This card announces a timeout like a judge on the field. Her main message is the meaninglessness of the struggle at the moment. Forcing events or confrontation with other people is now not only inappropriate, but also practically impossible. All attempts to dramatically change the existing order of things will not lead to anything. This card always assumes a deferment.
The Four of Swords is a map of peace and detachment, it absolutely excludes vanity. Its main values are solitude and isolation, exile and retreat, delay and temporary care. In business – no progress. Her main advice is to use this time to relax, think about recent situations, regain strength and health, and plan the future more wisely. This card responds extremely accurately to the state of incapacity – in a wide variety of meanings and manifestations, from subtly psychological to completely medical cases.
Four of Swords is considered to be, if not “bad”, then “not very good” card. The reason for such an assessment is most likely that the consciousness of a Western person is generally very vain, a state of inaction and contemplativeness is alien to him and acts upon him dismally – what kind of prostration is this? Our consciousness as a whole is focused on more or less productive activity, circulation in the flow of events and occupations, acceleration of the course of affairs, it constantly requires some kind of “action”, like a squirrel in a wheel.
Each Arkan has its own experience and its own lesson. In this case, it is the experience of proteins that fell out of the wheel (sometimes literally in the sediment). For most people, this is displeasure and shock, and only in rare cases is this card rejoiced as an opportunity to detach yourself, collect your thoughts, be alone with yourself and take a breath. This is a precious respite, a very necessary time-out, a granted refuge from the hustle and bustle, even if the person himself painfully experiences them as exile, something called retreat. But one who is among the hard work, usually sees the Four of Swords as manna from heaven. No wonder in the old days this card was called “the small mercy of Swords” – they rest. This is planning of actions in hermit loneliness, preparation of consciousness for a new round.
The Four of Swords is a map of stagnation, interrupted activity and forced rest. In this sense, it resembles the map of the Hanged Man, but its difference from it is that it is associated with specific events: the obstacles or difficulties pointed to by the Four are usually simple and understandable, and overcoming them does not require us to reverse all life principles. This position is akin to a disease, which also constitutes one of the meanings of the map. We are forced to interrupt active activities, to pause. Whether we suffer or try to use this pause to deal with ourselves depends only on us. At the same time, it is clear that we can use the pause for work on ourselves, but we would hardly be able to arrange it for ourselves voluntarily.
Four of Swords is neither a passing nor a random card. It is always a strong sign. Often it falls out after a period of confusion and stress, when a person just needs to “comb her hair”, rest, recharge, take care of herself (and ideally – go on vacation). It is the timely departure from the field that allows him to return to it, and the Four of Swords clearly makes it clear that now solitude and tranquility are most needed. But for a person this state is often not planned at all, and therefore is perceived as an annoying dependence on circumstances.
The map says that since there is nothing in the outside world right now that would be worth the efforts of the questioner, it makes sense to use this period wisely for internal integration and recovery. Surrounding maps will also give a lot of information about what preceded and followed.
According to the Four of Swords, reflections are going confidently, planning future actions with external passivity, in more rare cases – a couple of sleepless nights over some project, with the disappearance of “from the radar screens” of those around you. Sometimes the card indicates that the questioner is faced with some kind of problem, over which he will have to think carefully, using his whole mind and life experience.
The traditional meanings of the Quartet of Swords are exile, imprisonment, exile, also refuge, refuge.
Meditative and inert. Perhaps the person is just sick or tired, and therefore lay down on the bottom. But it can also be peace of mind, useful thoughts alone, a creative pause. “Productive link”, which becomes a period of recuperation and preparatory work for the future, deep thinking through the issues.
The man of the Four of Swords may seem constrained and awkward, alienated and depressed, exhausted and weakened; he is characterized by physical and emotional isolation, the need to protect himself from the outside world.
Abstraction from problems and fuss, avoiding the corresponding emotions, returning to oneself (especially together with the Hermit). Contemplation, solitude, restoration of internal balance. Meditation (its forms can be very diverse), rest, spiritual practices. On this map, a person is removed from the pain and struggle to rest and heal. Like all Fours, it carries a stabilization and stopping momentum. The four are preceded by the bitter Troika of Swords, so most likely it is a recovery after decent stress, pain, fear, confusion, something that has exhausted the soul and body.
This card has a special relationship to churches and temples. She can describe the condition of a person seeking redemption, forgiveness, communion, sincerely repenting, contemplating a past life and developing a main line for the future. This card “loves” people who have battle incarnations in their karmic assets and who are now living in a particularly quiet life, with an emphasis on the water trigon of houses in the horoscope. In this regard, the images of the Weite deck are striking in their “hits”. The wave, on the crest of which the soul had once been, ebbed away, and for a time he was left without strength and without an active desire for a goal. It is characteristic that the nimbus of Jesus in the stained glass window, under which the knight rests, contains the word PAX – rest, peace. Still, Pax is not Requiem aeternam. This is rest, not death. This is the mystery of forced rest in solitude, self-knowledge and renewal through silent inner suffering. A temporary sleep of the soul, once a restless, latent period (“sleeping beauty”).
I can not but recall the words of Anouk at the grave of Peggy Guggenheim in Venice: “Here rests Peggy Guggenheim … Yeah, rests. Knowing her – rest, but everyone will set the heat! ”This is the mystery of the Four of Swords.
This is one of the cards that shows the inner state of consciousness, when the “sword” of various activities has come: it’s time to think about the soul. In astrology, this is the XII house. In the XII home, a person contemplates and interprets past experience and his place in the world, and his external activity is noticeably limited, so that nothing distracts him from this vital activity.
