The Four of Swords Tarot Card

Reading Time
- August 29, 2022
Written by Aimi Davis 
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Four of Swords Tarot Card Meaning

With a quiet and composed nature, the Four of Swords Tarot Card in the Minor Arcana encompasses rest and retreat. It belongs to the Rider–Waite tarot deck.

Where the Three of Swords once reflected pain, the succeeding Four of Swords offers something else entirely: an opportunity for healing.

The Four of Swords Tarot Card indicates the importance of seeking time away, especially when the mind and body have become overwhelmed by the stress of everyday life.

This tarot card reminds us that healing is often made possible during periods of peace and quiet.

When the Four of Swords appears to you, it could be time to step back from something causing you physical or emotional exhaustion and focus on replenishing your physical and mental strength.

We hope to guide your understanding of the Four of Swords Tarot Card and show you how you can take a break, even when you’re concerned about your financial situation, career path, and matters of the heart.

Key facts

The number four symbolizes support and stability.

Any blackbird in a tarot card reading indicates that the end is near.

It is associated with the element of Air.

The Four of Swords is known as the Four of Spades in

Card combinations are important. The Four of Swords suggests you're a quiet achiever when appearing with the Chariot tarot card.

Some cards show a man sitting in a church, emphasizing peace.

Keyword associations (upright)

  • Rest.
  • Restoration.
  • Recovery.
  • Burn-out.
  • Meditation.
  • Withdrawal.
  • Introspection.
  • Healing.

Keyword associations (reversed)

  • Blindness.
  • Apathy.
  • Dejection.
  • Affliction.
  • Distress.
  • Lethargy.
  • Suffering.

Four of Swords card description

The Four of Swords Tarot Card description portrays a knight, still adorned in armor, who lies peacefully on a tomb inside a church.

The tomb symbolizes a 'laying to rest' of difficulties rather than physical death.

Three swords hang above him as he rests, reminding him of the fight that is still to come.

The fourth sword lies just beneath him. It rests, too, and represents the end of a battle.

In the stained-glass window also above him, there is the warm presence of a woman and child.

With tarot cards, windows symbolize a window to the soul. With stained glass, the sitters' vision is blurred, and they must ask themselves if they are looking at the situation.

Upright position

In the upright position, this card is typically understood as a positive sign, suggesting a new opportunity for a moment of rest.

Have you been feeling overwhelmed?

Have you been kind to yourself lately?

The upright Four is a reminder that you need to take some time and a break to sustain yourself in the long term. Rest is necessary for action and productivity.

The Four of Swords signals the time for retreat and recuperation before future activities resume.

Take time to support your physical and spiritual health by protecting and replenishing your energy.

Additionally, when the Four of Swords Tarot Card appears upright, take a moment to reflect on all you have done thus far.

Pause in the peace of quietness and notice what it does for your anxiety and stress.

Your spirit guides tell you to prioritize your mental and physical health before it's too late.

Reversed position

In a card reading, the Four of Swords reversed suggests that you are pushing yourself to exhaustion.

It may signal the verge of a mental breakdown.

Has your body already given you a sign to rest?

This Four of Swords sends a more urgent call to take a break. Do not ignore this cautionary reading.

You must take a step back now as much as you may be avoiding it.

Your external world has become too much for your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies to process.

You need to take care of yourself so that you can take better care of others.

For you right now, self-care can look like a silent retreat or meditation course. And certainly a period away from social media and excessive information intake.

For your self-protection, you need to focus on the long-term benefits that some time away from your overwhelming routine will bring.

A reversed Four of Swords could also suggest that you've become too passive in your pursuits.

Without proper or revised action, how can you expect anything to change?

If you've been feeling stagnant, this minor arcana card suggests a necessary next step: retreat, reflect, and revise.

Love and relationships

In a love reading, the Four of Swords indicates that it's time to take a breather. A break from the same routine will be beneficial, whether single or in a relationship.

If you're a single person and The Four of Swords appears to you, be wary of getting caught in a dating loop that doesn't serve you.

Your search for a compatible partner is essential.

Still, it's in your best interest to find a steady pace that doesn't deplete you, as this could hinder your results.

If you already have a partner and face the Four of Swords, stepping out of your ordinary routine can yield positive results. This can look like taking a holiday together or spending some needed time apart.

You will have to examine your needs as individuals and a couple to see what you need most right now.

Creating a space for rest and reflection can serve you individually and as a unit.

Career and finance

The Four of Swords Tarot Card offers two interpretations in a career reading.

First, you will return to work after some time. This could have been a leave of absence or vacation of some sort.

When returning to work, keep that energy you found alive while recuperating.

Go back feeling determined to enjoy work, knowing that you have taken rest, taken the time, and are feeling good about returning.

The other more common interpretation is that you've reached a point where you can't see a possible future with your current employer or career choice.

And you're looking for a way out.

Now is not the time to act impulsively.

If you can take some time and figure out what it is that has you feeling this way, only then can you overcome your career problems.

The knight may be resting beneath the stained glass window. Still, he also knows that when his time away from battle is over, he will have to return to the fight rejuvenated and ready for what is to come.

It's understandable to worry about your financial circumstances.

It's necessary - up to a point.

Financial pressure can get to a point where it begins to take a toll on your health as stress levels climb.

Money may be chronic stress for you. The Four of Swords indicates that you should re-evaluate your priorities.

Practice self-love rather than material.

Is the Four of Swords a yes or no card?

Tarot cards are not always for or against, and the Four of Swords can lean either way in a reading. It is thought of as being relatively neutral.

The Four of Swords signifies that before you make your decision, you should take time to process the choices in front of you.

An upright Four of Swords may be more likely to suggest a yes, encouraging.

Conversely, the Four of Swords in reverse usually indicates a no. Proceed with extreme caution.

Astrology and Zodiacs

The Four of Swords Tarot Card in astrology is closely related to Libra.

At their best, Libras are seen as bringing balance, harmony, and peace to themselves and those around them.

At their worst, Libras struggle with their indecisiveness and insecurities making life more complicated than it needs to be.  


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