top of page

Four of Swords


Card Information:

Numerical Value: 4

Element: Fire


  • Rest

  • Relaxation

  • Rejuvenation

  • Retreat

  • Solitude

  • Contemplation

  • Healing

  • Recovery

  • Meditation

  • Peace

  • Reflection

  • Pause

  • Inner peace

  • Quiet

  • Restoration

  • Recovery

  • Renewal

  • Healing sleep

  • Recuperation

  • Mental break


  • Resistance to rest

  • Burnout

  • Exhaustion

  • Overexertion

  • Avoidance

  • Resuming activity prematurely

  • Unresolved issues

  • Disrupted rest

  • Agitation

  • Restlessness

  • Inability to relax

  • Mental chaos

  • Distraction

  • Lack of focus

  • Hindered recovery

  • Delayed healing

  • Inner turmoil

  • Ignoring warning signs

  • Need for self-care

  • Unheeded call for rest

Meaning of the Four of Swords:

In the Four of Swords card, a male knight is lying on a wooden bed in a church. On the wall, three swords are hanging, pointing to the south, and under the bed, there is one sword pointing west. A painting of a woman and a child is displayed on the wall. The knight's relaxed and resting position is noticeable in this card. The fact that the knight is resting in armor reminds us that this phase is related to preparation for battle and self-protection.

Above the knight are three swords hanging on the wall, compared to the Three of Swords, where three swords are pierced into the heart. Thus, the fourth sword remains separated. Although they are no longer directly impacting the heart, they emphasize that the fear or thoughts causing pain in the heart still exist. Even though they don't directly affect, these swords indirectly influence the person and their inner world by reminding them of their presence. These swords stand menacingly near the knight, almost as if the problems haven't disappeared but are just waiting.

When entering the Four of Swords, you may feel a sense of silence. This card is one of the most serene and motionless cards in Tarot. It indicates that the progression of fate has slowed down to a complete halt. This slowdown can be due to illness or a vacation. The Four of Swords is like a warrior who has fallen asleep, either obstructed by an obstacle or resting for battle preparation.

The Four of Swords can also indicate a period of healing or recovery following the pain or injury represented by the Three of Swords. Therefore, this card may have relevance to resting the body due to being hospitalized or to allow the body's functions to recover. This card shares a similarity with The Hanged Man card, delivering a message of "waiting is necessary." The time may not be right to make the right move yet.

The Four of Swords is like the calm before the storm—a transition card from a period of rest and energy accumulation before entering a significant battle or conflict. It's time to prepare for a new chapter because the Five of Swords that follows signifies the emergence of a challenging battle or the approach of an adversary. If this card appears, the individual should prepare themselves for a tough battle or race in the near future, which is highly likely if it shows up before a job interview or an exam.

The Four of Swords can also represent times when we retreat into solitude or take a temporary step back from life. It's a period of quietly preparing or gathering strength for an upcoming project. The primary theme of this card is to prepare by resting. The next card is highly active and warrior-like, and this card serves as a reminder to get ready for the next movement. Because of its tranquility, the Four of Swords is one of Tarot's cards of stillness. Just like the knight in the card, when we close our eyes, we can better focus on our inner world and receive messages from within. Therefore, this card emphasizes the healing process, sometimes not of the physical but of the spiritual kind. Seeking meditation or psychological support can be possibilities when this card appears. The person focuses on their inner world, heals what needs to be fixed internally, and looks to the future with hope.

The knight also symbolizes someone who has withdrawn from the battlefield and the fast-paced flow of life. Everything and all problems are temporarily set aside for a while as the knight chooses isolation and solitude. While some may interpret this as a break from fighting, for others, it's just a period of discharge.

On the other hand, the knight can also represent an individual who, under the current circumstances, realizes there isn't much more they can do, making retreating the right move. Sometimes, it's better to step back and conserve energy for something that is not futile but can be used later for different purposes. The knight hasn't retired yet; they are simply gathering strength to fight more effectively. This period of inactivity and passivity can be used to acquire new knowledge or equipment.

Person Represented by the Four of Swords:

The person represented by the Four of Swords is calm, stagnant, and motionless. However, this is not necessarily their personality trait but rather their approach to a current situation in life. This person is going through a period of inactivity, and the progress of their life has come to a complete halt. Therefore, it could indicate a person hospitalized or seeking meditation for mental or spiritual healing. The person represented by this card is in complete isolation and seclusion. Sometimes, this could be someone who has chosen to be alone physically, or it could be someone who has temporarily withdrawn from social life.

The person represented by this card has taken a break from life. This could be a vacation or a journey. It reminds us of a knight who has withdrawn from the battle, and despite the fast-paced nature of life, they feel like progress has come to a halt due to their lying position and the silence of their surroundings. The person is currently in a very calm and quiet place. The main theme of this card is preparation through rest. This person is using this period of stillness to prepare for a future challenge.

The Four of Swords is also a card that can represent someone who has suffered significant emotional pain and deep wounds in the past. It likely involves a sensitive issue concerning three people, and either a resolution has been reached or the process has been forcibly terminated. However, the three swords hanging on the wall remind us that the effects of this situation are still felt in the person's inner world.

