Four of Blades: Truce
Historical: Lord of Rest from Strife
Ruling Pentagram: Pent #4 “Overflowing” – Fire of 艮(Kên) Keeping Still, Mountain
Berashith: “And Elohim saw the dawn”
Ruling Hexagram: Hex #34 (大壯 dà zhuàng), The Power of the Great
Tiered Bigrams: Water (Above), Fire (Middle), Fire (Below)
Element/Planet: Air of Jupiter (Chesed, Benevolence)
Planet/Sun Sign: Jupiter in Libra
Keywords: Temporary Respite, Solutions, Engineering, Natural Forces, Good Intentions, Calm
Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Turbulence, Illusion, Treachery, Secrecy, Gossip, Backstabbing
Golden Dawn: Called The Four of Swords, Lord of Rest from Strife, the Four of Swords card corresponds to the planetary Jupiter and the zodiacal Libra and places at Sephira #4 (Chesed) in the Golden Dawn system. Its angels are Laviah and Kelial.
Four swords cross under The Rose. The scene is bright and exalted. Two raised fists rise from clouds. A pair of daggers faces outwards at the bottom of the card.
Thoth: The image on the Thoth depicts St. Andrew’s cross, a figure of crucifixion and the subject of the Flag of Scotland. Why it is on the scene is anyone’s guess, as Crowley does not explain it. He does identify many of the correct attributions in ways only he can. Fixation, rigidity, compromise, a melting pot.
Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: With the tiered bigrams we find a single element of Water at the top being pushed upward against by two Fire elements. The image is one of struggle and perhaps oppression. Chen the Arousing in the above, with Qian, Heaven in the below in the Hexagram which is numbered 34, called Ta Chuang, The Power of the Great.
In the image of the sages for Hex #34, it states “the superior man does not tread upon paths that do not accord with established order.” This is all in keeping with the title of the card, Truce. The situation seems calm, but it may disrupt into chaos at any moment. Treachery is certainly a danger, as the inferior forces are waiting for the man to make a foolish move. Entrapment is prevalent.
The old Han saying “People hate what is great and love what is small” is relevant. There may be jealousy at work. But like The Book of the Law advises “Ye are against the people, oh my chosen” and we may find solace in this at any time, we find people attempting to assail us, or those friends who betray us. For the only true friend a Magus may have is another Magus, or the Great itself, that is Heaven. There is a great amount of antagonism towards people and the low Earth energies from Heaven, at this point in time.
The planet is a fallen Kingdom and nowhere near the paradise possible for all life, especially of higher intelligence such as man. We live in Hell and no amount of cover ups or excuses will help. Those who do not remember other worlds may take comfort: we live in a nuthouse and there ARE splendorous worlds out there which a free and pure soul may attend in their other lives. Why are we here? So that Kingdom may be reclaimed.
There is no other purpose here and we must be careful in our indulgences, since there are enemies herein. This is what is happening in the card. The wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes isn’t really on board with the higher purpose of Kings and Queens, she cannot be trusted. The card may signify treachery amongst friends, or a denial of one’s True Will.
The Scene: The Mabinogion is a sophisticated medieval Welsh manuscript recorded in Medieval times. It is at its core a collection of religious Celtic stories. The Truce card, or Four of Blades, represents an uneasy peace, especially as it relates to lover relations. The scene depicted is of Blodeuwedd, the maiden made of Oak, Meadowsweet and Broom, through the influence of the magicians Math and Gwydion as a wife, for the cursed Lleu Llaw Gyffes, their nephew born by the embittered Arianrhod.
The mother of Leu Llaw Gyffes curses him, to not only have no name but to never have a human wife. Math and Gwydion solve the problem by creating a pseudo woman, like a dryad, out of special plants. She later betrays him and becomes the lover of his enemy, who plots to destroy him. The tale is a warning never to trust things just because they seem small, pretty and harmless.
Leu take the form of an eagle in the mythology, as he is also a magician like his uncles. Blodeuwedd is a wild creature of nature, her fickleness is as inevitable as Fortune’s favor, signified by Jupiter in Libra. The Power of the Great is a good hexagram to represent this card, as it warns us that fate is dictated by universal economics and is hardly something which can be overridden by mere trickery. Blodeuwedd acts out the karmic potential of Arianrhod’s curse.
The implications are that we can escape karmic debt for a little while, but never forever. That is why it is important to think carefully when trying to achieve any kind of uneasy truce.