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4 of Earth, Stability by Ellygator 4 of Earth, Stability by Ellygator
(2016), pencil on paper, 5.5"x10.5" backed with digital frame.

The 4s of all the suits carry a measure of crystallization, of hardening and consolidation of the creative flux of the previous cards. The planetary ruler of the 4s is Jupiter, the old Roman ruler of the gods, but power is only one aspect of this dominance, the term "jovial" also derives from it, and so the cards tend to show also a certain mental relaxation and ease of spirit that comes with stability and quiet. The number 4 gives you the four points of a square, one of the most stable geometric shapes of all.

In the material realm stability is a good thing. Stock market jitters usually show that upheaval and wealth don't mix well. So consolidation translates into security, stability, completion, power, an unerring sense of direction, status, influence, position and structure. However, the card also points to the danger that we become so afraid of rocking the boat that we invest everything into feeling secure, and the price of security can be our sense of freedom and our ability to let go and take risks.

The Rider-Waite deck shows us a crowned figure crouched down with two coins under his feet, another clutched to his chest and a fourth one on his head. Behind him we see the outline of a city. He has power and wealth, but he also looks nervous and shrunk in on himself. The Crowley-Harris deck depicts an aerial view of a castle with four square towers surrounded by a moat, another image of seemingly unassailable stability and security.

For my card I wanted to find a more positive image that shows how we can achieve a sense of stability and security without becoming fearful and stifled by material constraints. I chose a cluster of four ancient fig trees. They are anchored to the ground and would not have the freedom to uproot themselves and walk away, but their security is an organic choice, the patience of many years of sinking down roots and of grounding themselves, not of walling themselves off in some artificial structure that promises a false sense of safety. Their trunks may be stable, but their branches will still move with the wind and they will not stop growing and changing.

When we draw this card it means that we are at the point where we have achieved a lot materially and are feeling secure with our resources, but we are reluctant to take a chance because we are afraid we may lose control. We may feel protective of different things: it could be our status, our possessions, our job, our home or perhaps our physical being. You can be assured that you have a firm foundation and it is okay to sink down roots and make sure you have a strong basis. However, as you look to the future you need to be aware of the fact that you need roots as well as branches if you want to keep growing and that even if you have yourself firmly anchored you still need to be prepared to change. Your sense of stability should feel organic rather than rigid.

For a relationship-related question you may be at a point where you are feeling very protective of a relationship. You have put in place a firm foundation to be together as partners or friends and you know that what you have is worth holding on to. Ensure you’re not stifling the relationship by avoiding anything or anyone new. Make sure you gain stability from entwining your roots rather than shutting yourselves away from the world around you.

If the card position points to a business related issue you are in a position where you want to consolidate what you have achieved. If the choice is between making a career out of the job you have or finding a new one your impulse will probably be to keep and develop your job or your business. Examine a situation carefully before you leap and take a risk. Being cautious and circumspect and holding on to what you have already achieved is not a bad thing.  

In your personal life and development the card may mean that you seek stability and calm. Perhaps you want to sink down roots somewhere, make a home and find your place. Maybe you need to examine if you have been taking too many risks with your health and well-being and need to slow down and take care of yourself.

If the card is uncovered in an adverse or blockage position it could mean that you are so preoccupied with being safe that you are closing yourself off from anything unexpected and new. You stop giving new people or new opportunities a chance because you are too afraid to let go of anything that you have. Keep in mind that we can never be completely safe and avoid loss. All we do is close ourselves off from the chance to reach out for something or someone more and stop growing.

Add a Comment:
 
:iconartin2007:
artin2007 Featured By Owner Edited Apr 29, 2017
...nice to revisit your art after quite a spell...
....indeed another splendid and lovely  work,
ostensibly an illustration, but,
actually a fine piece of art by itself...
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I actually hung some of the original drawings in my studio where they look just like landscape drawings rather than betraying their nature as Tarot cards...
Reply
:iconartin2007:
artin2007 Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2017
....very appropriate... 

I wish DA's printing were better...
...useless to wish.... 

I am trying a new printer 
now, with loads of my own
works, that DA messed up -
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 3, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I hope that works better. I have printed two calendars via DA and that was okay, but they seem very finicky with approving perfectly good sized uploads for printing (and not fan-art, either!)
Reply
:iconartin2007:
artin2007 Featured By Owner May 3, 2017
I gave up on DA printing, 
after they failed countless times,
despite their "quality control".
And, they don't give refunds...

Its far better to find a local printer...
even Walgreens is usually better than
DA rendering color and lighting correctly...
One easy way to get to Walgreens is from
"onedrive" cloud storage from microsoft...
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 4, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I have to try that some time. I've been in the habit of using Sam's Club photo services if I want something printed. They usually turn even slightly larger prints in about and hour. We have a Walgreen's fairly close, too, so it'd be easy to do.

Thanks for the tip!
Reply
:iconartin2007:
artin2007 Featured By Owner May 4, 2017
np...

Apparently walgreens has better printers
and "quality control" than DA - and -
walgreens gives refunds no questions asked!
And...it appears the prints - are substantially cheaper
than DA ...for all sizes
Reply
:iconsempraseverus:
Sempraseverus Featured By Owner May 19, 2016
As always, yet another artistic triumph!

I salute you sweetie

:happybounce: 
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much! I loved working with the root textures.
Reply
:icongabrielmadrasse:
Gabrielmadrasse Featured By Owner May 19, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
Nice !
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! Glad you like.
Reply
:iconnevasirenda:
NevaSirenda Featured By Owner May 18, 2016  Professional Artisan Crafter
Have I mentioned how much I appreciate your writeups for each card? You make their meanings so much clearer than many of the decks I've seen. I appreciate that clarity as much as your beautiful artwork.
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks so much! I am planning to have a booklet to go with the deck similar to what I did for the HP Tarot, so the write-up helps me getting the basic materials together and put my thoughts down close to when I am working on the individual cards.
Reply
:iconhannahelizabethh:
hannahelizabethh Featured By Owner May 18, 2016  Student General Artist
nice tree! :D
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I loved drawing this card.
Reply
:iconhannahelizabethh:
hannahelizabethh Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Student General Artist
ur welcome! :)
Reply
:iconfacelessfox:
FacelessFox Featured By Owner May 18, 2016   General Artist
Beautiful!
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconfacelessfox:
FacelessFox Featured By Owner May 20, 2016   General Artist
You're welcome :)
Reply
:iconpearwood:
pearwood Featured By Owner May 18, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
I think I've photographed that tree, and more than once.
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I can see how those roots would be a great texture to explore in photography!
Reply
:iconpearwood:
pearwood Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
2012-342 Roots by pearwood 2015-138 Wolf Creek roots 3 by pearwood 2013-151 Root and wall. by pearwood
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome! Thanks! One was already in my favorites - the middle one!

I miss really big old trees in north Texas - it's to dry for a lot of the larger species, and the only good trees left are a few really old live oaks...
Reply
:iconsalhunter:
SalHunter Featured By Owner May 18, 2016
Beautiful buttress roots!
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! It was a lot of fun drawing these - lovely play of light and shadow!
Reply
:iconlorenzonegri:
lorenzonegri Featured By Owner May 18, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
excellent technique!
Reply
:iconellygator:
Ellygator Featured By Owner May 20, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! I had a lot of fun with this one.
Reply
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May 18, 2016
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