Sacred Circle,  Swords

Journey into: 4 of Swords

Written by: Emma Sunerton-Burl

Continuing her series, Emma Sunerton-Burl looks into the cards of The Sacred Circle Tarot, by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason, published by Llewellyn:

I look at the card and it seems rather sparse – I like the flowers at the front but the distance seems very plain.

I walk into the card.

As I walk into the card I see that the swords seem right up close to me and they seem to be stopping me going forward. I want to look off into the distance but really it just seems to be empty and like I can’t see enough. So I draw back and look at where I am – instantly feeling this is the point. I look at my feet and there are beautiful perfect looking daisy flowers and soft greenery. I sit down and get the phrase take time to smell the roses. The key word for this card is rest. I am reminded of this and realise I need to sit with this.

I look at the daisies and ask them what they are saying to me.

“We are abundance. We are plentiful and often ignored as people are striving on to other things. As you stay with us you see what you have already rather than always looking to some long off distant goal. As you sit with us we tell you everything is perfect as it is right now – there is a time for everything and the time is now for this. Allow yourself to rest with where you are. You are at a distant goal you once set yourself, allow yourself to enjoy it before setting the next. All is as it needs to be. We are here to remind you of the beauty of the now and how often this is missed. We provide a cushion of love to help you get into a contemplative state and consider your feelings in the now; how you are and where your centre really is. As you take time to be in your centre any next steps become clear, even if you decide not to take them right at this moment, the next things spring out of this moment. You get clear in your thoughts and focused and stable in where you are with yourself. We bring this clarity to you.”

“We will not hold you here indefinitely but will release you when the time is right.”

I notice it is the swords now speaking. “So you are holding me back. Why do you do this?”

“We are directing you to things around you that you need to understand and appreciate, even when you know where you are going to next, you need to make sure you take all you need with you. Sometimes to be forced to be still will give you greater strength and knowledge than you would otherwise have if you rushed ahead with your plans without thought.”

“I understand” I say in response, I know I have a tendency to rush ahead with things.

“Do not resist our slowing force but enjoy the peace that comes from resting, taking stock and allowing yourself some soft time. We have sharp edges and if you force yourself beyond this barrier we create then you will cut yourself on our blades – possibly get ill or be forced to slow down in some other way – to recognise our barrier as a helpful thing will help you enjoy this time rather than resent it.”

“Yes I see – So you are a message to the person that time out is needed. I can feel the need to push ahead in this card too – but somehow you are saying to harness this you need to allow time for peace in order to move forward smoothly.”

“Yes indeed” They agree.

“Thank you” I say.

I speak to the green fields ahead “What do you represent?”

“We are the known and unknown ahead, you can see the future ahead of you in outline – you can’t see the detail though, we are both the perfection of wishful thinking and the frustration of the unknown within the dream. Whilst you sit and contemplate then you can allow the dream, the ideas, to form more fully, and to know what it is you wish to create in the time ahead, rather than following a path set out for you by others or by old intentions.”

“I see this too – thank you.” I say.

I look to the tree in the distance. “What are you telling of?”

“I am the strength gained from living life’s path, I am the gold and the rewards that come after the fruition of a plan. I am, in many ways, the growth gained from the journey that is well thought out. I am also representing the next rest phase in the cycle. Know that there always needs to be places to rest and shelter as well as places to forge ahead, if you follow the times naturally then the flow and synchronicity will help you on your path.”

“Thank you great oak” I say and realise too that this tree took a long time to be where he is standing in his magnificence and that all that is worthwhile takes time and that this time includes resting phases as we go along.

I sit back and ask the card: “What if you are reversed?”

“Well we would be the person who sits with the flowers when it is time to move forward – almost that the swords have become the trap, the safety, and that there is now need to stand up and move forward. Really the swords are no longer standing in the way but wish to be taken up and carried forward, however the person hasn’t recognised this and perhaps the effort of standing up feels too great having got comfortable with the flowers. However the flowers’ season is over and it is time to get into the green open fields and make the dreams a reality. There is also a suggestion that an illness is overstaying its welcome and that it is time to get the body moving in order to help the energy flow again and the body’s systems work more efficiently.”

“Thank you I understand your message here.”

“What do I need to know in my life right now?”

“You time for rest and action needs to be more balanced – your need for meditation is higher than it was and also your need to do ‘recovery’ exercise is also high. You need to focus on your sleep patterns and gather more energy in your body through sleeping and resting in general. But do not feel this means you must forfeit your exercise, just be more balanced in what, when and how fast, these things make all the difference. Most of all it is your sleep you need to be aware of. You also need to not jump ahead in your physical exercise dreams before your body can keep up with you, yes have goals but allow yourself good time to get to them and include plenty of rest as part of the plan – this will keep you injury free and happier in spirit.”

“Thank you I do appreciate this guidance.” I say.

I am then aware that the oak is very much the achievement of slow progress in physical prowess and that this is my journey too – that to build the strength I want to I will need to be like the oak – slowly step by step growing and increasing in my strength, endurance and stamina and that this will happen in time. I must not rush the process.

I decide it is time to leave the card and feel that there is more peace here than I originally thought yet also I can feel the temporary nature of this pause, the energy is to be built to move on as part of being with this cards energy.


Emma welcomes any comments on this article or the visualisations you do following this method. Email her on

Emma works as an intuitive psychic tarot reader and runs one to one online training courses on reading with the Thoth tarot deck using a unique blend of intuition and psychological techniques. This has now been extended to working intuitively with RWS style decks too. She also mentors other professional and non-professional tarot readers. She offers visualisation MP3 downloads for intuition development, tarot readings F2F, telephone or distance, and healing – see her website for details: 

Emma has a Bsc in Psychology and is a trained counsellor, counselling supervisor and trainer. She integrates this experience in her Tarot work, and in her self-written training courses for personal development, Tarot, and Tarot mentoring.

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