Today’s card is the King of Swords. The throne of knowledge.
What does it mean to know something?
What is the work of knowledge? Does knowing something mean that you have an obligation to do something with that knowledge?
Who taught you what it means to know something, and what the work of knowledge might be?
What motivates you when you share your knowledge?
How do you navigate the difficult path of knowing something and not being able to make other people know it? (We know, for example, that “facts don’t change minds” but where does that leave us?)
How do we challenge hierarchies of knowledge from a throne of knowledge?
How do we honour the insider knowledges of the people around us, when we see them making mistakes?
How do we honour our own insider knowledges when we see ourselves making mistakes?
How does the King of Swords access Temperance? How does the King of Swords find balance?
Today, consider this card a gentle invitation to explore the things you know and the things you might not know. An invitation to bring curiosity to your own experience of knowledge, and to what you consider the work of knowing. An invitation to think about which throne of knowledge you are sitting on, and which you want to sit on.
In my own world, this means that I am going to resist the urge (which is so strong) to give advice.
I find myself with a frantic desperation to prevent my community from “making mistakes” – I can see their patterns and I can see what they need, so why can’t they?! This is not helpful.
This desperation tells me that I am afraid, that I feel the safety net beneath us to be frayed, that I am overextended and under-resourced. I want to help, but I want to help because I feel frantic, chaotic, restless, afraid. This is not coming from a place of compassion, or from the knowledge that people are the experts in their own lives. It is not in alignment with my strongly held belief that people are always already responding to the problems and hardships in their lives, that every person has skills, values, hopes, and dreams that will help them find their way to their preferred stories, preferred selves.
My own insider knowledge tells me that I am so desperate to make everyone else “safe” by convincing them of what I know, not because it will help, but because I am trying to control the outcomes. I am not trusting what I know is true – that people are the experts in their own lives – because I am far away from my own feeling of safety and truth. But I, like everyone else, have choices. I have skills and values and hopes and dreams. I have preferred stories that I can move towards.
The outward focused knowledge, which urges me to convince, cajole, control – this is not the throne I want to be on, today. It positions me as an “expert” in someone else’s life, a position that I actively and intentionally resist!
So, instead, I’m going to turn inward, to my own insider knowledge. What is happening within my own heart and mind? What efforts can I make towards strengthening the safety net, rather than preventing it from being needed? How can I contract, bring myself in, offer myself some comfort?
What I (think I) know about everyone else is so loud. This tells me I need to find some quiet, and figure out what I know about myself.