The Wild Unknown Tarot - IV Swords

Sulis

This card is mostly black and white with a splash of yellow / orange.

A calf (I think it's a calf) lies at the bottom of the picture looking straight out at the reader. He has his legs tucked beneath him and he looks very comfortable and content. In the centre of his forehead (maybe in the place of his third eye) shines a yellow / orange disk with small rays emanating from it; it's like a small sun.
Above the calf hang 4 swords; their tips pointing down towards the calf but he doesn't look as if he's in any danger.

I'm reading this deck in a similar way to the way I read my Tarot de Marseilles; with image, element and number.
The image is a calm one, there is no movement, the calf looks as if he is resting and is quite content. There is no feeling that the swords are about to fall and impale him.
4s to me are about a pause to reflect after the action of the 3s. They are about building foundations, safety, security, stability. They relate to The Emperor so they are often about rules and regulations as well as solidity.
Swords relate to the element of Air and are about problems and action but they are also about thoughts and communication.

This image makes me feel at peace. I feel as if the calf is resting and the circle in the centre of his forehead makes me think that from this still time, maybe a time of recuperation but definitely a time of stillness of thought and contemplation, that new ideas will come.

So this is a pause, a time to reflect, a time to still one's mind and gather one's thoughts to gain insight.

A beautiful card.

I'd love to hear what others who have this deck think of it.
I'll see if I can add a scan later.
 

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lark

I like your insights...I feel the same...it is a very restful feeling card.
The swords seem behind it, so not threatening.
And there is something else that caught my attention all the swords have a different handle on top.
More like a collection that you would hang on your wall than swords that would be used as weapons.
The shining third eye on the lamb reminds me of meditation too.
Peace, mediation, rest, contemplation.
Oh, and the book says it's a lamb..but it is interesting that you saw it as a calf.
I love how his little legs are tucked up under him, I sit like that when I meditate or read or just think in my big chair.

The book sees it a little differently, focusing on taking the time to look inward and find the mental power to cope with the swords that may be threatening you.
 

Sulis

Thanks for that Lark, I don't see the swords as threatening at all. Interesting that they are different lengths too so that all the points sort of follow the line of his body. My cats sit like that when they are really relaxed. I can see him as a calf or a lamb now too :).
 

tomorrowscalling

Yes! I agree. I love that each of the swords are different. This detail makes me see them as tools- different lessons you learned through the stress and struggle of the threes that can be implemented when you reemerge from this period of rest in the future. Kind of like that cliche about your past experiences being luggage rather than baggage, or helpful rather than a burden. One of my favorite cards in the deck, indeed...

Love each of your insights! I'm so excited to finally talk about these cards!
 

Sulis

Yes! I agree. I love that each of the swords are different. This detail makes me see them as tools- different lessons you learned through the stress and struggle of the threes that can be implemented when you re-emerge from this period of rest in the future. Kind of like that cliche about your past experiences being luggage rather than baggage, or helpful rather than a burden. One of my favorite cards in the deck, indeed...

Love each of your insights! I'm so excited to finally talk about these cards!

Hi tomorrowscalling,

This is why love study groups - I would never have thought that the swords being different show the lessons learned through the struggle of the threes but that makes perfect sense... Thank you :).
 

jcwirish

I love everyone's insights into this card. One thought I wanted to add was that I felt that this baby lamb has just been born. it reminds me of a new born who is just seeing the world for the first time, and is still exhausted and recuperating from the stress of birth. It is physically spent, but alert and filled with the wonder of experiencing a whole new world for the first time.

I thought this was such a clever and insightful way to depict the need for rest and peaceful contemplation.
 

lark

I love everyone's insights into this card. One thought I wanted to add was that I felt that this baby lamb has just been born. it reminds me of a new born who is just seeing the world for the first time, and is still exhausted and recuperating from the stress of birth. It is physically spent, but alert and filled with the wonder of experiencing a whole new world for the first time.

I thought this was such a clever and insightful way to depict the need for rest and peaceful contemplation.

Just born, yes I can see that...thank you.
I've seen new born babies do this too...they get born, get all cleaned up by mama, try out those little spindly legs for the first time, find a little milk, all of which are big jobs to do for the first time, then totally exhausted they lay down and rest.
 

ladybird

I agree, I see that rest is needed to gain clarity.

Keywords in book: Stillness, Mental Power

my bullet point summary of page 104 on 4 Swords from the book:

~time to look inward
~finding mental power to cope with stress
~the importance of rest
~meditate or find other ways to quiet the mind

"take this time to recuperate & move inward before those swords strike." ~K.K.
 

celticnoodle

and yet, I see it somewhat differently. To me, the calf almost looks like it is about to be sacrificed and doesn't know it. the calf is innocently laying there, calm and peaceful like, but unaware of the dangers that loom above him/her.

Because this card is also coming after the ace, two and three of swords, I will keep this in mind and especially coming immediately after the 3 of swords, where we were just dealing with a major upset that was heart wrenching and difficult. This card, I see as a decision made and acted upon and now the calf has time to sit back and take a deep breath, before continuing on and facing the ramifications of his/her decisions in the 3 of swords.

So, for instance, in the 3 of swords, we can see this relating to a woman just finding out her husband is having an affair with another woman, and the wife is devastated. her world of marital bliss, and the comfort of home is now in an uproar and she is faced with a major decision. We turn over the 4 of swords and see that here she is--and perhaps she kicked her cheating husband out of the house, and so she can sit back and just find some peace in knowing that she is moving forward with dealing with this issue at hand.

In this case, she is still like the calf here in the picture. She has made a decision to deal with the problem at hand, but she has no idea yet what is about to come as a result of that decision. But for now, she can rest and gather up her strength for the fight that will come about in the 5 of swords.

She has a reprieve for the moment. But soon those 4 swords are going to pierce her and another struggle will enuse when she slips into the 5 of swords. So, will she actually be pierced by those 4 sword tips, or will she be doing battle on somewhat equal footing in the 5 of swords card?

So, perhaps the circle with the rays coming out of it in the middle of forehead, where her 3rd eye is, symbolizes that now is the time for her to plan her strategies for what is to come next. Does she seek a lawyer in this instance? or does she consider taking her husband back, if they seek counseling?

Apparently in this card the final decision has yet to be made. There are a lot of things to ponder, but she obviously needs a bit of time to just gather her thoughts together so she can think properly and plan her next move. This card is all about gathering your thoughts together and plan your next move.

so, I agree with you all in part, but I also feel that this is a card of possible threats coming at the tired calf.
 

Sulis

I was looking at this card again yesterday and I can really see Celticnoodle's interpretation - funny how we see cards differently at different times.
I can really see the swords being more of a threat or problem but a threat or problem that is either held at bay or there in the background, even if we've found some peace and are able to move on.
To me, the glowing disk over the third eye is important... The person (calf or lamb) has reached a place of calm through their own ability to calm and still their mind and keep the swords from falling on them or from bothering them any more.. They're always there but they aren't bothering the querant any more.