He is given a place and time to be alone with one another, to see the true essence of past situations and to prepare for the coming events and experiences. XII House is a place of healing old wounds, atonement of karmic debts and laundering of karmic crimes (not for nothing, the previous Arkan is the Troika of Swords, the Lord of Pain, caused to us or caused by us). This imprisonment can be internal, spiritual, and perhaps external – the Four of Swords is one of the strongest indicators of hospitalization and imprisonment.
Well, Prison, Hospital, Monastery – this is how XII house is described in ancient astrology. Forced prolonged pause, “imprisonment”, the monastery of the spirit – you will not leave until you otmolish. Higher forces “laid” for the sake of peace, rest, restoration and purification of consciousness, for the sake of preparation for a new chapter of life. Arkan’s symbolism is often perceived rather negatively, a person makes unsuccessful attempts to “break the ring”, “break free”, but this was not the case.
True obstacles are inside; external circumstances are only a reflection of this. Both the Four of Swords and XII house symbolize a powerfully protected magical space. It is not for nothing that a person is given from above, and it is not for nothing that it is so well protected – the soul passes the science of its own sufferings here, this is the tomb and the cradle at the same time, the place of accumulation, concentration and transformation, a very important transformation must take place in this confined space.
Recall the previous Mystery is the Troika of Swords. In the Four, there is a deliverance from suffering, grief heals itself, the cosmic consciousness concentrates on the main problem of the personality, the main pain. It is precisely this that closes a person “to the castle” in order to avoid premature defeat (and the ego can be outraged and protest). On whether we take the lesson of the Four of Swords in full or will insist on early release, depends on what role will be ours on the next Arcane – Five of Swords. Will we be those who triumph in the upcoming battle, because they have gained spiritual maturity and strength, or those who were defeated because of the lack of readiness and rashness with which he hurried to get involved in a new fight (or drama).
On the lasso we see a knight lying on a gravestone with hands folded in prayer. Three swords above it correspond to the fourth, fifth and sixth chakras – in accordance with the Masonic tradition, their points point to the head, throat and heart, which correspond to the wounded places of the builder of the Temple of Solomon, Hiram Abiff. These three chakras correspond also to the cogito, verbo et opere (“thinking, word and deed”) mentioned in the traditional formula of repentance for sins. Jupiter in Libra teaches mercy and justice, harmony and impartiality in assessing the events taking place, in short, to all that which our hero lacked so much in the past.
At the metaphysical level, the Four of Swords symbolizes a constructive act, and not an inaction at all. The hermit, shutting himself in his cell and plunging into self-contemplation and prayer, is not at all idle – he is very busy. By the way, we all know perfectly well that in a state of intense internal employment (focusing on some kind of thought or feeling) external employment is unproductive – everything literally falls out of hand. This is “work at rest” – an internal search in the silence of the cell. The card’s symbolism is such that the attention is drawn to three swords (spiritual, divine: they can also be interpreted as the “Three Swords” – suffering or past sufferings, perceived mistakes), and the fourth sword (earthly force) remains inactive.
In the space of the Four of Swords, a person takes an exam to himself. At the level of Mercury, the stabilizing Four of Swords contains in itself the whole regularity of the causal structure of the world. Everything is conditioned by thought. The same causes have the same consequences. The map indicates the connection with the internal tutor, the conductor (one of the roles of Mercury is psychopomp, “the conductor of souls”), mediumship, access to some important energy-information channels. This is retreat, “the planet in exile,” the need to reason, to work, to plan. This imprisonment must be used to come to oneself, analyze the experience and enter a new phase, without repeating previous mistakes.
It is believed that the map corresponds to the third decade of Libra, which represents the most comprehensively the idea of partnership – the idea of the harmony of human relationships as an analogue of higher laws. The concepts of justice, good and morality, as well as calm optimism, sense of humor and attentive attitude towards people are inherent in this decade. This decade is ruled by Jupiter, which presents those born in this decade not only with the advantages listed above, but also with compromise (the case when only social norms and the principle of "what’s up and down" perceived too literally).
This decade is also inclined to see only the highest harmony in the world, often turning a blind eye to the fact that the truth has not yet come into the world, and that it should be really humane should work hard. Representatives of this decade, in order not to become a traitor to their own ideals, must more often listen to the inner voice of their own conscience, but in order not to repeat Don Quixote’s path, they must specifically consider the realization of their ideals. After an unsuccessful attempt to reach the number Three at the level of matter and "landing"or, more precisely, smacking into the ground, the Force (understood metaphysically) finds an acceptable compromise in the form of a reliable and practical Four.
Of course, it is limited, but at the moment it does not really matter, since this is a temporary respite before a new throw. At the level of the Quartet of Swords, there is a kind of rest, a cure after the struggle of delusions associated with the Troika of Swords. The ideal, of course, has not been achieved, God could not be brought to Earth, but an idol has already been carved, and the primary sympathetic connection between the deity and its earthly reflection has already been established. This is the moment of concentration, clarity, spiritual cleansing, restoring balance.
Light and shadow (advice and caution)
Tip: do not climb, do not worry, calm down, lie down on the bottom. Take care of yourself, stop and restore balance. Give yourself a rest. Critically review their goals and plans, once again weigh the forces. Abandon active and erratic actions, from spending any resources – monetary, nervous, and so on. Now more than ever prudence, caution, and savings are needed. It is useful to conduct self-examination for the healing of spiritual wounds. Showing calm and solitary period of being. “Taste the Silence,” set aside time for a respite, sleep, finally. At the right time, everything will happen by itself.
Warning: no time to sleep! Death delay is like. Sitting (lying) folded will impoverish life to impropriety. At the same time, the card may indicate the need to pay close attention to your health in order to avoid serious problems in the near future.