Four of Swords Tarot Card Meanings

Four of Swords tarot card image
Meaning Indicator


Four of Swords’ Upright & Reversed Meanings

Four of Swords (Reversed, Lacking)

Ideas: Engagement, vigor, wakefulness

Traits: Active, decisive, energetic, hardworking, practical, punctual, resourceful

Emotions: Eagerness, enthusiasm, excitement, homesickness

  • Actions:
    • Fighting fatigue
    • Making use of your revitalized mental resources
    • Putting your plans into action after thinking over them
    • Recapping what you have learned during your break
    • Tackling problems with rejuvenated mental state
    • Waking up refreshed and energized
Four of Swords (Upright, Balanced)

Ideas: Meditation, truce, withdrawal

Traits: Calm, contemplative, independent, passive, private, quiet, religious, solitary, unhurried

Emotions: Enjoyment, gladness, hope, longing, pleasure, relief

  • Actions:
    • Letting go of problems and resting the mind in a calm manner
    • Occupying your thoughts with a healthy distraction
    • Pausing to meditate or clear your mind
    • Praying for the best for your next endeavor
    • Recharging your mind and body
    • Retreating to somewhere without people for the time being
    • Taking time to understand someone or something before criticizing it
    • Thinking long and hard
Four of Swords (Upright, Excessive)

Ideas: Idleness, lateness, oversleeping

Traits: Aimless, apathetic, asocial, bland, complacent, forgetful, hesitant, indecisive

Emotions: Alienation, contentment, isolation, nervousness, satisfaction

  • Actions:
    • Becoming unwilling to work or use energy
    • Failing to become interested in things outside your comfort zone
    • Falling behind schedule
    • Mistaking procrastination for thoughtfulness
    • Refusing to reconsider your conclusions, even when presented with refuting evidence
    • Sleeping longer than intended

Four of Swords’ Advice

Personal Growth

A mature person knows the value of stillness. Before taking action, set aside time to simply be. Associate calmness and focus with specific postures or breathing patterns, and you’ll be able to summon a clear state of mind on demand.


Taking a break from each other might restore some perspective. Rather than over-analyze everything, clear your mind and take things at face value for once. If you can’t achieve peace together, there’s no shame in saying you need a rest.


Running at top speed all the time wears down the most capable individuals. Insist on time to recharge your creative batteries. On even the most hectic days, steal ten minutes to be still and disconnect. See time off as an investment in maintaining your sharp edge.


Withdrawal from the world can help you achieve remarkable perspective. Schedule time for quiet contemplation. Rather than ponder solutions, just breathe—and let spirit sort things out.

Four of Swords’ Symbols & Insights

The Still Figure

On the original Rider–Waite–Smith cards, the figure of the sleeping knight is easily mistaken for a decorative touch on a stone sarcophagus. Or, perhaps, he’s asleep—but with one Sword at the ready, just in case. The message? Even in rest, be prepared for action.

Three and One

The three Swords remaining on the wall suggest the knight’s rest is a deliberate one—a course of action deliberately chosen. The single Sword in hand suggests opportunity. What opportunities might open for you if you made a conscious decision to integrate relaxation into your routine?

Quiet Thoughts

Quiet time can be used for research and personal growth, enhancing the work you do when more physically active.

The Marseilles Image

The curved blades form a protective barrier in which a new blossom can flourish. How might a retreat or a withdrawal provide you with a protected space in which to grow?

More About Four of Swords Tarot Card

Don’t make any decision now.
Wait, and you’ll be glad you did.
Between October 13 and October 22
“I think before taking action.”
Numerology Number
(the status quo: stability, equality, persistence)
Astrology Element
Astrology Planet in Sign
Jupiter in Libra
The main character withdraws and spends time in quiet contemplation before taking action.
Questions to Ask
How long has it been since you deliberately took a “time out?”
How difficult is it for you to meditate?
What would happen if you simply refused to make a decision today?
Related Pages
Tarot Card Meanings Guide
Exploring Today’s Tarot
Consulting the Tarot
Traditional Tarot Card Meanings
Thirteen Fun Things to Do with Tarot Cards
Where to Go to Learn More
More Tarot Card Meaningss