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Four of Swords Meaning - Tarot Card Meanings

By Tina Gong


Four of Swords Keywords

Upright Keywords Reversed Keywords
rest, relaxation, peace, sanctuary, recuperation, self-protection, rejuvenation recovery, awakening, re-entering world, release from isolation, restlessness, burnout
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Four of Swords Meaning - Original Rider Waite Tarot Depiction

Four of Swords Tarot Card Description

There is a quiet stillness that is present in the Four of Swords, a sense of calm peace that is contrasted so deeply with the pain in the Three of Swords. Here, in a church, there is a carving of a knight that lies upon a tomb with three swords hanging above him while the fourth one lies beneath him. These three swords are a reminder of the suffering that he has endured in the earlier card. The position of the fourth sword seems to be a signal that the fight has ended. A child and a woman are depicted by the stained glass place behind the statue, giving the scene a sense of warmth and welcoming after the retreat. The knight has his hands positioned as if he is praying.

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Upright Four of Swords Meaning

After the time of chaos, anger and pain depicted in the Three of Swords, the Four of Swords can signal that it is time to retreat. The Four of Swords is a moment of rest. Whether this is from a choice to withdraw, or whether it is from pure exhaustion, it is not clear. We are still tender from the wounds that were inflicted, and the battle weapons still hang above us as a grim reminder of what was lost. In order to continue and re-emerge in your daily life, you must take the time now to take a breather. There is always the faint fear that something more is bound to happen again and it is advisable that you take all chances to rest. 

The Four of Swords is a moment of rest. Whether this is from a choice to withdraw, or whether it is from pure exhaustion, it is not clear.

You need to gain strength and clarity in a quiet environment away from your current circumstances. It is time to re-evaluate, organize and understand your priorities. This helps to rejuvenate one’s spirit, and you come out stronger than before. 

The Four of Swords indicates it is time to gather new strength and prepare to face a new challenge. You have faced crisis after crisis, and it is wearing you out. You can face a new challenge only after getting away from everything and embracing a new atmosphere. 

Take the time to nurture yourself to re-enter life. Within us glimmers hope, and it lies quietly, waiting to reveal itself after we are healed anew.

Upright Love Meaning Upright Career Meaning Upright Finances Meaning
withdrawing from love life, alone time, taking a break taking a vacation, mental health day, rest, self-care anxiety about finances, avoid overthinking about money

Tarot Love Meaning - Upright 4 of Swords

With the 4 of Swords tarot love meaning, some time to rest is in order. If you’re single, your excitement about your love life may have led you to push yourself to exhaustion. You may be trying too hard to impress someone, or have been dating someone new every day in order to find someone you truly want to be with. You may feel drained, and it is important to listen to your intuition and your body to take it easy for a bit. If you’re already in a relationship, you can both benefit from taking a vacation. Sometimes, this card can also indicate the two of you needing to be alone for a while; this doesn’t spell the end of the relationship, but everyone, perhaps especially introverts, need some personal time.

Career Meaning - Upright 4 of Swords

Work may have been very busy or frustrating lately. You may have been putting in your all for a long time now, and chronic stress may be taking a toll on your body or mental health. Listen to your body, and give yourself a break. If you can, take a mental health day, and spend it caring for yourself or catching up on sleep. None of us are machines, and without some much needed rest, the effect it takes on our health can be long lasting. You can return with a refreshed mind after.  

Finances Meaning - Upright 4 of Swords

Does your mind run around in circles worrying about what you have in your bank? If you’re used to dealing with financial stress, thinking (or rather, worrying) about your finances can be second nature. Try and give your mind a break. Oftentimes, letting a thought go around in circles solves nothing, and the best thing we can do for our minds is think of something else. Avoid letting paranoid ideas and negative thinking consume you.

Four of Swords Reversal Meaning

Although the Four of Swords card in a reading could mean it’s time for healing, a reversed card could mean restlessness. Your heart is willing to relax, but this is not what your mind wants. You feel that you have too much that is depending on you. Following this path is not advised, as it could have affects on your health.

You can continue to fight, but sometimes that is ineffectual and you must have enough awareness of your own strength to decide when to back out. To rest, to retreat, is a means of self love sometimes, and though you may try to push ahead, that will only make it difficult for you in the long term.

Reversed Love Meaning Reversed Career Meaning Reversed Finances Meaning
rejection from pressuring lover, reigniting passions refreshed from vacation or time off, burning out not accepting support, recovery from financial pressure

Tarot Love Meaning - Reversed 4 of Swords

If you haven’t heeded the warnings of giving yourself some rest, the reversed 4 of Swords tarot love meaning can signal that you won’t have a choice. If you’ve been chasing a potential lover relentlessly, you may find that your advances are now feeling unwelcome. You may benefit from giving this person time and space to make their own choice. Pressuring someone often creates the opposite effect of the one you desire. Alternatively, this card can also indicate coming out of a period of rest. You may feel more energized than ever! Couples who have felt that their relationship was getting a little too routine can find that their passions are reigniting.

Career Meaning - Reversed 4 of Swords

You may have given yourself a much needed little break from work, but you may now be feeling ready to return. Ideally, you’ll have used this time away to reduce your stress, and take some much needed care for yourself. With a refreshed and rejuvenated time away, you’re likely to find that situations that have caused you suffering and frustration before are a bit easier to handle. Try and be more aware of your stress levels from here on out. Sometimes however, this card can also signal continuing work despite needing rest. If this has been the case for you, you may want to reconsider. Our bodies will often force us to take a break. You may also want to consider changing jobs, if the situation truly looks like it won’t improve.  

Finances Meaning - Reversed 4 of Swords

Your financial situation may be improving, and you may be recovering from a period of intense pressure. Perhaps bills are being paid, debts have been paid down, or expenses may be decreasing. Alternatively, pressure may be increasing, and you may start feeling overwhelmed with bills. Search for support; there may be people that can help you at this time. At times, this card can also suggest that you may not be accepting financial support despite having it.

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Four of Swords Tarot Cheat Sheet

Four of Swords Meaning - Tarot Card Meanings Cheat Sheet. Art from Golden Thread Tarot.

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