Four Of Swords Tarot Card Meaning: Upright & Reversed

One of my favorite cards, when drawn the Four of Swords asks for rest and recovery, as well as thinking about your situation. It shows a man resting after hardship, which reminds us of the necessity of taking a break, and meditating on your life. Now is a time for recuperation, and preparing your before facing the world again. But sadly, when reversed, the Four of Swords shows there could be restlessness, stagnation, and the need to leave your languor and attack life again.

To find out exactly what the Four of Swords has in store for you, then keep on reading!

NumerologyRepresents the number 4, symbolizing energy, intelligence, and confidence.
Zodiac SignLibra, emphasizing balance, peace, and recuperation.
Ruling PlanetVenus, highlighting love, beauty, and the restoration of harmony.
ElementAir, symbolizing mental rest, contemplation, and the need for quiet and peace in the mind.
Yes or NoOften considered a “Yes,” if it suggests taking a break and reflecting, but a “No” if action is required immediately.
CrystalsBlue Lace Agate and Lepidolite, promoting calm, peace, and stress relief during times of rest and contemplation.

Symbolism Of The Four Of Swords

  1. The Resting Man: A man lies in a state of rest, on a tomb or in a church-like setting. He shows the need for rest, reflection, and recovery. Now is a time to take a pause from life’s battles to gather strength and clarity.
  2. The Three Swords Above: Three swords hang above his head representing the challenges or conflicts that have led to the current need for rest. They can also symbolize the mental or emotional battles that he has faced.
  3. The Fourth Sword: The fourth sword lays beside the man, showing the peace and clarity gained through rest and contemplation. It reminds us that resolution and understanding are within reach, but only through taking a step back, and putting down your sword.
  4. The Stained Glass Window: The stained glass windows show, a religious or spiritual motif, hinting towards healing, spiritual guidance, and the support of a higher power. It represents the light of understanding and enlightenment that comes from introspection.
  5. The Architectural Elements: The architectural setting (often resembling a church or sanctuary) symbolizes a place of refuge, healing, and contemplation. It reminds us of the importance of creating a peaceful and sacred space for recovery.
Four Of Swords Symbolism

The Four Of Swords Upright Meaning

The Four of Swords in its upright position is about rest, relaxation and contemplation in life. If you’ve drawn it in your reading, it’s a sign that you may need to take a step back from the busyness of your daily routine to recharge and rejuvenate. It highlights the necessity of taking a pause for the sake of your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Rest is at the core of the Four of Swords, urging you to allow yourself a period of quiet and inactivity. This isn’t about laziness but about recognizing when your body and mind need a break. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s all too easy to keep pushing yourself until you’re on the brink of burnout. This card is a reminder that taking time to rest is not only beneficial but essential for maintaining your health and vitality. It’s a time to heal, to let your body and mind recover from the stresses and strains they’ve been under.

Relaxation, as encouraged by this card, is about finding peace and calm in your life. It might mean different things to different people; for some, relaxation comes from spending time in nature, for others, it might be reading a book or meditating. The Four of Swords invites you to explore what relaxation means to you and to make it a priority. It’s an opportunity to quiet the constant chatter of your mind and to find a sense of inner peace that will help you face future challenges with a clearer head.

Four Of Swords Upright Meaning

Contemplation is another significant aspect of the Four of Swords too. Now is an ideal time for reflection, to look inward and ponder your life’s direction and your personal growth. Take a moment to assess where you are and where you’re going, and give yourself the space to consider your goals and aspirations without the noise of your everyday environment. This period of contemplation can often lead to insights and revelations that guide your path forward.

And with that, recuperation and rejuvenation are the natural outcomes of heeding the advice of the Four of Swords. By allowing yourself this time to rest, you’re not only recovering from past exertions but also preparing yourself for what’s to come. It’s a process of rebuilding your strength and resilience, ensuring that when you do return to your activities, you’re more focused, energized, and ready to tackle your challenges with renewed vigor.

So, the Four of Swords is a gentle nudge to take care of yourself by stepping away from the demands of your external world. It encourages you to recognize the value of rest and contemplation, reminding you that true strength lies in knowing when to pause and replenish your spirit. By embracing this period of quiet and recovery, you’re not only honoring your need for rest but also setting the foundation for greater productivity and fulfillment in the future.

