Four of Swords At A Glance
Keywords: Tiredness, burnout, rest, rejuvenation, running out of steam, a project slowing down, healing
Element: Air (thoughts, ideas and communication)
Four of Swords Tarot Card Description
The Four of Swords is the 4th card in the suit of Swords. In tarot it is a minor arcana card. The traditional imagery shows us a tranquil scene within a church. A carved stone coffin shows the form of a knight laid to rest next to his sword. Though this might sound macabre the imagery is quite peaceful and the interpretation is actually very positive.
Some iterations of the card show a living man resting in the same position in a bed but even the one featuring a coffin there is sun light pouring into the church through a stained glass window and there is a feeling of rest.
This suggests the knight’s job (to fight) is done and now he can rest, whether this is the temporary rest in life or the eternal rest of death. The biggest meaning of the Four of Swords is that the task we were working on is finished and we can now recuperate all the energy that we expended on it. It is a card that says we must make time for self-care and relaxation.
Four of Swords Upright Meaning
When we are met with the Four of Swords on our tarot journey we are being guided to rest. This could be because we have just finished a huge task that was very energetically demanding but it can also be suggesting we might need to pause during ongoing projects. A lot of us perform tasks at work and in life that don’t really ‘end’ in the tradition sense because they are ongoing by nature.
This means there isn’t really a natural stopping point and we often continue to work way past what our bodies and minds are capable of. In this case the Four of Swords asks us to take smaller breaks and make sure we don’t get to the point of exhaustion. It is a reminder that we have human bodies which tire and need care.
The depiction of a coffin in the artwork also reminds us that we are mortal and our time is not infinite. There is a lot we can experience in life but if we are not taking time away from work and other tasks these experiences could slip by us.
“Self-care is how you take your power back.” - Lalah Delia
Four of Swords Reversed Meaning
When the Four of Swords comes to us reversed we are being warned that we are very close to burnout or complete exhaustion. We must factor in time to rest or we could become ill and are then forced to stop.
This is an invitation to look at our schedule or routine and make changes that are more realistic so we can complete our tasks but in a way which doesn’t negatively affect our physical and mental health in the long term.
“Stress is the trash of modern life. We all generate it, but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.” - Danzae Pace
Four of Swords: Yes or No
The Four of Swords is a no card. It says we require additional time to rest and heal. Therefore if saying yes would lead to a situation where we take on more work or responsibilities that stretch our time and resources even thinner than they already are then we must decline.
If reversed then it is still a no but it hints that we could be closer to being ready to accept than we are in the upright meaning.
Let’s Break Down the Four of Swords In Our Lives
How the Four of Swords changes based on the different areas of our life we have asked tarot about.
Four of Swords In Love
Receiving this card in a love query suggests we are withdrawing from our love life a little, not due to any negative situations but just because we need some alone time to rest and rejuvenate. It could also suggest we may need to work a little harder on a long distance relationship or change our routine to make our lives flow more smoothly.
Reversed it can signify we are facing rejection from someone or that we feel under pressure not to reject someone we have a close relationship with. We need to preserve our energy and for various reasons this relationship currently drains us so we must create boundaries which protect ourselves.
Four of Swords With Money
The Four of Swords in response to finance questions can hint at feeling anxious about money or our finances. There may be a period of time where the money we earn and the usual cycle in which we receive it will be disrupted. This was likely unforeseen meaning we were unable to prepare for it.
We may need to take on additional work temporarily to continue to support us during this time but we must be careful we do not burnout whilst we do this.
Reversed we are being asked to splurge on healing and rejuvenating actions. This can mean different things for different people but one example is we could begin saving funds for a vacation. However we are being reminded that it is important that we do not put added pressure on ourselves to work even more because this could further our tiredness.
Four of Swords At Work
When we see the Four of Swords within career readings it can mean we are very close to running out of steam on a current project. We might need to take some time away from the practical *cough: boring* portion of the project/work to gain a fresh perspective so we feel inspired to continue.
Reversed it suggests we are slowly but surely recovering from burnout. Now we feel better we must make sure our schedule and routine is inline with our energy levels so that we avoid future burnout from happening to us again.
Four of Swords With Others
Seeing the 4 of Swords at this time indicates we are being guided to temporarily decline social events and nonessential commitments to others. This is because we need to use this time and energy for our own healing first. We might experience FOMO (fear of missing out) but this is only temporary and we will be back out in the world with more energy and better health soon if we heed the warning now.
Reversed the Four of Swords enlightens us that our local community could heal us. If we are burnt out we might not feel like socializing but seeing this card reversed reminds us that our hobbies and interests can give us more energy and inspiration than they might take to perform them. So if we feel up to it we should definitely consider branching out socially around our hobbies and interests.
Four of Swords With Self
When we receive the Four of Swords regarding our own introspective questions we are being guided to spend more time on self care activities. By slowing down we are better able to connect with our emotions and therefore better able to give ourselves what we need.
Reversed this is a cue from the universe to begin dreaming. In time we will create a plan and implement it to manifest these dreams into reality but at this time we are being asked to think big without the constraints and complications of working out the small details.
Four of Swords As Feelings
The 4 of Swords feels like tiredness caused by competing a very demanding but rewarding task. It can also feel like running out steam during a project and being forced to stop.
Either way this card says that what we should be feeling is comfy sheets and fuzzy pjs because this card when done right feels like relaxation and rest.