Four of Swords Tarot Card
Card Name: Four of Swords, 4 of Blades
Keywords: Solitude, Reflections
Active element: Air 💨
The Four of Swords is a dual and controversial tarot card. On the one hand, it symbolizes aspiration for the highest, honesty, valor. These are past victories that can now be proudly remembered, lying in your warm bed. The reverse side of the coin absorbed the unpleasant reality of life, that is, the inevitability of death. Looking at the tombstone where the knight rests, his merits are immediately remembered. But at the same time, the question of the transience of being is raised. Therefore, memories can both inspire, bring relief, and overthrow into suffering. It all depends on the point of view and on the position of the card itself in the spread.
Symbolism and Key Ideas of the Four of Swords
In the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, on the Four of Swords card, a silent scene is depicted – a man in armor lies on a pedestal. At the same time, the man’s head is without a helmet, his eyes are closed. Hands are folded on the chest in a gesture of prayer. The hero’s clothes, body and pillow are earthy yellow. However, this is not a living person, but just a sculpture. In the Middle Ages, the tombstones of knights were decorated in this way. There is a stained-glass window on the left side of the wall. With the help of multi-colored glass, a picture is laid out – the saint is bending over the person who knelt before him. A small bull’s head is visible on the slope of the window. To the right, three blades hang on a gray wall, point down. The fourth sword is located horizontally, on the coffin itself.
The visualization of the Four of Swords resembles a real knight’s crypt. The stained-glass window speaks of the presence of a higher idea, a blessing. The earthy color, turning into gold, symbolizes, on the one hand, the former glory, and on the other hand, death, decay. The swords are more like a bas-relief made of stone – this is a reference to past victories, merits. The knight has nothing more to achieve, he has already passed everything. Gray colors represent stagnation, the absence of upheavals, both good and bad. The very statue of a man – an effigy, speaks of the same thing – nothing happens, time has frozen forever. The numerical designation of the Arcana symbolizes the established position.
Meaning of the Upright Four of Swords Card
- Suspension of the situation, lack of a clear answer, prospects.
- Stagnation, refusal to act and manifest, to change anything.
- Humility and life with one hope for the best, isolation.
- The desire to close, move away from business or specific people.
In the upright position, the Four of Swords symbolizes slowing down, rest and isolation. The position of the card speaks of voluntary imprisonment, retirement. The man has done a good job, and it is time to give way to others. He fulfilled his duty with honor, was faithful to his destiny. The knight means honor, glory, reliability. In the past there was a time of feats, deeds that cause pride. But now the timpani have died down. The situation has come to a logical conclusion. As the dead cannot rise from the coffin, so life will never turn back time. The Four of Blades represents withdrawal, long reflection, and a well-earned right to rest.
The blades on the wall of the tomb say the same thing – the point is turned down, which indicates the end of the battle. The weapon has now become just an ornament, a trophy, reminiscent of past campaigns. The sword on the coffin symbolizes the person himself, gives a brief description of the character. A knight is one who is always ready for battle. He has a sharp mind, insight. The Four of Swords shows the non-use of gifts, the refusal to fight. The display of power is inappropriate. Perhaps the person himself does not have the desire to move forward. He has already achieved the results he needs. The situation on this card freezes, there is no prospect, it remains only to silently wait for something.
Love and Relationships (Upright)
- Loyalty to each other, lack of desire to change, lie.
- Honesty, the habit of being together; legal marriage.
- Unwillingness to let anyone into your life, to open yourself.
- Lost interest in building personal relationships, love.
In a love spread, the Four of Swords speaks of cooling feelings. The couple continues to date or live together out of habit. Both people have no desire to show emotions. Rather, an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust prevails here. People have been through a lot together and do not want to look for something more. Often, according to the Four of the Air suit, a marriage takes place in a church – the wedding or baptism of both spouses, their children. For such individuals, family ties, clear rules and laws are important. Passion and love fade into the background or are generally forced out of the relationship of the couple.
For loners, the Four of Swords predicts the fading of interest in the opposite sex. The querent himself will feel a desire to close in on himself, to reflect on the meaning of life. Perhaps, after some deliberation, the questioner will decide to continue the lonely period. The very need to achieve someone, to recognize a partner and try to keep is lost. Personalities are comfortable alone with themselves, so the fortuneteller himself does not want to change anything.
Career and Finance (Upright)
- Funeral agency services, work as a sculptor for a cemetery.
- Production of wreaths, headstones, monuments or portraits.
- Past savings, allowing not to be in search of funds.
- Payment of pensions, disability benefits, social security.
In the spread for career, the Four of Swords can denote work related to the funeral business. These are various bureaus of funeral services, the production of coffins, monuments, the sale of related products, wreaths. Also, sometimes the Arcana shows the work of a sculptor. In the context of the analysis of the situation, the card speaks of retirement, legal rest. A person has already achieved everything necessary and can retire. Often, the 4 of Blades falls on middle-aged military. They came to great results, repaid their debt to the Motherland.
