Weekly Forecast: September 17-23
What happens when we rest? We don't often celebrate the importance and complexity of this practice. There's a sort of "nap alchemy" that transpires when we take the time to simply be. Yet we often skip over it, focusing on actions we can quantify instead.
Doing things often leads to tangible, braggable results. We've been productive, active, and we have something to prove for it! Not to mention that productivity is one of the primary ways we show our worth. Unfortunately, when we worship productivity we have the tendency to see rest as laziness.
The Four of Swords is here to shatter that unfortunate assumption. Here we see one of the healthiest manifestations of the swords suit. Three swords hang on display, clearly visible and safely arrayed. Another lies peacefully below. There's no cutting going on here, no interpersonal conflict. In fact, it's just us, the solitary character resting in a quiet gray room.
This card shows us coming into the week with a strong desire to simply recharge and process things. The swords suit forces us to examine when our thoughts work for us, harmoniously informing our decisions, and when they become destructive, filling our lives with stress and pressure. We're being invited to hang our worries up and take a breather, to rest and trust that what seems murky now will become clear as we give ourselves the chance to recharge and care for ourselves.
The Four of Swords also tells us that our bodies are leading the way. It's a good time to listen to what they tell us. Do we feel tired? It's time to rest. Are our minds racing, overwhelmed by everything that's happening? It's time to set those thoughts aside gently and return to our bodies, breathing deeply and detaching ourselves from the emotional pressure of our minds. And finally, are we feeling prickly and antagonistic towards those around us? It might be time to seek out some solitude.
What's fascinating here is that all the ingredients for an exciting change are active in our lives right now. Like a delicious loaf of bread in the making, we need to rest after all the mixing and kneading. We're forming important and essential connections when we let our minds and bodies recover. It may not be outwardly impressive or easily proven, but it certainly is essential to this next big step.
For while we're seeking out rest an solitude this week we're making room for an important insight. The fourth sword below the resting figure isn't on the wall with the other three. There's something just below the surface that needs to come into focus. No amount of squirming or over-thinking will bring it out. Opening our minds, releasing tension, and saying goodbye to our old strategies allows this deeper information to appear.
Because this deeper information is something precious, special, and a little tender. It's leading us to The Fool, a card of profound new beginnings. This card shows us walking towards a new path that's as alluring as it is uncertain. Embodying The Fool requires taking a bit of a trust fall with life itself. And finding that path - equally frightening as it is promising - requires discovering and listening to the inner voice that comes from the core part of yourself: that's the fourth sword.
In a cheeky bit of tarot humor, we have the Knight of Swords as our final card, showing us that once we've identified The Fool's path we're being tempted to steamroll over the magic and new beginnings with some swordsy certainty and ambition. This card is warning us that doing so will trample the new seed we've planted. We don't need to rush anything, go on epic crusades with our new-found information, or stifle it with overly-ambitious plans. If we do, we'll quickly find ourselves exhausted and needing more rest to reconnect with our initial spark of inspiration.
Of course, this is a dance we can do often, going back and forth between inspiration and burnout, but we also have another opportunity here. We can ease into The Fool's shoes and choose to leave the Knight of Swords' approach behind. This requires us to trust our intuition, take one step at a time, and open ourselves to the wonder of doing what feels right.