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Sweet Little Lies

 The Linestrider Tarot by Siolo Thompson 

The 7 of Swords is one of those cards that the shadow is pretty evident; especially when it is upright, but the truth is that it goes much deeper. The card conveys deception, lies, and stealing.  In most Rider Waite versions of the deck, the thief can usually be seen with his arms full of swords, walking away from the community that he stole from, as he looks back to make sure that he is getting away with it.  There is sneakiness to this card as the thief tip toes away with his bounty.


In this version from the Linestrider Tarot, we see what appears to be a pirate, carrying 5 swords while 2 are left behind.  He is not looking behind him, but in the community, as billows of smoke permeate the air as if something has been set on fire, suggesting that perhaps the pirate set the fire as a diversion so he could get on with his business of stealing without being noticed.  It seems to be working too, because the one figure that can be made out appears to have his back to the pirate. 


When we apply it to shadow work, let’s look at the pirate in this particular deck first as he is the central character in this card.  In most, if not all, of the tales that I have heard about pirates, they are notorious for being thieves.  Sometimes, they would sneak up on ships at night so they could board it and take over while everyone was sleeping.  Other times, they would pretend to be in distress so a nearby ship would come to save them and they would do the same thing.  They certainly had the reputation so it seems logical that they would need a diversion so no one would know that they were around.  If others knew they were in the vicinity, all eyes would be on them so stealing would be extremely difficult.  If you are the pirate, you find ways to deceive people to get what you want.  You don’t really care how you go about it, what gets damaged or who you hurt.  The main question here would be “why”?  Why don’t you care what gets damaged or who gets hurt?  Is it because you will do whatever it takes to get what you want?  Do you really need what you are trying to get or is it just a challenge to you?  Perhaps you like the power you feel when you deceive someone else.  Maybe you think it makes you a better person. 


Obviously, not all deception is as blatant as our friend the thief here.  Sometimes the deception can be what is perceived as an innocent lie.  The obvious reason we lie is because we don’t want the other person to know the truth, right?  Why don’t we want them to know the truth?  Sometimes, the truth is something that we are having a difficult time facing ourselves.  It can be embarrassing, such as being fired, or being arrested.  Sometimes we lie because we don’t want to hurt our loved ones and other times we are only concerned with our own needs and desires.  I have seen people lie because they just didn’t want to deal with the truth with the person they are talking to.  They get asked  questions and because they either just don’t want to deal with it, or don’t have time and they know that the truth will bring about a lengthy conversation, its just “easier” to tell a little white lie than to tell the person the truth. Another behavior that I have seen is purchasing an item, usually clothing, wearing it to an event and then returning it after it serves its purpose.  They are deceiving the shop, making them think they have the money for this item but their intention is to take it back after it has been used.  Whenever you are deceiving anyone in anyway, it’s important to ask yourself why you are doing it.  Now, I don’t expect everyone to do this because, lets be honest, if you are the pirate, you are more than likely not going to really care that you are hurting people so you have no interest in changing. However, if you tell a lie because it takes less time than the truth or because you don’t want to hurt someone, it’s important that you deal with your own feelings around it.   Trust is lost in these situations and once it’s lost its difficult to get back.  Many people know this and yet, they still think that their situation is different, because nothing is black and white.  There is a lot of grey in this world, but it’s very important to take a look at the real reason that you do it and decide if it’s a risk that you are willing to take because inevitably, the truth will come out.


There is also the issue of deceiving yourself, telling yourself it’s ok to do this or that for one reason or another.  We touched a little on this above, lying because it takes less time or because you don’t want to hurt a loved one, but what about other justifications?  For instance, you are at the local library and someone leaves their ipod.  Do you take it or do you turn it into the libraries lost and found?  The justification would be “they probably won’t even know where they lost it.  I doubt they will come back” or “someone stole my ipod, so the Universe is leaving this one for me because I deserve it”.  Maybe, you know the person that forgot it, they aren’t very nice so you take it thinking that they deserve it.  Most justifications, not all, are self deceptions.  It’s a way of making ourselves feel better about the situation, a way of thinking its ok when it more than likely isn’t.  Not all self deceptions revolve around lying or stealing.  It can be anything that we are lying to ourselves about.  For instance, saying that we are ok health wise but we have a nagging pain somewhere because we are afraid of what the problem could be. 


