(The above image is a copy of The Four of Swords card in a standard Rider-Waite Tarot deck. The 4 symbols pointed out above are explained below.)
While the Three of Swords was about trauma, the Four of Swords is about the repose after the trauma. Perhaps you have gone through a terrible break up or just quit your job. The Four of Swords illustrates that ambiguous purgatory between decisions. The card encourages you to rest, meditate in order to make an informed decision on how to move forward.
For more information about The Four of Swords card, check out A. E. Waite’s description here.
Point 1 – PRONE FIGURE
The main figure in the Four of Swords is a prone knight preserved in a coffin. The prone position offers a few interpretations. On one hand, the figure is preserved as a valiant knight, their hands in a position of prayer and meditation. On the other hand, the figure is paralyzed and stagnant in their spiritual growth. It is up to the reader to interpret the figure’s position positively or negatively.
Point 2 – SWORDS
Three of the swords in the card hang above the prone knight, pointing at his torso, while one of the swords is laid in the coffin. The three swords illustrate the hardships faced by the knight while he was a live. The lone sword illustrates the knight’s singular focus and effort to overcome the hardships.
Point 3 – MOSAIC
Above the knight, on the wall of the church, there is a mosaic window. The mosaic represents many of the themes found throughout tarot. The picture is separated, yet united, fragmented yet beautiful. Through the lens of the mosaic, much like the lens of tarot, people are able to see the wonders of life.
Point 4 – WORD PAX IN THE MOSAIC
In the top left corner, the Latin word for peace, pax, is written in the mosaic. This signifies that the knight’s death is not a tragic, mournful event. The knight is at peace. He fought the good fight and is now at rest.
An Upright Four of Swords is an invitation to rest and recharge. Perhaps you have undergone a major event or even trauma. It is important that you take time to process that information before you proceed. In our fast-paced world, we are told to go, go, go, go. The Four of Swords reminds us of the virtue of staying still and reflecting.
While an Upright Four of Swords suggests that you have just gone through something, a Reverse Four of Swords suggests that you are currently going through something. Perhaps you are overworked or manic about something. A Reverse Four of Swords encourages you to take a step back and retreat to your inner sanctuary. You must rest in order to fulfill the thing you are working so hard at.
For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our blog here.
About the author: John Taylor is a content writer and freelancer through the company Upwork.com. You may view his freelancing profile here. He has a B. A. in English, with a specialty in technical writing, from Texas A&M University and a M. A. in English from the University of Glasgow. You may view his previous articles about Tarot here and his LinkedIn profile here.