Four of Swords

Give yourself a break

Like the Two, the Four of Swords is about quieting your mind. Here, though, it is purely about rest.

Like our bodies, our minds need rest in order to recuperate strength. You don’t reach your answers by only thinking, thinking, thinking, but by thinking, resting, then maybe thinking some more. It is in periods of rest that some of the best ideas are born, when the mind is left to its own imaginative devices and has the space to process in its own way. (In this sense, the Four of Swords can point to creativity and lateral thinking.)

This card is imbued with a spiritual tranquility and stillness. Sometimes showing a person resting inside a church interior, it points to the kind of rest we can get when our souls are at peace. We tune out from the bustle and in to a more spiritual, inner peace. The Four of Swords can lead us to a deeper spiritual practice, allowing us to overcome a chattering, worrying ego and feel peaceful and connected.

In a reading…

This card often appears when a person is tired. It says “hey, you’re tired! Take a break.”

Chill out. Really, give your mind a rest. If you’re deep in studies, if you’ve been engaged in some kind of battle, give yourself a break and allow your mind some time to recuperate. The Four of Swords can be a holiday or a change of scene. It can be sleep. It can be retreat. It can be a Netflix binge. It can be going camping.

Practice basic self-care, especially if you feel stressed right now. The simple things: Breathe. Stretch. Take a nap. Drink water. Stop for a moment and have a quiet cup of tea.

Like the Two, the Four of Swords applies its lesson to online life. Again, unfollow, unfriend, mute or block. Turn off your phone, your emails. Take a social media hiatus. Or get off the internet entirely – sometimes you can just get too much information. Slow things down by getting rid of the incessant need to click and scroll, close your eyes, or lift them to the horizon outside.

If there are spiritual practices that you find calming, do these. Allow your mind to be still as you do something magical, or creative, or devotional, something that comes from a place other than the mind. If you enjoy exercise, then physical activity – the kind that requires no thought – is recommended now. Even if you’re not into exercise, getting into nature is still a good idea, getting you out of your head and opening up other kinds of awareness.