Four of Bones

The Four of Bones chose me.

Four times in the past week.

So now I’m here, in a little wooden cabin, in northern woods where spring isn’t yet quite in sight but you can feel it in the air.


From The Collective Tarot

The Four of Bones. Yesterday it was the Four of Pentacles, and again three days ago, and again before that. This card wants me. The building of a safe space, withdrawal, reserve. Safety in solitude, in having four walls to protect you or solid ground to stand on, enough food and maybe nothing more.

The Collective Tarot substitutes bones for pentacles:

Bones are a reminder to us humans of our own mortality – the cycle of life and death that all living things must experience. […] Four is the number of nature’s stability and cycles: the four elements, four seasons, four directions… As humans we tend to seek comfort and find power in fours: the four legs of a writing desk, the four walls of a room…

Annie Murphy, in The Collective Tarot

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This weathered cabin is old but sturdy. Surrounded by trees on all four sides, the forest floor covered with decaying leaves dropped there months ago. Sunshine growing warmer every day crisps them, a spring breeze shifts them. The cycle turns.

This card will help you draw clear lines between yourself and others. If you are not getting much time and space to yourself, accept permission to build a fort or clubhouse that you can hole up in with your bad self… If you are feeling vulnerable, this card may be a sign that you need to send your roots deep into the earth, bringing up some of that vital energy to reinforce your psychic shield.


From The Wild Unknown Tarot

On this trip I have met 21 new people in nine locations across the USA, and stayed in many of their homes. Accepting the generosity of strangers is a beautiful experience, exchanging energy, ideas, hugs with new friends is a joy.

After 40 days, though, I’m ready to go to earth. To be alone. To rest, to neither give nor receive but simply be.

Allow yourself to feel safe, strong, protected and supported. Strengthen the boundaries that separate yourself from the people around you.

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I love people. I came here for people. But underneath I’m a lone wolf. After so much fun, I need to recuperate, to come back to myself, to find my earth. There’s something deeper going on right now too, something else, something about that Death card from way back at the start.

But today’s card (and yesterday’s, and twice last week’s) is about simple solitude. A place where I can figure it out. The four legs of a writing desk. The four walls of a woodland cabin.

Earth, moss, wood, warmth. Feels good to be alone.


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  1. Ellen says:

    Being a lone wolf myself i can imagine too much socializing can become a bit suffocating 😀
    It is a wise decision to listen to your cards and take a little break. I would love to spend some time in such a cabin: just me and my cards

  2. Evvie says:

    Beautiful post! I drew this card yesterday, and this has given me more to chew on. Thank you! There’s nothing like going out to the woods to re-charge. Enjoy!

  3. Eli says:

    I just love your posts about individual cards. They are always so illuminating, even with cards that I feel able to connect with already. With cards that puzzle me, though, they’re such a gift. –I find that when I travel, I end up a little short of solitude and fruit. It’s good that you’ve got this lovely woodland retreat. It sounds like a small square of heaven.

    • Eli says:

      –A coupe of hours after writing that, I drew my own card for the day that had just passed, and lo and behold, the four of pentacles! As I’d read your post, I had been thinking “She’s describing exactly what I need, I need this card’s energy now.” And there it was. Today I drew the Empress, and from the perspective I have now, she seems to be a harmonious enrichment of the four of pentacles.

  4. Tango says:

    Connecting Death with the Four of Bones (or at least the idea of comfort/lone wolf), hm, well you know animals often leave their community and go off into the woods alone to die.

  5. Claire says:

    This is lovely. And I’m more than a little jealous of your woodsy solitude! Enjoy it and draw the strength you need.

  6. Kat says:

    What town is your cabin in the woods in? Just wondering because I live in New York. YES! Would love to see you write a book about tarot and card meanings.

      • Kat says:

        That’s great! I used to live in Ithaca and miss it terribly. I’m on Long Island now. So enjoying your work and words online. Just found LittleRedTarot about a month ago. I wish I could enjoy life as you do! Thank you for being you. A bright light, a shiny spark of a person.

        • Beth says:

          Oh wow, thank you so much Kat! Ithaca is cool, it really reminds me of Hebden Bridge in the UK – a small community super into eco and lefty pursuits. Lots of art! A bit of a hippy bubble but such a nice place to be. It’s great to be here at the turn of the season – since writing the above, spring has really started to emerge here.

          Long Island sounds wonderful too, though! I was planning to visit at one point. Those beaches!

          (Also I assure you I am not always a shiny spark…)

          • Kat says:

            I realized “shiny spark” sounded a bit silly after I sent my reply! What I meant to say is that I find your writings, your life, your adventures, your experiences refreshing because you are young, vital, and feel passionately! I am old and grumpy and disillusioned much of the time! Anyway, love reading your website, which I was doing yesterday. Long Island is okay, but extremely overpopulated and overbuilt. Yes, the beaches can be lovely, but unfortunately the uber-wealthy have taken the best. You have helped rekindle my enthusiasm for tarot, which I’ve been playing with since the 1970″s. Right now I’m using Anna K. and Tarot of the Sidhe. Since you’re such a terrific writer, have you ever written about reading the cards in the psychological way vs. the more predictive, divination, “fortune-telling” way?
            I am weary of seeing tarot used as therapy only and would prefer to see some magic and mystery brought back to the cards! This preference could be because I began playing with them so very many years ago, in a decade heavily influenced by the hippy era. I do use both “methods” when I read. Long reply from me and I guess I’ll say good-bye!

          • Beth says:

            Oddly enough Kat, I was thinking about asking around to see who amongst us reads tarot in more magical ways, who predicts the future, who tells fortunes. I too would love to read more about this – though it’s really not my thing in terms of my own practice. Will see what I can find! x

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