Back to that Ten of Swords and entertaining strange notions. The whirlwind, yes, the storm, the dust, yes. But in all of that? There is still something. Perhaps not just an obstacle to release, but an alternative to it. The swords as a suit are perhaps the most bound up with the work of liberation, with the severing of bonds, karmic and otherwise.
In the Ten of Swords we see the failure and denial of that. In the Waite deck, we find the figure who would be free impaled upon the tools of freedom. In the Thoth deck, the swords are broken against each other. That, too, isn’t a far cry from the situation of modernity, of technological innovation broken against itself and the world it sought to escape or seal away.
What if in the gathering of Saturn and Venus an alternative to release is offered? What if it represents the assertion of life against release, the refusal of life to simply die, to pass away so that the liberator can keep breaking the wheel of life?
That is the iron road that stretches from the forgotten past to Saturn’s iron stars. The Ten of Swords represents the claims of the muertos, the dead who still circulate in this world, lodged against the liberators, the demand to surrender freedom and endure the suffering that their quest for liberation has wrought.
No more quicksilver games, no catching sight of yourself in the mirror of the world and calling it by your name. Put hand to the iron than bites back, that will still grant pleasure but not ecstasy. There is Venus, still, Death’s Bawd, and there is transformation to be had, but no more of this running on roads carved from the world and pretending to heaven.
Wake up. Taste the bite of dirt and hope.