out of my shell

Swaddling For Adults

Tarot Tidbit #9
Four of Arrows from The Wildwood Tarot by Mark Ryan & John Matthews, Illustrated by Will Worthington

When last did you take a nap?

The Four of Swords (here called Arrows) encourages us to take a break, to recharge our batteries.

The shit will hit the fan if we refuse to disengage from whatever we’re battling and get some rest.

We’ll go over the edge…and have yet another mess to clean up because we didn’t hit the snooze button on our life clock.

Or we’ll catch a nasty bug and be forced to go to bed.

Or we’ll worry ourselves sick.

A caterpillar does not transform into a butterfly without that enforced inertia in a constricted chrysalis (it goes from squishy worm to gooey mess to stunning in there).

Someone should design a massive swaddling blanket or non-menacing straight-jacket for overwrought adults who think pressing on is the only way forward.

I’d be first in the queue when it hits the shelves (a Onesie doesn’t count because I’ve seen people shopping in them, bunny ears and all).

Mental and/or physical exhaustion does not help us navigate tricky, sticky, stressful situations and overwhelming emotions.

This card will turn up when we need to recuperate or back off – after an op, the harrowing breakup, the divorce, the cat going missing for a week, the social media explosion, agitating for weeks about your partner keeping their phone so close they should have it implanted, the big fight that ensued etc. etc.

It’s also about resting the mind.

We get into such a froth. We can’t see the wood for the trees and struggle to make good decisions, or any decisions at all. We worry ourselves into a corner where we feel panicky, disoriented, at a loss, overwhelmed.

The more we think, the deeper we sink.

I’m going to show you a traditional depiction of the Four of Swords…

Swaddling for Adults - Tarot Tidbit #9
Llewellyn’s Classic Tarot created by Barbara Moore and illustrated by Eugene Smith

Now this clever chap has a good dose of good sense.

He knows the war is not over. He is well aware of what lies before him, the battles ahead.

But (a biiiiiiig but) he knows he’ll be bloody useless in the fray if he doesn’t get some shut-eye.

He cannot come up with excellent strategies and a fresh perspective if he’s staggering around in a mental fog, shouting nonsensical orders to confused, grumbling soldiers.

So he slips into the church where he feels a measure of peace. He rests on a hard surface (it could very well be his own tomb-in-waiting because he knows he might die fighting) under a peaceful angel ‘n dove stained glass window. You can almost hear the meditation music.

He’s not going to strip down to his long johns and crawl into a feather bed. He is prepared to jump up, sprint out, vault onto his horse and reenter the battle, if necessary.

Mr Soldier seeks respite, peace. He must calm his mind and emotions and then, in that quiet, still space, what he needs to know and do will enter his refreshed faculties, effortlessly.

Do whatever brings you an equivalent result. Listen to music, trim the hedges, go for walks…

…just not in your Onesie 😉

xxx TeaShell