4 of Swords – Rider-Waite

Rider-Waite

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The effigy of a knight in the attitude of prayer, at full length upon his tomb.

Vigilance, retreat, solitude, hermit’s repose, exile, tomb and coffin. It is these last that have suggested the design.

Additional Meanings: A bad card, but if reversed a qualified success may be expected by wise administration of affairs.

Reversed

Wise administration, circumspection, economy, avarice, precaution, testament.

Additional Meanings: A certain success following wise administration.


60 4 of Swords The Etteilla Tarot The Book of Thoth

Etteilla

Solitude, Desert, Retreat, Hermitage.—Exile, Banishment, Ostracism. Uninhabited, Remote, Abandoned, Given Up. Tomb, Sepulcher, Coffin.

Reversed

Economy, Good Management, Wise Administration. Foresight, Direction, Household Management, Savings, Avarice. Order, Arrangement, Relationship, Agreement, Concord, Accord, Concordance, Harmony, Music, Disposal. Testament, Reserve, Limitation, Exception. Circumspection, Constituency, Discreet, Wisdom, Sympathy, Care, Precaution.


Paul Foster Case

The scales combined with the ankh remind us that a Qabalistic name for the number 4 is the measuring intelligence.

Time period

The last decanate of Libra, under the rulership of Mercury, from October 13th to October 22nd.

Well-dignified

Rest from sorrow, yet after and through it; relief from anxiety; rest after illness; quietness; change for the better; success in legal affairs; association with others in Mercurial pursuits; strong mental attraction to a person of the opposite sex; activity in writing or short journeys.

Ill-dignified

Inharmony with partners; unsettled conditions in legal affairs; disorder and loss through ill-considered writings or needless short journeys; vexations through petty strifes and sarcastic speech.

Keyword

Rest.


Thierens

TRADITION

Solitude, retreat, hermitage, exile, isolation, inhibited condition, abandonment. Tomb and coffin. Reversed: Economy, good conduct, circumspection, precaution, wise administration, testament, avarice, household, savings, order, etc.

THEORY

The element of Earth on the Fourth house, house of the home and the sign Cancer. This immediately explains why this card has been said to stand for economy, savings, even avarice and household affairs as well as for many things in connection with the end of life, since the fourth house in the horoscope relates to the end of life, and to the inner side of life as long as this lasts. Tradition is once more very correct in this case. When it enumerates “concord, harmony, etc.,” amongst the synonyms of this card, however, there is some discrepancy, because the only thing that can be meant here is ‘repose’ or the condition of rest, as that of the grave, in which external differences are lost. So taken in the strictly etymological sense of the words, ‘concord,’ etc., have nothing to do with it. If in any case this card should relate to business, it certainly does not mean that anything like accord has been or will be reached, but that one of the parties retires or takes his proposals back. It may also relate to the condition of the soul, in which one harvests the results of material life in the world, whether spiritually, by meditation, or materially, by economy. In any case it points to a stillness and heavy condition of the mind. Further, to the tendency of collecting, gathering.

CONCLUSION

Solitude, repose, retreat, retiring from the world, “hermit’s repose” (W.); gathering, collecting, taking home one’s savings or impressions, meditation, economy, avarice, precaution, testament, and the place occupied at the end of life, hermitage, grave, coffin. The place of the card in the horoscopic scheme indeed suggests the idea of being buried under the earth.

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