|Golden Tarot, US Games 2003|
The Four of Swords usually suggests we should take a break from thinking about whatever it is we've been thinking about. It's often interpreted to mean meditation, rest, relaxation, withdrawal. As a card of the day, it does seem to be a strong suggestion to continue my strategy of yesterday, to keep myself distant from grumblings and mutterings that have become a habit amongst staff at work. I also take it as a reminder to be very careful of overstriving in areas like my yoga practice. I simply must withdraw from 'effort' in this practice and LISTEN to the messages of my body. No matter what I want it to do, it can only do what it can do. Yoga is meant to be yoke or union between the soul and the universe, but I can see how it is also a union between the mind and the body. People say yoga is about control; I've heard people say yoga is about overcoming the limitations of the mind. I think they miss the point. For me, especially at this time of my life, it is about being inside my body, not fighting against my body, being aware that my body is my ally in this life and not my enemy, and that it is a vital part of me and can be a tremendously rewarding partner in the spiritual journey. But I don't think that is accomplished by ascetism or self-punishment, but through nurturing and loving and accepting the body, and feeling joy in its movement, rather than disappointment or even embarrassment at its limitations. Rest is as important to the care and maintenance of the body as work, and so perhaps this card reminds me that even though the striving part of my mind may think I'm not doing enough or working hard enough, I should also remember to honour the body by resting it as well.
Funny how a card about the mind has led to a post about the body, but I do believe, and yoga is helping me to learn, that we do ourselves a disservice when we say, 'I am not my body. I am not this crude matter.' That crude matter deserves every bit as much respect and care as your mind or your spirit.