The Four of Swords
From The Tarot of Transformation: Willow Arlenea & Jasmine Lee Cori
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood
Four is a number of formation and stability; four seasons, four major directions, four corners of a basic building foundation, and four suits of the Minor Arcana in Tarot. The Swords of Tarot represent many aspects including the mind, insight, speech, thoughts, and in discovering personal and cosmic truth.
The mind is a powerful tool, our brains magnificent, our thoughts capable of brilliant creativity. The mind can also harbor psychotic fears, get mired in non-intentional patterns of negativity, and generally run on auto pilot driving us through life with no discernment or imagination. In the above image we see a woman standing in what appears to be a whirling and indistinguishable flow of energy. From it she rises and pulls into focus a beautiful mandala of form and color. Holding it brings a focal point of vision which now supports her in what was chaos. She has created mental structure which now gives her a portal of opportunity. From this perspective she can direct her thoughts to align and stabilize, not only to form, but to beauty.
The mandala is reminiscent of a kaleidoscope. Looking through its lens and turning it the viewer sees endless possibilities form from the colored glass inside as it reflects the light using mirrors. Like this delightful instrument, the mind, also an incredible instrument, has endless possibilities of thought to create patterns that form the structure of how we think, view the world, discern and decide. As conscious beings, we strive for clarity of thought and to align our thoughts with our heart - with love. This powerful alignment leads us to right speech, right action, and the ability to listen not only to others but to our own inner guidance.
The Fours of the Tarot are ruled by the Emperor who knows that even the strongest structures built with good intention must be open to change to prevent them from becoming confining and restrictive. Right forms are in service to right thought and right action and allows for negotiation rather than control. So it is with our minds. The Four of Swords reminds us to be open to negotiation, of a continual learning, re-evaluation, and new discernment of what it true.
In the ongoing process of personal growth and mastery we have unlimited opportunities and challenges that temper our minds, emotions, will, health, and prosperity. Chaos and confusion, clarity and purpose, bliss and despair are all part of the dance of life. Sometimes it can feel like we are spinning out of control and sometimes the rhythm is just perfect as we flow with synchronicity and joy. Learning to master the art of negotiating our thoughts helps us negotiate in the outer world and move through it more balanced and empowered for ourselves and in being in truthful service where we can.
The Bible tells us that the Word of God created the entire universe. We must remember that our thoughts and speech create the form of our own world. I am reminded of a verse from a song by the Sons of Champlin - I cut this out of a Rolling Stone magazine in maybe 1969 and carried it in my wallet for decades:
“The forms which we create caress our minds
And they’ll take us past this place which lives by time
And the forms we are creating today
Are the forms which we will be someday
And the good games are the flowers of our minds
I love you”
May the flowers of your mind bloom and bless you.
....Kathryn Ravenwood 1-10-2020