Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Four of Swords, RWS and Thoth Tarot Card Meaning

Four of Swords, RWSFour of Swords, Thoth
Meanings Upright, Ill-dignified, and Reversed, rx
Rider Waite Smith, and Thoth

Occult Name: The Lord of Rest from Strife
Four of Swords in timing: Four weeks; or from October 13th - 22nd
Kabbalah: Chesed in Yetzirah
Reading with Playing Cards: Equivalent to the Four of Spades




The Four of Swords Card Meaning, RWS and Thoth


The Four of Swords is suggestive of taking time out from a circumstance of stress and pain. The swords and the armor [RWS] are symbolic of having escaped war. A break is required in order to adjust his/her perspective enough to continue on. To reflect in peace, is a sensible method to employ when thoughts and feelings might not be too clear. Considering ones situation in depth may allow for clarity to emerge, on why certain issues came into being. The fours are about stability, and as such, in retreating, some degree of stability is being achieved. That said, the swords meeting in a saltire cross at the very center of the card [Thoth] is suggestive of being stuck in a restrictive situation.

The Four of Swords is representative of Jupiter ruling the third decanate of Libra, which refers to a time of transition--moving on from a period of tension. The person taking respite was made to feel that they've done wrong or that their perspective is wrong, while they believe that they're right. The 49 petaled rose (Thoth), represents the collective consciousness, and also social harmony. Therefore this card may refer to choices being made to please a group outside of the situation, such as society, an organization, the government, one's peer group or family, or what have you.


49 is representative of a period of reassessment; and also of retreating to an internal world, hoping to intuit and discern true feelings. What's more, 49 is suggestive of being one numeral short of reaching the Door of Light (50). This means that through adding to it the inspired, godlike energy of 1, enlightenment could be achieved and a lesson, a journey, could be concluded. This of course alludes to what might be from here on in, as 49, obviously is not 50.

In the RWS Four of Swords card image, the stained glass window is symbolic of both the collective consciousness, and also of approaching the doorway to enlightenment. The RWS meaning of this card is largely in line with the Thoth version; as well, both cards make reference to approaching the end of life and to taking internal respite.


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The Four of Swords Dignified or Upright


  • Temporarily withdrawing from a painful or warlike situation.
  • Veering away from relationship issues and choosing to interact more with one's social circle or engage in group activity.
  • Hostile actions are temporarily suspended.
  • Taking a vacation or going on a retreat.
  • Spending time alone.
  • Remaining at rest.
  • A time of peace either before or after a stormy period.
  • Feelings that are, on some level, akin to your being buried alive.
  • An unchanging impression (the same held until one's demise).
  • The end of life.
  • Coffin-like.
  • Buried, deceased, lain to rest.
  • Abandoning a situation.
  • A hidden or secluded location.
  • Being cut off, forced out, ousted, etc.
  • Exile, voluntary or otherwise.
  • Astute financial management.
  • Saved money.
  • A period of healing or recovery.
  • Situated upon a sturdy or solid foundation.
  • Engaging in escapism.
  • Praying for improvement in a circumstance.
  • A positive end result due to wisdom in management.
  • Carefully scrutinizing financial expenditures.
  •  In law, suggests that no action will be taken.
  • Approaching enlightenment.
  • A short trip.
  • A truce.


The Four of Swords Ill Dignified or Reversed


  • Forging ahead, but with an awareness of the potential for danger or pain.
  • Proof, or one's solemn word.
  • Regularly thinking of someone (attraction).
  • Looking ahead.
  • Establishing which route to take.
  • Reflecting on how to improve the situation.
  • Being cheap, pinching pennies.
  • On a vigil.
  • Household maintenance work, or supervision of same.
  • Returning to continue with a relationship.
  • Establishing peaceful working interactions despite existing conflict.
  • Anxiety has been created by harsh words written.
  • Hard feelings created through lack of consideration.
  • A pointless, brief trip.
  • Problems in a matter of law.
  • Managing spiritual issues through meditation.
  • Working to improve mundane matters, growing spiritually as a result.
  • Is overly cautious, and as a result is unwilling to take any risk.
  • You have been alone or out of the thick of things too long, and it's time to get re-involved, to re-integrate.
  • You need to get out in the sunlight more often, your health requires it.
  • Vigilance.
  • A collection, or collecting things.
  • Gathering together one's belongings.
  • The mind is unsettled and is requiring peace.
  • Re-energized after a period of rest.
  • Palliative care
  • Greediness.
  • A lecherous man.



Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright ©1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

RWS image is a Wikimedia file from a 1909 deck originally scanned by Holly Voley http://home.comcast.net/~vilex/

Thoth image copyright (c) US Games Systems Inc.; AGMuller; O.T.O.

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