Wheel of Change - Fours


> Tarot Forum > Tarot Special Interest > Tarot Study Groups



 
darwinia  darwinia is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 23 Jun 2002
Location:
Posts: 1,425
darwinia 
Wheel of Change - Fours


I'm splitting this up since we discussed two of these cards before we set up a more formalized study.

There was some discussion of the 4 of Cups in our initial thread on this deck, so I won't reiterate here. It starts on page one and then meanders on. I learned all about pottery and making bread that looked that making pottery. ;-)
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?threadid=13495

4 of Disks - We also had some discussion on this in the above thread but further down the page. I'm still a bit confused about this. I joined a discussion on this card that Indigo Lady had in a thread called 4 of Lemons (which I found just delightful and insightful from all parties so I'll cite it here.)
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?threadid=15276

I think a less rigid view of this card is also what Alexandra is getting at. Interesting point which I haven't quite assimilated yet into my "miserly" take on the card.
Top   #1
darwinia  darwinia is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 23 Jun 2002
Location:
Posts: 1,425
darwinia 
The Other Two


4 of Wands

This seems to invoke initiation, ceremony, with mysterious ether rising from obelisks. A phoenix rising from the eternal flame, rebirth, and a long. tiled path. Journeys and rites of death and birth.

Okay, it's not a phoenix, it's a Ba Bird symbolizing the soul freed at death to wander. My mysterious ether is Geb's semen streaming upward to impregnate Nut and create stars. So much for my theories, no wonder my husband looks at me strangely some days. More fertility, she loves to get these fertility references into the cards which I find one of the interesting points in her work.

Lots of symbolism with 4, including 4 sides to the obelisks which I missed. Order and ceremony, but a great sense of the sacred because of the 4: 4 seasons, 4 directions, 4 suits of tarot, 4 elements, and the square form of Sacred Geometry. The road of time with stones representing the 4-cornered world--I like these as symbolizing individuals fitting together in the natural order and a common direction of humankind.

The altar means undying creativity of the Universe which I like. This is one of her big themes in the deck which is why I bought it--creativity. Sex, fertility, creativity and lots of energy, it's a wonderful deck, people that don't have it are missing something pretty neat I think. (Enabling comment #456.78.)

This imagery of stepping through into new beginnings is very haunting here. This seems very hushed and meditative compared to the R-W card and yet they are saying much the same thing.

You know how sometimes in ceremonies we will bustle along with the crowd and get caught up in the community of exuberance? Well here. it's like you are stilled, and before an individual can rush along with the crowd, they have to stop and have some awareness of themselves. It's like you are suspended in one hushed portal of time so you can get the message and then swooosh, the crowd rushes in to take you up and carry you forward. Something about this hushed suspension really hit me with this card. I can't quite explain what I mean, perhaps someone else can articulate that better?

4 of Swords

(I had a few miscues here and above when looking at the symbolism but I thought I'd leave it in just to show how the visual exactness of these cards is not always discernible to older eyes.)

A wooden Egyptian sarcophagus surrounded by urns with lids in the shape of jackal, owl, human, and dog against a sky of symmetrical stars; 4 jewelled daggers meet over the centre of the coffin and light, energy, and electricity is emitted.

I get a sense of pain, of being trapped and waiting, of the continuity of the Universe and guardians. Energy rebuilding after death. The book says it symbolizes the independent hero on a courageous journey of symbolic death. We've all had periods like that, whether withstanding situations at work, home, or with our friends. Then we see public figures who testify against injustice and sufer for it. I like the look of the restful, if unhappy, visage, and all that energy igniting in his heart.

I didn't get the protector's heads right. They are a man, baboon, jackal, and falcon (owl, falcon, what's the diff!), and are the sons of Horus (I always remember Horus from the Wheel of Fortune in some decks.) 4 jars, 4 directions, 4 sons representing the 4 suits of tarot and the 4 elements.

What struck me here is that she's got the symbolism of the 4 suits tucked in here, rather like the Magician. Maybe this guy is the Magus taking a break for a time and re-energizing? Gives the card a bit more oomph doesn't it?
Top   #2
Belladonna's Avatar
Belladonna  Belladonna is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 14 Apr 2003
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 561
Belladonna 

What a beautiful atmosphere you've narrated for the 4 of Wands, Freesiaskye. It definately has a more sombre and sacred tone to it that some more traditional decks do.

