The Swords

Meaning of Each Tarot Card

Upright, Reversed and Keywords

The Swords is the Tarot suit that most people are uncomfortable with.  Often connected to negative meanings, the Swords have been given a bad rap.  It's true when you're first learning the meaning of each Tarot card this suit, it seems more than an average number of Tarot cards are dark and brooding.

Just like a physical sword, the Swords have two edges.  On the one hand, their energy can be destructive and hard to swallow - especially when it's your life that's being affected.

On the other side, they clear out the crap.  Usually, they  affect the clutter in your mental attics - the stuff you're not ready to get rid of but don't want to deal with either.  When the Swords appear, they are using their strengths of courage, ideas and power to tell you it is time.  Deal with it and move on!

If you're just learning to read Tarot cards, remember that the position in the Tarot layout as well as the nearby Tarot cards should to guide you (in addition to the meanings for the Tarot cards). Work from the heart, listen to your gut and develop your intuition.

Don't fear the Swords.  Like any medicine, working up the courage to open your mouth and swallow takes longer than the bad taste does to fade.

Ace of Swords

Upright:  Powerful and airy, the Ace of Swords is like the winds of change, bringing energy and vitality to new enterprises.  Adding clarity to the mind and power to issues of justice, this card has often been connected to karma.  

In eastern beliefs, the concept of karma is what balances the universe: we reap what we sow.  The energy of the Ace of Swords is transformative, ending what has been outgrown and creating possibility for newness.  

Reversed:  Imbalanced and troubled, when the Ace of Swords is reversed, changes can seem too sudden or delayed (and not to your benefit).  It speaks of a time where it is difficult to find agreement and others (or yourself) may seem arguementative or quarrelsome.  

Keywords:  power, transformative energy, new thoughts and ideas, new possibilities, karma, balance, sudden changes, imbalanced mind, quarrels and arguements, irritability 

Two Of Swords

Upright:  Calm after the storm is signified with the Two of Swords but it is an uneasy peace laced with tension.  A problem has reached a stalemate and while there is balance, it is also clear that there isn't resolution yet.  

Relief is in sight so be aware that you won't need to worry much longer.  The Two of Swords can also refer to someone who is willing to maintain peace at any price.  Not liking fights or disagreements, you may hide your own feelings or pretend like everything is okay to keep the peace.  Emotions need to be vented so allow yourself to acknowledge what you're feeling to relieve pressure.

Reversed:  Think twice or even three or four times when the Two of Swords is reversed.  Your advisers, intuition and knowledge are clouded and you are not in the best position to make any final decisions.  

Any changes will occur slowly, and honestly, right now that's for the best.  There is an air of deceit the surrounds you and it will be hard find agreements that work to your advantage.  While you'll feel like being impulsive to move things forward, you'll regret anything you agree to now. 

Keywords: Uneasy truce, balance, justice, calm after the storm, uneasy peace, caution, take care, think carefully before acting, lies and deceit, stalemate, slow change

Three of Swords

Upright:  Heartache and confusion are present when the Three of Swords appears.  These relationships were once pleasant and passionate-it may be discovered that there was no depth to sustain them.  

Usually, there is some form of betrayal involved.  What was beautiful and romantic under the light of the moon is exposed as empty and possibly deceitful in the light of day.

Reversed:  Emotional stress and anxiety go hand in hand with the Three Of Swords reversed.  Relationships are confusing, communication breaks down and it seems that there is only a great deal of emotional pain left to experience.  

When this card appears, the relationship has usually ended and healing has begun, even if it seems like the wounds are still raw.  Every ending brings a new beginning.

Meanings for Tarot Cards Keywords: love triangles, betrayal, breakdown in relationships, reassessment, deception, healing, adultery, emotional stress, anxiety, a desire to go back in time, emotional pain, healing, a new start 

Four of Swords

Upright:  The Four of Swords often appears after a time of illness or anxiety and reminds you that we all need time to rest and recuperate.  Sometimes this break is needed for you to accurately see all that you have accomplished; there is nothing like a little distance to gain perspective.  

