Ace of Swords — Tarot of a Moon Garden

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Artist: Karen Marie Sweikhardt


This is one of those decks I got because it was on sale. I decided I didn’t care about it, so I brought it to all the wet and messy places I went. I’d learned my lesson with a precious deck. Unfortunately, because we’ve spent so much time together, I’ve formed a bit of an attachment to this deck. I still don’t particularly care for it, but I use it a lot. I mean, more than others.


I like reading deck reviews where people comment on whether or not they like a deck and how it makes them feel and how accurate the readings they get from it are. I always find it interesting when people say that they don’t like a deck but they find it gives accurate readings. I’m too inexperienced to make such assessments. I don’t particularly enjoy asking questions. I do like thinking about something that’s on my mind and seeing how it relates to a card I draw. Maybe someday I’ll be more advanced.


I am still thinking about publishing my deck. I draw the Ace of Swords. This is a card of pure intellect and great mental clarity. Whether those powers are to be put to good or ill is up to the one who holds the blade.


I hold the blade

to my forehead—

one side good

and one side ill.


I tap the blade

upon my brow.

I tap the blade

upon my brow.

I tap the blade

upon my brow—

Ten of Pentacles — Tarot of a Moon Garden

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Artist: Karen Marie Sweikhardt


Tell me something about my relationship with the wilderness, I asked,
and drew the Ten of Coins, reversed.


Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse—and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
And Wilderness is Paradise enow.


The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, translated by Edward FitzGerald

The Wilderness is all the riches in the world, unspent. The Ten of Coins reversed betrays poor resource management. The recent past of wilderness and human kind has been a fun relationship with no commitment on our side. Our side. All of us and not just me or you or him or her or them, them, them— I speak in plural, all of us, for none of us are here alone amidst the Wilderness. As humans, we are one— and one against the Wilderness, it seems, judging from our actions as a whole. Stability has been undermined. Vast wealth has been squandered. True lovers of the Wilderness weep with a sense of loneliness and loss. The wealth was there and it is gone, ill-spent, the future left unplanned, our children wildland-impoverished. Only the wealthiest of all have found a tree to sing beneath amidst the Wilderness— and know that Wilderness is paradise enough.

Five of Swords — Tarot of a Moon Garden

Saturday, December 10th, 2011
Artist: Karen Marie Sweikhardt


Interpretation: “Divinatory Meanings: Conquest. Defeat. Destruction of others. Degradation. Adversary may arise. Revocation. Infamy. Dishonor. Reverse meanings: Uncertain outlook. Chance of loss or defeat. Weakness. Possible misfortune befalling a friend.”


I’ve got a cold. Invading armies of germs see my immune system is down and break through the weakened fortress, multiplying by the billions. I defend with copious amounts of snot. My throat is raw. My head aches. Perhaps I will try to burn them out with fever.


In the Tarot of a Moon Garden, swords are represented by the dragonfly’s abdomen. When mating, male dragonflies embrace females with spiny claspers in a vise-like grip that often leaves the female with gouged eyes, a punctured exoskeleton, and a split head. A male dragonfly uses his spoon-like and sometimes spiky penis not just to transfer sperm to the female, but also to scrape out rival sperm from previous matings. Sexual conquest at its finest.


Every conquest involves a defeat. Sometimes it is difficult to ascertain whether I am the one with a hollow victory or the defeated person or the one who gave up preemptively. This card may mean any of those, depending on the situation and how one chooses to view it.


My situation: I am in Quebec— my boyfriend’s other home— where everyone speaks French and I can say “Je ne comprends pas,” but I don’t need to, because it’s obvious I don’t understand. His son is 10 and, aside from having the normal why-does-Papa-have-to-bring-his-girlfriend response to my visits, he also gets to be especially annoyed that I am a complete idiot in French.


In any good relationship, there is no grand conquest or defeat, just a thousand little things we have to put up with in each other. If any of us choose to battle, there will be victory and there will be defeat and there will be degradation and there will be adversary. We choose when to battle and when to avoid conflict. Perhaps the five of swords can be a reminder to remain peaceful.