• The Five Swords of Mercury

    Text by Sasha Marchetti

    © Ciro Marchetti

    As if confusion and disinformation had not reached their highest point yet these days, now we got Mercury, the planet of thoughts and communication, going retrograde today — and that until 3rd February. Just on time for the New Year of the Water Tiger and Great Reformer Pluto moving into another sign (after 20 years) along with the lunar nodes of Karma. For more information about Mercury's annual retrogradation periods, you may read this article reposted in 2018. For now, I just wanted to share with you Shasha Marchetti's thoughts and the brief exchange I had with her on Instagram about a recent card draw she did, using a deck her father illustrated. I am a big fan of Ciro Marchetti and actually own several of his oracles as I find his illustrations way more inspiring than the traditonal ones (Tarot of Marseilles, Lenormand, Kipper). And I'm especially fond of his Oracle of Visions with its keyword-free cards allowing intuition to run freely.


    The Five of Swords. Overall not considered to be a particularly positive card. It is often related to conflict, to winners and losers in a situation. The particularly negative side of this card can be that it brings a “win at all costs” attitude. If we were all existing on a battlefield, swords drawn, then yes — perhaps that is a situation that justifies such a mindset. But at this time in the world, the most common form of conflict is the verbal kind. And it is a bit harder to justify “going for the jugular” during a modern day argument that is (most of the time) not exactly a life and death situation.

    I found it interesting to pull this card (usually connected with Aquarius), when Mercury (the planet related to our communication and how we express ourselves/verbally interact with others) is in Aquarius. Rather than focus on the negatives of this card, it seemed like exactly the right time to analyze how we interact with others in these situations. And to realize that we need to ask ourselves if these arguments and the potential “wins” are really wins at all? We need to approach tensions and issues with others with the airy, objective, detached, mental approach of Aquarius. We need to choose our battles. This is not to say that we should ever hold back what we think or the need to stand up for ourselves. We are entitled to express our thoughts and be assertive when we do. We just need to be discerning in our approach. We need to be sure that we can do so without the need for low blows or shady, underhanded behavior. If we need to cheat, sneak, insult or deceive to attain our win or prove our point - we are not winners. It is ok to sometimes be the loser, walking off the battlefield feeling defeated. It is better to be a loser with some integrity than an undeserving “winner”.

    When there is an argument or conflict that has taken the turn into fighting dirty — nobody wins. Everyone suffers, everyone is worked up, everyone is upset. Winner or loser, you both partake in an unnecessarily negative interaction. For what? Why engage in such heightened emotional dramas and exchanges that trigger the worst sides of us? Even the winner, after throwing daggers left and right is now stuck alone on the field, picking up the mess he’s made and potentially cutting his own hand in the process. Or at the very least left with the knowledge that perhaps what they’ve said or done was not right. Knowing they do not genuinely deserve this “win”. You should not be content or satisfied by an ill gotten victory. To be so only shows denial and that you do not believe yourself capable of winning any other way. Which by default is a bit loser-y in itself, no?

    We are all guilty of wanting to be “right”. Maybe even truly believing we are. Either way, it is still not worth it.

    Let this card remind you that you do not always have to win (or partake in the conflict at all). RELAX. And when the battle is unavoidable, be sure to engage with integrity. Win or lose.

    Note: This is not meant as a general description of this card, but my interpretation of it at this moment in time and what I think can be learned from it.

    ♦ ♦ ♦

    pensine_mutine : 100% agree. Just for information, after using the traditional tropical zodiac for decades, I recently felt guided to experiment with the sidereal one (with a different ayanamsa than Hindu astrology uses, i.e. the Galactic Center as reference point rather than artbitrary fixed stars) and so far it is, in my opinion with charts studied, much more accurate. This way, Mercury is currently in Capricorn which goes well with the energy of the Devil [card] where one needs to cut through layers of illusion and go beyond what meets the eye in their communication and thinking. Just my opinion and feeling, but I thought it would be worth sharing if anyone would like to experiment.

    ciromarchetti.art : Thank you for sharing. Very informative and interesting. I have also recently started to explore more into various systems and I think it is very useful to take the time to dabble in them all, see the similarities and differences of what’s “going on” from each one's point of view or reference. Never ending ways to interpret it all and always something to gain! - Sasha

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  • Comments

    Friday 14th January at 17:52
    Your take on the card seems very astute when I study the picture.
      • Friday 14th January at 19:12

        Thanks. Actually it's Sasha Marchetti's own description. I just added my feeling about the Devil card (associated with Capricorn since in sidereal astrology Mercury is transiting Capricorn, not Aquarius) which is also regarded as the Victorious Sword in Sacred Numerology. I find it fascinating how all this ancient knowledge,  astrology, numerology and tarot are all related and compliment one another.

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