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Four of Swords

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Dee 04  Dee 04 is offline
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Four of Swords


My friend and I get totally different meanings about this card.

He says that almost 100% of the times the 4 of swords means "people going their separate ways" however, I usually get differetn meanings - but never the one I just mentioned.

What are some other interpretations that you get on this card?
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The 4 of Swords is an interesting card. Often it means regrouping or reevaluating a plan of action or a set of personal values.

I usually give a little history lesson when it comes up in a reading which helps people to understand how it can apply to them. I tell them that in medieval times Knights never really knew if they would be returning from their mission alive. And it was very important to them that their legacy was properly remembered after they were gone, so to do this, most of them had their own sarcophagus already prepared in the style fitting the image they wanted to leave behind.

Often, upon returning from a mission, they would retreat to their funeral complex for period of reflection and recuperation and to get back in touch with their own values and sense of purpose. Some of them would actually even lay down in their coffin as an act of humility, showing that they understood how temporary life was and re-committing themselves to their goals.

This is the kind of thing that the 4 of Swords talks about.

I'm not sure how accurate that story is - it's all bits and pieces of information I've picked up from reading and the History Channel, but it seems to generate a lot of thought and discussion about the 4 of Swords and it helps make this a very powerful card in most readings.
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joya250  joya250 is offline
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huh. that's interesting Mojo. I never knew that. thanks. Even if it's not 100% accurate, it sounds like it should be. If I were a knight, that's what I'd do!

Dee, I never heard the meaning for this card as being people parting their ways.
(I usually think of the 8 of Cups as having that meaning...) I think of this card as meditation and renewal, a time to retreat and lay low, a stilling of the inner "swords" of worry and mental anguish, relaxation, peace, calm before facing the storm, solitude, reflection...

I'm curious, which deck do you use? In both the Rider Waite, and even more so in Robin Wood, this card gives me the impression of physical death. (yes, yes, I know, none of the cards are "supposed" to mean this.... but hey, it happens...) In Rider Waite, it looks like the body is laid out in a church... In Robin Wood it looks like the body is a stone carving of a tomb. .... talk about ultimate "stillness"...
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Dee 04  Dee 04 is offline
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JOya:

I am referring to the 4 of swords in the Robin Wood. TO me it has always come up as a time for "quieting" one's mind, for reflection, maybe even meditation - I like "regrouping" as you said.

Mojo, thanks, the story is helpful b/c I can see how it fits with some of the meanings I get for this card. (Although I am OPEN to other meanings) However, the one of "people going their separate ways" is one I do not get.
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purplelady  purplelady is offline
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Mojo,that's neat , and 'ya know , it really rings true with me. I've always Liked this card for some reason.Stillness , a personal retreat away from responsibilities and other people.A restful sleep.Repose. Also a private or sacred space.A little place of one's own that feels secure. A place to meditate. Also ,it's one of the more "positive" cards in the swords , many of which tend to be interpreted as negative.
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nexyjo  nexyjo is offline
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i see the four of swords in the same way as joya does, and i use the robin wood as my main deck. in a way, it's like the hermit, though as a minor, more in the sense of a daily occurance, and not a "life's lesson".

in a context of a reading or card of the day, its meaning can swing from one having the need to think before one acts, to the need for a vacation, to meditation on a specific issue. if i used reversals, i might think of this card as indicating too much relaxation in ones life.

numerically, four is a very balanced number to me. in the context of swords as representing the element of air - the realm of the mind; thought, communication, knowledge and the like - the four of swords might indicate a sort of balance in a person's life in this area. in the wands suit, four sparks thoughts of balance in energy and passion, so in swords, it could mean balance in ones mental state - or imbalance as a reversal.

luv and light,
nexy
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I have always taken this card to mean that you need to take a brief break from all the worries in your life, cuz they're gonna come back sson so you'd better be ready for them.... It also calls for a renewal of energy...

Kiama
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XCOTYS  XCOTYS is offline
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[quote]Kiama (18 Aug, 2001 08:46):
I have always taken this card to mean that you need to take a brief break from all the worries in your life, cuz they're gonna come back sson so you'd better be ready for them.... It also calls for a renewal of energy...

Same thoughts here. Sometimes one just needs to 'take a break' and regroup, which in turn, revives and renews. I do not see it as a negative card, but one that sends a direct message . . . rest a bit! On the other hand, it could also signify that one must return to reality, i.e., dealing with life and not 'sleeping through it' [depression].
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Having spent 45 minutes before 7 performances of 'Sweeney Todd' in a closed coffin....never mind!

A card of repose is one understanding of this card. It could be telling you to take a rest because you are overextending yourself; it could also be telling you that you are in a rest period (or 'dry spell') at the moment and your batteries need some charging.
In it's extreme , it is a card of physical illness.

When this card is reversed, it says you have gotten off your duff and decided to rejoin the human race, a period of stasis is over; it also says the recovery from an illness is eminent.
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Mojo: A fascinating look into the card; thank you very much!
Like Tarotbear, I've read it as applying to health, including a need for rest; surgery, convalescence, recovery. Meditation. Being comatose (figuratively); sleeping on the job. Seeking escape (from a situation).
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