Four of Swords
“the art of slowing down”
healing, peace, slowness
Chesed through air
It is always thought about balance, that it’s the huge topics which must be sorted out on a philosophical and physical level. Strong keywords like black and white, right or wrong, true or false, and so on dominate this universal topic. But balancing often starts with small steps and practical opposites like speed and slowness shall be regarded in a first step.
It must be pointed out though, that there are never only two opposites involved, but almost always a third counterpart which stays hidden for as long as one tries to focus “that what isn’t there yet”. Balance is not a straight line which tends to one or the other side but a multidimensional process which involves many different standpoints, directions and at least this third constant which must be found to achieve a stable state of coming to peace. Being stable is not stagnancy however. It should be seen as a floating state of mind which stays flexible yet steady – this is the ultimate goal of being. That state can never be achieved absolutely but the way there already leads to a much more stable journey.
The turtle symbolizes calmness and ease, shelter and wisdom. The more the environment becomes stressful, driven and chaotic, the more it is important to be a necessary isle of slowing down. One must make the first step to be a beacon to others. To be that beacon can change the whole dynamic of a circulating system.
The geometric patterns in the card symbolize the focus that comes from taking it slow.
In a hurry no patterns will emerge but when one stops, breathes consciously and closes the eyes, the mind slowly begins to center and zoom inwards. This moment can mark the beginning of a journey which leads outside of the continuous cycle.
To stop running in circles, sit down and study helps with focus and concentration – it’s like finding the gate or door and focusing in the right direction. But remember, only practice will eventually open it. To have found the door isn’t an actual step yet. This rule fits all topics, if it’s physical activity, spirituality, education or in a very physical case just finishing the tax declaration. Buying a bike isn’t exercise, visiting a guru isn’t spiritual work, reading a book isn’t learning how to actually do things. This sounds harsh but often it is thought to have reached the goal when just looking into a more bright direction. Being active and straight forward in the art of slowing down is not being passive in the sin of endless preparation and thinking.