The Four of Swords is modelled on the famous tomb at Winchelsea Church, and includes a stained glass window above the tomb bearing the phrase “Peace on Earth” which is in Latin, PAX, as we see on the stained glass on the Four of Swords card.
We show photographs of the Mary image at the church and its similarity to the High Priestess, in the book.
However, there is much further detail in the stained glass above the tomb, including this remarkable image which Pamela appears to have sketched into her design.
Notice the blessing being given, the lower figure’s headdress, the similarity of the “purse” design, and the “brown kidney” design which may be a crude sketch of the baby.
The whole scene is of the annunciation, and the solitude of the virgin – Waite alludes to the “hermit” like nature of the card, and even “exile”. It is certainly a card of bearing ones own council, removing oneself from the world for a while. Now we can also see a hint that new birth – even a blessing – may come from this time out and away, hidden in the stained glass image.
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Learn More about the meanings of this card in everyday readings in Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot and over at our free sister-site, My Tarot Card Meanings where you can also download a free guide to card meanings and spreads, Keys to the Tarot by Andrea Green.