Question: What will help us deal with anxiety?
The Card: Queen of Swords, Minor Arcana
Rulership: Scorpio. Element: Air. Colours: White, yellow. Time: Dawn. Direction: East. Season: Spring.
The Deck: The Rider-Waite Coleman-Smith, first published in 1910. Card illustration here by Aimée.
I cast the reading during the Waning Crescent in Leo, in a plume of white sage, with compassionate intentions. May it harm none.
We encounter The Queen of Swords seated on stone throne carved with butterflies and cherubs. Clouds billow at the level of the throne, but the sky above is clear and blue. A single bird flies way above the Queen’s head. The Queen holds one very large sword in her right hand. Wrapped around her left wrist is a mourning bracelet. Her crown is made of gold butterflies and her robes are decorated with clouds. There are trees in the distance; the Queen sits on a higher level, well above the treetops.
Metaphysical Description & Advice:
In the Queen of Swords, we are situated in the element of Air, where we find the bird’s eye view and a higher perspective on life events. And, well, actual air. So, BREATHE. When anxiety hits you, try “Square Breathing”, a technique loved by naval officers, performers, and rescue workers. Breathe in for a count of four, lightly hold the breath inside for a count of four, then gently exhale for a count of four. Repeat.
Air flows and moves and can change quickly. Remember when you feel anxious, the feelings are not going to be permanent. Do not grip the feelings, instead observe them, and like a cloud, let the feelings change. The Queen of Swords, advises mentally riding the clouds into the sky to shift your perspective. See how small human bodies really are on this big planet. Think of yourself as one part of the whole, just one part of the butterfly wing. You do not have to carry the whole burden alone.
Grief and depression often accompany anxiety. The Queen of Swords is familiar with these difficult experiences. She knows loneliness will most likely aggravate anxiety. Try to spend time with folks in-person and through phone and video too. It can be a lot of work to stay connected, but the effort will pay off! Don’t give up. I believe in you. Please always seek counsel when you are feeling overwhelmed emotionally.
Communicate your needs. Be brave and let people know how you are doing. Try admissions like, “I feel lonely, but I’m having trouble making and keeping plans, can you please help? or, “I feel some social routine would help me feel stronger. Can we make a standing weekly phone date?”. Your loved ones can help you better if they know what is happening. Communicate the hard stuff, get it out and see if you feel lighter.
The Queen of Swords reminds us of the dangers of loneliness, but also of the joys of independence. You may need to literally get some fresh air by yourself to clear your head and gain perspective. Remem
ber who YOU are and what YOUR dreams and needs are.
The Queen of Swords suggests we battle anxiety with a clear-head and logic. Communication is also key! The suit of Air holds narrative and stories – what we tell who and how. Clean up your communication and turf stuff like gossip, cruelty, passive-aggressive comments, rudeness, anything hurtful. If you allow someone to hurt you through language, or if you hurt others, this will make your anxiety way worse. Think carefully about the stories you tell. Seek truth and speak truth, keeping in mind the higher perspective. What effect ultimately will your words have? Be honest but be careful. Ease up on your intense judgements of others, you will only be judged harshly in return and no gains will be made.
Observe and listen. See and hear the others around you. Perhaps there is something in their perspective you are missing. Step out of your mental silo and see more clearly what really surrounds you.