Four of Swords

Element: AIR

Upright: Feeling Overwhelmed, Withdrawal, Recovery
Reversed: Awakening / Exhaustion, Breakdown

Symbology, Meaning and Interpretation


Feeling Overwhelmed, Withdrawal, Recovery.

The Four of Swords portrays a warrior lying down on a golden tomb-like structure. At first, he may look dead, but he is, in fact, resting, recovering from a harsh battle.

He seems to be inside a church or monastery, a sacred place with healing powers according to the Christian faith. Therefore, this card indicates that the stress and anxiety are upon you, and you desperately need to retreat and recuperate your full strength.

In life, some battles fret us for so long that the only way to win is to abandon the battlefield and rethink the strategy. Withdrawal is the best solution we have, otherwise we will feel drained and weak and much easier to defeat.

Do not push yourself to the limit, have a break and devote time to rest and to clear your mind. Returning to the fight fully recovered will give you confidence and strength to reach a victorious outcome.

If you are thinking of starting new projects, you probably need to put them on hold for now. You really need to rest and relax and avoid worrying about money, work, family, or other issues that might trouble you.

Do not allow your busy schedule to overwhelm you, so make a break between tasks. You may take a little longer but at least you will have the necessary energy to complete them all.


Awakening / Exhaustion, Breakdown.

The Four of Swords in reverse affirms that you are ready to return to your personal battles. If you spent the necessary time renewing energies and strength, you can go back, slowly, to your duties. You will certainly recognise the differences between now and how you felt before.

On the other hand, this card suggests that you are extremely tired and if you do not stop now, you will get ill. The card in this position appears as an alarm; it is demanding to put everything on hold and take some rest.

In some interpretations, it implies that you are already ill, physically, or mentally, and everything has already stopped against your will. Now you have no other choice than to retreat and start the healing process. You must respect this time of recovery until the end – the setbacks could delay both your healing process and your projects on hold.