Making its first appearance since March, 2005, we are visited this week by the Four of Swords. Fours in the Tarot are about stabilizing, grounding, and completion. In the Swords, which are so often about conflict and strife, the four gives its quieting influence. So this card indicates a time of retreat, rest, and even, perhaps, renunciation of worldly pursuits for the time being.
The big news in America is the inauguration of the new president. The entire country seems to be alive with celebration and joy. But after the huge struggle, conflict, and energy expended to bring this new era into being, perhaps this card indicates there is also some need to spend time in quiet reflection. In the election, the message was the need for enormous change, and that change is now on our doorstep. But the Four of Swords directs us to pause, in order to better prepare and focus the upsurge of energy and action that this new chapter will surely bring.
Beyond the borders of the United States, I can’t help but consider how this card also reflects the heartbreaking situation in Gaza. As the smoke clears from three weeks of fighting, the humanitarian catastrophe is becoming clear. We are learning that, for weeks now, untold thousands have been without food or water, tens of thousands are now homeless, and the wounded and traumatized innocent civilians are beyond count. The Four of Swords looks, in this case, to be the desperately needed truce. May those in power take this time to reflect, and find intelligent solutions to their conflicts.
On a personal level, this week we would be wise to consider what tasks require our introspection, solitude, and even a time out. I find it an interesting coincidence that this is the very subject of my most recent posts, namely, the need in Winter to allow ourselves the quiet and slowing down that we can clearly see is natural and necessary in the plant and animal worlds.
And of course, we are still in Mercury retrograde, whose gift and challenge is to slow down, retrace our steps, and review.
What healing do we need? Where are we being given a chance to exercise patience, and even disengage from a situation to let time pass?
Make sure you take this week’s opportunities to slow down, or even make a strategic retreat. It is a gift given to you, in order to better prepare for the changes that will surely come in the days ahead.