The 4 of Swords is the card of stillness. This card predicts a time in your life when you feel as though everything has paused.
You will feel as though everything in your life has come to a complete stop. The plans which you have made previously will not come to fruition. Projects will not get finished and work will not be done. You will not want to spend time with other people during this time; you will choose to or will be forced into isolation.
Time spent recovering is a another common interpretation for the 4 of Swords. You will go through a time of rest. Stop to take care of yourself and your emotional needs during this time. You must practice self care and put yourself first.
Naturally one must ask what type of situation would cause you to need rest. Perhaps you will go through an illness, a breakup, or are over stressed and just need that extra time to recover. Grief after a death is also a possibility. Proceeding cards will give clues to the reasons behind the need for such serious self-care.
Although the 4 of Swords is a rather neutral card, seeing it in the future or outcome position of a Tarot spread can be a bad omen; it means that you’ll need to spend time recovering from the situation you’re reading about (which implies that it won’t end well).
I see the 4 of Swords in Tarot readings quite a lot now-a-days and I think it is because everyone always seems to be keeping their brains busy smart phones. If this is you, your cards are saying that you need a break. Perhaps this card in your reading could be a sign that you’re needing a little electronic and social media detox?
If the 4 of Swords appears as a positive, all it means is that you will get the time you need to recharge your batteries. However, if this card appears as a negative or challenge, it can mean that you have a habit of sulking and feel sorry for yourself. You’re in the habit of throwing yourself a self-pity party.
The Four of Swords’ Historical Meaning
The 4 of Swords was read the same historically as it is currently; it represented solitude, retreat and hermitude.
The Four of Swords in a Love Reading
For love readings, the 4 of Swords can be positive or negative; it pretty much depends on the overall tone and feel of the reading.
The 4 of Swords can mean that your lover wants to spend time by themselves. Alternatively, you might need space away from your partner. This can mean that you’re disliking each other and need to spend time apart. Or if your relationship is solid it can just mean that you’re both so wrapped up in other things that you don’t have time for each other. Usually, I would say that the 4 of Swords represents a short period of time; the break won’t last forever.
If you’re wondering what your partner is feeling or what their intentions are, the 4 of Swords may be a sign that you need to back off a bit. You’re coming on too strong (or will in the future) and this is off-putting to your partner or potential love interest. Give them space. If you want to know more about your partner's level of commitment to you and what their intentions are, I have interpretations for these issues in my Love Tarot Meanings e-book.
The Four of Swords in a Business Reading
In business and career related Tarot readings, I usually see the 4 of Swords as a warning. You’re devoting too much time to your business and are about to experience burn out. You need to manage your time better and only do the tasks which are 100% necessary. Your projects will not be successful because you’re burning the candle at both ends. You must take time off, practice self-care and, even, hire someone who can take the repeated tasks off your plate.
The Four of Swords as a Yes or No
The 4 of Swords is pretty neutral for most questions
The Four of Swords as a Positive
In a positive reading, the Four of Swords can predict;
- Time spent alone recharging your batteries
- Much needed rest
- Time away from social media
- Time to reflect
The Four of Swords as a Negative
In a more negative reading, the Four of Swords can predict;
- A death
- An illness
- Forced rest
- Time spent away from others
- A time when you’re antisocial
If you’re curious what your lover (or potential lover’s) feelings and intentions are towards you, below I have a free Intentions Tarot Guide. The Intentions Tarot Guide includes tips, spreads and meanings which will reveal what your partner is feeling about you and your relationship. This guide is 100% free and downloadable on mobile, tablet and computer!