Reversed: restlessness, lack of peace, risk of illness or exhaustion, need for a break, denial of rest, suppressed anxiety,leaving a meditative state, time to act, ready to confront the world, rejuvenated, healed.
Associated major card: The Hermit
The IV of Swords ask you to put aside your worries and fears and take a break from the relentless barrage of your thoughts. The Swords represent the mental realm, and we all know that the mind can be a rather overactive place. You thoughts can cycle endlessly, never stopping to take a pause and leave you in peace. This is how the mind works. You have to make a conscious effort to quiet it, to bring it to stillness, to take a break from thinking. The IV of Swords reminds you of the need for a necessary and healing rest from thinking. You can recuperate, recovery, and recharge after a pause away from your mind.
Rider Waite Smith deckImagine yourself removing your thoughts from your mind, hanging them up on the wall, and spending some quiet time apart from those thoughts. This is excellent reminder to meditate. Try out a guided meditation for relaxation. Concentrate on your breath and how the air flows in and out of your body. Do not get annoyed at little creeping thoughts that try and pop back into your consciousness, but rather accept them and let them float away. The benefits of such a practice will be bountiful and clear to you when you emerge from your meditation ready to take on your challenges and tasks with renewed vigor. Stopping a repetitive thought pattern for a moment can break it’s hold on your and help you explore and discovery new options.
Interestingly, the IV of Swords can also be asking you to immerse yourself even more fully in your thoughts. Examine your mind. Observe what you are thinking, think about your thinking, and think about your thoughts. Question them. Watch them. Critique them. What hold do they have over you? How is your mind keeping you in place, keeping you from taking necessary risks, stopping you from trying new things that you desire? What negative thought patterns are creating fear, anxiety, and stagnation. Your mind wants to keep you safe. It does this by trapping you into doing the same things over and over again, things that didn’t kill you before will likely keep you alive now. But isn’t there more to life than being alive? There are other ways to do things than the tried and true method your mind is advocating for by keeping you in fear. Watch your mind try and hold you in place then refuse to do the same things again just because of fear of the new. This will set you free.
The IV of Swords can be a sign of mindfulness. It can mean full absorption in the moment. If your mind is busy with too many thoughts and ideas, remember once again to meditate for calmness. This time, focus in on one thing. Is it the delicious food you are eating? Is it the glorious massage you are receiving? Is it the feel of your legs are you jog around the park? Immerse yourself in the task at hand. This is where true joy lies, in this present moment. There is no time but the present. The more fully you live and accept your present moment, the more happiness and joy will enter your life.
IV of Swords reversed:
When the IV of Swords appears, know that you are ready. You have gone through a period of introspection, of quiet contemplation and meditation. You have healed your tired mind, recovered after a period of intense action, and taken the necessary rest from the world of doing and creating. Hopefully, this is a good sign that you know how to take care of yourself, connect with your calm inner center, and get the rest you deserve. Now you can move forward with clarity of purpose and strength of mind. Remember that this place of calm is always inside you and you are perfectly welcome to return there to recharge whenever you need to in the future. Actually, this retreat is necessary and you could even schedule in time for meditation and relaxation on a regular basis in order to give yourself something to look forward to going forward.
The IV of Swords can be a sharp reminder that it is time to stop hesitating or waiting till you have more time and energy. Perhaps you have been giving your goals and intentions a ton of thought (potentially up to a dangerous point of obsessive thinking) and not a whole lot of action. That strategy may have been working for you up to a point, letting life unfold without resistance, surrendering to the moment. Now the point has been reached that it is time to get to business, though. Get out of your head, out of your bed, and stop mentally planning or meditating upon the right course of action. You have everything you need to start the real actions of manifesting your desired reality.
On the other hand, if you find that you have been all go, go, go and had very little time for rest and reflection, schedule a break now. Make sure you are giving yourself the time and space to get out of your head and rest on a regular basis. Neglecting your physical and mental cycles of action and non-action can lead to overexertion, illness and exhaustion. You aren’t a machine that can just stay permanently on. You need time to be low, to be quiet, to be still. You do not need to be constantly creating and manifesting. Sometimes you need to just be. When the IV of Swords shows up reversed, take a stock of your energy levels, pair down your overpacked schedule to allow more sleep and quiet time. Taking preventative measures now to recharge will end up taking a lot less time than you will waste being sick and burnt out if you don’t sneak in rest on the regular now.