Saturday, 28 July 2012

Time Out

©Virginijus Poshkus
This week I decided to go for a couple of fairly modern classics: the Radiant Rider Waite (U.S. Games, 2003) and the Tarot of the New Vision (Lo Scarabeo, 2003).  For those who haven't seen or heard of it, the Tarot of the New Vision takes traditional RWS imagery and turns it 180º - looking from behind the normal perspective.  It's an interesting idea, and well executed.

I love the colours in the Radiant Rider Waite - there's such variety, warmth and richness to them compared to the original.  Here, I notice that particularly in the stainglass window behind the entombed knight.  To me, it suggests that illumination has a multiplicity of forms.  It also suggests that though we may seem to be completely withdrawn, we can still be taking a lot in - we're just not actively doing anything about it yet. 

The entombed knight lies with one sword horizontally underneath him, a single idea that acts as his foundation and support.  Three more hang on the wall to his side; over his head, chest and stomach.  They make me think of the different symptoms we can have related to painful thoughts: a head whirling with worries and doubts; a feeling of guilt, fear or responsibility that may weigh us down so it feels hard to breathe; or a churning in our stomach, perhaps even feeling sick with worry.  These could well be the reasons why we need the time out and healing the Four of Swords offers: a time to calm our mind as much as resting our body.

©Cestaro & Alligo
The Tarot of the New Vision shows our knight, but from the other side (though it's rather less obvious than in many of the cards from this deck).  From this side, we can see that there are two people standing guard over him, suggesting the idea of needing and receiving support to help recuperate.  Also, in this version he is not entombed, but lying in rest.  The swords are positioned the same way as in the RWS, but there are butterflies flying around them, suggesting these ideas can transform, or that they can transform us.

I also notice the different composition in the stainglass window - a monk offers something to a dog, while the sun shines over a green tree.  This speaks of the gifts we receive from spiritual support to help us with our more instinctual world.  It also speaks of growth and healing, of health and happiness.

It seems to me that these two cards offer quite different perspectives on rest and healing.  The RRW seems more inward-focused, suggesting a need for complete withdrawal from the outside world, and for seeking inner illumination as a balance to the worries and stresses we face.  The New Vision, on the other hand, seems more outward-looking.  It asks what support we can get to help us deal with stress and painful thoughts.  Although there is clearly a spiritual aspect to this, too, it is focused more on what we can receive from others than simply on us and our own resources.

Inward or outward focus, either way I could do with a rest today.  We left the party last night quite early, but it was still late for me!  And then Big Boy was up at 4.30 this morning *doh*  So, back to bed for me, now.  Thinking about it, I've only managed to meditate two days so far this week, so that is also high on my priority list.  A great way to tune into the more spiritual side of life and also transform my thought patterns - definitely Four of Swords-y :)

I am grateful for the support systems we have in place, so I can go back to bed for a while.

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