In the context of finance, the card symbolizes former luxury. In the past, a person worked hard and now may not work. The Four of Swords shows contentment with little, life on dividends or rental income. Now the querent does not earn money, or does not have such an opportunity at all. At the same time, the surrounding circumstances encourage this behavior. There are no active actions, but there is no need for them either. Most often, the Arcana falls on pensioners, the disabled.
Health and Spirit (Upright)
- Severe diseases associated with the spine or legs.
- The period of rehabilitation after surgical intervention.
- Apathy, unwillingness to do anything and open up to loved ones.
- Rethinking your life, the crisis of self-identification.
In terms of health, the Four of Swords shows bedriddenness. A person often feels a breakdown, unwillingness to get up in the morning. In the worst case, the Arcana means disability, problems with the legs or spine. In this case, the situation may be temporary or permanent. The querent needs care from a health worker or relatives. He is not able to independently perform elementary actions – to monitor hygiene, change clothes, eat.
The mental state of the Four of Swords is depressed. The personality is closed in itself and does not want to make contact with anyone. A person loses interest in social manifestation, communication with others. Often, the Arcana falls out during a certain crisis, rethinking oneself and one’s life. Sometimes the turning point is dictated by age, and in other cases – by certain circumstances. A person begins to think about the meaning of being, tries to self-determine. A person must go through this stage himself, all attempts to stir him up will be empty.
Situations and Questions (Upright)
- A midlife crisis, an attempt to find answers and myself.
- Raising important questions about life and death, about the meaning of existence.
- Existential crisis, longing for eternity, something higher.
- Immersion in the depths of the mind or disidentification with the body.
On the spiritual side, the Four of Swords symbolizes the departure from the old life. Man aspires to the knowledge of higher truths. Now spiritual growth is important for him, the search for his own individuality. At this stage, it is possible to become attached to a certain religion, culture. The querent needs answers, he is no longer ready to put up with the dullness of everyday life. At the same time, from the outside, it seems as if the questioner is doing nothing. However, this is not laziness – everything that happens is dictated by internal motives.
The Four of Swords asks questions: "Who am I?" and "Why do I live?". Now it is important for the seeker to discard the former social roles. In the past, they worked and gave a feeling of comfort, success. But in spiritual terms, a person, so far, is just a neophyte. He has a long way to go to himself. It is necessary to find true answers to important questions. The surrounding world, society will not give anything. All labels are hung by people, but have nothing to do with the inner qualities of a person. What matters is what the individual wants and strives for.
Meaning of the Reversed Four of Swords Tarot
- Loss of knightly qualities, unrighteous deeds, sinfulness.
- Forces put into the implementation of empty plans, unnecessary.
- Inability to accept the situation, reconcile with the inevitability.
- Exhausting yourself with unused opportunities, ideas.
When reversed, the Four of Swords changes meaning. If in the direct version the card symbolized the highest ideals, the readiness to put oneself on the altar of any idea, now the Arcana means the loss of these qualities. When the card is flipped, the area with the stained-glass window moves down and the coffin moves up. It means serving your whims, an empty life. A person wasted his internal resource in vain, but now he cannot do anything. The position of the Four of the suit of Air speaks of laziness, heaviness in the soul. Past victories were achieved in a barbaric way, there are many sins for the querent. At the moment, the reversed Arcana symbolizes senseless anxiety, the inability to accept the situation.
However, nothing can be changed. The act of the play is played, and all the actors have gone home. Regrets will remain empty. The Four of Swords represents the element Air, and in the reversed position symbolizes its negative side. This is incorporeality, thoughts leading to nothing. The querent is trying to fight fate itself and is sure to lose. In the context of the situation, the position of the Arcana speaks of the absence of a way out, running in a circle. You can exhaust yourself with worries, but it still will not affect the final result.
Love and Relationships (Reversed)
- An attempt to fence off a lover from someone else’s influence, advice.
- Loneliness together and inability to support each other.
- Unwillingness to accept reality, to lose empty hope.
- Lack of interest among people around to the person of the fortuneteller.
In a love spread, the reversed Four of Swords card indicates the suppression of one of the partners. Someone in a couple takes the role of an abuser, seeks to close a loved one from society, other people’s influence. This forced solitude, isolation from reality. The querent himself or his passion is unnecessarily strict towards the partner. Also, sometimes the position of the card shows the inability to let go, even if the feelings are long gone. A person suffers himself, blocking his own path to happiness. At the same time, he does not allow the partner to move forward, develop.
For lonely people, the Four of Swords that has fallen in the reversed position promises one concern. All subsequent acquaintances will not lead to anything serious. The querent may feel deceived, again disappointed in life. Inside, he perfectly understands that he himself is not ready to change, but secretly hopes for a miracle. However, similar in spirit – tired and melancholic – will be attracted to such a person.
Career and Finance (Reversed)
- A dark past in terms of building a career, work, finances.
- Illegal acquisition of material goods, property, place.
- Constant laziness, unwillingness to work, hope for other people.
- Parasitism, inability to improve the financial situation.
