Ahhhh, the Four of Swords. Whenever I turn this card over I can feel my shoulders relax. “Rest, my darling,” it says. Rest, relax, take a breather.
As as much as this card is about taking a load off overall, being the swords (which are all about thoughts and communication, as well as action) this is mostly about quieting the ol’ mind.
I know, I know. Easier said than done. But necessary! In the traditional RWS card we see a guy laying down on his back. He looks like a soldier to me, as he has those funny things on his knees, which are called poleyn. (Don’t be too impressed, I looked that up. I wondered if this particular piece of armor had an actual name, and lo.)
But this guy isn’t just laying there, snoozing away. He’s got his hands folded as if in some kind of prayer.
We see a stained glass window above him, with someone kneeling before what I’m guessing is some kind of holy person.
Now, unless you choose to read it that way, this isn’t a signal for you to get your butt in church. For the less conventional spiritual person such as myself, I see it is a message that it’s time to connect, or re-connect, with something outside myself.
Something that speaks to and awakens my soul.
This time of year especially, with the whole holiday hustle, we spend so much time in our minds. It’s a wonderful gift we have, our brain that can think and puzzle out complex things, but so often we get lost in those thoughts. They take over our lives, causing us to worry about the past and the future, which adds anxiety to the here and now.
When we take the time to be truly present; quiet and disconnected, yet connected to whatever it is we feel merges us to the mysteries of the world, we don’t just think and puzzle–we grow and expand.
I love the imagery of the swords in this pic. I see the three swords above him as on the wall, not getting ready to fall and skewer him at any moment. (or is that just me? Too many horror films?)
Those wall swords seem to say, “You just lie down now honey, we’ll be here waiting for you when you need us again…” Then there is the sword along his side, or underneath him–depending on your perspective.
Maybe that sword is the idea, the ah-ha moment, that lightening bolt of clarity that is waiting for when he gains this insight that came to him after his time in repose. He can then sit up, grab it, and take it away with him along with the others that have been there with him all along. Enlightenment, my friends.
One thing I especially love about tarot is how you can look at a card so many damn times and then suddenly you see something you hadn’t noticed before. That happened to me as I was writing this blog post.
See that dark line in the middle of the stained glass window? I think I’ve always assumed it was part of the window frame, but it seems now to be more of a very obvious separation between that holy person and the kneeler. Huh. Just another (not so?) subtle message from the tarot. Remove that boundary already!
And stop making yourself crazy with those never-ending thoughts. It’s time to put those aside for a bit and get quiet.
Perhaps it’s time get your spiritual pants on–whatever those look like to you. (Kind of gives holey jeans a whole new meaning.)
(maybe be a bit more relaxed than these spiritual pants.)
I know you’re busy, but make sure you make time to meditate, get outside for a walk, take a drive, go to bed early so you can read, write, and/or stare at the wall for a bit. Connect with something that removes and inspires you in a good way, like, The Lord of the Rings films perhaps??Those thoughts will still be there, believe me. Chances are they will be more clear and helpful now that you’ve disconnected your mind and reconnected with your soul. Funny how that works!