14 February 19: Four of Swords & King of Coins & Seven of Swords

Nobody ever called Pablo Picasso an Asshole* is a lyric from a song back in the day by a band called Jonathan Richmond & the Modern Lovers (great name for Valentine’s Day), and when I came across this little gem (KEEN articles) I thought some of you people whose mail and  messages sometimes pile up may appreciate this :

It is said that Pablo Picasso painted his masterpiece Les Demoiselles D’Avignon with the Four of Swords affixed to his studio door. 

..and he didn’t even HAVE a phone! So the 4 of Swords (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) today in past position is like the little card hanging on the hotel doorknob you flip over when you don’t want to be disturbed before they disturb you anyway. There may have been a period of extended rest and stillness that has been valuable and restorative.

What is the purpose of retreat, rehabilitation, rest, reflection, recovery, all meanings of the 4 of Swords. Swords are mental, 4 is stability. Peace, although this card is often referred to as a card of ‘truce’, that is, a temporary peace, not a permanent one.

If it’s grounding, healing, health and balance, we couldn’t have a better card in the present position in the solid, steady  King of Earth (Taurus/Virgo/Capricorn). Secure, confident,  rooted to his favorite spot in his lush, abundant vineyard, vines and purple clusters of grapes hang all over him.  If this isn’t you, this is someone who is a good person to have in control of things. Honest as the day is long, reliable, successful, he’s the ‘common sense’ King. He’s slow as gravity, being of the Earth, and doesn’t make quick decisions or ‘quick’ anything at all. This not only works for him but has worked for him (or her) so well, he’s the King. When he was but a Knight, his shield was engraved with the image of a tortoise (Scapini deck).

Thinks of Coins (earth)  and Swords (air) as tortoises and hares.

The Thief seems to not want to go away until we get the message, and in the future position once again, the 7 of Swords shows us someone stealing away from the crowd with whatever he can get – and once again in the future position he faces backwards, not forwards.  This though, I get as a very positive outcome: this needs to be a regular thing, this ‘stealing away’. The thief on the card does not steal all of the swords, but leaves 2, taking 5. As in:

‘Just give me 5 minutes.

The ‘takeaway’ from this reflective and restorative period of retreat was that this needs to be a regular thing – a permanent lifestyle change.  This can be seen as a selfish card, but look at that homebound King of Coins. This is a card of a successful home business, and you could be ‘gathering information’ as the sneaky swords like to do, taking ideas that work for you and leaving the rest. You may be researching ideas as to how to expand or franchise, having realized and accepted that you function better in your own environment and that’s where you do your best work, so let them call you selfish, stubborn, secretive, anything they want, but now you know what you need – and don’t need – to do your best and it’s serving you well. So put your mask on first and ‘steal’ some ‘you’ time. The ‘ratio’ of home time to social time may be the change to make, or lying low both on social media and In Real Life, consciously limiting your online time to a couple of hours a day and spending more time in nature or working with your hands. Does a mind and body good. In any case, when you feel that anxiety (the 7 is an anxious card) you know what to do. Get back to that happy place and re-charge.

Of course, this is the card of the thief, but it looks like whoever is in charge of the money is well in control, and if it’s you, you’re doing a great job.

 

Nobody steals from Picasso.

 

 

 

 

29 January 19: The Devil reversed & The Lovers & Four of Swords

Get thee behind us, Satan. You stinky, mangy hairy, horny old f***. At least that’s how he’s depicted in the old decks, crouched like a gargoyle on a pedestal, all teeth and claws and bad breath. He sits between and has enslaved 2 naked humans with one of his many devilish (de)vices, and they stand as if entranced or mute on either side of him…or her, for that matter, who holds the chains to their rather loose dog collars, not in a good way,  These people are voluntarily and willingly ‘hooked’. It’s all fun and games – for now.  The Devil has many names, as it is said. Fear is one of my interpretations, as I think that’s when he wins, is when we let our fear hold us back. Generally speaking, without diving down the rabbit’s hole, he or she brings addictions, sexual dysfunction, greed, excess, vice and materialism.  The Devil may represent a shared ‘vice’ or even crisis that may have brought these together in the first place, even a ‘frenemy’ aka a devil in disguise, but in the end, came between them. There are a lot of humans here between all 3 cards.

Reversed in the past position, any and all negative influences have been recognized, dealt with, and overcome. We’ve hopefully seen the last of our Capricorn devil, and may your own demons stay gone.

But the stars of the show today in the here and now are the beautiful Lovers, #6 of the Major Arcana, also nude but embracing peacefully in a beautiful green garden of calla lilies, no one and nothing coming between them. Dark and unhealthy vices, habits, secrets, fears, people, or all of the above because often they come as a bundle are gone. Get rid of one, and another usually goes with it. Alone together, everything seems better than fine between these two.

In the future is the restful, restorative 4 of Swords (Libra/Gemini/Aquarius) showing the effigy of a Knight in repose, laid out on a stone tomb. His 4 swords are displayed on the wall behind him. He is at rest after the trials and angst of the preceding 3.

It seem that if not both, at least one of these humans is doing a lot of work in order to be their best selves inspired by what else? Love. Each wants to be at their best for the other.

French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre famously said, “Hell is other people.” This today, I believe, is that.

 

 

 

17 Feb 18: Four of Swords

Unplug. Hang the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the doorknob. Go back to bed. Auto-reply. You need to recharge your batteries. Maybe you’re finally getting over the flu? You won’t if you don’t rest.

The Russian deck shows us a man asleep in bed. Outside one window we can see that it is the middle of the day. The other window, or a heavy wooden door, is shuttered. 4 swords bar the shutter closed, as if to shut out the world. Sometimes that’s exactly what we need to do.

This is retreat – a temporary one, a break in the action, and some precious time to be alone with your thoughts. This is all about putting your oxygen mask on first before you can help others.

After the intensity and stress of the 3, the 4 gives us time to ‘stabilize’. Rest, meditate, and let the boiling cauldron of worries, thoughts, memories and problems in your head cool down.

If you are recovering from illness or addiction, treat yourself with kid gloves. Pretend you’re the nurse, and care for yourself, the patient. Care for yourself like you would a child or injured animal: gently.

This card also encourages you to ‘build in’ retreat time, alone time, mental health time on a regular basis. Don’t burn yourself out.

What is it they say, ‘cemeteries are full of indispensable people?’