The solidness and stability and strength that was echoed again and again by the 4's really hit home to me how important it is to complete what you've started. And since we are in the suit of wands, I imagine what was started was something involving passion and vision and tremendous energy. Something we would identify much of ourselves with. So, in completeing the task or project, we've presented an extension of ourselves to the community. I love how she ties in the connectedness of community in this card by the interlinking paving stones! Now that we have a foothold, or base to start from we are liberated like the Ba Bird to fly on to our next challenge. I imagine this card could represent the successful setting up of a business, or in the old days maybe the building of a house, or barn raising.

I just wanted to emphasize that I believe Alexandra Genetti's approach to the 4 of Disks is to show us the preciousness of our wealth and illustrate how it was meant to be shared, that hoarded our wealth would turn rotten and be useless.
Top   #3
darwinia  darwinia is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 23 Jun 2002
Location:
Posts: 1,425
darwinia 

Belladonna:
<<I love how she ties in the connectedness of community in this card by the interlinking paving stones!>>

Wasn't that brilliant? It's not the sort of thing you would look at and say that this is what it means, but after reading the book it's a lovely image. All these cards have something like that in them, some detail that leaps out in this manner and just makes sense.

She must have a huge whack of creativity in that mind of hers. Everywhere you look in this deck there is this freshness and originality. How many decks can you say that about? I spent months deciding on whether to buy this and it's such a valuable deck and book, so thoughtful and REAL, a real person has made the effort to interpret and paint their vision instead of rushing out the same cloned, canned, cardstock.

How many tarot decks are there? Including the ones that are OOP there must be over a thousand. But this one will always have its own space in time because it is so much an original, I am in awe of her artistry and thought. Some people say there is an "agenda" with the deck, she is a feminist, politically correct multiculturalist, or envoronmentalist etc. So what, at least she can think for herself and create an original tarot deck. I don't see that too often, that spark that makes you sit up and say "What is she saying here?" or "What does this mean?" I like challenging decks that make me think harder.

I am really looking forward to Lorena Moore's Ironwing Tarot for the same reason. Such a vision! And it doesn't matter to me that some of the concepts or precepts are not ones I embrace or know about, you can simply tell that the artist is way out there in their own wild world of originality and I want to see that.
http://www.mineralarts.com/artwork/IronwingTAROT.html
(She's only got 17 cards to go! Be still my heart, anticipation overwhelms.)
Top   #4
galadrial's Avatar
galadrial  galadrial is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Mar 2003
Location: Water Cup Desert
Posts: 605
galadrial 

When I first got this deck, a few years ago now, I read the book. But right now I'm in a phase where I'm trying to glean as much as I can from cards without knowing the author's intent. So if some of what I say is spot on to her intent, I'm probably remembering it, but if it is way off it is because I'm letting the old imagination go (like a Ba-Bird:-)

4 of Swords

I'm really struck by both the texture of the sarcophagus (wood) and the fact that parts of him are in containers outside himself. I see this as thinking that has been clung to past it's usefulness and has become wooden and confining. Also thinking that has become so compartmentalized that the person no longer can easily interconnect ideas, free associate, etc. I see this confinement as deadening the heart, and leading to the need for this night time stillness. Now is the time to let new ideas in, to allow thinking to come from different directions (the four corners) and be of different types (the one silver knife and different designs on the other knives). This will revitalize the heart and allow one to break out of old thought patterns and find new solutions.

4 of Wands

I recently got this card as part of a reading I did on the reading exchange: http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...threadid=15288 (there are also three of the 3's in the reading). I saw it as the spirit being able to rise above yet stay within structure. To be able to see the "big picture" and to get a sense of personal spiritual gratification while working as part of a communtity and not as an individual.

