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.