Love and Relationships

The Four of Swords when it comes to love signals a time to take a step back and reflect on your relationship or what you’re looking for in a partner. If you’re in a relationship, a period of quiet and rest could be beneficial for both of you. It’s an opportunity to recharge your emotional batteries and to think deeply about your relationship’s direction. For singles, it signifies a moment to pause and reflect on what you truly seek in a partner, emphasizing the importance of being at peace with yourself before entering a new relationship. This pause can help clarify your desires and expectations in love, leading to healthier connections in the future.

Career and Finances

When it comes to career and finances, the Four of Swords signals a time to take a break from your professional endeavors. If work has been particularly demanding, try to find moments of quiet to avoid burnout. It’s a period for contemplation on your career path, allowing you to strategize and plan with a clear mind. Financially, it suggests stepping back to assess your finances and to contemplate your long-term security without making any hasty decisions. This reflective pause can provide valuable insights into managing your resources more effectively.


Spiritually, the Four of Swords highlights the need for a retreat to deepen your connection with your inner self. It encourages taking time away from the noise of everyday life to engage in meditation, prayer, or any practice that allows you to explore your spiritual beliefs and values. It’s a HUGE call for introspection, offering a chance to discover insights and truths that lie within the silence. It reminds you that spiritual growth often happens in moments of stillness and solitude.

Yes or No

For a yes or no question, the Four of Swords is a ‘no,’ or at least suggests a delay. Now is not the time for action but for rest. Avoid making immediate decisions, instead take a period of contemplation and recovery before moving forward. Trust that this time of pause is necessary for your well-being and will ultimately lead to clearer, more informed choices in the future.

Book Recommendation – The Art Of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways To Make Time For Yourself by Veronique Vienne

If you’re like me, just letting yourself rest is extremely difficult. It’s like having a motor in your head that never stops. Well if that sounds familiar, then you need to read this book. It helps remind you that doing nothing isn’t a luxury but a necessity, and helps you see that sometimes by doing nothing you’re actually being productive.

The Four Of Swords Reversed Meaning

The reversal of the Four of Swords is a strong indicator of exhaustion and burnout. If you’ve been pushing yourself too hard, either mentally or physically, this card suggests that you’re nearing or have already reached a point of significant fatigue. It’s a warning not to ignore your limits; continuing to overextend yourself can lead to more serious health issues. Take your need for rest seriously, and give yourself permission to step back and recuperate before you’re forced to do so by circumstances beyond your control.

However, it isn’t just a warning sign; it also represents an opportunity for deep concentration and focused effort. In some cases, it shows that you’re ready to break out of a period of stagnation, using your renewed energy to concentrate deeply on a project or problem that requires your attention. And with the right approach to balancing rest and work, you can channel your energy more effectively, turning what might have felt like burnout into a productive phase of intense focus and creativity.

The card also sends a message about recovery and awakening. After a period of exhaustion and taking the necessary time to rest, you may find yourself experiencing a resurgence of energy and a new clarity of purpose. The Four of Swords reversed can signify an awakening to new ideas and perspectives, a rejuvenation of spirit that comes from having allowed yourself the time to pause and reflect. It’s a reminder that sometimes, stepping away from our daily routines and obligations can provide the space needed for significant personal growth and renewal.

Four Of Swords Reversed Meaning

Restlessness and the urge to move forward can also be brought to the fore by the Four of Swords reversed. You might find yourself feeling impatient with the pace of your recovery or eager to get back to your activities. While this restlessness is a sign that your energy is returning, it’s important to manage it wisely. Rushing back into full activity without proper recuperation can lead to setbacks. So find a balance, to gradually reintegrate into your usual pace while still honoring the need for rest and self-care.

So, the Four of Swords reversed can bring a whole range of meaning depending on the reading but don’t forget about the importance of acknowledging your limits, the necessity of rest and recovery. Listen closely to your physical and emotional needs, to allow yourself the space to heal from burnout, and to embrace the opportunity for deep concentration and awakening that can emerge from this process. By attending to your well-being with care and understanding, you can navigate through exhaustion towards a state of rejuvenation and renewed purpose.

Love and Relationships

The Four of Swords reversed for love shows you or your partner may be feeling the strain of neglected needs or exhaustion from giving too much. It’s a reminder to take stock of your emotions and ensure that both partners are supporting each other’s need for rest and recuperation. If your single, you might be feeling restless or eager to jump back into dating before you’ve fully recovered from past relationship wounds. Take this time to truly heal, so you’re ready to open your heart fully when the right person comes along.

