Finally, there is no avoiding this just and unjust
Confession: While the mighty blade protects and
Provides; it also defeats and destroys. As much a
Guardian as an Enemy, the equity of dreams
And nightmares of enlightenment, it comes to how
I use the edge that counts and that is why
I am wise to use it less than most. Grasping
The power weld with arms requires being adept.
Indifferent to the excruciating details of judgment
I prove life is as I want to live it, to be, because
I am an example of legendary existence.
Fairness is both illusion and true, and I bow,
Knowing there are no accidents, no mistakes.

The Sage of Tools is wise to how dangerous the tool, any tool, is in the wrong hands, and so he or she takes on responsibility for it in a way that no other card does, seeking neutrality even when it is illusive, and mastery of skills and strategy. I imagine this card as a sword master of old Japan, the Samurai class, who worked within specific disciplines. The sword allows for power over others, absolutely, but in this school of thought, power over one’s own passions counted as well. In many schools of initiation this is a peak experience, to master one’s passions and be able to live from a responsive and not a reactive place and finally live as an actor on the stage of life. As a Sage of this suit, we expect proficiency of some sort to occur in our mental work this lifetime. This is a different stage of learning from apprenticeship, advocacy or embodiment of principles of a minor suit. This is a refinement of mental skills taking place here and passing the trials that seem “impossible.” In all honesty, tests simply review what we have just learned and see if we really believe it and get it. An adept has done this and teaches that the main strategy is to stay alert and aware. Often called upon for strategic advice, to answer challenges no one else will touch and to be a surrogate judge in the affairs of others, the Sage of Tools offers a unique and honest approach to any situation that comes up because thinking five moves ahead comes naturally. Finally, the Sage of Tools understands that every rule is meant to be defied at one point or another, and views this aspect cheerfully because it simply means that there has been an evolution in that particular school of thought. When we think of this Sage in comparison to the other three Minor Arcana suits, we can think of the mental abilities, intellect and intelligence to be in dominion over the emotions, the body and the passionate spirit. This may cause some doubts of the feelings, the material world, and the spiritual drive to take precedence.

copyright © 2013 Amanda Morris Johnson

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