Deirdre of the Sorrows - Three of Swords


This card certainly has the ability to pull our heart strings. Each character in the card is experiencing distress for a variety of reasons. The despair is plain for all to see. There are two different groups as well as a shadowed third character.

Here we see two ladies leaning towards each other, their body language and posture showing all is not well. The woman in white is holding a letter which is out of its envelope. We can only assume the contents of the letter has either led to her despair or has added to it. Is she looking for a shoulder to cry on in the form of the woman dressed in blue? If so, and you associate with her, is there somebody close to you who you can confide in and share your sadness with?
What do you make of the woman in blue? She is leaning towards the woman with the letter, but her arms are not giving any indication that she is able to offer comfort. Why could this be? It is interesting to see that their foreheads are almost touching each other. I believe this could show that some emotional sharing is taking place, as if energy is being passed through the brow chakra. This could resonate on a much deeper level than if she was offering comfort through an embrace. Some people are not tactile, but nevertheless it is still possible to be there at a time of need.
I also saw this as possibly showing there is something that cannot be discussed openly (it may be too painful) but the woman in white may be about to whisper something. Is there an issue in your life that is causing you distress and heartache you feel you cannot talk about openly? If so, what would you want to whisper to the woman dressed in blue?

I believe Deirdre has covered the significance of their presence very well. I can certainly resonate with the child, as I was about that age when my parents split up. As a child of that age it is not really possible to understand what is happening or why. Therefore the emotions and fears of the child will be very different to that of the woman. Thus the appearance of bewilderment on its face. The child is holding something close to its chest but it is hard to make out what this could be. With the presence of the red rose and the three swords it is very easy to see why this could indicate a separation or divorce. If you associate with the child, what is it you feel you have been separated from? How will this affect your actions in the short term? The long term? If you associate with the woman, how could you placate somebody else who has been caught up in the situation with you?

This figure is somewhat enigmatic – all we see is the shadow to indicate their presence. Could this be the estranged partner of the woman with the child? If so, is he leaving the scene or walking towards the room? How would the interpretation differ according to the direction he is taking?
If he is not the estranged partner, could he represent a supportive presence who is discreetly holding back until such time they are needed? (Perhaps a spirit guide or friend etc). His presence could also remind us on a subtle level that we may not be alone for long, even though at the time we may feel as though that is a likely long term outcome. The sun is rising in the distance behind him. When the time is right, somebody may appear in our lives to once again lift our spirits. For now, they are in the shadows as we deal with and work through the pain we are feeling. Whenever this card appears it is worth following through with whichever character we associate most with, but this shadowed figure also has a part to play in the reading. He should not be ignored. His presence could signify many different things depending on circumstances, with only a few possibilities being described above.

In a reading:
I did see this card in a face to face reading with a colleague of mine. She identified with the woman in blue, but I saw that she was hurting herself in some way, but felt she had to offer support to somebody else who was involved in the same situation. At the time she was going through a difficult separation, and it had particularly affected her 20 year old daughter. She had met somebody else who was offering a lot of support and keeping her self – esteem up, but he was not a big part of her life. Having just experienced a separation she was not ready to embrace another relationship, and in this respect she understood why he was shown in the background as a shadowed figure. However, I also saw this as being her Spirit Guide. (she is a clairvoyant medium and understood why I believed this was the case). She was having to deal with this by way of a life lesson, and the Guide was taking somewhat of a back seat so as to allow her to work things through for herself.