daily tarot card: Four of Swords

four of swords
four of swords, morgan greer tarot

My first repeat card of the year!  The four of swords, from the Wild Unknown, was a card that showed up a lot for me when I was first learning tarot.  I’m noting my daily card pull in a tarot tracker I’ve set up in my bullet journal so I’m curious to see how things pan out this year…

For week 2 of the Alternative Tarot Course, Beth has us read our cards as part of its suit, as one facet of its element.  The Swords are of air, describing our intellectual selves, how our mind integrates, and the cause and effect of our choices.

In the four of swords, there is a lot of “air” showing up.  The four swords are suspended, pointing downward.  If you think of the sword as a kind of wand, the down-pointing swords could signify a downshift in energy, or keeping our energy closer to ourselves, aka conserving energy.  There are misty clouds in the background which implies there is something afoot that the mind is processing.  The processing of the mind is not an overt action and is therefore seen as quite passive.  However, what the mind is accomplishing is active in that it serves to move the “action” forward: helping us to get from point A to B.

The figure in the image is shielded and laying down — potentially in a tomb, but lets go with “resting” for now.  If the figure opens their eyes, they will see an altered image through their shield.  There is an arrangement of leaves near their head.  The laying down and the leaf arrangement imply alignment with the earth element, and encourages grounding and centering of the querent.

The four of swords is all of these things.  A pause, a time to process and center, to cut through the bullshit and get to what is important.  The mind composts and integrates in times of non-action.  This card asks:  where can you pull your energy back to yourself to re-center and re-calibrate?  What lurks below your minds surface that needs a pause to process?

January, besides being the month of fresh New Year’s resolutions, is like a sigh after the craze of the holidays.  Collective culture would have us go right from non-stop consumerism and family gatherings into major overhauls of our mind/body/self without a real break to gather our energy back to us.  (And also, like, life gets in the way of all that shit — but that’s another story.)  So much energy is given away in December that folks may now feel off kilter.  That the four of swords showed up again, just two days after pulling it last, prompts me to examine my energy expenditures and urges me to place more value on my boundaries, my silence, my peace, and what re-charges me in this time.


I am blogging my experiences here with Beth Maiden’s Alternative Tarot Course which asks students to draw a card each day, reflect on it, complete weekly readings, and other assorted exercises.

Tarot Thursday Three: February 16, 2017

Well, I was pretty bummed to have missed posting this week’s #tarotthursdaythree on Thursday.  I had a funky work schedule this week — worked three midnight shifts then had to switch back to the day time on Friday.  Ugh.  Needless to say my sleep patterns were a little off, which found me very sleepy on Thursday during the day and not very productive….

Anyway, here are my answers for this week’s installment of #tarotthursdaythree, hosted by Julia, and questions from me!

1.  How do you feel about the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS)?

Basically my answer to this question inspired this set of questions.  The RWS was my first deck, but not the first one that really inspired me to learn.  (I feel like I’ve told this story a million times but now YOU GET IT AGAIN!).  I had my tarot read with a RWS deck at a Fasching/Karnival/Mardi Gras party (similar to Vanessa’s story).  My reading was done only with Majors, and I don’t even really remember what she said, but I think I got the Devil, the Hanged Man and the Tower…?  Yikes!  I was intrigued by the mysticism of tarot — I had watched this woman read strangers’ tarot all night, and everyone was impressed.  Like a good little tarot beginner, I purchased a RWS deck but ultimately put it aside for years before purchasing The Wild Unknown, which is the deck that really started my journey.

Lately, however, I’ve been connecting really well with my RWS.  Originally, I just did not connect with the RWS images.  They seemed aloof and disconnected from the daily life that I experience.  As I learned more of the card meanings, I developed a connection with the traditional symbolism of the cards.  This idea/practice is discussed also over at Julia’s and Jill’s posts.  I find that the more decks I work with, the more other decks’ images come to mind as I’m reading, particularly with the RWS, which I don’t think is bad.  This helps to remind of of the different dimensions of a particular card.  My favorite rendition is the Smith-Waite Centennial Tarot, which is just dreamy in my opinion.

Anyway, so umm yeah, lovin’ the RWS lately.

2.  What was your beginning deck?

Well, I guess I answered that above — oops!  First purchased deck was the Rider Waite Tarot Pack, but The Wild Unknown is what got me really excited to learn tarot.

3.  Do all beginners need to start with the RWS (or clone), in your opinion? Why/why not?

I am woefully under-qualified to give tarot beginners any tips….but, I would mainly recommend a beginner to look at the Rider-Waite-Smith and clones to see if they connect with any of the decks’ images.  As I know, if you’re not inspired by the art, you’re not going to be inspired to continue to learn.  If you don’t like the RWS, pick a deck that speaks to your intuition and has gorgeous art.

That being said, I feel that there are so many RWS clones that it should be easy these days to find one that a new reader can appreciate.  Furthermore, if the reader intends to make a life-long study out of tarot, starting with a RWS would be most beneficial.  So basically…..any rules here are meant to be broken *shrug*.

Well, that’s it 🙂 … I think I already linked to everyone who has done this round so far (Julia and Jill).  Let me know if you make a post and I’ll check it out!

What do you think of the RWS?  What is the ideal beginner deck in your opinion?  Let me know in the comments.

exploringly yours,
Alaina x