The Four of Swords is your call to retreat into yourself for rest, meditation, and recovery. This is the card for seclusion and solitude (even more than The Hermit).
The traditional illustration of this card shows a knight “sleeping” on a sarcophagus. Three swords hang on the wall above him and one is next to him.
It appears he is dead, but it’s best to view him as resting. It’s a rest so deep and still it seems like he’s dead to the world.
When you are ready to recover from a loss or problem, this card lets you know it is time to retreat and recuperate. It is your call to focus on a single task, which is the task of planning your next move.
When you are ready to move forward, you’ll have recovered the energy you need. Occasionally, this card can indicate a funeral, or a hospital or rehab stay.
Keywords for the Four of Swords Tarot Card
- Rest, meditation, solitude
- Focus on a single task
- Planning your next move
- Recovery, convalescence
Keywords for the Four of Swords Reversed
- Anxiety, restlessness
- Quarantine, involuntary exile
- Coming back into the action even stronger
Patterns and Correspondences of the Four of Swords Card
- The Swords = rules the mental and intellectual world
- Suit of cards = spades
- Timeline = hours to days
- Number 4 = practical foundations
- Zodiac sign = Libra
- Element = Air
Keep reading for sample tarot readings using The Four of Swords card, but first…
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Four of Swords Tarot Card Meanings for Love
It is no surprise this card follows the Three of Swords (the card for heartbreak). When you’ve felt deep loss, you need time to recover and heal.
Retreat from the world for awhile. This is not a good time for dating or whirlwind romances. Looking for a new relationship right now is just avoidance and distraction. You have deeper healing to do and you must do it alone.
Retreat into yourself to explore your family background and patterns. Consider enlisting the help of a therapist or relationship counselor. Once you can come to terms with where you’ve been, you can finally move on to find the perfect relationship for you.
If you are in a relationship that is struggling, this card is a call to surrender your problems to the Universe. You can’t push or force a solution. You don’t need to take action or change anything other than your thinking.
So focus on your own self-care, especially on building your inner world. If you have been giving too much, it is time to pull back and claim the time, space, and resources you need to rebuild your life and sense of self.
Four of Swords Tarot Card Meanings for Work
The Four of Swords is not about work at all. It’s about not working!
This card shows up after you’ve made a huge push to meet your deadlines and are exhausted. It arrives when you’ve experienced an unexpected loss or when you need a break.
But this break isn’t for family vacations and fun. This break must be a sabbatical of rest and recuperation. This card indicates it is time for you to retreat into yourself, so you can rest and plan your next move.
If you are nearing the end of your professional career, this card can indicate retirement in the official sense, as well.
Four of Swords Tarot Card Meanings for Health
This card is about convalescence and recovery. If you’ve been facing health problems, you must take the time to heal and recuperate.
The recovery may take longer than you’d like, but it is absolutely necessary. This is a perfect time to focus on you. Use this time to create the habits and routines to help you live a healthy life from this point on.
This card can also indicate a hospital stay or rehab. It’s a necessary break from the world for healing and growth.
Four of Swords Tarot Card Meanings for Money and Finances
If you have financial problems such as debt, unexpected bills, tax issues, uninsured losses, or other money issues, this is the time to begin your recovery.
There is nothing grand or quick about the recovery process. Just like you would need time to recover from a heartbreak or surgery, you’ll need time to recover from this as well.
Begin by objectively looking at your financial situation with honesty and without judgment. These are numbers and facts. They don’t represent your worth or your abilities or your value. But you need to know the truth.
Once you know where you stand, begin learning about money and how to improve your financial future. When you are ready, take a look at these two books: Your Money or Your Life and Total Money Makeover. They will give you a new way of looking at your situation and provide a solid plan for creating good financial habits.
The road to financial recovery and responsibility will be slow, especially at first. But it will take much less time than you fear. Get started today.
Four of Swords Tarot Card Meanings for Spiritual Guidance
The Four of Swords is about your inner journey. It is easy to lose yourself in the day-to-day, where ego takes hold. But you can’t stay stuck any longer.
You need to break away to find yourself, your voice, and your deep inner wisdom.
This doesn’t have to be a month-long retreat to a cabin in the woods (although that’s a wonderful idea if you can do it).
Small daily actions, like meditating, journaling, or a media fast will give you the time and mental space to retreat from the world.