Four of Swords

Upright/Well Dignified: One of the most common occult names for this card is “Rest From Strife” which when you look at the common images of the card, it’s easy to see why. There needs to be a point where you can retreat and either not think about issues for a while, or plan your next move. Either is good, but only one will achieve results. After all, a sword isn’t something that you can simply wave around and expect results. In life, there is inherent conflict and as a result, there are times when you need to step back from the craziness and look at what’s really going on.

Relationship spreads that contain this card are often nudging you to step back and think for a moment about what needs to happen in order to move things in the preferred direction. Often, the only way to stop things from going in the wrong direction is to stop them from going anywhere until a definite direction has been chosen by all involved. Before that can happen though, each individual needs to know where they want things to head and it might take a little bit of a breather from things in order for that to happen in a way that is useful.

Money spreads with this card making an appearance are often asking you to look at finances while they are good, as the good things don’t have to last. Making preparations for the long term during the times of plenty is paramount to knowing how to handle the times of little. This is a card of looking forward by recognising the now.

Reversed/Ill Dignified: Often, planning is needed. Occasionally though, there’ll be a slap upside the head telling you that the time for action is NOW! Putting things off for the sake of “planning” is often an excuse for not wanting to front up to an insecurity. With a reversed Four of Swords, you might be asked to ignore the insecurities for the time being and actually get something useful done. The problems that might be what you’re fearing will come to pass may pale in comparison to what’ll happen if you don’t act. “Better the Devil You Know” isn’t an absolute, but often an excuse to not move forward.

There are times when this card, reversed, might be telling you that it’s time to go back to the drawing board. The planning that has taken place so far has been useful in that it’s gotten things moving, but a pain in the ass by moving things in a non-useful direction. Still, it proves that things are able to move at all, which is a plus. The thing is, that now you’ve gotta go back to the drawing board and deal with whatever damage has been done so far. It’s not often a pretty solution, but it’s still better than apathy or fear of change that too often rules things that rely on planning before they take place in our everyday lives.

There are times when this card is reminding you that the plan that you wanted to set in motion isn’t the one that you’re following at the moment. It’s possible that it’s time to look at the original plan, look at where you went wrong and then rework toward your original destination, rather than the tangent that you’ve found yourself on. Your original plan was the one that had the most potential, but in ignoring it, you’re making things more difficult than they need to be.

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