Monday, July 4, 2016

June + A Closer Look: Four of Swords

If you have been following DHT, you'll notice that June has been slow/nonexistent on the blog.  I'd like to apologize to any readers that have continued to check, or have been waiting for an update.  Without getting into too much detail, I've had to focus on my job search more intently and needed to free up some energy.  Now, I'm looking forward to getting back into a regular posting schedule, and I hope you're still along for the ride!

June was, in some ways, a month of recovery for me.

I didn't necessarily have an Event or Issue to recover from, but I clearly needed to withdraw.  Seems to me, then, that I should start off July with a Closer Look at the Four of Swords.


Key words and concepts

  • Retreat
  • Recovery
  • Solitude
  • Rest
  • Seclusion
  • Reflection

The four of swords radiates calm to me. A quiet tomb, featuring a peaceful statue with hands folded in repose, lies safely in a place of worship. There is little movement, and no living actors.  It is a time of rest and recovery.

Like many cards in the suit of swords, the imagery here is easily misread as pessimistic. My culture (anglo USian) does not have a particularly positive or healthy relationship with death, in my view, and thus any representation of it usually invokes fear first.

But what is portrayed here is not death, the final good-bye. This death is total stillness, where all movement--even metabolism--ceases. It is the relief of a held breath exhaled, a moment of released tension. Only with this ultimate relaxation can we truly gather the strength needed to move forward onto our next challenge.

The four of swords, despite its seeming portrayal of finality, is actually about resting up for the next big thing.  It says you've worked hard enough, achieved something worthy, and it's time to stop worrying. It necesitates solitude, either physical and mental, in order to achieve stillness. Don't worry, though; you're not going away forever, and when you return, you'll be stronger than ever!


Does the four of swords speak of recovery to you? Is the death imagery too strong to be comforting? What other symbols or landscapes evoke a sense of solitude and inward recovery in your life?

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