Mr. Four of Swords: healing after exhaustion

I just don’t understand Mr. Four of Swords from the Rider-Waite Deck. I know this deck was made a little before my time, but who takes a timeout on top of a coffin? 


There’s something about this card that just reeks of ‘I’m going to play dead till the teacher catches me’. Despite his serene appearance, he looks like he’s smiling on the inside. Or perhaps it’s the only time and place he could actually get some much needed rest? I don’t know. 

I prefer Ciro Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine. It’s a much more accurate depiction of what most of us are like when we’re absolutely exhausted. We’re not dead or pretending to be dead. We’re healing. We’re resting till we recuperate and gather strength for the next chapter. Yes – we’re wiped and life’s been tough, but we haven’t given up. We’re better than that. 

I didn’t realise how exhausted I was till the long weekend showed up. Ordinarily I’d make plans or go off on a business trip somewhere. But this time I didn’t do that. I decided to stay put and stay at home. So for three days, the only plan I had was to lounge around in my pyjamas, cook nutritious meals and just do nothing at all.

And as I settled into relaxation mode, I realised how tired I was. It’s kind of like running long distance. As long as you keep going, you don’t realise how tired you are. But the moment you slow down to catch your breath – all that running on empty catches up with you. I felt depleted, drained and just devil-may-care. I didn’t feel like being the together and responsible person that I ordinarily am. I didn’t feel like talking to anybody from work or going out to socialise. I needed time to recuperate. Hibernate. Replenish my tired soul.

And it is tired.

So I did the two things that never fail to fill my tank whenever I’m running on empty. Soup and sleep. Oh yes – it’s not a cure all, but it can cure a lot. I made Megala’s Radish Sambar. As the weather gets colder out here in Japan, there’s something so rejuvanating about a light yet hearty radish soup. Unlike many other countries, produce in Japan is still very much seasonal and it is at this time of the year that daikon are plentiful, cheap and at their most nutritious. Even convenience stores begin selling oden: that simple yet warming extremely slow cooked stew.

And as Monday rolled around, I realised I was still tired. Exhausted.

December is going to be a big month for me. Best I slow down in November so I can conserve my energy for December.

Till next time, take care and have a good rest.

10 thoughts on “Mr. Four of Swords: healing after exhaustion

  1. In the Rider-Waite, Four of Swords imagery isn’t a living person. That’s the grave of the knight- who is resting after a toilsome life. Often medieval graves of prevalent people (like knights) had the lids of their tombs carved to the likeness of the person inside. To me, the knight was always resting in the afterlife after having a troublesome life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh! Interesting. I never thought of it that way.

      I guess, I’ve always looked at the Suits as a set – he gets hurt in 3, rests in 4 and then gets back up to fight in 5.

      I come from a culture where people generally cremate… so yea… I’ll definitely look at the card differently now.


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