4 of Disks

What I love about the use of apples as compared to either coins or castle turrents (from the Thoth deck) is their obvious impermanence. This is wealth indeed, and wealth earned after both hard labor and some good luck, but it only has worth if it is used. Carpe Diem and pass the apple pie!
Top   #5

Belladonna's Avatar
Belladonna  Belladonna is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 14 Apr 2003
Location: Nova Scotia
Posts: 561
Belladonna 

I primarily see this card as being energizing. I think of four athames channeling energy from the 4 directions into the very heart of this mummified being. Obviously, he has suffered the trauma of death, has been disembowelled, had major organs removed, etc., etc. But I get a sense of comfort from the ritual that attended him after his crisis. He was taken care of. The fact of his death was not simply overlooked, or rushed over. There was time and effort spent dealing with his death, processing it, accepting it, preparing for his next stage on the journey.

I see the mummification process as a necessary step when dealing with a great crisis or trauma. It affords us the time to understand, accept, and respect what our minds have undergone. It lends a sense of closure, rest, recuperation and strength for our resurrection.
Top   #6
thorhammer's Avatar
thorhammer  thorhammer is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 21 Sep 2007
Location: Running
Posts: 19,764
thorhammer 
Four of Disks


Because the energies of the suit of Earth reinforce those of the numeral four so strongly, this ends up being a very positive card. Disks represent permanence, the potential for growth and fertile resourcefulness, while the number four invokes completion and stability. In this card, the energies unite to define the boundaries of one’s personal garden, which appears as fruitful and growing. The seasons (four of them) are depicted at the bottom of the card in the four apple trees, their seasonal foliage cycling through the year. Because it is impossible (or at least very unlikely) for four apple trees to exhibit four different seasons at the same moment, this image alone shows wholeness and synthesis. It also suggests perspective, being able to see the bigger picture and the wider consequences of one’s actions and decisions, as well as the wider influences on one’s life, especially seasonal, cyclic influences.

In Genetti’s system, the number four is the natural progression from the “magical triangle”, where two unlike entities (one and two) meet and actively interact (three), to give rise to an entirely separate entity or outcome (four). The Four of Disks, then, completes the building of a physical realm, one’s personal world. The use of apples in the imagery invokes the goddess Aphrodite, to whom they were sacred. She is, of course, the Goddess of love and sensual delights, so because a person’s physicality is tied so closely to their sexuality, this card refers to a healthy sensuality, as well.

The warmth and openness so evident in the image is the message here – to treat yourself, firstly, and your lover with candour and genuine respect. It might urge sharing your thoughts with your lover about your shared sex life, or allowing someone into that space defined by the apple twigs, to encourage a relationship to flower. The red ribbon echoes the ties of passion between lovers, and hints that a person’s world is more stable because of a passionate, genuine relationship.

\m/ Kat
Top   #7
thorhammer's Avatar
thorhammer  thorhammer is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 21 Sep 2007
Location: Running
Posts: 19,764
thorhammer 
Four of Wands


If one considers the suit of Fire to embody the energy of transformation (phoenix-like), then the Four of Wands creates a space wherein this can occur. The image is most definitely evocative of a sacred space, with the four pillars represented by the Wands at the four corners of a paved area, open to the sky. There is no roof because the intention that this card indicates is to elevate oneself spiritually, to rise like the Ba bird pictured from the smoke created by the immolation of one’s old self. Genetti says that the Egyptian Ba bird represented a person’s “physical vitality” – exactly the energy involved in the suit of Wands. This suggests that there are times in a person’s life when we undergo such extreme change within ourselves that we cast aside all but our inner vitality, the very spirit of ourselves, leaving the dross behind.

The Wands themselves are arrow-shaped, and streams of stars waft upwards from their tips. The Ba bird strains upwards with the stars, yearning upwards to a new state of being. The paved road represents the path of a person’s life, and by presenting the card with this sacred space interrupting the road, Genetti suggests that no person goes through life without enduring spiritual immolation and ecstatic transformation into a newer being. And yet, the road continues unchanged in the distance; in contrast, this shows that life will continue, largely unchanged, though the substance of the seeker’s soul might be irrevocably altered.

The altar at the foreground of the card bears the source of the fire that will transform. It is contained and its source is a mystery – hence giving us to know that the reason for or wellspring of change is beyond our understanding. Shown outside the bounds of the sacred space, the altar tells us that we are confronted by the agency of the change before we are ready for the change itself. The altar is the focus, the catalyst, here elevated to the status of holy object. It’s important to realise when faced by radical change that it offers an opportunity to elevate yourself beyond your current capabilities.

