The Four of Swords is a temporary rest from mental chaos and the establishment of a social law, dogma, or idea that is generally accepted as true. In this, there is spiritual thinking; the mind is balanced, a problem solved. There is support here from what can only be described as “beyond”. A reminder that, while not often directly experienced, there is love and support for you from these higher realms, and you can always invoke their support with a little bit of prayer and meditation. This support may even manifest around you in the form of people, animals, nature, or others.
Take a moment to relax and recuperate your energy. You have undergone much trial and tribulation within your mind. The Four of Swords indicates that it is time to rest while you have the opportunity. You know not what is around the corner, but in this moment, while you have the opportunity to rest – you should take it. There is much love for you in the cosmos; if you ask for it, you shall receive it.
The Four of Swords is a time of mental rest, recuperation and rebuilding spiritual energies embodying the spirit of refuge from mental chaos after all of the intensity from the Three of Swords. This card also represents passive relaxation and contemplation, which comes with the notion that we are granted this time to recuperate and rebuild our strength in order to return back to whatever conflict we may be dealing with and bring it to a resolution.
This card shows a patch laying back and resting in a sacred space. There are four swords connecting to the center of his head, representing the mental focus which is taking place. Above him is an angel in the stained glass window with beams and particles of light gently drifting down from above, signifying that Spirit is watching and protecting him as he rests and regains his mental energy.
The Four of Swords indicates a time to rest and pull back from the intense energies of the outside world. There is a lot of value in centering yourself; finding some peace within and simply staying in that calm space for awhile.
We can take this opportunity to reflect on the nature of our lives, what we’d like to change and what we already love about it. Perhaps we need some reorganization of the things in our life which might be causing us stress. Use this time wisely; the only constant in this world is change, and soon we will have to continue working on whatever it is that we were doing before we took this time of rest.
This card may also indicate the need to seek out wisdom from higher sources as well. This can look like drawing wisdom from our higher selves, guardian angels, or directly from Spirit. This can also look like asking those who you trust for guidance in your life, be it a teacher, parent, or someone who you consider your “spiritual elder”.
The Four of Swords reminds you to not worry. This isn’t a time to dwell on the problems in our lives, but rather simply relax without becoming docile, and knowing that the solutions will come up naturally. This card suggests the need to seclude yourself for a while so you can focus internally without any distractions from the external world.
Solitude can bring great insight, and if you’re uncomfortable being alone then this card is even more reason to do it; push through those fears and come out on the other side stronger than you were before.
Use this time to relax but don’t feel guilty for doing so. We must remember that we need time to ourselves to recharge and give ourselves some love – something many people often forget to do.
The reverse of the Four of Swords comes as restlessness, which can manifest in two predominant forms; the first being not taking the time we need to rest, the other being taking too much rest and not getting back to the task at hand.We may find ourselves forcing ourselves to work too hard which can cause stresses to skyrocket, but then take too much time to rest.
If we become so relaxed into this peaceful state of being that we then refuse to acknowledge the problems that we originally set out to solve, or any other issues that still need resolution, we lose confidence in our ability to solve the problem in the first place. This ultimately runs the risk of creating stagnation or running our self-esteem into the ground.
To turn this reversed card upright, we must acknowledge our behavior in regards to this mental respite. Are we taking enough time to rest? Or have we taken too much time to rest? Are we restless from overworking, or restless from being lazy and have a compulsion to create something again? Depending on your answer, you will know what you need to do. Either slow down and give yourself a break, or remember the belief in yourself and your ability to handle stuff and get things done, and then go and do it! Regardless of your situation, remember that you are supported and loved from every corner of the cosmos, and may card this reading serve as that reminder.
The Book of Thoth
The Golden Dawn
The Tarot Handbook