The Four of Swords is a message that you need to take a break; if you refuse to listen, your health may suffer for it.  It can also suggest that a retreat or a withdrawal from modern appliances and their demands (turn off your cell phones everyone) is just what you need.

Reversed:  When the need for rest indicated by the Four of Swords is ignored, you arrived at the reversed position.  This is the time when illness or anxiety will result in health issues needing a long period for healing.  There is no longer the option to choose to rest - the choice has been made for you.  

Rather than worry about how this will affect you, accept that it is necessary and let your body, mind and spirit heal.  Four of Swords reversed can also refer to a time of social isolation where old friends have lost contact; however this is not permanent and new friends will arrive soon.

Meanings for Tarot Cards Keywords: rest, relaxation, withdrawing mentally, need for peace and quiet, time for reassessment, small vacation, take it easy, enforced rest, physical issues, mental instability, limited pleasures, feeling isolated, nervous exhaustion

Five of Swords

Upright:  A strong sense of disappointment and failure is inherent in the Five of Swords.  It may be that in a quest for power, underhanded tactics were employed - lies, gossip and envy undermine everyone, including yourself.  

Your disappointment was necessary to force a more realistic plan of action.  When following a path where nothing seems to work, this might not be your best course of action.  The only thing affected if you change your mind would be your pride.

Reversed: When the Five of Swords is reversed, it is time to cut your losses.  Sometimes, wanting to prove we were in the right becomes more important than being right.  

At this point, you have already lost this fight, no matter what else you say or do.  Jealousy, pride and self-righteousness may be keeping you in battle but it is time to accept defeat and walk away.  Accept what has happened, learn from it and start anew. 

Meanings for Tarot Cards Keywords:   limitations, power struggles, failure, loss, damage, sense of unfairness, creation of something new, underhandedness, releasing pride, defeat, acceptance of defeat, learning to abandon self-pity, moving towards starting something new.

Six of Swords

Upright: When the Six of Swords appears, your troubles are moving behind you.  Part of this change will be you releasing your attachment to worrying about this issue.  

All areas of life will improve with the Six of Swords: relationships, money and career.  It will be a relief to be moving ahead to a happier place.  

Physical travel can also be a focus and any travels will have you returning feeling more relaxed and optimistic towards the future.

Reversed:  The Six of Swords reversed can sometimes feel like the eye in the centre of the hurricane.  All around, chaos and struggle loom on the horizon but only your grit and determination will see you through.  

Tenacity and the willingness to go on are required when this card is present.  The only solutions available are temporary; now is the time to catch your breath rather than solve these issues.

Meanings for Tarot Cards Keywords: leaving strife behind, pleasant times, relief, alleviating stress, renewed hope, physical travel, relieved spirit, tenacity, struggle, grit, temporary truce, delayed victory, hanging on by the skin of your teeth

Seven of Swords

Upright:  Restless energy and a burning desire for new ideas come with the Seven of Swords.  This may be a time where new thoughts and directions are arriving faster than you can process them.  

You may also work quickly, shifting your time rapidly between multiple projects, not finishing anything.  This is a time for mental stimulation and you need many things going on at once to feel satisfied.  

Be careful who you share your ideas with - there is the possibility that someone else will steal them and complete what you haven't.

Reversed: Indecision is fueled by over-active thoughts at this time.  When the Seven of Swords is reversed, there needs to be more authenticity in your life.  You, or the people around you, are like used car salesman.  

There seems to be a slick message being used which is more a version of the truth than the truth itself.  Plain-speaking and a hard look at reality are needed now.  You are in danger of believing your own hype.

Meanings for Tarot Cards Keywords: sporadic effort, huge volume of ideas, inability to do just one thing, projects left unfinished, mental stimulation, idea theft, hype, false promises, manipulation, schemes, tricks, indecision 

Eight of Swords

Upright: With the Eight of Swords, you are stuck.  Part of this bondage lies in that you can no longer see anything new in your situation. Your thoughts may run around in circles and no matter how you try, you can't find a way out.  

Fresh thinking and some outside assistance are what you need to break free.  Face your problems head on and accept the helping hand that is offered you.  Expect the unexpected to move beyond this.

