The Spiritual Side of Pentacles

For the COTD posting for Monday, June 16, 2014 click here

{this article first appeared in the April edition of Attune Magazine 2014}

The Spiritual Side of Pentacles

“The way to Spirit for Pentacles lives not so much in success or even awareness of value  in ordinary things, as in the work that allows us to appreciate those things.”    ~Rachel Pollack, Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom.

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The Four of Swords & Rob Zombie?

I reached for sleep and drew it round me like a blanket muffling pain and thought together in the merciful dark.”  ~Mary Stewart

What is the Four of Swords about anyway?  Sleep; Retreat; Rest; Recharging your batteries; licking your wounds; regrouping; recovering; and possibly even death.  To me the traditional image from the Radiant Rider-Waite, looks like a sarcophagus in a church or burial crypt.   If we think of the hurt, pain, and betrayal found in the Three of Swords, we can understand why withdrawal or retreat are necessary.   In 78 Degrees of Wisdom, Rachel Pollack says, “People sometimes respond to difficulties by isolating themselves, literally hiding in their houses, or simply flattening their emotional reactions to hide inside themselves.”  “Withdrawal, however, can also lead to healing, if the purpose is not to hide but to recoup strength.”

Let’s take a look at some other Four of Swords and see how they expand our original thoughts on traditional images and meanings.

Jordan Hoggard, Tarot in the Land of Mystereum, gives this advice for his 4 of Swords:  “Here, never hurry, and never rest.  Pace.  Enhance your preparedness.”   Discretion, is a keyword that jumps out, and a good word to add to your list.

In the Pearls of Wisdom, (Roxi Sim) we see a man who appears trapped in a square built from four swords.  “Self imposed limitation.”  He has limited his ability to move-to force inner contemplation, perhaps?  I see a conscious intent to meditate.


The Anna K Tarot shows an ill person in bed that is being nursed and attended to.  Anna Klaffinger  writes, “We fall into a kind of hibernation because of the pains that we have suffered or are still suffering.”

A King’s Journey Tarot, (Chanel Bayless & James Battersby) shows a person who appears to be exiled.   With only the wind, sky, and clouds for company, there is little else to distract him from rest, meditation, and contemplation.

Tarot of a Moon Garden, (Karen Marie Sweikhardt) shows a peaceful sleepy setting in a moon lit fantasy garden.  The LWB adds the word, Abandonment to the list of keywords.

The Sun and Moon Tarot, (Vanessa Decort) the Four of Swords is titled,  truce.  “Forced respite allows you to be fully present, make peace with the truth, pay attention, and to become receptive.  To negotiate and to solve problems.”

The Deviant Moon Tarot, (Patrick Valenza) shows a girl below ground and dreaming.  “Her visions illuminate the tomb and keep four roses in bloom”   One of the most interesting 4 of Swords, (and deck) ever published.  This particular card is one of my favorites and it always reminds me of the Rob Zombie  song, “Living Dead Girl.”  Ok, now that song is stuck in my head again.  LOL  I’ll add a link to the song below.

The last card I’m taking a look at is from the Wildwood Tarot, (Mark Ryan and John Matthews – illustrated by Will Worthington.  The Four of Arrows is titled, Rest.  A fundamental state we all need to practice more.  Most of us anyway.  We run around, sometimes in circles, and forget that rest is a …”necessary part of a healthy lifestyle and sleep a vital part of recuperation and the healing process.   Not only does your body needs to rest up, but your mind needs the break just as much, if not more.   “…the functions of the human psyche need dreams and deep sleep to aid the process.”   “Allow time for the imagination to sojourn into the otherworld to renew and rejuvenate vitality.”

“[Sleep is] the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together” ~Thomas Dekker (1572 – 1632)

Did you add any new words to your keyword vocabulary for the Four of Swords?  Do you have some of your own to share?    Share with us!

*(video link)  

*Above images can be seen and purchased from these sources:

Radiant Rider-Waite, U.S. Games Inc.- Tarot in the Land of Mystereum, Schiffer Publishing, – Pearls of Wisdom Tarot, 7th House Publishing, Anna.K Tarot, self published.  A King’s Journey Tarot, self published.  Tarot of a Moon Garden, U.S. Games Inc.  Sun and Moon Tarot, U.S. Games Inc. Deviant Moon Tarot, U.S. Games Inc. WildWood Tarot, Sterling Ethos