8 HOD OF SWORDS
Essence: Authority. The discomfort and fear embedded in doubt has led us to seek an absolute authority. Or conversely, we may ourselves claim to be one. Dogma is seductive. Fear of taking responsibility subjects our freedom, choices and life to an outside authority.
The Hod (eight) of Swords represents the opposite of the Netzach. The pendulum has swung from the doubter to the authoritarian. We are at risk of accepting the word of an authority without questioning. All authorities, especially when concerned with thought and understanding, are destructive and possibly evil since they usurp our own experience and perceptions.
Negative self-judgment is the base for the insecurity that binds and restricts our ability for independent thought and action. Insecurity-based fears cause us to retreat from our inner truth and look outside for the answers. We may be afraid of accepting responsibility for our choices or actions, and are therefore willing to submit control of our life to someone who claims to know better or even claims, “I know you better than you know yourself.”
Our need for rightness may take the form of submitting our mental freedom and spontaneous creative consciousness to a restrictive inner authority and our own self-generated dogma. We may be stuck in the arrogant belief that our opinions and values are infallible. We can be as bound and enslaved by our narrow, rigid perception of a situation’s possible choices, as we were in the Netzach of Swords when we were afraid of making a wrong choice or decision. It is essential to recognize the egotism of these fears and then to break free to make more creative choices.
When the Hod of Swords is reversed, we have accepted the authority of a negative parental voice. We have allowed this voice to undermine our self-confidence and our freedom of action. Words such as You’re not good enough, it’s all your fault, how could anyone worthwhile ever love someone like you, you don’t know anything, bind us into a state of immobility. This causes us to fail to act in our own best interest. Intimidated and helpless, we are in danger of being victimized. We may even contribute to our own victimization through our inability to assert our rights.
If this is the case, it is important we develop a strong inner voice to counter the negative messages. A strong affirming inner voice can help us know, trust and assert our own truth.
Even if at first we don’t believe the beneficent voice, with practice we can learn how to counter our negative, destructive messages. Statements like, “I trust myself to know what’s best for me,” or “It’s okay if I’m not perfect, at least I’m working on myself,” may help loosen the bonds of the situation.