of shadow work
facing the darkness /
to live in the light
to live in the light
Ok, one thing I'm realizing about this process is the Most High expects us to be smart (sharp). We gotta put our thinking caps on, frfr. Full disclosure: I had to google a couple of facts about the Four of Swords (Jupiter in Libra), the card we're getting ready to discuss. You know how I figure out the message behind the message of the card by calling out what I see...? But in the case of the Four of Swords, I was looking at something I'd never seen before.
Sidenote: One of the parents of the Four of Swords is Jupiter (Wheel of Fortune). The Wheel of Fortune has to do with the heavenly realms sending us downloads of information & upgrades that will help us handle the next life cycle we're being pushed into. Even as I type this, I'm getting a download about the nature of this card, which is that sometimes we will want to use our Ace of Swords to call forth certain experiences from the darkness, but it's possible that we won't recognize what we're asking for when it shows up because we've never seen it before.
Anyway, the first thing I googled was 'casket with carved image on top,' because I don't know what the heck to call a casket like that. It turns out it's called a catafalque, which is a "raised bier, box or similar platform, often moveable, that is used to support the casket, coffin, or body of the deceased during a Christian funeral or memorial service." So on one hand we are calling forth new things from the void that we may not recognize, but on the other hand, this picture is centered around the memorial & exaltation of a dead thing. Interesting...
Then I googled 'stained glass windows' & it came up that another name for stained glass windows is 'leaded light' or LET IT LIE.
Another interesting thing about this card is that- once again- it's a combination of the energy of Jupiter (the Wheel of Fortune) & Libra (Justice). In the tarot, the Wheel of Fortune is '10' & Justice is '11', so the Four of Swords is one of the only cards in the tarot that carries the energy of divine, sequential order. (Which might be why the funeral is so fancy pants.)
Ok, since Jupiter (Wheel Of Fortune) is about upleveling to a new life phase, & Justice (Libra) represents mirrored relationships that let us "see," ourselves, then the Four of Swords represents that space where we're moving on from the relationships (even with ourselves!) that have fulfilled their purpose honorably & now can die with dignity. This relationship (karma) has served its purpose. So while we may pay our final respects, we may not try to raise the dead. We let it lie (leaded light). We let it rest in peace. This is the divine order that everything has a season & when that season is over you move on. Unless we are willing to do so, we will be so fixated on raising the dead that we won't recognize the new experiences waiting to enter our lives. We'll be so busy looking at what we always see that we won't see what we've never seen.
Since this goes for relationships with ourselves too- & relationships with self involve communication- then how we gonna on the one hand be calling something new out the void but on the other hand still saying the same old dead shit? In order to welcome the new circumstance, truth, light, thought, whatever- you have to let that old heavy leaden thought lie & die, honey. Just die.
When we don't let it die /lie, it's because we think we have to cling to it because it's the only light/ lie/ LIFE there is, & we look up and realize we've been telling the same story about the same pains, same issues, same wounds, same lies for decades. It's understandable that we do that to make sense of what has happened to us. We speak about the past to understand it & make peace with it, but that's why the bible says we need to practice peace the PASSETH understanding because if you wait for understanding before you let your mind rest, you will never get any rest. The answers are forward, not backwards. To figure out where the story is going, we have to turn the page, yes? So the answer to the reasons why this happened and that happened do not lie in the past, they lie in the future. That's how you make peace with it, by assuring yourself that more will be revealed, that there are new chapters to every story, that LIFE GOES ON.
If we look at the Four of Swords literally, we have a statue of a man, frozen in prayer (appear, i.e. stuck on how things look), with three swords (remember the meanie words from the three of swords??) pointed down on him. He's stuck under the point of these swords / words / knives / lies- what did it mean when he said... what did she mean when that happened... what was this... what was that... for eternity. All that shit is dead but even the dead person can't let it die. This is his eternal focus. With his hands in prayer right underneath the first sword, he eternally prays for the Ace of Swords, for the root, the potential, the power, the ultimate POINT OF IT ALL to be illuminated & cut through the dark places in his understanding. He wants to know WHYYYYY.
Yet the only light that comes through the window is the leaded light. Let it lie. Let it go. Let it be. No matter how hard you pray, all you will be shown is the way to move on.
So the person does the only thing he can do, is he rests on the fourth sword, or the fourth word or the forced word, which means stop forcing the issue, put it down, rest. And then you'll sleep (see).
But not until you wake up.
Because a wake is what this is, yes? A wake.
Wide awake. Why the wake?
