Four of Swords

Number: 53/4

Element: Air

Astrological Association: Jupiter in Libra

Key Meanings: Rest, passivity, and quiet time

The Four of Swords in Tarot stands for rest, contemplation, and quiet preparation. All the Swords cards represent some form of trials and challenges, and the Four of Swords is no different. It is a challenge to remain quiet.

Upright Meaning: The Four of Swords has the meaning of time out, so you may be taking a rest from work, a personal project, or a relationship. The card often comes up in readings in the past or present position to show taking a break from a relationship and also the need for recovery from illness or an operation. Commonly, as a prediction card, the Four of Swords shows recovery from stress, so the message is to conserve your energy and take quiet time if you can.

The solitude of the Four of Swords can also apply to meditators and lightworkers and any individual following a spiritual path. You may need more mental space and private time than usual, so in this sense, the card is a nudge to take some alone to recharge.

An additional meaning of the card is counseling or therapy and, rarely, attending a memorial service.

Reversed Meaning: When the Four of Swords reverses, the time-out message is enforced—so you may have to take time away from work or other responsibilities due to influences out of your control. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to alter this situation, so you must surrender to events. This is a phase, and the message is to find peace. Use the time positively. You may need to rethink your working arrangements or come to terms with changes in a relationship, particularly if you live apart from a partner or potential love.

About the Deck: “Ciro Marchetti’s Tarot of Dreams” from