Rest and retreat after activity, convalescence.
The 4 of Swords is the card of stagnation, forestalled activities, and forced rest. In this meaning, it is very similar to the Hanged Man (XII). However, the difference is that the 4 of Swords is oriented toward events: the obstacles and difficulties proclaimed here are more tangible and easier to understand. They can pass again without demanding a change of one's ways. The meaning of this card becomes particularly clear in the image of an illness, which it can indicate. It tears us away from our activities and forces us to rest. It is up to us whether or not we suffer because of this renunciation or welcome the rest as an opportunity to come to terms with ourselves. This also makes it clear that, although we can use this phase of standstill as a meditative break, we will hardly long for it.