Four of Swords – Tarot Love Relationship Outcome & Reversed


Four of Swords

Four of Swords – Love and Relationship Outcome

The Four of Swords in a Tarot reading indicates that a relationship is at an end and there is some degree of acrimony that is weighing heavy on people and proposals have been taken back when one party just wants to put things to rest and spend sometime on their own.

In the reversed position thing can be worked out with circumspection and setting out the ground rules.

Four of Swords – As a Person, Outcome and Feelings

Solitude, repose, retreat, retiring from the world, “hermit’s repose” (Waite); gathering, collecting, taking home one’s savings or impressions, meditation, economy, avarice, precaution, testament, and the place occupied at the end of life, hermitage, grave, coffin. The place of the card in the horoscopic scheme indeed suggests the idea of being buried under the earth. A. E. Thierens, [1930]

Four of Swords

Pictorial Key to the Tarot – Rider-Waite-Smith
By A.E. Waite (1911), tarot card illustrations by Pamela Colman Smith (1911)


The effigy of a knight in the attitude of prayer, at full length upon his tomb.

Meanings Four of Swords in a Reading

Vigilance, retreat, solitude, hermit’s repose, exile, tomb and coffin. It is these last that have suggested the design.

Four of Swords – Reversed

Wise administration, circumspection, economy, avarice, precaution, testament.

Additional Divinatory Meanings
A bad card, but if reversed a qualified success may be expected by wise administration of affairs.

Additional Meanings – Reversed
A certain success following wise administration.

The Tarot

By S. L. MacGregor Mathers, c 1888

Four of Swords

Divinatory Meanings
Four of Swords – Solitude, Retreat, Abandonment, Solitary, Hermit.

Divinatory Meanings – Reversed
Economy, Precaution, Regulation of Expenditure.

General Book of the Tarot

By A. E. Thierens, [1930]

Four of Swords

Solitude, retreat, hermitage, exile, isolation, inhibited condition, abandonment. Tomb and coffin. Reversed: Economy, good conduct, circumspection, precaution, wise administration, testament, avarice, household, savings, order, etc.

The element of Earth on the Fourth house, house of the home and the sign Cancer. This immediately explains why this card has been said to stand for economy, savings, even avarice and household affairs as well as for many things in connection with the end of life, since the fourth house in the horoscope relates to the end of life, and to the inner side of life as long as this lasts. Tradition is once more very correct in this case. When it enumerates “concord, harmony, etc.,” amongst the synonyms of this card, however, there is some discrepancy, because the only thing that can be meant here is ‘repose’ or the condition of rest, as that of the grave, in which external differences are lost. So taken in the strictly etymological sense of the words, ‘concord,’ etc., have nothing to do with it. If in any case this card should relate to business, it certainly does not mean that anything like accord has been or will be reached, but that one of the parties retires or takes his proposals back. It may also relate to the condition of the soul, in which one harvests the results of material life in the world, whether spiritually, by meditation, or materially, by economy. In any case it points to a stillness and heavy condition of the mind. Further, to the tendency of collecting, gathering.

The Oracle of the Tarot – Exoteric Tarot

By Paul Foster Case (1933)

Four of Swords
The scales combined with the ankh remind us that a Qabalistic name for the number 4 is the measuring intelligence.

Time period
The last decanate of Libra, under the rulership of Mercury, from October 13th to October 22nd.

Rest from sorrow, yet after and through it; relief from anxiety; rest after illness; quietness; change for the better; success in legal affairs; association with others in Mercurial pursuits; strong mental attraction to a person of the opposite sex; activity in writing or short journeys.

Inharmony with partners; unsettled conditions in legal affairs; disorder and loss through ill-considered writings or needless short journeys; vexations through petty strifes and sarcastic speech.


Further reading

More information on the Four of Swords Tarot card.