There’s a reason why farmers put manure on their fields to help crops grow. It’s because, if you’ll forgive my language, the shittiest parts of life are exactly the parts that give us the most to work with and the best chances to grow. It might suck that life is like that, but at the same time, it also gives us reason for hope. Because the expression “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” also has a converse: “the harder and farther you fell, the greater the distance that you can rise again.” People who don’t experience difficult life challenges or even horrific life challenges don’t have that same fertile soil within themselves to use to nurture growth — and you need that fertile soil to rise above smallmindedness and become enlightened. That may be why depression so often serves as the doorway to enlightenment.
And this is what I see as the message of the Three of Swords combined with the Magician. The Three of Swords is everything we hate the most in life. It’s heartbreak, and heartache, and it feels like it will never get better because there are three swords in there that don’t seem to be going anywhere. (But imagine the intensity of the relief when/if the body actually does manage to expel those three swords — or even one of them!) The Magician stands for manifestation. We can take those negative experiences and use them to power transformation. What better use for that negative energy than to turn it into something positive?
Moreover, the alternative, to just swallow the swords from the Three of Swords card, and take all that negative energy within, will have a terrible result. Because then, instead of allowing that negative energy to transform, it ferments inside us until it turns into poison.
Now if you’re deep inside a Three of Swords time in your life, you may not care if your internalized anger, fear, and hatred turn into a poison that kills you slowly from the inside out, or turns into lava that explodes in a suicidal or homicidal frenzy. Your self esteem may be at a very low ebb. But sometimes all it takes is a glimpse of the Magician to remind us that the Wheel keeps turning, things change (even bad things eventually change so that something gets better), and to inspire us to grab hold of the Wheel and turn it around for ourselves. That’s true magic — and it’s absolutely possible. People turn things around for themselves every day, rising like phoenixes from the ashes of depression. If it hasn’t happened for you yet, that’s because not all of the pieces are in place yet. You’ve got your fertile soil, but you need to plant a seed and then nurture that seed until it grows. (Yeah, I know, I’m mixing my metaphors!)
That means taking the first step. You know for yourself what that first step is. For some, it means getting up and taking a shower. Maybe making the bed and taking out the garbage. For others, it means picking up the phone and making an appointment to see a professional who can provide medical help. Whatever the first step is for you that you know you need to take, the time is right to do it.