Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Five of Swords - Accepting Limitation

Portrayed here in the Five of Swords is Apollo, whom is revealing to Orestes his fate, and what obligations that lie ahead of him. Apollo sternly points to the five swords, regardless of how unfair it all may seem. He is expected to accept this allotment, without complaint or avoidance.

 All of us have to accept and come to terms with limitations, within ourselves, with others, and existing situations. At some juncture it is necessary, and positive to face reality, though it may not feel this way at the time, as it is not always easy for most of us, especially if we don't like the reality we are having to face. Hopefully in the long run, there will be a peace of mind, and we can learn to live with whatever circumstance we face and through acceptance, gain a new found happiness.

There are a myriad of actions we can take in order to accept our own personal limitations, and many of these are most helpful, whether it be meditation, counseling, some kind of self-help, or even a change in our relationships, living arrangement or location.

When thinking about the god Apollo, and consider Orestes allotment in life, I don't respond well to part of the idea conveyed. Yes, it is true, we all need to accept limitation in our lives, sometimes swallow our pride, but I am so I'm grateful I don't see the God of my understanding as stern, and merciless, as Apollo is toward Orestes, informing him that he must avenge his father's death, this is his fate, destiny and obligation, no questions asked. Orestes has no choice in the matter. I believe we make our own destinies, determined by our own choices made, and based on our own free will if so, I am not free.

 One thing that does not foster, or enable our ability to accept, and move beyond our limitations in life, is when another attempts to order us, through power and control, to behave in a particular way.  Nor is harshness, criticism and judgement from others, especially when in comes from ourselves, or from those we love. As well, it is of no earthly use to anyone, telling them they are stupid, lazy or hurling other threats and insults. Hurtful, and heavy handed words or actions usually increase, along a continuum, and result in abuse or a cycle of violence.

Obedience to me, has always had strong connotations of doing something out of fear or guilt, and control by outside forces. I have learned, the only way or reason I will "obey" God, and the laws of the Universe, is as a direct result of my own free will. I have chosen to obey, because I want to, and God has given me the ability to decide, and whatever choice I make, natural consequences will ensue, be they positive or negative.


Ellen said...

Although in our eyes this is an unjust task put upon Orestes, It does justice to the meaning of the Five of Swords. I wonder what would have happened if Orestes had said NO....
I like the symbolism of Apollo being the sun god and shedding his bright all revealing light over the situation; how awkward and unjust it might be.

Unknown said...

I was wondering the same thing what would have happened to Orestes if he'd said no. But then we would no doubt have no Greek mythology! Those Greek gods are pretty ferocious.