9/13/2017 — Four of Swords

photo of the Four of Swords from Robin Wood's tarotAnother late entry where I end up drawing the card in the morning and write about it at the end of the day. I suppose that’s not so bad, because I get to reflect on how the card actually did connect with my day. My only requirement is that I must address the card on its day. No setting it aside and letting it be tomorrow’s card instead!

Today we get the Four of Swords. Disused swords hang, reverently, around a stone efigy. This is a tomb. We don’t know who this person was, but they are clearly important. The swords hanging in the tree look almost like a tribute. Are they the swords of comrades or enemies? In either case, they have been laid to rest, an act of great honor.

One is tempted to view this card negatively, as a sign of death, but that is not its meaning. We are not looking at the life of an individual meat puppet, but the journey of the soul. When the body is laid to rest, the soul journey’s on.

Many traditions suggest that when a life cycle ends the sould takes time for reflection and stillness. That is what we see here. All distractions are ended. All needs and demands are removed. Nothing more is expected. Nothing more is asked. Repose, rest, reflection, meditation are all that is here. Anyone who journeys to this place is also expected to enter into quiet reflection.

When this card appears it is a call for release, for quiet. It is time to let go of control and not worry about the chaos of the world or the tasks left undone. It is time to make a full stop and simply reflect, simply be.

You would expect this to be a welcome card. Who wouldn’t like to just drop out of things a little and rest… but many aren’t sure what to do with this energy. It reminds me of the phrase I’ve heard (and sometimes used) in the go-getter mode: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”

We don’t really want it to come to that, but our society demands constant motion, constant production. We don’t respect rest, yet we must have it.

I had great plans for myself today. I had several things that I needed to get done. Then I had to deal with a mild health issue for a family member. It wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t life threatening. It did require me to just set aside my list and go buy some things at the drug store and go help. My checklist is all unchecked.

At one point in my life this would have been very frustrating. I might have even stressed the importance of my time and tasks and demanded that someone else handle this. I did not. I did not even explain how I was doing this in spite of all the important things that I would now leave while I did these errands. I simply let it go for the moment. A new priority had emerged.

Upon reflection, it’s not so bad that I did not get some of these things done. I didn’t even spend my day thinking about the things I hadn’t done, or the possible consequences, or how much better things would be if I hadn’t been interrupted. I actually just let it all go. I spent the time thinking simply about the new tasks at hand, which did not require a whole lot of mental investment. Outside of that I allowed my mind to simply rest a little. No need to worry. No need to dwell.

In general, I think I did some honor to this card in my day. I also think that seeing it before my day changed made me much more open to being more relaxed about it all. This was a good exercise of using the card to help me address my day. As the day draws to a close I am not stressed. Tomorrow is a new day. I pay no price for today. Everything was as it needed to be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *