Today's Tarot card is the 4 of Swords.
Remember the Psychic Attention we were talking about before? Let's apply a little of that to today's Tarot card.
My attention is strongly drawn to the artwork on the card. There is a carved stone ...what is the word...not sarcaphagus, but a carved stone thing like that...it is of a knight, like the statue / stone carved tombs of the knights templar in England (for those of you familiar with "The Da Vinci Code"). There are three swords hanging, pointing directly at the reclined figure.
As my attention is drawn to that particular detail, the next step is to pay attention to any feelings or mental images that come up associated with that particular detail.
Although my logical mind recognizes the figure as a stone carving, there is a "feel" and the thought of it as being a real person, reclined under three swords about to drop. The idea is clear: if they remain rigid, unmoving and stubbornly 'hold their ground'...when the swords fall, he dies. But if he is willing to change his position, literally, he can roll right out from under the swords and survive. In my minds eye, I can imagine that scene...the figure rolling away.
Combine the attention, with the mental images (imagination, if you prefer), with the traditional meanings for this card - of all the possible interpretations, "flexibility" leaps right out.
Next, my attention is also drawn to a memory of the Tao Te Ching, where we also find the concept of suppleness being equated with life and survival, while inflexibility and rigidity being associated with aging and death. Rigor mortis, literally and symbolically. "The reed that bends will not break" and all that. Put it all together, and you have the idea that flexibility is an important part of life and survival.
Also drawing from past experiences, my attention is drawn to the memory of Chinese Martial Arts, and the training classes I once had as a competition judge...Some contemporary style swords are extremely flexible...they are SO thin and SO weak they can't even support their own weight and bend 90 degrees if you stand the sword on its tip. Traditional swords are flexible, but to a lesser extent. You might not instinctively think of it, but flexibility is an important part of swordplay. You need literal physical flexibility to maximize your reach, and avoid injury during the sword fight or routine. The sword itself must have balanced flexibility. Too rigid or brittle...and it breaks and your dead in battle or out of competition. Too flexible and it can't protect you, and again you are dead in battle...or disqualified from competition.
Psychic Attention has helped focus today's reading on to one meaning for the card out of all the written interpretations: flexibility. Once you've done that, the next step is to put the card and its meaning into greater context, to make it relevant to the question or reading brought to you...
For example, if someone approached this with a general attitude, open for any lesson, then the one of appropriate and balanced flexibility would be easy to see. If we are too rigid in our thinking, we aren't adaptable to changing circumstances. Where is stubbornness causing us unhappiness? Are there any areas in life where we are being too accommodating of others and are being a doormat?
These same concepts can be used if you came to the cards with a relationship question in mind: how is the flexibility within the relationship? Who is stubborn, and who gives in the most? Does that balance need changed to help the relationship improve?
It can even be applied in a literalistic sense: a person who lifts weights might want to consider adding yoga to improve literal flexibility and achieve better fitness through balanced strength and flexibility, and to avoid being "muscle bound"
So you can see, by this example, what the old posts meant by "psychic attention". You can also see how (even though they don't follow classic left-brained A + B = C logic) intuitive associations can lead your thinking toward a definitive idea and message. Because the process is a bit out of the ordinary, we can see life, and its problems in an "outside the box" out-of-the-ordinary way, helping us to be more creative, and yes, flexible, in our thinking and problem-solving.
Pretty cool stuff, don't you think?