To pay respect. Which sometimes has to be done in silence because we do not speak ill of the dead. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Instead we have to move on to the people / situations that you feel alive, about whom you have plenty of nice things to say.
Not flattery (not flatter he/ can't flatter him bc he's raised up), but nice (knight). Knights are granted the title of 'sir' by a governing religious order. So you have the authority to knight any circumstance in your life is 1) dead, & 2) declare that it has served (sir) you well & 3) refuse to speak ill of the dead. Because if something is "ill," it's still technically alive.
This card is also a warning about dead things being lifted up. If we don't pay our respect & be nice & allow these dead situations to rest in peace, then you will continue to battle with them. You'll be a gravedigger or a zombie maker, giving this dead thing power over your actions & thoughts. So then YOU become a dead thing, infected, like a zombie.
Which brings us to the Five of Swords, where you can either be a zombie or a zombie killer. Also- peep that this is the first time the cards (which I still shuffle to determine the day's card, btw) have shown up sequentially. Remember that the Four of Swords is about divine order, & now its being followed by the Five of Swords. Interesting...
So the Five of Swords (Venus in Aquarius) is a combination of Venus (The Empress) & The Star card (Aquarius). Venus is the full, outward expression of everything we've hidden within (think seeds hidden in earth becoming big ass trees) & Aquarius is the unique, personalized energy that highlights the original traits that set us apart from others. In the tarot, the Star Card (Aquarius) appears directly after the Tower, so this is also the energy of wishing for healing, expressing vulnerability & exercising the freedom of having nothing left to lose (because all was lost in the Tower).
When you put these energies together in the Five of Swords (outward expression + desire, freedom & individuality after a Tower moment), it creates the experience of WISHING A N**** WOULD hahahahahaha. Honestly this card cracks me up so much! If you look at its parents- the Empress all beautiful & the Star so lovely- you'd never expect this sort of language to come from the mouth of their child! This is the card of the sweet old granny who can slice the lips off somebody talking to her crazy, but still lovingly give them bus fare home the hell outta her face. Hair trigger grannies are usually that way for a reason (Tower moment). They've survived some calamity- the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the Crack era, the 'Rona- & lived to tell the tale. After surviving the unsurvivable (living dead), they've come to the conclusion that there are certain things they just don't have to, ain't about to, will never again tolerate because they've already passed life's hardest tests & you ain't finna test me again. So any energy that reminds them (even the tiniest bit) of the disrespect / disenfranchisement / disillusionment / discomfort they've already experienced, gives them a bit of PTSD, & you will be the one to suffer for it, not them. It's as if they've been to war & instead of coming back home with missing limbs, they came back home having morphed into a landmine (watch ya step).
The reason why I call this a zombie killer or be killed card is because- remember in the Four of Swords where we were instructed to RIP and/or respect the dead? That can only happen if we accept that whatever is dead served its purpose. If we don't believe the event had any sort of purpose except to harm us, then there is no growth (new life) as a result, only bitterness (decay), & everytime we are reminded of the event, we will want to bring it back to life & kill it again. Therefore we will always be on the hunt (offensive) ready to verbally assault anything & everything that looks like that shit that we don't want, could never accept, will never respect & (ironically) keep alive by virtue of always being the one to bring the shit up (speaking ill instead if letting it die).
Now, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with zombie killing in a world of the walking dead. You do what you gotta do to survive, of course. But what Five of Swords folks fail to realize, is they are simultaneously animating and killing the zombies. They are both the zombie killer & mother, because they give birth to dead events in new situations constantly. They experience something today, but react to it as if it's some long dead thing that happened six years ago. So first there's the case of mistaken identity- You look like Herbert & you said something similar to what Herbert used to say- & then there's the overreaction- I thought I killed you already! I'll never let you hurt me again!!! FUCK YOU HERBERRRRT!!!! *slice* *slice* *slice*
& Now there's another undead, wounded soul with a vendetta against mean grannies hurt by Herberts. & Then the vitriol spreads, just like a zombie bite.
That's why it's really, really important that we (Four of Swords) learn to respect our past without necessarily understanding it (with faith that the answers will be revealed as life unfolds) because otherwise we will spend our lives on guard against long dead assailants, chained to decayed thoughts that infect our new opportunities & relationships. Also, we mustn't forget that we are talking about swords, yes? Not cups (feelings), not wands (actions) & not pentacles (situations), but WORDS. All of this is mental & verbal- the way we talk to others & most importantly, the way we talk to ourselves. The issues we struggle with are happening in our mind (not in reality!), yet we wear tense facial expressions with no shortage of curt words for anyone who dares trigger ill memories of dead pain.
