tarot of the week--four of swords

"The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room, not try to be or do anything whatever.” ― May Sarton


Coming into the restful hibernation of winter, it is no accident that we pull the Four of Swords on such a wintry day. A beautiful card by all rights, it shows a Knight resting, hands in prayer or namaste position at heart center. Three swords on the wall, one underneath him. He is protected by the church, as evinced by the stained glass window. He is protected. Resting before battle, or after. 

Swords are the suit of Air--communication, perception, and all things dealing with the intellect. The Swords are often the most shocking cards to those unfamiliar with the Tarot.  We see the thrice-pierced, bleeding heart in the Three, and jail of self-imposed suffering of the Eight, the Insomnia of the Nine, and the ultimate dark card of the Ten Swords in the back. This card, however, appears innocuous. But it does insinuate a great deal about what we are facing or what we have just faced. All of that baggage comes with this card. War is hell. And so the resting warrior soothes his embattled body, readying himself for his next face-off.

So often people come to see a Reader because they want insight into a difficult period of their life. The Four of Swords often comes as a reminder to step back. There are a few meditation and step-back cards in the Tarot--Four of Cups is one that comes to mind. This Four is about taking time out, resting, but truly meditating, raising one's consciousness to bring a new weapon into battle--the spiritual cunning and centeredness to win any battle. And truly, taking the time to step back and out of a conflict, to reflect, to raise one's consciousness and get heart centered does change the entire battle before you even begin it again. 

If we search the background of this card, let's look at the stained glass window--the element of protection here. It is a scene of a someone kneeling before another in supplication. I believe the standing person is Mother Mary, but that is just my gut-feeling, perhaps because I work so closely with Mother Mary in my meditations. But I think this stained glass window is asking us to plug back into Source Energy. Our true source of power--God or the Creator or the Goddess, or however you conceive of the Divine. We do that through meditation, crystal healing, Reiki, and other forms of energy healing. The card is a solitary card, not one to go to meditation circles with. But that doesn't mean you cannot see a practitioner here for self-care. This card is one of the Tarot's most important cards of self-care. We rest and reenergize for the good of ourselves and all involved. To ready for the next battle in the war. Or to come to realization that the war is unnecessary altogether.

A great affirmation for this card might be:

I let go absolutely. I trust in the Divine.