Saturday, June 2, 2012

Four Corners

Once again we find ourselves with a balance- we've moved from the mixed bag of the Threes to the Fours. It's helpful when contemplating the Fours to imagine four corners of a foundation- the message is stability, development and a basis upon which we can build. The Fours represent the movement beyond the Threes, into a place of stability. As always, let's examine the Fours one at a time.
First up is the Four of Wands- having moved past the investment and growth of the Three, we now find things developing well. Here is a message of becoming concrete and stabilizing- what was potential once again becomes real.
In the foreground we see four wands, forming a kind of square. It looks like there's cause to celebrate, and this Four also is a card of success and good fortune through diligent work. However, also in the background we see a formidable castle, and this too is a message of the Four- that this stability is a lasting one, with an eye to preparing for the future, and maintaining. Again, the idea of a foundation is here. The negative aspects of this card are uncertainty and instability- those things left undone or unfinished coming back, or causing problems further along.
Next, we have the Four of Swords. This image usually shows someone sleeping or resting- in the Rider-Waite deck, we see a figure who almost looks like he's dead and laid out in his tomb.
This is one possible interpretation of the card. In any instance, it represents the resolution of the heartbreak of the Three of Swords- having come through the trial and the storm, it represents a time of shedding old patterns of thought that no longer serve us. It's a message of waiting on change as well. The conflict and trouble have passed, and now it's time to marshal strength and prepare to move forwards.There's also a message here of having learned from the past- the Fours all indicate foundations, and this is a foundation of learning- we need not repeat the same mistakes over and over again, and we do not exist wholly in a vacuum. It's also a message of embracing the knowledge around us and within us.
The more negative aspect of this card indicates the opposite- not learning, repeating the same mistakes over and over again, finding ourselves once again facing those three swords and the storm clouds behind them.
The Four of Cups seems to be a change from the Three of Cups, but is also, in its way, a card of foundations.
This card, coming from the Fenestra Tarot, shows a message of discontent- no longer wanting more. The joy and happiness we saw in the Three have kind of grown a little dull. But this is not a bad thing, necessarily. There is a message of discontent with this card, and discontent can lead to change. Perhaps this change is a needed one, and things are better just past the next bend. But also, you'll never know until you try. The underlying message of this card is to weigh that discontent in your heart with what your head and the surrounding world is telling you, then, when the time is right, go for it. Also, the negative side of this card deals with imbalance instead of balance- sometimes emotions can overwhelm, blinding us to what's right in front of us, and causing us to use those powerful but transitive emotions as the basis for long-term decision making.
Finally, we come to the Four of Pentacles. This image, again from the Rider-Waite deck, has been interpreted several ways.
One is miserliness, and this too can be a part of the card. But again, remember back to the Three of Pentacles. There we saw hard work and growth, development towards an end. Here, we see also a wise investment of the resources that growth has brought with it. This is neither wholly saving nor wholly using those resources; rather, making prudent and wise use of resources. Think of it as the discretion card- using discretion and good judgement, again to develop and grow. The foundation concept here is expressed in these tangible resources- kind of like the figure sitting atop the pentacles, the message is of a stable foundation, and putting those resources to work. In its negative aspect, we find here not a lack of resources necessarily, but rather unwise use of those resources- either missing opportunities by being too cautious, or missing opportunities by squandering resources beforehand.
Throughout the Fours, we see a message of a foundation. This differs from the foundation we saw in the Aces, a message of potential. There is indeed a message of potential here also, but the potential is more of a basis that we can build upon- unlike the Aces, which can sometimes come "out of the blue", the foundation expressed in the Fours is a hard-won and hard-earned one, having come through learning, work and wisdom.

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