The last of the three minor Swords cards associated with Libra, the Four of Swords is linked to Jupiter in the cardinal Air sign. It also corresponds to the last ten days of Libra, from the 13th through to the 22nd October this year (see Elizabeth Hazel’s excellent Tarot Decoded, published by Weiser, 2004, for more on Planetary and Zodiacal dignities).
So, what qualities does Jupiter bring to Libra? Well, Jupiter is associated with expansion, the broadening of horizons – and by association, optimism and faith. Jupiter was a Roman god, also known as Jove, giving us the word ‘jovial’ – so we have humour, as well as benevolence to add to the Jupiterian or Jovian mix. But we also have the sense of fairness – Jupiter as the arbiter at the tribunal.
Four of Swords (trimmed):
© DruidCraft Tarot
Add this to the cardinal airy-ness of Libra, the quest for harmony and balance within relationship, and what happens? The quest expands! The objectivity and fairness is still there, but now we can add diplomat as well as negotiator – the ability to see the ‘bigger picture’. Not only fair-minded, but also broad-minded, Jupiter in Libra wants to see things grow and develop through co-operation, and encourages this. One thing to be wary of might be the need to weigh everything up, which could perhaps inhibit the confidence and decisive thought!
How does this fit with the Four of Swords? This card is often associated with themes of recuperation, rest, and convalescence. Four is a number of stability – think of a square: it rests solidly on four corners, and it takes a lot to shift it. Taking time to stand still (or lie still, as often depicted in Four of Swords images) to recover or re-charge before facing the next challenge is definitely indicated.
Four of Feathers (trimmed):
© Margarete Petersen Tarot
Jupiter in Libra brings a sense of clarity, after the pain and sorrow of the Three. With acceptance – the lesson from the Three – comes time to breathe, to take a deep breath, to expand the lungs, to expand our view of the situation. To quote Gerd Ziegler (‘Tarot: Mirror of the Soul’, published by Weiser Books), what “has seemed hopeless until now actually carries within itself all the elements for a fortunate, prosperous solution.” Through rest, the body, mind, spirit and emotions have all been brought together ready to face another day.
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DruidCraft Tarot created by Philip Carr-Gomm and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington, published by Connections
Margarete Petersen Tarot, AGM-URANIA/Deep Books, 2004.