There seems to be a change in perspective with this card. The figure was sleeping in the upright version, but now he has a bird’s eye view. In fact, in this deck, the Bevor (face mask) of the suit of armour looks like a beak. This floating image is what leads some tarotists to read this as a card of dreams or astral projection.
When you receive this card, there is a good chance that you have spent some time recovering, sleeping, or in isolation. That time has changed your perspective, made the situation clearer. That is good fruit. Often the Universe forces us into seclusion or rest. We see these as crisis. When we move through them, and allow them to wash over us, we reach the other side with wisdom and a new plan. The Inverted Four of Swords is the sign we are ready to go back into the world, post “crisis.” We have learned what we needed to learn. We are renewed and refreshed. It’s time to make new choices, move forward, and get back to the land of the living.
The Four of Swords interacts with the Emperor and the Lovers.
Emperor: In a spread, the Four of Swords lightens the energy of the Emperor.
Lovers: If any cards from the suit of Swords come after the Lovers, it indicates the end of a relationship.
The Suit — Swords
The sword cuts and dissects. Swords represents the element of air. They are intellect. They are double-sided, which allows them to both damage and heal. The images in the suit might be alarming to some, but they are not simply aggressive. Yes, we can use blades to inflict pain, but we also use them to carve, shave, and trim.
Number — 4
Four is a number of order, foundation, and stability.
There is nothing to fear with an inversion. Mary K. Greer explains in her book, The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals, that an inverted card may be interpreted in one or more of these twelve ways:
- Blocked or Resisted
- Delayed, Difficult, Unavailable
- Inner, Unconscious, Private
- New or Dark Moon (if you are reading cards from a round deck)
- Breaking Through, Overturning, Refusing, Changing Direction
- The Opposite of the Upright Meaning, or Lacking
- Misused or Misdirected
- The Upright Meaning Backward
- A Rectification or Cure
- Magical, Unconventional, or Humorous