With four sides of the same size, a square has no weak points. It is organized, solid and enduring. In the spiritual significance of numbers, this is the foundation for the numerology meanings of the built-to-last Number 4. As the fourth of all numbers, 4’s symbolism shows us that equality on all sides creates security and stability. Interesting that biblical history cites the earth as being created on the fourth day.
The world’s myths and religious writings are replete with 4 symbolism. Buddhism tells of four streams that equate to love, impartiality, compassion and affection. In China, 4 is Earth. The Bible tells us of four virtues: justice, temperance, fortitude and prudence…Egyptians see four as the number representing time itself… Kabbalism teaches us that 4 remembers…Mayans and Teutons both portray 4 as supportive…The list goes on and on.
Here we are in April, the fourth month, looking at the number 4. In the major arcana, 4 is represented by The Emperor (LINKED to my previous article on the emperor). This is the second of the two cards that represent the divine masculine, the first, number 1 The Magician, is the active masculine principle, the emperor is the more passive masculine principle. While the magician actively co-creates with the universe, the emperor sits back in his chair, holding the earth in his hands. He has become the master, he is grounded and solid, in the deck I work with, sun and moon tarot, he sits in a red stone throne at the foot of a great mountain with the earth in his hands and the sun rising behind him. In Chinese medicine the heart is the emperor, when we are grounded in our hearts, in holding space for the feminine aspects of ourselves to flow, there we have become the emperor.
Sailing on high, on high
A story told, papa’s eyes, papa’s eyes
Know your land, know where you came from
Know your land now
Know your song and the sands it’s sang from
Know your song and pass it down
Interestingly enough, numerologically, I am a 4, which means that the emperor is my symbolic numerological card. Also being an aquarian and having lived a life of what has felt like continual transition and transformation, I have rarely felt aligned with this aspect of myself. Recently, though, I have realized that I aspire to the emperor in myself. Especially as one after the other 3 or 4 friends referred to what they believed was my great love for my wild and free gypsy lifestyle…I came to the realization that I have not consciously sought out this lifestyle, I had just accepted it as what appeared to be the trajectory of my life. I was, and am, consciously and decidedly happy in my life, regardless if my life is how I imagined it would be or has had anything to do with what I planned or wished for. If I am at ll able, and I usually am, I choose to be happy. And so this last year has been pivotal in my coming into awareness of what makes me tick and tic on the road of happiness.
When Jupiter went into Scorpio last October my small family of origin (my mother, sister & I) went through a powerful crisis that brought into focus a painful episode from our past when I was six years old and brought up into awareness the powerful dysfunctions we have been unconsciously living into ever since. Also during this last year I was actively entertaining a powerful education on my lifelong engagement with unavailable men, and this last one was so powerful and so pivotal that I saw clearly how much I have been attempting to heal my relationship with my now deceased father with every man I have ever actively entered into, or even just imagined, relationship with.
I gotta open up
Our moons have been rising and falling
Have no fear
I heard it close like an old whisper
And now I got it in my bones, dear
Oh my Lord, oh my God
Have you been standing there all along?
Eyes are filled with water
Filled with water, falling down
Demons now running out of town
‘Cause Mama’s got love, love, love
And Papa’s got love, love, love
Mama and Papa
Add to this the realization that my during my childhood I moved 18 times by the time I was 20 and I understood that my foundation was in a shambles, and likely always had been. I understood that I while I have been working on myself and my emotional and spiritual well being for decades, it seems that all of that work has been essentially slipping through the cracks of a shattered foundation. No wonder I could not relate to the emperor and I now wonder if that’s why my spirit chose to be born a 4, because I came to this lifetime precisely to create a powerful foundation from a life of shatter.
