'The pen is mightier than the sword''-Edward G. Bulwer.
This well known saying was written approximately 200 years ago and how true it is. All quotes are open to interpretation but for me this this expresses how temperance is more so applied when we are communication in written form rather than spoken.
Swords, in Tarot, represent the air element and this we connect to communication, often spoken communication but it's general umbrella is thoughts and communication. Its delivery can be with lightning speed and as sharp and as cutting as any sword-this renders it harmful at times.
Whilst it may be sharp and seemingly hurtful it can also incredibly effective in dealing with nagging issues that never get resolved and however seemingly harsh it may seem, it often brings around improvements.
Reflected in our Tarot readings, we will see this played out with a court card delivering the blow, if the Knight of Swords is the nominated culprit, it will be delivered with such speed that you will not see it coming.
An argument out of the blue, the final straw that broke the camel's back and a clearing that can at least, pave the way for understanding and compromise.
We all know how harsh the Queen of Swords can be when reason fails and a whipping from her tongue hits a nerve, in fact look to the direction that her sword faces in the Tarot reading because it is likely to be culled in one swift blow! Many a relationship or negative situation has been brought to the end point by this Queen’s sword. In essence, her purpose, however harsh she may seem, is often with good reason.
But of course, the sword delivers Justice also where we see the thought process of clarity, unbiased and intellectual reason working hand in hand to bring initiate balance within the order of the cosmos.
Of course not all actions of the sword are externally directed, thought internal but depending on how it develops can depend on how it affects us and the environment around us.
So yes, the pen may be mightier than the sword but sometimes the sword is necessary, there is always a place for temperance and it is the ideal but temperance is not always reached or gained by the ideal.
Tarot guides us considerately through the minefield that is life, in all its varied dynamics, when you think of the air element, think of its extremes and subtleties.
Think of how the wind blows and changes direction within a moment how it can be the gentle caress over a stream of emotion or the violent whipping of a tornado that leaves a trail of devastation.
“Because even the smallest of words can be the ones to hurt you, or save you.” ― Natsuki Takaya
Deck images: Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery- Robert Place