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Four of Swords - Tarot Card Meanings

Key Symbolism


a break, retreat, meditation, contemplation, passiveness, healing process, preparation for what is to come, restoring energy, sleeping over a matter, illness, unwanted break.

Four of Swords

Description and Symbolism


A knight is laying on a tomb that is placed in a church. His hands are positioned as if he is praying and his eyes are closed indicating that he seems to be in a meditative state. The knight and tomb are illuminated in a golden color - the color of illumination. Above him three swords are placed on the wall. A fourth sword is placed underneath him on the side of the tomb. The three swords hanging remind of the pain that he had to go through in the card before, or the battles that he had fought. The stained glass window shows a mother and her child in a pleasant scene. It indicates that here in the church the man finds protection and comfort.

General Meaning


The number four indicates stagnation or rest. The Four of Swords symbolizes a time for rest and retreat. It could mean that you need time for yourself and to take time to think something through. Maybe you take a break from your job or relationship or you just spend more time alone than usual. It can also indicate a waiting phase. Four of Swords can advise you to take a step back and just wait out a situation. This is not a time for action. You also might not be able to take action at this time. It can also symbolize a state of exhaustion or an unwanted break due to bad health for example.

Love Meaning

In a love reading Four of Swords can indicate a relationship break or just the need to spend some time in solitude without your partner. It could also represent a situation where a person does not take action because they don't know what to do. Something might have caused this person to 'pause'. They choose to just "wait it out". Four of Swords can also represent that someone is being ignored on purpose - in or after a fight for example. After a breakup it could mean that you take a break to process the past relationship before you start dating again.

As Feelings


If you ask how someone feels for you the Four of Swords can indicate that the person in question does not feel a lot right now, since they chose to withdraw and take a break. You could see it as a break from thinking of you. They might also feel like not knowing what to do, so they just 'wait'. Another interpretation could be that they feel like ignoring you.

© Illustrations from the Radiant Rider-Waite 2015 reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stanford, CT 06902. c. 2015 by U.S. Games Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

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