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Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Bearded mystic -- 4 of Swords in Fountain Tarot

We have another curious take on an RWS image in today's draw from Fountain Tarot (2014). I can't quite make out what's happening in this image. At first glance, I see a yogi of some sort wearing a very large turban, sitting in half lotus position, and it seems as if he might have his hand behind his head with his elbows out, but if that's what he's doing, he's got some really long arms. Or rather, his right arm is super long and his left arm would be quite small and in comparison. So when I peer at it longer, he doesn't seem to have his arms up at all, but rather in his lap in a more traditional pose, with perhaps a meditation blanket tucked over his arms and around him. That would make the elbow-like shapes seem more like shrouded figures looming behind him peering over his shoulders. So actually, I'm not sure what the hell is going on in this image! Maybe it's not shrouded figures, but just artsy shading and reflections or a shadow on the wall or some such. The swords are the typical ghostly transparent ones we have seen before in this deck, and they must be made of light, because that lense flare effect is happening here, shooting rays upward and outward. Perched atop the sword in the foreground is a little black bird. It doesn't look much like a crow to me; if it is, it's a tiny one.

Traditionally, the 4 of Swords brings to mind the need for a rest, a break, a hiatus, and some readers look upon it as the need for mediation and instrospection, a retreat. For me, this interpretation comes out stronger with the Fountain Tarot image than it does in the RWS image, which depicts the tomb of a knight in a cathedral. A tomb represents a pretty darn long break! But I can see how lingering around such a monument could be considered respite from the bustle outdoors of the big city surrounding the cathedral -- it's the space itself that's comtemplative, not the knight.

In this image, the bearded mystic looks off to his right, toward the floor. Maybe he's going through the traditional motions just prior to a session of sitting meditation, where you shift back and forth from one butt cheek to the other, lift your back up straight by imagining your head is a helium balloon and your spine is a string lifted up by the balloon (or some such business). Then if you're like me, you start straight and sloooowly slump forward and things go blurry and several minutes later you realize you're not meditating but humming the theme tune to 'Game of Thrones' in your head and thinking about what to make for dinner, so you get up because your feet have gone to sleep anyway.

Today the entire service I work for is convening in one room for a staff development day, which we are not allowed to call a conference, and which the big wigs have dubbed 'Creating Customer Connections.' So I am thinking a lot of vague staring off into space will be done before the day is through.

A happy Tuesday to all!


  1. I do want to start meditating again but like you it is hard to keep my mind focused. They say it is the returning to the breath that counts not how many times you've been distracted but damn it is hard when you want to succeed at something :D

    1. Meditation is something I have to be in the mood for. I'm in the mood for cake far more often, as the popped-off button on my trousers can attest.

  2. Ha, I actually made a commitment yesterday to get back into meditation. Since the baby has changed his nap time, my schedule has been all over the place. Once he starts at nursery (at the end of next week), I think that when I get home after dropping him off will be the perfect time to meditate - before I turn on the computer and get sucked into the day ;)

  3. Haha! Great post. I'm positive that we can all relate to using meditation time to accidentally plan the dinner menu ;)