Let’s move on to being the one that is being deceived.  Do you have someone in your life that is always deceiving you?  How do you handle it?  If you are turning a blind eye to it, why?  If you allow deceptive behaviors in those around you, you have to try to understand why.  It could be that it hurts to think about someone you love in this way.  When we have loved ones who lie and cheat other people, chances are they are lying and cheating us as well.  If they aren’t already, then that line is easier to cross and they will probably do it at a later date.  It’s a self deception to think that it will never happen.  More often than not, it does happen.  I’ve seen many people say “I knew that he/she was this way, but I never thought they would do it to me”.  Just because you think the boundaries are there doesn’t necessarily mean that they are for the other person.  Maybe you turn a blind eye because don’t like to have confrontations about their behavior.  It’s not easy to do.  There is a certain time and a certain place for it and there are some people that are easier to just “let it go”. Perhaps this person is a close friend and even though they are shifty, they still provide you with companionship.  It’s amazing what some people will put up with when they are lonely, but again, don’t think that they wont ever deceive you in some way.


This is such a hard shadow to get a grasp on because everyone has their own, very personal reasons for doing and saying what they do and they don’t necessarily want to admit that it is, or, may be, a problem.  (Insert justifications here).  If you are lying, even if you feel that it is a good reason, not only does the person lose trust in you when they eventually find out, but just by being deceitful, we can begin to question everyone’s actions and motives.  If we are lying to spare their feelings, perhaps they are lying to us to spare ours.  If that is the case, how do you feel about that?  Is it something that you are comfortable with?  Do you automatically lose trust in them because you are sure if they are telling the truth or not? No matter what part of deception and lies we are dealing with, we are dealing with trust or a lack thereof.  In our above example of taking the ipod from the library...if someone that you were with did took a stranded ipod, would you trust them in your own home?  You really have to make sure that you know someone and know what boundaries that you have and be sure that you live by those boundaries.  Again, this is not a black or white issue.  There is a lot to think about how our actions or inaction affects ourselves and others.


Homework for this month’s shadow work is going to rely on a lot of self observation, inward thinking and journal prompts.  No matter if you are the deceiver or the deceived, there is a lot of questioning that must happen.  Try to catch yourself in a lie that you are telling and ask yourself the questions that are in the journal prompts.  If you are in a hurry and you are about to tell a lie because you don’t want to deal with it, tell the person that you don’t have time to explain right now.  If you lie to spare loved ones feelings, tell them the truth.  It may sting a bit but perhaps but is it better to feel guilty because you lied to them or because you hurt them with the truth?  Whatever spectrum you fall on, try to figure out why you do what you do.  Is it only in certain situations? Do you make excuses for people are dishonest?  Are you keeping secrets? Are you taking the easy way out?  Sometimes when we feel the need to lie to someone one time for whatever reason, the lying becomes easier and it becomes a habit, usually because we don’t really want to take the time.  Take time for the people in your life.  Give them the time that they need.  It’s beneficial for you and for them. 


I hope that this didn’t sound like a lecture, because that certainly wasn’t my intention.  There is also no judgment here.  We all have different reasons for doing what we do, we just may not always think about the why’s and how they affect those around us.  This is only a taste to get you thinking of where you fall in the shadow of the 7 of swords, it’s just one brick in the path to self discovery.  Shadow work is about looking at that part of ourselves and figuring out the why.  It’s all about the why.


Until next month…



Bright Blessings.



This Months Affirmations


I respect myself and my boundaries


My eyes are open to the deception and lies around me


I am honest with myself and with others


I consider others feelings before I lie



This months quote


Insight into character comes from listening intently to the spoken word. The physical person, their charisma, charm and dramatic flair is more often used to persuade audiences, as they use these stealth tools of disguise and deception.~ Maximillian Degenerez



Journal Prompts 


Do I care about this other person?


Do I care about their feelings or property?


Why don’t I want them to know the truth?


Am I trying to spare their feelings?


Am I trying to spare my feelings?


Why is this hard for me to accept?


What about this lie is hard for me to handle?


Do I like the challenge that is presented to me?


Am I deceiving myself in any situation?


Am I deceiving others in any situation?


Do I turn a blind eye to some deceptions more than others?


Do I have someone in my life that is deceptive that I turn a blind eye to?


Why do I turn a blind eye?


What feelings do I have toward this person? Love? Fear? Distaste?


Am I keeping secrets? Why?


Who will my secrets hurt?


Am I giving my loved ones the time that they deserve of me?


The Linestrider Tarot by Siolo Thompson












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Reading the cards since 1999, Machelle enjoys using her empathy and intuition to assist others gain insight into their lives, helping them on their path of personal development and enlightenment.  Her specialty is working with shadows, where she helps others discover and heal the hidden shadows of self that have been tucked away for self preservation but have, in fact, limited each person’s ability to live to their fullest potential.  Also a Reiki Practitioner, she is committed to helping others heal through her business Ray of Light Tarot & Reiki.


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