Your thoughts are a veil on the face of the Moon.
That Moon is your heart, and those thoughts cover your heart.
So let them go, just let them fall into the water.
This week we’ll be basking under the first Full Super Moon of 2021. This is also the week we celebrate wild and joyful Beltane, while our friends below the equator now observe the solemnity of Samhain. Thus we are at a powerful hinge time and, after so much strife and upheaval, it seems a blessing that we are visited by the Four of Swords.
Fours in the Tarot are about stabilizing, grounding, and the completion of a cycle.
In the Swords, which so often speak of conflict and pain, the four gives its quieting influence. This card indicates a time of retreat, rest, and renunciation of worldly pursuits, within a sacred space.
Tarot artist and scholar Robert Place tells us that there used to be a practice called “incubation,” in which ancient mystics would lie as if lifeless, imitating the state of death, sometimes for days, in order to induce visions and deep trance. Such practices are common in magical and spiritual initiations even to this day.
Is this what Pamela Colman Smith was referring to in her illustration? Almost certainly.
The Bright Time of Year
In the Northern Hemisphere, burgeoning Springtime is (hopefully!) in full swing at last, with Beltane marking the midpoint between Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice. Now the daylight hours rush to their climax, and this week’s Pink Moon illuminates the blossoming of life and growth.
As happily intoxicating as this moment may be, though, the Four of Swords indicates we would be better served by introspection, solitude, and perhaps even a sabbatical.
In tropical astrology, this super-charged Full Moon is in Scorpio, a sign that demands depth and amasses hidden power.
With the Four of Swords as our inspiration, this becomes an opportunity to pause and refill the sacred well of our imagination and to clarify our connection to our inner Voice. There is potential wisdom and insight that cannot be received any other way.
Before We Reemerge
There is no way to overstate the challenges we have been living through. This watershed time has been historic and unprecedented. We continue to endure staggering death tolls, economic turmoil, existential political crises, and ever-escalating change and conflict, where intensity and divisiveness have become the new normal.
Now super-charged, over-stimulated, caffeine- and adrenaline-amped, we are logged-in 24/7.
All while still removed from common human touch, and simple face-to-face, in-person connection, outside of our safety pods. Thus, we are in danger of spending every waking minute immersed in an electronic cacophony of opinion, distraction, conflict, and the commoditization of our very consciousness.
If we never unplug or take a beat, how can we know how we really feel, or (more Swords-like), what we really think?
As many of us slowly prepare to reemerge after a hard year of loss and isolation, life looks and feels utterly changed. We, ourselves, are, too. How might our priorities have shifted? What does the small, still voice within wish to divulge as we find our way back to the world?
This is a doorway time, an in-between, and a reset. By granting ourselves and one another this moment of contemplative stillness, we can apply more intention to what is yet to be. Answers are offered more clearly if we are hushed and listening.
What soul-flight do you need right now? Here is your invitation for inward quiet. Take a walk in the moonlight this week, if you are able, and listen to the music of Nature.
While many of us ache to join with our groves, circles, or covens to dance the Maypole hand-in-hand, and bring in the May with our beloveds, alas, our ceremonies are still limited to video conferencing.
But the Four of Swords offers comfort, suggesting that our solitary rites may be especially powerful, and certainly safer, at this time.
So how might you carve out sacred space for personal reflection? Solitary meditation and prayer can offer solace and renewal. This is a time to hear your own thoughts, and seek your own authentic visions.
If you are unable to extract yourself from the noisy, busy tumult of life, let the Four of Swords be a model for inner poise and detachment. Step back from being drawn into drama and unnecessary disputes, especially the volatile sorts that can erupt under a Scorpio Full Moon.
And see if you can’t dial back your media involvements, giving yourself at least a little space to breathe. Note the setting in this card: it is clearly a place reserved for spiritual repose. Where do you go for your own essential, intimate replenishment?
The gift of the Four of Swords may come disguised as a delay. Look for opportunities to exercise patience or even disengage from a situation, in order to let time pass.
What rite of passage beckons? What quiet healing is available, if only you could turn away for a little while?
Allow yourself this gift of taking your time. Sort out what only you, alone, can, by offering yourself an untroubled retreat within your own knowing. Let all the words, and noise, and chatter fall away.
Thus may we be better able to unveil the heart of our truth.