Unpack your memories and
Dig in the soil
Unpack your memories and
Dig in the soil
And there you will find
There you will find
Unpack Your Memories
I was once told by a powerful healer that what I thought was being withheld from me is what I am here to give. I now realize that part of my work in this lifetime is to create a solid healthy functional foundation after being born into family of origin that had no idea or capacity of how to provide me such a thing! So after my 48th birthday in February, when I went to a healer for some heart repair, he gently let me know that before we could get to that we would need to address my foundational grounding and he helped me acknowledge, and begin the rebuilding and reforming process of my shattered foundation. I began to attend ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholic & Dysfunctional Families) meetings and have begun to take my life and my inner child and my physical and emotional wellbeing into my own arms and hands and to re-parent myself as I slowly rebuild a healthy foundation. I am becoming the emperor of my own life, letting my heart lead the way to a healthier foundation and more balanced life.
Whatever you perceive, you always make a story with yourself as the main character, and that dictates your life. Then when you read ‘The Four Agreements’, you hear another voice beneath the story, the voice that comes from your integrity, your spirit.
~Don Miguel Ruiz
The four of pentacles is about setting healthy boundaries. Power and strength are to be found by taking exquisite are of oneself and setting healthy limits and boundaries for oneself as well as in interactions with others. It is important to tend to and protect the precious light at our core and not to dissipate it by giving it all away to others. The figure sits in the center of a square made by 4 sand castles and holds their attention on the light at their core. We do not have to give everything over to others, nor do we need to hoard our light. We can set healthy boundaries and share what he have to give without giving everything of ourselves. When this card appears in a reading it is letting the querent know it s/he needs to take a look at those place where self care is imperative.
In the four of swords a figure is resting lengthwise on the hilts of four swords standing stuck in the ground. This card represents a “forced respite in order to become receptive”. When it shows up in a reading, the four of swords let the querent know that the period of waiting they are experiencing (have experienced or are about to experience, depending on its placement in the reading) is intended by their higher self, the universe or whatever they call God, to be a time of rest in order to prepare to receive something they have been waiting for. It lets the querent know that they can relax into the wait and know that everything is happening exactly as it should even if it’s not happening in their timing. Make a truce with your higher self. What comes to mind here is the idea that when we ask for patience the universe usually supplies with the opportunity to learn more patience by experiencing further waiting.
The four of cups is also a card of relaxing into the wait, but in a different way. This card speaks to the idea that when we let go of our grip on trying so hard, it is at that moment that we can receive it. Have you ever been working on a solution to a problem that you just can’t seem to get? Maybe balancing your checkbook or figuring out a difficult equation. The harder you work on it the further you seem to be from the solution and so you finally just throw down your pen in frustration and take a break. You take a shower or go for a walk and as you relax and give yourself over to the warm water cascading down your back or as you see beautiful colors of the sunset, or hear the birds singing in the trees, you forget what the problem was and all of the sudden the solution just appears in your mind! This card is the reminder to take little vacation from the stress and worries and give spirit, creator, God/dess the opportunity to help you. You do not have to do it alone. Magic happens when we let go!
Speaking of not doing it alone, the four of wands is about actively working with another to complete a karmic cycle. It is a card of partnership in action and lets the querent know that whatever relationship they are in, in the moment (or about to be in or have just finished up, depending on the placement of the card in the reading) is a karmic relationship, one they came together specifically to complete with that other person. This is card of working together and consciously doing your work with someone who is also consciously doing theirs. As you acknowledge your work and the importance of clearing and cleaning up the old karma, you then are free to either continue onto the next level of relationship with that person or to choose to go your separate ways. Either way the complete is a blessing and the more consciously and lovingly you do this work the more your own perspective will clear up and you will know what is next for you on your path.
There are four questions of value in life, Don Octavio.
What is sacred?
Of what is the spirit made?
What is worth living for and what is worth dying for?
The answer to each is the same. Only love.
So, as we continue this Spring to move forward towards healing and recovering from the difficulties we experienced this winter, especially here in Santa Barbara (after what was not burned away was then pushed out by the mudslides) let’s be be very gentle with ourselves and take exquisite care. Let’s all take the time to look at our foundations and rebuild and reinforce the health and wellbeing of our precious selves so we can begin the movement forward from a supported and blessed place.
May you be blessed, may you bless, may you be a blessing for others…
With so much love and even more gratitude