The Four of Swords is a card of stillness. Peace. Our minds need the quietness of the tomb if we are to recover and regain our serenity after the thought-turmoil of the Three of Swords. This is the card of essential rest. Ignore it and we risk mental instability, stress and, ultimately, health problems. Like all Fours in tarot, this card is a temporary plateau. It’s our chance to take care of ourselves to better care for our loved ones and deal with life’s problems.
In the Rider-Waite Tarot, the Four of Swords is shown as the effigy of a knight resting upon a tomb. One sword is carved into the tomb itself; three others are fixed to a wall above. In the background is a stained-glass window depicting a nun and a child, or perhaps an adult on her knees receiving a blessing.
The appearance of the Four of Swords tells you it’s time to take a rest. You need just to stop what you are doing and have a break. Even if it is only for a short while. Know that you can’t help others properly unless you are at your best. Remember the safety instructions given before a flight? Put your oxygen mask on first before you attempt to help another.
Take up that offer of someone to look after the children while you have a nap or a long bubble bath. Seek respite from care if you are looking after a demanding patient. Don’t struggle on — you need this time out for your well-being.
The reversed Four of Swords can indicate that you are stressed, thoughts tangled, and on the brink of a breakdown. Look at those three swords pointing upwards – you really don’t want to fall on them. Stop immediately. Seek help and make a huge effort to let everything flow away. Use whatever you have to – meditation CDs, classical music, walks in nature or several good nights’ sleep.
Interpretations in Various Areas of Life
You’ve been working too hard. You need a break, or at the least a change in the actual work you are doing. You’ve been thinking too much, fretting and worrying. Let it go. Others can take care of it while you have a few days off.
If your job search has met a bit of a dead end, just give it up for a little while. Stop reading the job listings. Take a walk. Take lots of walks. You will return to the fray feeling more enthusiastic and eager to find your perfect position.
Personal relationships may be stressing you out. You need some space. Everyone involved probably needs some space. Stop worrying at things like a dog with a bone and spend some time alone to get your thoughts straight. You know this is all about communication, so relax and allow calmness to heal your fevered brow. It will all work out in the end.
A new romance is unlikely to enter your life right now. You wouldn’t even notice if it did, as your mind is busy with other issues.
You are unable to focus on your finances at the moment and hope that they are taking care of themselves. Or maybe worrying about money has been causing you too much stress. Do what you need to do to soothe your anxieties, and then take the prescriptive advice of this card. Your mental health is more important than accumulating wealth.
You are in recovery mode. Don’t fight it; don’t try to feel normal while you are still in need of recuperation. Go with the flow, let your mind relax and do what is best for you. You can make yourself well from the inside.
Do whatever it takes to quieten your mind. Meditation is key, even if it just means a short time every day listening to gentle music. You are past the worst, and now you must bring peace into your whole being. In that way, healing can take place, and you will reach a deeper understanding of yourself, of life and All-That-Is.