About Four of Swords
Meaning in Tarot
I love this card, particularly the Morgan-Greer (center card image below) version of it wherein the acorn symbolism sings of the promise of seeds (ideas) planted in the fertile soil of a dreaming (imaginative) mind where they eventually take root and manifest (ideas into reality). The four of swords is about sitting back and contemplating the consequences of our actions. This is also a card that signifies taking no action and taking stock of the thoughts that have morphed our lives (and the effect they will have upon our future).
A million years ago, I was in medical school where I picked up the term “supine.” It’s the physical position of our figurehead in this card; he’s laying supine. The word describes the position, but the word supine also means inactive and passive.
Keywords for the Four of Swords Tarot Card Meaning:
That’s the primary avenue we can travel upon in this card. When this card solemnly surfaces in our reading we must take effort to quiet the din (internal and external) and become passive. This is a time to let intuitive waves move of their own accord within our energy. No action is needed.
There are spiritual undertones in the four of swords Tarot card, meaning our faith will support this time of soul-hibernation. No matter how demanding our situation is, or how strongly we are pulled to take action – this card insists we must be still. And, Higher energies will honor that stillness by keeping events at bay while we take the time cocoon our souls.
Note in traditional versions (Rider-Waite, far right card image), we see one foundational sword while the other three are suspended above the figurehead. This is a symbolic cue; there is one issue, one thought dominating the querent’s energy. The three down-pointing swords indicate focus on that one thought while in a prayerful (supplicating), meditative manner in order to manifest solutions to that prime theme.
The four of swords Tarot card meaning is often expressed when we have gone through a time of battle (hence, the armor). It beckons us to retreat within our deeper selves for recuperation. We can do this by diving into our dream worlds, where we are nourished by the loving motions of our highest energies and life-giving imaginations.
Some featured symbols in the Four of Swords Tarot card meaning:
Armor: The symbolic meanings of armor deal with protection, preparation, and strength. Most Tarot deck renditions depict all the knights in full armor (knights typically representing action and strength). The armor indicates a need to protect ourselves when engaging in activities referenced in a reading. In this case, it indicates we are battle-worn, it’s time for a truce. Get more about armor meaning in Tarot here.
Stained Glass: Stained glass is symbolic of perception and how our vision (mental, physical, and spiritual) can change according to our perception and beliefs. The art of staining glass reaches back to ancient alchemy when certain compounds (i.e.: antimony windows) were mixed with glass to bring about transformational effects upon the viewer. When you seem to be looking through the stained glass windows of your reading, it’s a sign to begin getting honest about your perception of the situation. Are you seeing things clearly, or looking at things through “rose-colored glasses?”
Questions the Four of Swords asks us:
- Do I have enough faith to drop my action, and take a passive/meditative stance in this situation?
- What is the focus of my prayer life, and is my physical life aligned with that focus?
- Am I battle weary? What methods of recuperation can I explore to heal myself?
- Does my inner vision match my outer reality? What can I do to get a better match?
- What does the word ‘supplication’ mean to me?