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Gentle time will heal our sorrows.”  



In a sanctuary, a Knight in his armor is laying down on a tomb-like stone slab. Right beneath him lies one horizontal sword, while three others are hanging over the wall.

At first glance, calm sense of quiet solitude is immediately felt. The Four of Swords represents a time of rest and recuperation after a major battle. The Knight is still wearing his armor, which suggests he is recharging for his next challenge.

Transition from the Three of Swords to the Four shows us the journey from trauma to healing. In a reading, this card simply says: Take a break! And not just to gain your energy back from the emotional tension and mental strain accumulated from going through a painful loss, but also to reflect upon the lessons to gain new perspectives.

Living in the modern world, power of inaction is something that eludes us more and more. Doesn’t it always seem like we always must keep the wheels turning, that hitting the pause button is never an option?

Rest and renewal are the times to contemplate the direction of our path. When the constant distractions and demands of the daily life switch over into stillness, our deepest parts of ourselves rise to the surface. Reflecting upon these parts helps us to choose a more loving, peaceful and healthier direction for ourselves.

Number 4 represents persistence, stability and responsibility.


Four of Swords Keywords

  • Rest
  • Contemplation

  • Healing

  • Isolation



  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Restlessness

Upright Four of Swords

Guidance: The Four of Swords indicates that you’ve been through a lot recently. In order to release all the stress and hurt you experienced, you need some time of calmness and stillness to rejuvenate yourself. Take this time to do whatever helps you to restore your inner peace and balance: whether is meditating, praying, getting in touch with nature of spending time with your loved ones. Gently and lovingly reflect on your life to change the things that made you unhappy. You will know when you feel ready to get back out in the world again.

Love: In the past, you had felt deeply hurt and heartbroken over a break-up, divorce or a separation. Now it is more about loving and healing yourself, before you dive into solving problems in your love life. By allowing time for some healthy solitude, you can realign yourself with your needs and values again. It will also help you to assess your weaknesses, fears and doubts, things that you wish to overcome and improve. If you are single, in order to create the love you deserve, you need the same time of introspection to align yourself with your core values. When you truly love yourself and heal the past, a new, healthy relationship will be on your doorstep.

Work/Finances: The Four of Swords shows effects of pressure, stress and overworking in your work life. You push yourself too far and need a break. Perhaps you feel pressured to get back on your feet after a loss, or you are stuck in a rut. Even though the time to rest feels like an unnecessary pause you cannot afford, a calm and clear mind will help you find the solutions to a lot of your problems. Besides, you need all your energy and focus to able to keep moving forward. Don’t make big financial decisions unless you evaluate thoroughly.

Health: The Four of Swords means recovery and rest. You may have gone through an illness or a period of stress and emotional trauma recently. The need to rest is not just psychical, you need to rest your mind and soul as well.  For the sake of your wellbeing, it is time to set a barrier between you and the negative situations and emotions that surrounded you for some time.

Spirituality: This card invites you for a quiet, peaceful time of isolation and self-reflection. When you go through a difficult period in your outer life, you should always check back within you to figure out how all this is affecting your soul. Your soul transforms with your mind, intellect and emotions; and it is only fair to listen to its needs and advice as well.

Guidance: Now that the difficult times are behind, instead of resting and taking care of yourself for a while, you are diving into new things. This is only creating more exhaustion because you can’t really distract yourself from issues unless you solve them. If you don’t want the same painful situations and mistakes to repeat in the future, you need to go deep within yourself and fix them with patience, self-love and respect.

Love: You’ve been through a recent heartbreak, and you are refusing to take a break to think things through.  If you don’t let yourself fully heal emotionally, you are not ready to communicate again or deal with the aftermath. It will only create more hurt and conflict for both sides. If you are single, take it slow. You are just coming out of your isolation in the hopes of finding love again. Don’t stress yourself rushing around, building healthy relationships takes patience.

Work/Finances: The Four of Swords reversed warns you about a burnout. Don’t dismiss how tired and stressed you are, it may be more than the kind of fatigue you feel after a long day of work. Sometimes all you need is to clear your head a bit, but it can also be an indication of a highly stressful, demanding and even toxic work environment/situation which you need to detach yourself from. If you step back and rest a little, you will recognize much better opportunities with a clear mind.

Health: Your body and mind are signaling you to take a break, but for some reason you are not listening. If you don’t allow yourself time to recuperate, it can have more serious consequences. The Four of Swords encourages you to detach yourself from stress and exhaustion, in any way you can. Try to take some time off work and other things that require your attention for a while if necessary.

Spirituality: It is understandable that you want to move away from the suffering and heartbreak you experienced, but it is not going to disappear by ignoring or repressing it. By diving into more noise, chaos and stimulation of the outside world, you can only distract yourself for a short time. Listen to your soul’s voice, it only wants you to heal your wounds, not remind you the pain.

Reversed Four of Swords

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