Turn around / Every now and then I get a little bit lonely
And you’re never coming round.
Turn around / Every now and then I get a little bit tired
Of listening to the sound of my tears.
Turn around / Every now and then I get a little bit nervous
That the best of all the years have gone by.
Turn around / Every now and then I get a little bit terrified
And then I see the look in your eyes.
Turn around, bright eyes / Every now and then I fall apart
Turn around, bright eyes / Every now and then I fall apart
The words of Total Eclipse of the Heart by Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler came to me as I was contemplating the Three of Swords, The Star, and The Emperor; the back-to-back figures of both Major Arcana cards; and The Star’s hypnotic focus on the Three of Swords.
In the song, each “Turn around,” is sung by a male voice, while Tyler responds with her two-line laments on grief and loss and fear – her two-line laments on Sorrow. Is it hard to understand her, when we hear what she is up against?
And is it hard to understand The Star for holding the Three of Swords so vigilantly in her gaze, once we know what the Three of Swords describes?
It is hard to find inspiration when all you can see is everything that inspiration is not.
The Three of Swords describes the kind of overwhelming sorrow that can appear to close you off from everything and everyone. It is the state of being shut out, and of feeling small next to circumstances that are, if not hostile, then indifferent to you. I’m not sure which is worse.
The Three of Swords is what results from making a choice. Once the temporary balance of the Two of Swords (implied as the card preceding the Three in the Minor Arcana) has created a third option, then that sense of togetherness of the Two gives way to the understanding that nothing stays in perfect equilibrium for long, and coming down on one side means opposing another.
Sometimes you do the choosing; sometimes you are the chosen; sometimes you are not chosen.
The Three of Swords speaks to that feeling of outsider-ship that is really one of the cornerstones of what it is to be both alive and aware of our circumstances.
It is both existential and part of the human condition, and also deeply personal.
It is primal: the triangle that closes someone off harks back to the notion of the “eternal triangle,” which we are prone to playing out time and time again even when we have grown up and left home – perhaps even when we know we’re playing it.
It is a thought-pattern that can act as a default that we return to. When we do, that big door appears to close, blocking us from the light behind it.
This light is The Star, who sits – an aspect of us – and waits, her look so intently fixed on the other side of the door that perhaps she forgets for a moment who she is and identifies wholly with Sorrow.
Perhaps you, too, are so intently fixed on the other side of the door that you forget who you are and instead wholly identify with Sorrow, however you choose to define that Sorrow and however it is showing up.
Are you aware of what is moving through you in this moment, and what is seeking expression?
Can you feel in any way, shape, or form what it is to know The Star, instead of continuing to be in thrall to what The Star is looking at?
Can you step away from the state of the Three of Swords, and, in so doing, step on to the other side of that now-obsolete, behemoth of an obstruction, and know that you’re no longer looking for the source of the light at the other side: you ARE the source of the light on the other side?
What you have come through in the Three of Swords (and this could be some time ago) is real. If it weren’t, you wouldn’t be able to identify with it so closely.
But it is no longer real – or it is no longer the only thing that is real. What you have within you to reach for are inspiration, grace, flow, and the ability to connect or reconnect with a force that is as subtle as it is powerful. This force is the contrast to the Three of Swords, but also connected to it: the Three of Swords is what you experience when you feel that you have lost this force; The Star is the moment you remember what that force is, pick up on the current of it moving through you, and move with it.
This current may be subtle, and you may need to work to get to it. This is where The Emperor comes in, and that voice that gently commands you to, “Turn around.”
Sometimes inspiration lands on you like a butterfly.
And other times you’ve just got to get up, get your ass into the world, and make that inspiration happen. This moment is one of those. It’s not that inspiration is not there to be had. No, no. The Star is a sure indication that inspiration is present. But, you see, the Three of Swords can be so compelling, that it takes a bit of propelling to meet it and to activate it into your awareness.
Yes, things may not have gone your way. They may really have not gone your way, and that expectation of Sorrow may well have become so foundational to a certain area of your life that you create the very circumstances that you’re trying to defend against by avoiding Sorrow. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. But you – you are the prophet. You can change what you tell yourself.
You don’t need anyone else’s go-ahead or buy-in. You certainly don’t need to pay attention to anything inside you that convinces you that you have no right. The Emperor as Aries is pure drive. He is momentum, and he is the ability to disregard those who tell him he isn’t able, or that he’s never done it before so he’ll never be able to do it.
The Emperor is the self-appointed authority. This is not a democracy. How can it be when we’re talking about the domain of your life and your autonomy?
Remember that all three cards are inner states. You have known the Three of Swords. You are being moved by The Star. You are also being influenced by The Emperor. Where are you going to put your attention? You don’t need to ignore anything, or to play anything down. But know this: you not only have the ability to shift, you also have a remit to do so. No-one else has the rightful claim to your throne.
Turn around. Take charge. Call the shots. This is your life.
Astrology Correspondences: Three of Swords (Saturn in Libra), The Star (Aquarius), The Emperor (Aries)