Having had a rather pensive weekend pondering a fight I witnessed on Friday I pulled a card from my Thoth deck. It was the Five of Swords – Defeat.
The etymological roots of the word ‘Defeat’ are "undo, destroy". The card seemed to have picked up on the conflict I had witnessed and the subsequent tension I was feeling as I tried to decide whether I should report it or not (it occurred at work).
On a deeper level the card reflected feelings I have been experiencing for the last week or so about defeat. Defeat is often perceived to be a bad thing, if you are defeated are you not also beaten? The answer is not always. Have you ever heard the saying that you must loose the battle to win the war? Sometimes defeat can be about letting something go and allowing something positive to emerge.
I recalled a scene from the film ‘The Horse Whisperer’ about a young girl who has an accident whilst riding her horse. They are both badly injured. She loses a leg and the horse almost dies. She learns to ride again but the horse seems to be ruined and beyond help. In one of the last scenes the Horse Whisperer brings the horse to its knees and then makes it lay down. He then makes the young girl stand on top of the horse. Sounds horrible doesn’t it? However it was for a purpose. It was to show the horse that he could still trust this girl, that he could let go of his fears and just be still and accepting. His fear in effect was ‘undone’. She spends only a minute standing on him and then she spends an age rubbing his legs, neck and body and the trust between them rebuilds. You could say that the horse was defeated and it would be true but in defeat both the horse and the girl were empowered and were richer and wiser for letting go of their fears together.