Reversed:  A new state of mind brimming with movement comes with the Eight of Swords reversed.  You've realized that the first step in changing your life starts with changing your thoughts.  You've gained confidence and strength from the problems you solved.  

Be wary of people around you being thoughtless - stand up for yourself and make sure you receive the respect you're due.

Meanings for Tarot Cards Keywords: bondage, restriction, closed state of mind, need for fresh thoughts, outside assistance, problems seem impossible to solve, release, freedom, thoughtlessness, hard luck, fresh start, positive state of mind

Nine of Swords

Upright: The darkest hour is before dawn in the Nine of Swords.  Worries and anxiety are overtaking your life, interrupting sleep and turning your fears into oppressive monsters.  It's not as if what you worry about is all in your head.  

You have real problems in your life and you need to face them directly.  You also need allow others to help you regain some perspective.  There are solutions but they will take time and effort to create change in your life. 

Reversed:  Brightness appears on the horizon when the Nine of Swords is reversed.  Dawn is starting to break and the worst is over.  You have seen your problems head on, faced your fears and are ready to make way for new things.  

Worry and stress will take time to fade and you'll still need to be gentle with yourself.  When you allow your remaining fears and doubts to fade, harmony will slowly start to reappear.

Meanings for Tarot Cards Keywords: oppression, anxiety, stress, worries, no way out, sleepless nights, trapped by fears, despair, problems faced directly, workable solutions, light, hope, new day, abandoning old attitudes, dark night of the soul, releasing mental fears

Ten of Swords

Upright: The Ten of Swords often indicates betrayal, especially through gossip, betraying confidences and destruction of trust.  Words are the enemy here so be cautious about committing anything to paper.  

When the Ten of Swords appears, it is usually an indicator that something important is coming to an end: beliefs, convictions, career or a relationship.  Confronting that your shared time is over can be painful but at this point, you can't hide from it anymore.  Moving forward, there is nowhere to go but up.

Reversed:  With the Ten of Swords reversed, it is time to address how your own negative thinking and deeply held beliefs are affecting your life.  You may not realize how pessimistic you've become but there is an element to self-fulfilling prophecy in your life.  

Start to explore how you can slowly can your mindset and embrace positive thought patterns.  Stay open to improvements and they will start to enter your life.

Meanings for Tarot Cards Keywords: <betrayal, slander, gossip, revealed secrets, end of relationships, rock bottom, depression, negative thinking, troubled period, improvements that don't last, unconscious beliefs, pessimism, stop looking for trouble

Page of Swords

Upright:  The Page of Swords is a young man or woman gifted with incredible insight.  There is very little in logic or relationships they don't perceive.  After gaining understanding of a situation, it doesn't take them long to turn it to their advantage.

Intelligent and with brilliant communication skills, they are never at a loss for words.  Brimming with broad ideas and fine details, they want to change the world.  The only thing standing between them and greatness is a lack of planning to execute these ideas. 

In relationships, they often see themselves as a mediator though sometimes the term meddler would be more accurate.  Meaning well, the Page of Swords can unconsciously cause more trouble than they resolve.  

Reversed:  When the Page of Swords is reversed, the perceptive nature can become petty and spiteful.  Ideas are more important than feelings and anything that challenges their logic will be ignored. 

Emotionally, there can be a great deal of hidden anxiety.  Ideas are easy to control and create - people don't respond in the same way.  The Page of Swords reversed may be very sensitive, a result from critical family or friends.  In spite of the criticism, this might be the most comfortable place for the Page of Swords reversed.

Meaning of each Tarot Card Keywords:  brilliant mind, strong ideas, lack of energy, perceptive, practical, more comfortable with ideas than emotions, meddling, vindictive, mean, aggression, critical family

Knight of Swords

Upright:  No-one thinks more of the Knight of Swords than...the Knight of Swords.  He is charming, seductive, intelligent but his sense of egotism can spoil the package.  

His courage is incredible and makes him take huge risks; it is rare that he is defeated in anything.  Sometimes though, his confidence is misplaced.  In his rush to win at any cost, he can cause pain or problems for others.

