This message invites us to take a look at how we speak to ourselves, and revisit the ways in which we may inflict mental self-harm, negative and abusive self-talk, and unloving expressions towards ourselves. The Nine of Swords in the Serpentfire Tarot has an interesting connotation to that effect. Being associated with Mars in Gemini, it speaks of aggression of the mind towards itself. It’s like the swords of the mind turn again the mind itself, cutting it and causing it injury. It’s something that most or all of us do. A nagging voice of negativity tries to suppress any loving thoughts we may have about ourselves. When we try to make positive affirmations about our being, the inner voice tries to scream doubt and ridicule. It tries to tell us we are not worthy, that we are dumb, that we are ugly, that our bodies are defective, that our message is false, that our life is fucked. Even if it’s not our predominant mental discourse, the brain chatter can slowly but surely harm our well-being, poison the well of our heart, and even cause us to project and lash out at other people, innocent bystanders to our inner violence. Or it can be so subtle that we don’t even realize how unloving we can be towards ourselves. In whatever form this mental self-damage appears for you, The Empress is a call to start the work of replacing it with deep, deep love, appreciation and care for the self. When we set the intention to practice mental self-care, we start to catch the screaming voices. We start to notice the stinging thought, even if a bit too late. With time, we notice the abuse before it arises. And as we heal, we replace it altogether with thoughts of love and respect for the child within us. We were all born on this Earth, seemingly without asking, and we are trying our best. You are trying your best. We are loving, kind, intelligent, and beautiful human beings. Let us not let anyone tell us otherwise—not even our own damn selves. LOL. Be kind and forgiving to yourself. It may not be easy. But as we practice, being loving towards ourselves can become second nature. Blessings of serenity to you. You, beautiful thing!