Career and Finances

When it comes to finances and your career, the reversal of the Four of Swords shows you’re pushing too hard, and risking burnout in pursuit of your goals. It’s a signal to slow down and reassess your workload and commitments. Balancing your professional drive with necessary downtime is key to maintaining both your productivity and health. Financially, stress over money matters may be taking a toll on your well-being, so you should try to find a more balanced approach to managing your finances.


Spiritually, the Four of Swords reversed suggests a period of restlessness could be hindering your growth. You might be eager to advance on your spiritual path but find yourself too exhausted to fully engage. This card is a call to honor your need for spiritual rejuvenation. Allow yourself time to rest and reflect, understanding that spiritual development often requires periods of quiet contemplation as well as active pursuit.

Yes or No

For a yes or no question, the Four of Swords reversed is ‘no,’ particularly if the question involves pushing forward or expanding efforts. It highlights the need for rest and recovery before taking on new challenges. Listen to what your body and mind are telling you, understanding that sometimes the best action is inaction, allowing yourself the space and time to heal and recharge.

Book Recommendation – Bounce Back: Overcoming Setbacks To Succeed In Business And Life by john Calipari

While this book on the surface looks like it’s about business, the lessons you’re going to learn from it will help you in all areas of your life. It reminds us that resilience and recovery is one of the crucial steps to bouncing back and moving forward in life. As well as reminding you that setbacks are normally the best stepping stones in life.

Journaling Prompts For The Four Of Swords

Being a card that is all about rest and contemplation, if you’ve drawn it, then now is the perfect time to use the following journaling prompts:

  1. Think about a time when you consciously took a break to rest and rejuvenate. What prompted this period of rest, and how did you feel afterward?
  2. Think about a situation or experience from which you are currently healing. What steps are you taking to aid your recovery?
  3. Think about what healing means to you right now. How do you know when you have healed, and what practices support your healing journey?
  4. Have you ever gone through a period of solitude that led to greater mental clarity or insight. What did you learn about yourself during this time?
  5. Think about how past periods of rest have prepared you for future challenges. Can you identify ways that resting improved your resilience or capability?
  6. Think about your current balance between activity and rest. Are there signs that you need more rest, and how can you adjust your lifestyle to accommodate this?

Final Message Of The Four Of Swords

Embrace the pause. In the constant rush of life, pause becomes a luxury. Step away from the noise, retreat into a sanctuary of solitude, and grant yourself permission to simply be. Allow your mind and body to rest, recharge, and reconnect with your inner wisdom.

Confront your inner world. Don’t shy away from the thoughts and emotions that arise in the quietude. This pause is not just physical, but introspective. Delve deep within, explore the hidden corners of your psyche, and face any unresolved issues that may be hindering your progress.

Listen to the whispers of your soul. In the stillness, the voice of your intuition grows louder. Listen to its gentle nudges, the hunches that arise from within, and the subtle desires that tug at your heart. This quiet knowing holds the key to unlocking your authentic self and aligning your path with your deepest purpose.

Release tension and negativity. Just as a tightly clenched fist needs to relax, your spirit craves release. Use this pause to let go of anxieties, resentments, and burdens that weigh you down. Employ meditation, journaling, or any method that resonates with you to cleanse your emotional slate and create space for renewal.

Nurture creativity and self-expression. Don’t mistake this pause for passivity. Engage in activities that spark your imagination, like writing, painting, or simply indulging in hobbies you enjoy. Expressing yourself creatively allows emotions to flow and can unlock fresh perspectives and hidden talents.

And finally, emerge renewed. The Four of Swords is not a permanent retreat, but a necessary pit stop on your journey. After this introspective pause, you will emerge refreshed, rejuvenated, and equipped with the clarity and strength to navigate life’s challenges with renewed purpose.


To summarise, The Four of Swords upright signals a crucial time for rest and reflection. It’s a reminder that taking a break is essential for your well-being, urging you to pause, recharge, and contemplate your next steps. It emphasizes the importance of slowing down to heal and gain clarity before moving forward.

When reversed, the Four of Swords warns of potential burnout from overexertion and highlights the need for recovery. It also suggests an emerging readiness to end a period of rest, indicating a phase of renewed energy and focus. However, it advises proceeding with caution to avoid falling back into old patterns of exhaustion.

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About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio, Owner & Editor of the Fools Journey!

I've been reading Tarot Cards/Getting my tarot read for over 10 years now! For me, what started out as a bit of fun and scepticism, has since grown into such a passion for me.

Tarot Cards are not just a great source of inspiration, but also comfort, and I love using them to help get in touch with the higher powers that are here to guide me through life!

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