4 of Swords: Yes or No

By Lauren Williams
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The 4 of Swords in Tarot symbolizes rest, recovery, and contemplation. It often appears when a period of repose is needed, whether for mental, emotional, or physical recuperation.

A figure lying down with swords above as the four of swords tarot card.

In ‘yes or no’ readings, the 4 of Swords typically leans towards a ‘no,’ suggesting that now may not be the time for action but rather a time for reflection and rest.

Upright 4 of Swords in a Yes or No Context

When the 4 of Swords appears upright, it indicates a need for a pause, a retreat from activity to recover strength and clarity. It suggests that taking a break and reflecting is more beneficial than pushing forward at this moment.

In a yes or no reading:

  • General Interpretation: The upright 4 of Swords generally suggests a ‘no,’ indicating that taking a step back and allowing yourself a period of rest and contemplation is crucial right now.
  • Energy and Symbolism: This card often depicts a figure lying in repose, as if in a state of meditation or rest, with swords around them. It symbolizes the need for a break from strife, the importance of recuperation, and a period of introspection.
  • Time for Rest and Recovery: Drawing this card emphasizes the need for a period of healing and quiet. It’s a reminder that taking time to rest and recharge is essential for long-term success and well-being.
  • Reflect and Reassess: The 4 of Swords also encourages contemplation and introspection. It’s a time to reflect on your past actions and plan your next steps in a calm and thoughtful manner.

Reversed 4 of Swords in a Yes or No Context

In a reversed position, the 4 of Swords can suggest that the period of rest is ending, and it might be time to reawaken and reengage with the world, leading to a potential ‘yes’ in some cases.

When you draw this card in a yes or no reading:

  • General Interpretation: The reversed 4 of Swords might suggest a ‘yes,’ indicating that you are ready to emerge from a period of rest and contemplation and to take action on your plans and ideas.
  • Energy and Symbolism: Reversed, this card can symbolize the end of a retreat or recovery period. It represents readiness to face the world again, renewed and with a clearer mind.
  • Emerging with Renewed Energy: This position may signal that you have had sufficient rest and are now prepared to tackle challenges with renewed vigor and a clearer perspective.
  • Applying Learned Lessons: It encourages you to apply the insights and reflections gained during your period of rest to your future endeavors.

Examples of Yes or No Questions

The 4 of Swords can offer guidance in various scenarios:

  • Personal Well-being:
    • Question: “Should I take a break from my current activities to focus on my health?”
    • Upright: Yes, prioritizing rest and recuperation is important now.
    • Reversed: You might be ready to resume activities, but proceed with awareness of your limits.
  • Work and Career:
    • Question: “Is this the right time to push forward with my career ambitions?”
    • Upright: No, consider taking a moment to rest and reassess your goals.
    • Reversed: If you feel rejuvenated, it may be time to start moving forward with renewed energy.

Factors Influencing the Yes or No Interpretation

  • Surrounding Cards: The cards surrounding the 4 of Swords can provide additional insight, helping to determine the nature and length of the rest or contemplation period.
  • Question Context: The specifics of the question, especially those involving stress, burnout, or the need for a pause, will resonate with the 4 of Swords.
  • Personal Intuition: Your personal reaction to this card is significant. The 4 of Swords may evoke a sense of relief or a recognition of the need for a break, guiding your interpretation.
  • Card Position in the Spread: The position of the 4 of Swords in the spread can influence its meaning, indicating whether a period of rest is currently needed, is coming to an end, or should be considered in the near future.


In ‘yes or no’ readings, the 4 of Swords is a card that often advocates for a pause, suggesting a time for rest, recovery, and contemplation. Upright, it generally indicates a ‘no,’ emphasizing the need to take a break and recharge before proceeding. Reversed, it can suggest a ‘yes,’ indicating that the period of rest has served its purpose and you are now ready to reengage with your tasks and goals with a renewed sense of energy and clarity.

The 4 of Swords underscores the importance of balancing activity with rest, reminding us that periods of quiet and introspection are crucial for maintaining our overall well-being and effectiveness.

Lauren holding a crystal ball in her hands.


Lauren Williams
Lauren merges ancient wisdom with modern insights, offering a fresh perspective on life's mysteries. She's passionate about guiding individuals through the world of astrology, lunar cycles, numerology, and tarot. When she's not charting the stars or reading tarot, she enjoys getting out in nature, hikes and yoga.