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.
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.