\m/ Kat
Top   #8
thorhammer's Avatar
thorhammer  thorhammer is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 21 Sep 2007
Location: Running
Posts: 19,764
thorhammer 
Four of Cups


The Magical Triangle appears again here, where we see the two bowls of raw materials (clay and water) on opposite pillars. The black pillar supporting the clay speaks of the clay’s inherent darkness, coming as it does from the depths of the earth and time. The white pillar, bearing the bowl of water, represents the clarity that is gained through allowing knowledge and emotion to flow through one’s mind. The potter’s wheel represents the action that unites the two unlike materials, and upon it sits the result of that action – a newly thrown Cup. The fourth Cup is held up at the back of the room as the ideal against which the potter measures new ventures.

The room appears warm and cosy, sheltered from the outside world. In a way, the room itself is a Cup, holding and containing the creative energies within. The room gives form to the energy and thoughts of the potter, and as the fifth (implicit) Cup, indicates the direction forward, toward the Five of Cups. The sunlight streaming in as three beams recalls the previous card, and sunlight itself represents inspiration and enlightenment. The potter accepts outside influences and incorporates them into his or her work, hence the new bowl is different from the model on the shelf, indicating the change that can be wrought through creative action and the different circumstances and conditions surrounding its creation.

Although this card gives me “warm fuzzies” and makes me feel secure and sheltered, I am also reminded that the next card, the Five, shows what can happen when a person shelters themselves for too long. The influence from the outside world here is narrow and restricted, and to me the card counsels caution in cutting yourself off from the world for too long, or not accepting the possibilities that come your way. It also suggests a rising source of creative energy and a need to form something from diametrical opposites in one’s life. Perhaps it urges the need to explore new avenues of creative expression, probably solo.

\m/ Kat
Top   #9
thorhammer's Avatar
thorhammer  thorhammer is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 21 Sep 2007
Location: Running
Posts: 19,764
thorhammer 
Four of Swords


This image is the closest the deck’s creator comes to showing a human figure in the pip cards. She tells us in the companion book that this is because the Four of Swords represents the human consciousness becoming aware of itself. The four swords point inwards, to the heart of the sarcophagus, channelling energy in towards the centre of the world – for that is what the card signifies. There is a strong element of ego in this card. The four canopic jars contain the organs that were considered important to the Egyptian people for passage into the afterlife. The desire to go on to the next life unchanged demonstrated that these people indulged their egocentric preoccupation with immortality and equality with the Gods.

By showing the sarcophagus, the artist has reminded us of death, when the Egyptians were buried in their elaborate regalia. The numeral four shares some characteristics with the idea of death, in that it is the number of completion. By completing something, one creates a resulting emptiness which demands to be filled by the next cycle. The sarcophagus is contained and contains, all at once. It generates the beginning of the next round of the spiral, begun with the Five, which we see invoked in the five-pointed stars sprinkled on the card’s background.

The timber sarcophagus represents the human form, but unenlivened by the spirit given by the suit of Wands, it is lifeless and unmoving. The spot of light at the centre represents the spark of intelligence, and the bolt of lightning, the potential for learning from the outside world. Sometimes knowledge hits with the violence of a “bolt from the blue”, and we learn from the experience. But by defining ourselves only through our knowledge, forsaking the wisdom given by the energies of the other suits, we limit our life experience, and find that our Self is “wooden” and “lifeless”.

\m/ Kat
Top   #10
Elsewhere on the Tarot Forum
Popular Tarot Boards
· Using Tarot Cards
· Talking Tarot
· Tarot Spreads
· Tarot Decks
· Rider-Waite-Smith

Special Interest Boards
· Astrology
· Crystals & Herbs
· Divination
· Lenormand
· Spirituality

Popular Tarot Threads
· Pet Peeves
· Timing of cards
· Interesting tarot pairs
· The Moon as how someone feels
· The World as feelings

More Tarot Threads
· Cards for certain events
· Tarot meanings for health
· List of Tarot Questions
· Can Tarot be Dangerous?
· List of Tarot Myths



Elsewhere on Aeclectic Tarot
· Tarot Cards & Reviews
· Free Tarot Readings
· Tarot eBooks
· Tarot Card Meanings

Copyright © 1996 - 2022 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us. Advertise with us.