On the flip side (double-edged swords), the Five of Swords can be helpful, because there are real zombies out there; people (or your own thoughts) who expect you to be a dead version of yourself, because they (or yourself, mentally) have not moved on from the past. In this case, your transformation would be the actual Tower moment, having crumbled your old foundations & habits, & gone on to successfully build (Star-t) a new life yet still being tested with words & thoughts from your dead life / self. This is the sober person with alcoholic friends who call every few months just to see if you want a little drink, or folks who know you've been vegan for a year inviting you to a dinner where everything has butter. This is also getting a raise & doing well at work, but still telling yourself you "can't afford," things that you actually can afford, because spending money brings up hella old, dead fear. When those moments happen, SLIIIIICE! Cut that shit off quick. It doesn't have to be elaborate, either, just to the point. Nope. Not doing this with you (or me) today. Key word TODAY. Drag your mind to the present no matter how you feel about the past. Open your eyes & see that it is NOW, not then. This is mind over matter. It's a process & a practice.
If we add up the Four of Swords + the Five of Swords, we get the Nine of Swords. Remember the Nine of Swords was the first card from our shadow work, & it was technically about mind under matter, & how we can be so mentally exhausted from battling & reasoning with the things we don't want to do & don't want to confront, that instead of getting out of the bed to do the hard thing (with great reward), we do the easy thing which is lie back down (& suffer). The Nine of Swords was certainly me this morning (& I've been a Five-of-Swords mama lately too, watch it!) lying in bed, comfortable af, waking up to emails that pissed me off, looking at low sales from the week (but still having all the money, food, clothes, shelter & Xmas presents for my babies that I need currently), worried about the future, doubting my abilities, remembering shit that happened a million years ago & feeling all the sad feels, wanting to hit that snooze button one-more-gin... & then I realized I needed to get my ass up out that bed, no matter HOW I felt.
I realized that the Hierophant (number 5 in the Major Arcana & therefore hanging around the Five-of Swords energetically) is the High Priest explaining to his parishioners that we are all rich (rich-you-all) but we are rich in our habits (rituals) not necessarily money. You are what you repeatedly do, & thinking is a part of that. I also thought about how the Hierophant is all fancily dressed because he's explaining that we gotta "dress the part," even if we aren't there yet. Fake it till you make it. Renew your mind. Excellence is a habit. Get your ass up. Fuck your feelings. Do what you gotta do.
Once again, this is why the Four of Swords is so important, because once you let a thought/situation construct die in peace, assuming its purpose will be revealed as you move on, then you realize that the thoughts/situation died, but you lived. Which means you have to acknowledge that 1) You are not your thoughts & 2) ask yourself, Who could I be WITHOUT that thought? This also goes back to what I said at the beginning of the Four of Swords, which was, how will we recognize the things we want but have never seen, since we've never seen them? This means we have to quiet our minds & really pay attention to what's going on NOW- otherwise we will ignore a new thing by calling it an old thing, & treat it as an old thing, all the while longing for our new thing (& being mad it ain't here!)
"Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?" (Isaiah 43:19)
(live & let die)
(Allow me to (re)introduce myself)
What are y'alls Four of Swords / Five of Swords?
(Sidenote: I realize I haven't shared a personal story in a couple of days but I decided I can't tell those particular stories anymore. It's time for a new story. Y'all are welcome to comment with anything you like, story or naw. I'm learning it's ok to move on. Shadows linger but we aren't the shadows. It's feeling light af up in here.)
(Sidenote part deux: As a tarot reader, I can't ignore the fact that four of swords (somebody grave-plotting) + plus the five of swords (somebody executing their grave-plot) = the nine of swords (somebody in mental anguish). In other words, the shadow side of this combination of energy is somebody plotting & purposely putting someone in a bad mental place. Let us not forget the swords are 1) double-sided & 2) can be telepathy - so this can play out two ways:
1) This could be someone listening to their own dark thoughts & executing a plan to throw an unsuspecting person into a nine-of-swords situation;
2) Or this could be the intended victim hearing those dark thoughts (because they are clear minded due to letting dead things die, therefore light and darkness have a clear space to reveal themselves), resulting in the clear minded person Five-O-Swords-ing the intended attack by not reacting (or slicing if a n**** get too close ). This effectively boomerangs the gross energy back to the gross person (ewwww), letting them stew in their own Nine -of-Swords.
(Return to sender)
all of us.