Sunday, 17 June 2012

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream

What a lovely, restful card for a Sunday!  Here we have the Four of Swords from the Gilded Tarot Royale (Ciro Marchetti, 2012), and further down from the original Gilded Tarot (Llewellyn, 2004).

A bearded knight lies, arms crossed over his chest, in front of a stained-glass window.  He wears plate armour, with a red cape over the top, and his head rests on a red pillow.  Three swords seem to float above him, two crossed with points down, the third pointing straight up.  Below him is an etched stone plinth, with another sword lying horizontally across it.  Purple curtains with eagles on them hang to either side of the window.

The sense of resting up and preparing for something is certainly apparent here, as is the idea of feeling secure.  The latter comes both from his armour - you don't get much safer, even in Kevlar ;) - and from the red of his cape, colour of the base chakra which links to our feelings of security. 

©Ciro Marchetti
Three things strike me in particular as being different between the Royale and the original.  The first is the position of the floating swords, the second is the location, and the third is his armour. 

In the original, the three swords are all pointing down, none of the blades crossed.  The newer arrangement makes me think of the way being barred, but our knight dreaming/planning a way to cut through the obstacles. 

Secondly, there is the fact that in the original he seems to be almost buried, surrounded by bricks.  In the Royale, there is a greater sense of having a perspective on the world.  The watery view outide the window makes me think, once again, of dreaming, as a way to connect with our unconscious and tap into its potential for creativity.

Finally, there is the armour.  He goes from chainmail to plate-armour - so more protected, but also more rigid.  Perhaps it is, in part, because he is so rigidly defended that he needs to seek creativity and renewed energy in sleep and dreams...

I know what I need to prepare for today, as on Tuesday I am off on a business trip.  I am trying to do some things differently, and perhaps that is where this card comes in, reminding me to think outside the box, and also to rest so that I feel refreshed and renewed, able to take on the challenges of the week to come.  How about you, what does your week look like?

I am grateful for dreams that inspire, and sleep that refreshes.


  1. Fascinating! Thanks so much for this comparison of two gorgeous cards!

    1. Hi Zanna, I'm really enjoying looking at exactly how the cards have been reworked, and the differences that might make to interpreting them - lovely work by Ciro!