T-Shot Tarot - Ten of Swords
This week's Testosterone shot card pull revealed the Ten of Swords.
The Ten of Swords is one of those cards I think a lot of readers wince at when drawing. But as an air sign, I have made it a goal of mine to get better acquainted with the multifaceted meanings of the swords cards. So what better card could I draw for this challenge?
To me, the Ten of Swords represents not just endings, but beginnings as well. Every action creates an ending and a beginning in its own way. No matter how much we may feel something is JUST and ending OR a beginning, they go hand in hand. Every decision ushers in a new chapter, and closes an old one
There is a very impactful feeling I get, thinking about this card and transition. Often I hear trans people refer to their birth name as their "dead name", and imply that the person that people saw them as before transition is now "dead". I personally don't like to think of things this way (though I respect every individual's choice on how they refer to their own transition journey). But this card really allowed me to deeper examine how I feel about my transition, and how I reconcile my current identity, my eternal self/soul, and the perceptions people used to have that now feel ancient and estranged.
I am the same person I have always been. I have evolved, but I did not change who I was at a root level. I simply listened to what had been there all along, and then followed the path that made peace between my feelings and my body. I reject the concept that the "old me" is dead, but rather embrace that past. Although this has not always been easy with dysphoria, I try to not be bothered by pictures and memories of me before medical and social transition. Deeper than dysphoria about my looks is the knowledge of how misguided, manipulated, and miserable I was. And that reflection makes it more apparent how my transition has never been about changing myself, but instead about listening to myself.
When I started Testosterone, I felt a massive shift. I could no longer say I was "pre-T" and instead was able to flaunt a concrete date at which I started this new chapter in my life. It was a HUGE beginning for me, and I felt that quite strongly. But what was ending? What was I losing? The loss I experienced, for the most part, was a positive experience for me. But it was loss nonetheless. And I see it all here, in the Ten of Swords.
When I opened this new chapter, I was freed quite literally from the state of my body. I was released from the restrictions, anxiety, and self disgust that I had adopted out of shame and fear. I slowly healed from these emotional impairments due to a physical shift in my biology. In a way, some aspects of my body "died" in that they permanently changed, but in another way, I was "reborn" simultaneously into new aspects of my body, that worked with me instead of against me. I see this card not only as a reflection of my loss, but of what I gained.
Looking into the future, I see the dwindling amount of days between me and top surgery, and this card speaks to me again. With so little time left between me and another bright and healing chapter of my life, where does that leave me? I am looking at my body in the mirror. I am feeling the red creases in my skin from a long day of binding. I am truly admiring my body now, as a testament to the necessity of surgery. I am honoring how long I have been here, so when I am "reborn" again, I will not forget how lucky I am.
There is a lot of high emotion surrounding surgery, as it is my last act of medical transition that I have planned currently. I have been seeing it as a finish line for a lot of my goals, and as a window to a brighter, happier future. Doesn't that make this era now, an unfortunate past? Am I not drudging through the last fleeting moments of having this untreated wound that the future will heal? There is something kind of sadly nostalgic about it, knowing that as much as these moments cause me to pull the sword on myself, these moments are part of an incredible journey that I cannot, and will not want to ever erase.
🗡️ 🗡️ 🗡️ 🗡️ 🗡️ 🗡️ 🗡️ 🗡️ 🗡️ 🗡️
Of course, these are just my opinions about my own journey, and they do not speak for my community. But I would love to hear from other transgender people about this card. Where do you see the Ten of Swords in your journey? How do you feel about the metaphor of death in your identity? Do you struggle to feel a love for any sour moments in your transition?
Feel free to journal with this, talk with friends about this, meditate on this, post about this, etc. And if you ever want to discuss with me, my inbox is always open.