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All images are scans of Tarot cards crafted by Bruce Mitchell from many sources
| Biblical Tarot - Swords
The theme is the Book of Genesis, a Book of great conflict and strife, hatred and misfortune about the birth pangs of a nation. This is consistent with Air suit meanings.
Exceptions to Genesis theme: Prophet, Pilgrim.
The formation of Eve. The creation of humanity is a two-edged sword of God's creation. This card is about powerful forces for good or bad.
Cain and Abel offering their sacrifices. This card indicates a situation of underlying tension, a state of tense balance.
Joseph sold by his brethren. They then return to their father with Joseph's bloodied coat (dipped in goat's blood) to prove that he has been eaten by wild beasts. Imagine Jacob's distress, grief and heartache on hearing this news. Thus means sorrow and heartache.
Jacob's dream. A time for sleep, rest, recuperation and quiet, inward inspiration.
Cain, enraged because his sacrifice has been rejected (his smoke turns earthwards), slays Abel with the jawbone of an ass. Thus means: unethical means, conquest by enemies, misuse of power, limitations and power.
Abraham uproots on the Lord's orders and journeys into the land of Canaan. He was promised he would make a great nation and his name would be great. Thus means: a journey, or movement restores harmony (but there is still a long way to go).
The flight of Lot. Although Lot is saved, his wife looks back and is turned into a pillar of salt. Thus means: a time of variable effort and caution.
Abraham, at God's request, about to sacrifice his son Isaac. This is to test his faith. It seems that it's damned if you do (dead son) and damned if you don't (wrathful God). Fortunately his hand is stayed at the last moment and he sees a ram in a thicket as a substitute sacrifice. This card is about enslavement and crisis.
The expulsion of Abraham's son Ishmael and his mother Hagar into the desert. The jealousy of Sarah prompted this despicable act. This was a death sentence apart from Abraham being told by God that his lineage would continue through Ishmael. This card is about anxiety, fear and oppression.
Following on from the previous card, this is Hagar and Ishmael in the wilderness. Ishmael is near death from thirst and exhaustion. His mother Hagar, unable to watch her son die, sobs some distance away.
The card is about mental anguish, misfortune and ruin.
It is also about "the only way is up". This indeed happens in this story as God, moved by the child's cries, sends an angel to lead them to a well. They are saved. After Sarah's death, Hagar is reunited with Abraham.
Daniel, whose name means "God is my judge", is linked to the suit of Swords. This suit not only deals with strife and conflict, but also justice. He is pictured in the den of lions. His life seems to be one of adventure, stress, conflict and justice.
Daniel was also known as Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, chief of 'magicians and astrologers'. He was the most famous Mesopotamian astrologer, serving first the Babylonian Emperor, then Nebuchadnezzar, and then the Persian conqueror Cyrus.
Saint Matthew. Matthew's gospel stressed the genealogy of Jesus Christ. It also reflects the conflicts and struggles with other Jewish factions, especially criticising the scribes and Pharisees.
Rebecca, wife of Isaac and mother of Jacob and Esau.
Isaac, son of Abraham and second of the Patriarchs.
by Bruce Mitchell
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