourself and the way of spirit and trust you have been of service.

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