As the four of Swords sits before us we are filled with a sense of melancholy and seriousness – In a sacred place a shielded knight lays still in dull earnest, with the Three Swords above his head and one beneath him, we see he requires respite from what/where he has escaped.
As he is armoured we can assume he has come from a place of conflict, perhaps even warfare which required protection, and as the helmet is amiss we can see that the battle or issue is over, he has escaped.
The three of swords above indicate he has moved from heartbreak and suffering, but they are still present in his psyche. The sword beneath him is one of hope – that in retreat and distance from the situation, in this sanctuary, the healing and protection will occur.
The stained glass picture in the far back depicts a peaceful image with a halo giving healing – this signifies their is an inner light still ablaze that can be ignited – there is hope. Although the person looks depleted and possibly broken from what came before them the message here is that with respite, removal from the situation and honest evaluation the person can recover.
The Four of Swords is about coming from a crisis situation and needing to retreat in introspection and relaxation to regain clarity and healing.
In love it usually depicts a time of healing after an abusive of destructive relationship. In work it refers to similar – a time of resting and regaining confidence after an unpleasant or soul destroying career experience.
The swords are in the minor Arcana so they are minor stories of experience or external issues that influence our everyday life. Spiritually this card depicts a time away from the world to reflect, rest, recover and heal the mind by going inner.
The Four of swords can also literally mean a hospital respite – a time of healing from a medical condition. Regardless, it will always mean moving away from what is and recovering, either physically, emotionally, spiritually or mentally.
The Four of Swords is asking you to stop – in many cases it is giving you a situation that will give you no choice but to stop, move away and recover. Things can not be the same as they were before.
There may be an element of isolation, wanting to seperate yourself from the entire world because of the 3 of swords that have come before – but the image of faith in the background is reminding you that with rest and healing you are safe and that not all situations are similar to what has come before.
The healing process is necessary and will be effective if you relent – surrender into the vital process of inner searching, rest and separating self from past. Giving your self over to healing and accepting your own power in the situation and realising your own choices and decisions and beliefs that led you to this point in your life.
As you remove yourself from the past griefs and wounds you can heal into a new inner way and the armour can be removed and you can regain your inner power with an open heart :)
The Four of Swords is an opportunity after heartbreak to retreat and open up to your authentic self and begin over again. Rest, rest, rest and learn what fills yr heart with joy :)