Upright: Contemplation, recuperation, passivity, relaxation, rest
Reversed: Restlessness, burn-out, lack of progress

The Four of Swords depicts the effigy of a knight lying upon a tomb. His hands are in the position of prayer and the tomb sits within a church. The stained glass behind the statue depicts a woman and child together. One sword lies beneath the knight, symbolising that there is only one key issue that is dominating your life at this time. Three further swords hang above him, pointing downwards.

The Four of Swords shows a period of rest and recovery after a time of challenge, with the promise that, once recovered, you can and will return to the challenge. In the meantime, the Four of Swords provides a new challenge – to stay silent and inactive. This is the time build up your mental strength. Meditate and spend time in a calm atmosphere. You need to replenish your strength and spend time in spiritual thinking. You need to rest and relax.
The Four of Swords is a reminder that after every crisis and before every new challenge, there is always a time of relaxation and contemplation. Constant stress and tension will break even the hardest and most resilient of people but brief periods of rest enable you to refresh your energy, concentration and focus, ready for the next challenge. These rests should be used wisely, to heal the body and ready the mind.
The Four of Swords is also a sign that you can stop worrying, put down your defences and take a breather from the chaos around you. For the moment there is a truce and you can catch your breath without being attacked again. However, bear in mind that a truce and peace are not the same thing. The Four of Swords is a guarantee that challenges will return to your life as soon as you are ready to face them, so make the most of the stillness and quiet you have earned but never lose sight of the fact that the battle is not yet over, and that there is still work to be done.
This card suggests that now is the time to rest from some difficult times, perhaps the trauma of breakup or departure, relationship or family problems, financial and health worries, stress and conflict. Take a break. This is also not the time to make decisions, particularly when you are at your most vulnerable.
The Four of Swords suggests the need for seclusion. You need seclusion to deal properly with your situation and need to experience time apart from others to gather your thoughts and feelings. Following on from the painful loss of the Three of Swords, the Four of Swords indicates your need to spend time alone to re-evaluate your life. Solitude, although often difficult to bear, is necessary for you to be able to recharge your batteries and rejuvenate your spirit. This solitary experience always bears fruit in an experience of greater inner strength and confidence. Retreat from pain, conflict and distractions, and rid yourself of stress and anxiety. Ground and re-charge yourself. Look inward for a real change and meditate daily.
In a practical sense, the Four of Swords is an indicator that you need to have some time out from your current circumstances, to reflect and review your progress so far. This is a good time to re-evaluate and re-assess your priorities. It is almost like conducting your own “Post Implementation Review” following a major milestone or a major challenge. Create some time and space to reflect on what has worked well, what has not worked well and what you need to change for the future. Pausing for reflection after each major challenge will position you well for success in the future.

The Four of Swords reversed can indicate that you are feeling restless and wanting to do everything at once. Even if your body is telling you that you need to rest and relax, your mind may be pushing you forward, trying to accomplish a long list of tasks. You may be getting quite sick or stressed as a result, so it is vital that you force yourself to pause and take it easy to ensure that you do not become completely run down and exhausted.
You may also be trying to avoid any period of contemplation or meditation on a particular issue because you are worried about what it might bring up. You need to return to the energy of the Three of Swords and confront the pain and grief that exists within your heart. You need to experience that pain as it is preventing you from being able to move on. Once you have experienced it, it will begin to subside and you will be able to live a more fulfilling life.
The Four of Swords reversed can also represent stagnation and a lack of action that is leading to increased frustration. For example, a long-term marriage is no longer progressing and is spiritually and emotionally empty. You may need to take a break from this stalled situation and come back to it when the energy is flowing better.
Similarly, the Four of Swords reversed suggests that you are feeling frustrated with the lack of progress and change in your life. Many things have stood still or have failed to change in the way you were hoping they would. Part of this lack of change, however, is as a result of your passive approach. There may have been situations that were frustrating to you or that you were unhappy with but you may have opted to just sit it out and hope that they would eventually change, rather than taking action to create a more desirable outcome.



Four of Swords Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Fear, anxiety, stress, feeling overwhelmed, mental overload, needing solitude, relaxation, rest, peace and quiet, sanctuary, meditation, regrouping, recuperation, hospitalisation, introspection, planning for the future, contemplation, self-protection, spiritual counselling or support, having faith

General meaning and interpretation
In a general context, the Four of Swords represents fear, anxiety and stress. You will be feeling overwhelmed and mentally overloaded when it appears. This Minor Arcana tells you that the issues you are facing are actually not as bad as you believe them to be and there are solutions available. However, it suggest that you are allowing negativity to set in and becoming so overwhelmed that you cannot see the woods for the trees. This card is more to do with your mental state than any problems you are facing. Relax, regroup and contemplate your situation in a calm rational way. If you leave aside your fears and logically plan for the future, you will find a way forward. The Four of Swords Tarot card also indicates that you are in need of peace and quiet, introspection, rest, relaxation and sanctuary. It is a card of recuperation and hospitalisation. And it signifies having faith or receiving spiritual counselling or support.