He is bright with strong ideas that are worth pursuing.  To better balance his need for glory with ethics, he would benefit from slowing down and considering others.

Reversed:  Still bright and competitive, the Knight of Swords reversed is even more destructive.  Rarely feeling remorse, he moves from challenge to challenge, taking whatever is needed for his own ends.  Any semblance of ethics has disappeared and his motivation is self-oriented.

To manage himself, he can sometimes resort to abuse of drugs or alcohol; moderation of any kind can be a real challenge.  Still moving against the status quo, the Knight of Swords reversed drifts through life, always looking for the next opportunity.

Meaning of each Tarot Card Keywords:  brainy, egoist, competitive, seductive, damaging, energy, change, fearless, lack of ethics, drug or alcohol abuse, fighting fiercely to change a bad situation

King of Swords

Upright:  The King of Swords is a expressive intellectual, whose combative nature can sometimes make every day a new struggle regardless of whether he is a lawyer, teacher or janitor.  He is brave and intelligent, never hesitating to express his opinion; this is often seen (quite correctly) as aggressiveness. 

He is masterful against any enemy and his sharp mind can defend any attack.  The King of Swords illustrates how a great mind when combined with successful energy can make anything happen.  

His words and strength open all sorts of doors - the King of Swords appreciates a strong mind and mixes easily with anyone (he's no snob).  However, his strong nature sometimes will hamper his abilities to create change in society.

In relationships, the King of Swords can be a wonderful companion for great conversations; anything romantic is not his forte.  He is more likely to act from his head than his heart.  His emotional distance can sometimes feel cold; he does love but deeply and very distantly.  Freedom is a huge priority for him so he will not take well to emotional limpets.

Reversed:  When the King of Swords is reversed, his charm has evapourated and the only thing that seems to be left is his biting tongue.  Unfair attacks seem to arise from nothing.  He is critical of everyone and everything and makes no pain to hide it.  

Like a lightning storm, these flashes of intense mood can devastate.  Unfortunately, it also affects every aspect of his life.  Professionally, he manages to isolate himself from co-workers and supervisors.  For all his enterprise, very little can be accomplished as he alienates people.  Still ambitious, ruthlessness achieves what his free-speech can't.

Reversed, the King of Swords is arrogant and cold with others, even those he cares about.  

Meaning of each Tarot Card Keywords: intellectual, powerful, communicator, emotionally distant, great ideas, powerful, achiever, defender, authoritarian, rude, strong enemy, stormy moods, anger

Queen of Swords

Upright:  The Queen of Swords is the most independent of the queens, able to care for and defend herself.  Whether she has a companion or lives alone, she is happy and content.  Living alone for the Queen of Swords means a life without bonds and a lot of freedom, both of which are very important to her.  While she is free with her ideas, she tends to be secretive and mysterious and dislikes being like everyone else. 

Emotionally, she holds her cards close to her chest; she may seem hard-hearted but those who know the Queen best can vouch for her warm feelings.  

She can be exceptional loyal - that is the polite way of saying stubborn - when she has committed to an idea or action.  Her mind is as sharp as a razor, and she has an unending thirst to learn.  She doesn't quite fit with conventional society and hasn't yet learned to look at versus through people.

Reversed:  The Queen of Swords reversed can get caught up in her thoughts to much and forget her heart completely.  Acting only from logic, she becomes cold and distant.  

She can also be cruel when she feels provoked and spares no mercy in her verbal attacks.  Reversed, the Queen of Swords abandons any pretense of politeness and tells you exactly what she thinks.  It isn't pretty!

Her steadfastness will reach new levels and she will willingly cut off her nose to spite her face.  Her stubbornness will continue at disadvantage to herself and everyone around her.  Critical beyond sense or reason, she is displeased by everything around her and will stand in judgment.

Meaning of Each Tarot Card Keyword:  freedom, sharp mind, sense of wit, sarcastic, hard, loyal, reserved feeling, caring, love of learning, motivated by logic, divorced from feeling, spiteful, critical, cold, distant, stubborn 

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