Facing the Music of Defeat

Five of SwordsJustice reversedThe Five of Swords plus Justice reversed: this doesn’t look like an easy day. Unfairness, bad news, and defeat. We may have tried and tried, but there is one battle that we just aren’t going to win — at least not today. I decided to draw a third card, this one from Toni Carmine Salerno’s Universal Wisdom deck, to help us cope with or at least understand some of today’s frustrations, and pulled Power: we’re not helpless victims in all this. We play a role in our own defeats, whether through unwise choices or self-sabotage. That might not sound very empowering to you, but sometimes Power means that we need to stand up and take responsibility.

Frankly, I was expecting to draw Acceptance, but Acceptance is a little too passive for today’s energy. Acceptance says that things happen for a reason and that we need to take a wider perspective, that things will be all right in the end. But today doesn’t call for this approach. Rather, it calls for stepping into our power and engaging with the energy of defeat. If the defeat is coming because we have screwed up, then we have to do more than just say “I’m sorry.” We have to try to make things right, using our third chakra energy: will power, discipline, and dignity. We can’t just fling our swords on the ground and have a tantrum, and we can’t just give up and walk away. If there is a way to turn the Justice card right side up today — and I’m not sure if there is — it will come from facing the music. Power

There may be a little bit of a bitter taste in all this. There IS something unfair about it. Maybe some of the unwise choices that led to this situation didn’t feel so much like choices, or maybe they were choices in which we tried to do the right thing, put others first, and got in over our heads. And it does feel unfair, under the circumstances, that we can’t snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. But the flip side of defeat is starting over — life goes on — and today’s new moon energy may be just right for setting a better course this time around.

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