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Fairytale Tarot - three of swords

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moderndayruth's Avatar
moderndayruth  moderndayruth is offline
Join Date: 14 Nov 2006
Location: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
Posts: 7,201
Fairytale Tarot - three of swords

Initially i posted this in another thread on 3oS
but i guess i should strat a new one so Moonbow or Sulis can add it to the index

I am working with Karen Mahony's Fairytale Tarot (i know everyone is into her new deck now, but i obviously have an issue with timing ), and i had new thoghts on three of swords.
The story that goes with the card is The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde, one of those stories that breaks your heart...
The student in the story says at the end "What a silly thing love is - it's not half as useful as logic", he trows to the street the red rose the bird died for, pulls out a dusty book and begans to read...
Well, in this way or another, it happened to all of us at some point of time, hasn't it? As i drew this card today as my daily drowing i contemplated over it for a while...
You know me, i tend to percieve everything as an aspect of my own self, so i came to the conclusion that the bird would be the romantic, emotional and irrational me that doesn't end well, at least today...
The studend would be the rational and practical me who does pull the books and "escapes" from the emotional pain to the intellectual rationalisation.
Hope this makes sense

I must say it was quite paranoid experience for me - to drow the 3oS as a daily card Whoever called me yesterday or whomever i met - i was like (with suspicious looks) "aha, so you could be the one that will betray me/break my heart!"
In a way i felt "relieved" when it turned out to be just another the-War-of-Rouses-like fight with my dearest&nearest
Honestly, i was drained from work and as some of you know i am anyway quite shaken lately - so the yesterday's experience more felt to me like Tower than 3oS...
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berrieh's Avatar
berrieh  berrieh is offline
Join Date: 17 Dec 2007
Location: florida, USA
Posts: 1,175

I find this 3 of Swords to be enchanting.

I love that The Nightingale is literally willing to endure torture and death for a single, red rose, for just the IDEAL of love, to help this young man who cannot understand or interact with the sweet little bird. Of course, the bird's sacrifice is useless---The girl doesn't want a rose after all, and the boy, easily returning to his books, doesn't even seem to want the girl that badly. But the bird wanted the rose rather badly, bled for it, and died for it.

Personally, moderndayruth, I don't read the story as the boy "hiding" in logic so much as never being that in love with the girl in the first place. I think he was infatuated with her, found her beautiful, wanted to dance with her, and then was annoyed at being rejected. Not heartbroken. So, there's not much to hide. Of course, it's up to interpretation, but that's just what I get.

I think it's definitely a card of suffering and sorrow, as the 3 of Swords always is, but I think it also speaks to: "Why exactly are you going through so much pain? What's the point?" It urges the querent to move along, get through this, and stop killing themselves for some 'idea' about love. Both the boy and the bird get stuck on an idea---the bird dies for her idea of love. And why? To what end? It's wasted in the end.
Top   #2
Queen of Disks's Avatar
Queen of Disks  Queen of Disks is offline
Join Date: 27 Sep 2007
Location: Nightvale (Middleburg Hts, OH, USA)
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Queen of Disks 

I read this fairytale long before I got the deck, and I remember wanting to climb into the story and strangle the boy for being so completely dense. I felt really upset and angry over the fate of the bird, who basically died for nothing. The boy can't appreciate the rose, or the sacrifice it took to get this rose (even if he could appreciate it), or understand love in general. Even now, when I see the card, I want to climb into the card and choke this idiot.

This card says "heartbreak" more then any other Three of Swords out there. I use it for my daily one card readings, and this card came up on the day of the assasination of Benizar Bhutto (sorry if I spelled her name wrong.)
Top   #3
Master_Margarita's Avatar
Master_Margarita  Master_Margarita is offline
Join Date: 01 Oct 2007
Location: Samsara Central
Posts: 2,040

To me the greatest heartbreak in the story chosen to illustrate the card is the student's rejection of [what he thinks is] Love.

But isn't Love, it's really self-involvement, which I think is nicely illustrated by the grand old chestnut of James Henry Leigh Hunt, "The Glove and the Lions" (I've bolded the line that illustrates my point):

King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport,
And one day, as his lions fought, sat looking on the court.
The nobles filled the benches, with the ladies in their pride,
And ‘mongst them sat the Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sighed:
And truly ’twas a gallant thing to see that crowning show,
Valor and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.

Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws;
They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws;
With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled on one another,
Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother;
The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air;
Said Francis then, “Faith, gentlemen, we’re better here than there.”

De Lorge’s love o’er heard the King, a beauteous lively dame,
With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same;
She thought, The Count my lover is brave as brave can be;
He surely would do wondrous things to show his love of me;
King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine;
I’ll drop my glove, to prove his love; great glory will be mine.

She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled;
He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild:
The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place,
Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady’s face.
“By Heaven,” said Francis, “rightly done!” and he rose from where he sat;
“No love,” quoth he, “but vanity, sets love a task like that.”

Trying to look at all sides of the story as it might explain this card, I also considered the following: the student is very young, and immature. He rejects reality for books.

The time may come when this man who is so very, very young might lift his head from those dusty books and realize that there is more to life than Logic after all. The thought that he might never do so and die an unrealized life is indeed part of the heartbreak of this card.

Top   #4



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