When looking closely at the card, we see that the knight is lying right in the middle of three swords pointing south and one sword pointing west. The one below stands apart from these three swords and faces a different direction. This is why the Four of Swords can sometimes indicate a person caught right in the middle of conflicts and wanting to move in different directions. The knight is either uncertain about which group they belong to or torn between two different decisions. This card signifies a period of indecision for them. If they move forward with the three swords, they go south; if they move with the single sword, they go west.

When the Four of Swords appears reversed, the person represented is stuck in a rut of inactivity and laziness. While upright, this card supported the idea of rest or energy gathering; when reversed, it promotes taking action instead. This person has extended their rest or energy gathering period excessively, or they haven't been able to shake off the vacation mode. A dangerous and unhealthy passivity is going on. The consequences of prolonged inaction can be heavy when the Four of Swords is reversed. The reversed Four of Swords can also represent someone who has isolated themselves entirely from the outside world and is experiencing complete seclusion. Therefore, the person represented by the reversed Four of Swords could be someone in a correctional facility, hospitalized, or someone who has completely withdrawn from worldly affairs.

Reversed Four of Swords:

When the Four of Swords appears reversed, the knight is lying in an upward position with three swords pointed towards him. This is a very dangerous position. Therefore, when this card appears reversed, it indicates that the rest or inactivity previously seen as relaxation can be quite dangerous and unhealthy passivity. The person seeing this card should break free from this inactivity as soon as possible and get up from their current position. The reversed Four of Swords warns that if inactivity and laziness continue, the consequences can be severe.

When upright, the Four of Swords suggested that it's not the time to fight for goals, but when reversed, the reversed Four of Swords suggests the opposite. It's time for the knight to rise and take action. The period of isolation and seclusion should come to an end. The person seeing this card should get back to their life from where they left off. Previously unavailable opportunities are now available, and the knight has the necessary equipment for the battle ahead.

The reversed Four of Swords also relates to having an abundance of energy due to staying inactive for too long or resting. The sick person has recovered, and the tired one has rested. Excuses for this long rest or laziness have run out. There is simply no reason for the person not to continue on this journey because the reversed Four of Swords advises inactivity and rest. The person has no reason to not continue their purpose. Sometimes, the reversed Four of Swords is about someone who can't get out of vacation or idle mode after a long holiday. These individuals need to shake themselves up and get going as soon as possible.

When the Four of Swords appears reversed, the swords that were pointing south are now facing north, and the sword that was pointing west now faces east. This could indicate a change in situation or direction for the person. The knight is in an odd position, caught right between these two directions, with their own view pointing south, which has nothing to do with these two directions. This reminds us of being caught between different perspectives or directions, or experiencing indecision. The knight should choose a direction and start moving forward.

Four of Swords in Love:

In matters of love, the Four of Swords suggests delays or stagnation. Expected developments in the relationship won't happen at this time. The person may consider putting the relationship on hold for a while or letting things take their course. After this period, significant events or conflicts may occur in the realm of love because the Five of Swords that follows is a card of conflict and disagreement. If this card appears in a love reading, the person should consider not putting too much effort into resolving relationship problems but instead let time take its course.

When the reversed Four of Swords appears in matters of love, it warns that some issues in the relationship need to be addressed urgently. Nothing is happening in the relationship because one or both partners are not taking action regarding the situation. While letting things take their course may be the solution sometimes, this card advises action when it appears reversed. The problems can be resolved, but only when they are acknowledged and the necessary steps are taken. The person seeing the reversed Four of Swords should get up and do something for their relationship.

Four of Swords in Career:

When the Four of Swords appears in a career reading, it signifies a period of stagnation in one's career. In general, it suggests that no progress is being made, and advancement has come to a halt. This card can sometimes indicate a period of retreat or seclusion for a vacation or preparation for a major project. It's the perfect time to gather energy for an upcoming struggle that will occur in the near future. The person seeing the Four of Swords in a career reading should not worry about this stagnant period. Inactivity and rest are the card's advice. The individual will use the stored energy in the challenging battle revealed by the next card, the Five of Swords.

When the reversed Five of Swords appears in a career reading, it warns that the time has come to take action regarding certain work-related matters. The solution is indeed possible, but it requires being more active and taking necessary steps. The person saying "let it happen when it happens" will not experience any progress. When one sees the reversed Four of Swords, it's time to shake off the vacation or stagnant mode. Let's say, "The vacation is over," and start working as soon as possible.

Four of Swords in Finances:

When the Four of Swords appears in a financial reading, it tells you that things are slow and not progressing as expected. You may not receive the positive financial news you were hoping for when this card appears. It's a waiting card, but it doesn't provide insight into whether the expected news will come or not. The person seeing this card should be patient and wait for the stagnation to pass. This period of inactivity won't last too long because the next card, the Five of Swords, indicates a period of competition in fate.

When the reversed Four of Swords appears in a financial reading, it suggests that solutions are possible in financial matters, and what was previously impossible may now be possible. However, to achieve this, action is required to break free from the stagnation. The person who thought that work was slow and income was insufficient will see that when they try different methods, they can overcome this stagnation and achieve better earnings.


Please remember that Tarot card interpretations can be highly personal and situational. The context of the reading and the reader's intuition play a significant role in understanding the full meaning of a card. These interpretations serve as a general guideline but should be adapted to your specific circumstances and feelings.

bottom of page