The reversed Four of Swords Tarot gives a negative meaning to the financial spread. Here the position of the card is responsible for illegal enrichment in the past, the presence of dark spots in the fate of a person. The person received his status or financial situation undeservedly. It can be crime, intrigue, corruption, fraud. The outer façade of well-being and success hides a terrible secret behind it. Now the past begins to influence the querent. Perhaps a reminder of the past will suddenly appear. But most often the reversed Arcana symbolizes inner feelings, regrets for no reason from the outside.
In the context of finances, the Four of Swords, in the opposite sense, speaks of big problems. The fortuneteller is driven by laziness or lack of motivation. He cannot or does not know how to earn money. However, the situation requires movement, a quick response. Lack of funds affects the quality of life and self-awareness of the questioning person. In this regard, the position of the card shows unrealized, missed opportunities.
Health and Spirit (Reversed)
- Deterioration of the patient’s condition and the appearance of complications.
- Lowered hands, disbelief in their own recovery.
- Self-flagellation and a tendency to underestimate one’s dignity.
- Disappointment, loss of the meaning of life, aspirations, goals.
In terms of health, the Four of Swords reversed takes on an even more negative meaning. The bedridden patient has lost faith in himself, his healing. The disease begins to progress, bedsores appear. Perhaps the querent himself stopped wrestling, doing a rehabilitation program. This is where hope plays a key role. The position of the Arcana indicates that the questioner no longer wants to harbor illusions about a brighter future. Depression may set in, or thoughts of suicide may appear.
The mental state leaves much to be desired. At the same time, a person has come to terms with his problems, but still continues to exhaust himself with negative attitudes. The Four of Swords reversed represents loss of self-respect, low self-esteem. The querent considers himself an unworthy and vicious person. Self-flagellation leads to physical ailments, weakness. The lack of faith in one’s own strength makes one stand still, degrade. At the same time, an objective assessment of a person can be quite positive. But the querent himself has already cast himself off the pedestal of life.
Situations and Questions (Reversed)
- Unwillingness to accept the real state of affairs and the truth.
- Flight into various vices for fear of death and endings.
- Inopportuneness, inappropriate behavior, self-expression.
- Inability to calm down, stop the flow of thoughts and ideas.
In terms of spirituality, when the Four of Swords fell upside down, this is a bad sign. The traveler cannot come to terms with anything, he torments himself about it. The denial of fatality makes us degenerate more and more. Death is inevitable, but the ego cannot accept it. Therefore, it clings to fleeting pleasures – money, fame, relationships. A person comes into the world alone and will leave here also in complete solitude. You can’t change it, that’s the nature of things. However, the position of the card indicates an attempt to escape from oneself.
The Four of Swords, in the opposite form, asks questions: “What can I not come to terms with?” and “How to accept the situation?”. Often, people who failed to fulfill themselves at a young age begin to behave strangely when they get old. They can wear inappropriate clothes for the occasion, flirt with young boys and girls. Everyone around sees and understands the absurdity of the situation, but not the person himself. It is very painful for her to realize the inner emptiness and lost time. The reversed Four of Swords shows this struggle with time in itself.
Four of Swords: Combination with other Tarot Cards
Advice and Warning of the Four of Swords Card
If the card lay down upright, then she advises to let go of the situation. Now nothing can be done, you just have to observe from the sidelines and analyze. The Four of Swords speaks of the importance of retreating for a while, taking a step to the side. Slowing down will help put your thoughts in order, consider a plan for future actions. The card also warns that all attempts to reject or refuse anything will lead to undesirable consequences. A person will have to accept, accept the real state of affairs. No matter what he does, no matter how hard he tries to get things off the ground, nothing will come of it anyway.
The reversed Four of Swords, on the contrary, advises not to give up. You should stir up the past, bother with questions and your ideas. The querent is able to get to the bottom of the true reason for what is happening. You can also be guided by not too chivalrous qualities – importunity and ruthlessness. If the reversed Four of Swords is read as a warning, then the meaning changes. Now the person will be bothered by someone from outside. Enemies will try to take revenge, will in every possible way piss off the querent. You can not succumb to manipulation, show at least some interest.
Four of Swords: Daily Card Meaning
The meaning of the Four of Swords upright as a card of the day will be positive. The questioner will be able to retire and find peace for a while. Days are suitable for thinking about important plans, ideas. The surrounding people will not interfere. The querent will feel peace in the soul, satisfaction from the work done. You can safely go to rest, do nothing else. All cases can be settled on time, the personal presence of the fortuneteller will not be needed. Sometimes the card directly shows visits to crypts and cemeteries. It can be either a trip to the deceased relatives, or just a walk in a similar place. Despite the apparent danger, the cemetery can calm you down, make you think about the eternal.
If the card fell upside down, then the Four of Swords shows a difficult day. Some important situation will hang today. The person will not receive an answer and instructions for further action. The querent will feel abandoned, rejected. This state can also be dictated by internal problems. In any case, it will be difficult for the questioner to endure loneliness. Thoughts will become chaotic, will develop into negative scenarios for the future. There will be a sense of meaninglessness of what is happening.