The Rider-Waite-Smith card concentrates on the Rest in Peace convention of a religious point of view. Waite portrays a stain glass motif of the Christ above a supine knight carved on a stone sarcophagus. Much like the graves in a medieval church. The resting and peaceful image portray the permanent overtones of death, the end of a thing, as well as the implied meaning of the four of swords; the Lord of Rest From Strife. The Fours of all suites represent making a matter settled and fixed.
Chesed, the fourth Sephiroth known as Mercy, is the Intelligence of the Universal Architect. Thus the Fours suggest perfection, realization,completion and fixing a matter to a rock solid stability.In the Thoth 4 of Swords, this stability is a form of Truce, where equal tension, makes a stability of mental powers.
The Four/4 of Swords represents Chesed in Yetzirah, influencing the Astral world.
As you may know, mental creation happens in the fluid light of the Astral World before the manifestation is solidified in the Material World of crystallized light.
In the Qabalah, all of us really are a Yod ( flame or hand/spirit of the Divine Creative)and connected as one Great Intelligence, in the Universal Collective Unconscious. Our individual physical human body is the incarnation for the sensual experience of "dreams". Hence, the physical body is a spiritual sacrament and resides with in the Invisible dreamer/Spirit that makes it live, much as a fish in the Ocean. That Invisible and/or "inner you" is as Jupiter, and in this card, Jupiter is in Libra, dampening the normal destructive Swords. The cutting edges are put to rest or sheathed in the munificent, benevolent and loving nature of Jupiter.
The Thoth deck card illustrates the lack of destruction as the Sacred Rose is restored in the center and Consciousness is settled. Therefore rest from strife is implied by the 4 of Swords. The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot card illustrates this lack of destruction by placing three of the Swords as images on a tapestry and one as carved stone. All of which have no edges nor are capable of harm.
Jupiter in Libra radiates compassion and sensitivity showing the Mercy that is Chesed.
In Chesed Jupiter claims authority in the intellectual world. Arguing for convention, Jupiter restores mental balance after the chaos of arbitrary thought.
The Thoth card is less prosaic. Here the hilts of the Swords, are formed into the corners of the St, Andrew's Cross, suggesting the rigidity and fixation implied in the 4. The Rose of 49 petals, in which the Swords are sheathed, suggesting social harmony.
Thus there is a suggestion of compromise for the sake of ease. As does Crowley, I find this compromise to be a less than a positive factor. For it is often an act of an indolent mind, that would rather be pusillanimous and compromise for social peace rather than work out the thought through the promised struggle. A Compromise due to fear of confrontation, like avoiding a debate, rather than face the issue with full heart, head and soul. Granted, some compromise must be to "keep the peace" but peace at any cost, is not always preferable and peace to avoid pain belongs to disloyal survival thinking rather than the brotherly Love that creates real peace.
When the four of Swords -Truce, is thrown during a reading:
- There is mental understanding of a matter or relationship coming to full resolution on four levels of mental awareness: The Rational, The Emotional of the Unconscious , The Spiritual, and the Subconscious of the Physical.
- Implications of problems that should not be ignored, listen to the inner self and answers will be restored.
- A holding pattern after mastering a difficult mental situation.
- Retreat or withdrawal necessary to heal or hide, by creating a protected mental space. Here insight can be generated by seclusion.
- A moment of logic and discriminating intelligence of integrity and planning.
The negatives of this card are often:
- A bought of illness, in order to recuperate The intellect is relinquishing control back to the body. so that a time out of from problems and solutions are achieved as the body has only one focus of getting better.
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