Four of Swords



BASIC DESCRIPTION: A knight lies on a bier in a church or sanctuary, eyes closed and hands together as if in prayer. On the wall above him hang three swords, point down, and one is on the base of the bier. A stained glass window shows a haloed figure giving a blessing to a kneeing supplicant, with a "narrow gate" in the background.
FIRST THING THAT STRUCK ME: Reminds me of the sargophagi I saw in the Basel Cathedral. Imagine: there are modern city folk who find this image rather common.

UPRIGHT MEANINGS: Vigilance, retreat, solitude, hermit's repose, exile, tomb and coffin. It is these last that have suggested the design.--Waite. Sleep, rest, recuperation, convalescence, relaxing and healing, sanctuary, hospital visit, restful retreat, respite, quiet time, Quiet Time (i.e. sending your kid to his or her room), getting a break, slowing down, end of stress, release. Death, when death is welcome (i.e., because of age or illness). Hiatus, retirement, exile, escape, solitude, seclusion. Meditation, contemplation, taking time alone to think and/or pray, praying "in the closet," acknowledging powerlessness, evaluation, mental work, concentration, finishing a project, putting tired ideas to rest, a buried truth or idea. Coming to terms (within self or with others), end of conflict, peace talks, alliance, truce, calm after a storm.

REVERSED MEANINGS: Wise administration, economy, avarice, precaution, testament--Waite. Return to regular life, getting back in the saddle, taking action, attacking your problems with zeal. Coming out of the closet.

BIBLICAL: Do not be anxious over anything, buy in everything by prayer and supplication along with thanksgiving let your petitions be made know to God; and the peace of God that excels all thought will guard your hearts and your mental powers by means of Christ Jesus.--Phillipians 4:6-7 (NWT)
MYTHOLOGICAL: Fisher King. Rip Van Winkle.
HISTORICAL: In medieval Europe, royalty and knights were interred as pictured in the RWS--in cathedrals, with their images carved in stone atop their sarcophagi. (At least, I know they exist in Basel and Rouen.) Also, check out this picture of Templar gravestones. They are at St. Andrew's Church in Bywell, Northumberland.

PLANTS: Calming herbs, such as valerian.
LOCATION: St. Andrew's Church in Bywell, Northumberland.
MUSIC: The type of music this card makes me think of is perhaps that which is commonly called "New Age." Specifically, Andreas Vollenweider. I think his father plays (or did) the pipe organ at the Fraumunster in Zurich. Also, Enigma--from our neighbors to the north.
FILM: Excalibur--Arthur, before they brought him the Grail.
BOOK: Arthurian legends, as above. Also, Lancelot at the Hermitage.
PUBLIC PEOPLE OR EVENTS: Richard the Lionheart in prison.
OCCUPATIONS: Undertaker.

SITUATIONS IN MY LIFE: On one of my frequent visits to my home town in my first semester of college, I told my best friend (probably after spending the night on her couch): "Home isn't where your heart is; home is where your bed is!"
THIS CARD IN MY LIFE: Our daily "quiet time" after lunch. If my two-year-old can't sleep, she has to stay quiet in her darkened room for at least an hour. Hey, Mama needs quiet time too!

He who fights and runs away lives to fight another day.
Sleep is the poor man's physician.


give it a rest


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