The Four of Swords symbolizes rest, quiet, fatigue, retreat from activity and withdrawal. This symbolizes the period after battle, hard work, injury or stress when we need to recuperate, take care of ourselves and turn the mind off for a while in order to regenerate, refresh and renew.

The fiery energy of Wands energy will naturally burn itself out at some point, like we see in the Nine and Ten cards, and the emotional downpours of Cups will also eventually dry out on their own once they are fully unleashed. This card, however, shows us that with Swords energy we need to make an active choice to retire and rest, or else the Swords will just keep going. The mind, which Swords represent, is constantly active, constantly moving and will not retire on its own; anyone who has attempted meditation knows how active the mind is even without any external stimulus whatsoever, and how tirelessly it will seem to fight any attempt to quiet it down.

Yet if we don’t make a conscious effort to “get out of our heads” every so often, we may become sloppy, one-sided, deranged or obsessive in our thinking. We may lose objective perspective of our situation, or become overly fixated on certain aspects, or, as is depicted in the nine of swords, we may “go down the rabbit hole” of incessant, neurotic worries that eventually overwhelm the psyche and take control of us. One of the most widely prescribed remedies for any ailment whatsoever, by everyone from grandma to the most awarded doctors and scientists, is go to sleep. Things will look better in the morning. In order to hold our Swords upright, that is, in order to retain clarity of judgment and a sound, equanimous mind, we need to lay down, tune out and relax.

Astrological Association:

The Four of Swords is connected to Saturn in 5th house as a symbol of a break in the works or in the 6th house as a symbol of disease.

Card meanings upright:

The Four of Swords card represents rest and rejuvenation in your life. You may need to make sure you are getting enough sleep and taking time to meditate. You may have stress building up in your life and need a break for resting and reevaluating.

Card meanings reversed:

When the Four of Swords card is reversed, it can represent restlessness or burning out in your life. Your thoughts and beliefs might interrupt you from recuperating from any injuries that may be preventing you from being comfortable and peaceful. You may have a tendency to procrastinate and might be feeling a lack of progress in your life.


The Four of Swords may indicate that you need to take some time off from work, even if it is just for a long weekend, to take a break and gain new perspective. Things may not be going as you would like them to at work, but try not to take it personally. If you have patience in the process, you may decide that the time has come to begin looking for a new position or job.


The Four of Swords can represent disconnection in your love life, particularly if you are in a committed relationship. You may need to let your partner know about anything you’re feeling, but do not expect them to be responsible for making you feel better instantly. If you need to spend some time apart, now is a good time for space. If you are looking for love, now is not a good time to push. You may need to spend some time getting very specific about what you’re looking for in a relationship so you recognize those qualities in a person you may meet in the future.


The Four of Swords can indicate that you may need to take a different course of action if you are behind on your payments or struggling financially. You may need to think of creative ways to make extra money, or collect on any debts that are owed to you by others. Your financial strains are most likely just temporary. If you can, now is a good time to give a small donation to a charity you care about. Charity often leads to prosperity.


The Four of Swords card can represent a need for space in your spiritual life. You may need time and quiet to get in touch with your soul and the energies in the universe. No matter how busy your life is, you sanity and your soul may benefit from taking time for yourself as a priority.


Customized to your exact birth date and name, this personalized numerology report will shed light on your core numbers and life.

The Gilded Tarot Deck by Ciro Marchetti © 2004 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125.  All rights reserved, used by permission.