IIn a health Tarot reading, the Four of Swords can indicate that you need rest or recuperation as such it can be indicative of being hospitalised. This card can indicate that anxiety related illnesses may be exasperated at this time, try to take some time out to relax and reboot.

Love & Relationships
In a love Tarot spread, if you are in a relationship the Four of Swords can indicate that you and your partner are taking time out to rest, regroup and reconnect in your relationship. Fear, anxiety and stress have left you and your partner feeling in need of some peace and quiet. One of both of you may have disconnected from the relationship or is seeking solitude as a reaction to the overwhelming pressure you are feeling at the moment. Some quality time away from the stress is needed to help you both to reconnect, remember why you are together and plan how you are going to deal with stress in the future. If you are single, the Four of Swords can signify that you need some introspection and solitude in order to contemplate what you really want in a partner. Do not allow fear about being single overwhelm you. If you jump into a relationship solely out of fear of being single, it will not work out well for you! The right person will often come into our lives when we’re not looking for them.

Money & Career
In a career Tarot reading, the Four of Swords indicates that you are really feeling the pressure in work! Stress and worries are overwhelming you and leading to mental overload. This Minor Arcana card indicates that you are finding it hard to cope and need some rest and relaxation so you can regroup and get yourself back on track. In a financial Tarot spread, the Four of Swords signifies that you have been under financial pressure for quite some time and it’s now at the point where you are so overwhelmed with the pressure that you don’t believe things can change. That is, however, only your perception. It’s not as bad as you think it is! There is always a solution. You need to try and relax and gather your thoughts. Don’t allow negativity to cloud your thoughts.

In a spiritual context, the Four of Swords can indicate that you may be in need of solitude or sanctuary. You need to slow down and listen to your inner wisdom. Meditation would be good for you at this time. You may receive spiritual counselling and support at this time. If you have been going through a tough time, this card tells you to have faith as you will come through this.
Reversed Meaning Guide
Four of Swords Reversed Tarot Card Key Meanings:
Finding mental strength, awakening, re-joining the world, coming out of isolation, recovering slowly, healing, mental breakdown/ collapse, burn-out, restlessness, not taking care of yourself, lack of self-protection, not accepting counselling or support, losing faith

General meaning and interpretation
In a general context, the Four of Swords reversed represents awakening and finding mental strength. You will be coming out of isolation after a period of solitude or mental overload and re-joining the world. This Minor Arcana tells you that you are slowly recovering and that healing is possible. Alternatively, the Four of Swords Tarot card reversed can indicate that your stress or anxiety levels have reached such a point that burn-out or mental breakdown or collapse is imminently possible if you don’t start taking care of yourself. You will be experiencing extreme levels of anxiety and a sense of restlessness when it appears.

In a health Tarot reading, the Four of Swords reversed can either indicate healing and recovery after a period of poor mental or physical health or it can indicate pushing yourself so far or not taking care of yourself to the point that you burn out! It can also indicate a mental or nervous breakdown.

Love & Relationships
In a love Tarot spread, if you are in a relationship the Four of Swords reversed can indicate that your relationship is slowly recovering after a difficult period. Alternatively, it can indicate that the stress and anxiety you and your partner are experiencing has spiralled and is pushing your relationship to breaking point. Look to supporting card to confirm this. If you are single, the Four of Sword reversed can indicate a period of recovery and healing after releasing yourself from a bad relationship or the end of the mourning period after bereavement. You are slowly getting ready to come out of isolation and re-join the world. Alternatively, it can indicate that your fears and anxieties have gotten to you so much that you have completely lost faith that you will ever have a happy relationship. You may need to accept counselling or support, even though you do not believe it will do any good, it may help you get some perspective and positivity back so you can move forward.

Money & Career
In a career Tarot reading, the Four of Swords reversed can indicate that you may be going back to work after a break, illness or other period of time off. You may have needed to take this time off to get your stress levels under control and now you feel able to manage your work and work environment. Make sure you have strategies for coping with stress. Alternatively, this Minor Arcana card can indicate that your levels of stress or anxiety in your career have reached boiling point and it may be time to start consider looking for a new job. Ask yourself if any job is worth it if it makes you this unhappy? Perhaps you are meant to do something else. In a financial Tarot spread, the Four of Swords reversed signifies that your finances are recovering after a period of difficulty. You should be feeling relieved of the pressure. Alternatively, the Four of Swords reversed can indicate that you are completely overwhelmed with financial pressures and heading for burn-out. However, it suggests that you are not accepting the help and support that is available to you. If you are struggling with debt there are organisations that can assist you, you just have to accept the help!

In a spiritual context, the Four of Swords reversed can indicate that you have lost your faith or are experiencing some sort of spiritual crisis brought about by fear and anxiety. You may have been offered spiritual counselling or support but have rejected it when this card appears in your Tarot spread. Rest, meditation and grounding are even more important at this time as this card indicates that you need to protect and take care of yourself.