Set Aside Acts of Self-Destruction. Rest and Delay. Give It Time. Later, Take Control of Life.

reversed 10 of Swords, reversed Emperor, 9 of Pentacles

Drawing today from the Samurai cards, today I pulled the Emperor, reversed, Nine of Pentacles, and, pulling them together (in my new favorite triangle spread: two cards at the base, one card at the top that ties them together) reversed Ten of Swords. The Ten of Swords is always something more than defeat — it’s defeat that ushers in a drama queen moment: “I can’t go on!!” And in fact, on the Samurai Tarot’s version of this card, a samurai has been defeated in battle and appears to be considering seppuku.

But the cards on the base of this triangle tell us, bracket the seppuku idea, delay, and come back to those feelings later. For now, rest after a long day (Nine of Pentacles). Let the moon recharge you. Let your emotional waters still. Let the turbulence calm. Right now, the inner Emperor may feel defeat keenly, so keenly that it’s unbearable, but later, after some rest, it will be possible to turn that Emperor right-side-up again and take control — of life, not of death (we can exercise some degree of control in our lives, but after death, neither I nor anyone can guarantee you control).

For those reading this who may be, like the samurai on the Ten of Swords card, considering suicide, or considering cutting or starvation or other forms of destructive self-harm, is it possible to bracket those feelings and set them aside just long enough for a short delay? Just long enough to get some rest, for example. Consider that while such self-destructive acts may impart a feeling of control (The Emperor), they aren’t true control — what they truly are is the Emperor reversed, out of control, grasping at straws. Rest. Let your emotional waters still (through meditation or hypnosis, perhaps, or simply by getting some sleep). Then, when you are ready, tackle the project of taking control of this situation with baby steps: get up and take a shower. Eat something. Then make the call that you need to make to get some help and support if you need it. Remember, Emperors need a staff of helpers, so find yours. Emperors also know that getting better doesn’t happen overnight: it takes strategy, planning, setting goals, and making incremental progress toward those goals. It takes time. So give it the time that it needs. And while you are waiting, don’t try to hit the reset button. Instead, learn some good waiting skills — something that will calm your soul in the meantime.


    1. It’s a wonderful deck in that way, yes. The Corporate Flash Cards are actually very good in that department, too.


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