The Queen of Swords represents the maturation of the suit of Swords themes—communications, thoughts, and ideas—in the form of archetypally feminine energy. Symbolically, this can be understood as representing the qualities of receptivity, magnetism, and an emotional depth of feeling. As the Queen of her element, air, she represents the ability to hold the lightness and flexibility of air while remaining firmly grounded on Earth.
In western astrological horoscopes, the Queen of Swords is associated with the zodiac sign Libra. Libra is an air sign (alongside Gemini and Aquarius) and shares the Queen of Swords’ air element qualities of balance and justice.
Where the key meanings of the Major Arcana focus on life’s overarching themes and events, Minor Arcana cards like the Queen of Swords explore and reveal the more subtle changes impacting one’s day-to-day life and near future. The Queen of Swords also bears similarities with its sibling court cards the Queen of Cups, Queen of Wands, and Queen of Pentacles, in that all four deal with destiny and potential.
Queen of Swords Keywords
clarity, speaking one’s truth, boundaries, discernment
lack of clarity, porous boundaries, fear of speaking one’s truth, guardedness
Description of the Queen of Swords Tarot Card
The Queen of Swords is the feminine counterpart of the King of Swords and represents mastery over one’s inner emotions and selfhood. After the Knight of Swords charged toward his desires with gusto, the Queen of Swords appears as a symbol of discernment and clarity around her ability to act in accordance with her truth. The frenetic haste of the Swords suit’s Knight has matured into the Queen’s calm confidence, mastery of her self-expression, and ability to relate to others directly and honestly.
The Queen of Swords shows an older woman who appears in profile, her expression stern, focused, and serious. She has her left hand outstretched as if to summon an unseen person towards her so that she may make a pronouncement about them or offer her guidance. In her right hand, she holds a sword upright, indicating her ability to cut through illusion and pierce to the heart of what is true and what is fair.
In the Rider Waite tarot deck, she sits upon an ornate throne with images of cherubs and butterflies carved into its sides. Yellow butterflies also make up her crown, tying this card to themes of metamorphosis and transformation. She wears a grey dress, symbolizing her neutrality, and a cloak adorned with clouds, which echo the clouds that form in the sky behind her.
She wears the clouds as a symbol of pride because they remind her that the nature of the mind is to be in a constant state of movement, but she can pierce through the noise and connect to the underlying truth with her sword, which, like the blue sky behind the clouds, is always there.
Queen of Swords Upright Meaning
The Queen of Swords upright symbolizes your ability to make clear assessments about yourself and others. Others may turn to you for advice, guidance, and support because of your discerning nature and your willingness to speak uncomfortable truths with compassion and empathy. You have a gift for tuning into the truth and relaying it in ways that others can hear and understand.
The upright Queen of Swords can represent a process of clarifying your boundaries in relationships. You may be noticing the ways that you have acquiesced or given too much to others and the ways that these patterns make you feel depleted or taken for granted. This card may be a symbol of your emerging ability to prioritize yourself by honoring your limits around what you are available to give and receive.
In a tarot reading, the Queen of Swords encourages you to speak your truth with directness, clarity, and honesty. She reminds you that when you unapologetically embody your authentic self, you invite in relationships and situations that can meet your true needs and wants, and you make room for a personal transformation that honors your evolving self.
Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)
The upright Queen of Swords may be an encouragement to review and clarify your boundaries within a relationship. If you feel that you have been over-giving with your time or energy, this card signifies the need to establish clarity around what you’re available to give. She invites you to state your needs with openness, honesty, and directness.
A love reading with an upright Queen of Swords can represent a process of coming to honor and speak your truth more clearly to others. You may have been ignoring or denying some aspect of yourself that you are now ready to share openly with others. This process can be empowering as you connect to your authentic self and feel the sense of freedom that comes from embodying it fully within relationships.
Love/relationships upright keywords
Career/finance upright keywords
clarifying boundaries, stating needs directly, honoring and speaking your truth, self-empowerment
owning your power, discarding outdated ideals, boundaries with self or others
Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)
The Queen of Swords upright suggests that you’re owning your power and authority within the work that you do and are no longer willing to play small. You could be connecting to a deep truth about what you want out of your work and the ways you want to show up. You’re a problem-solver who is ready to question and discard outdated ideals, systems, and structures that don’t support your growth.
In a tarot spread, the upright Queen of Swords invites you to unapologetically draw boundaries around your time or energy in your work. You may be advocating for yourself in an unfair situation or simply creating more space for you to focus on important aspects of your work. Implementing these healthy boundaries with others or with how you spend your own time will create more structure, which allows you to flourish and develop self-sufficiency.
Queen of Swords Reversed Meaning
The reversed Queen of Swords may indicate that you are feeling a lack of clarity in your life and are having difficulty seeing the correct course of action, path forward, or resolution to a situation. Your logical mind could be clouded with anxieties or worries, making it difficult to be objective. This card invites you to reconnect with your intuition and your inner truth in order to find the clarity you are seeking.
The Queen of Swords reversed can represent the feeling of having your boundaries impinged on by others and the discomfort of not having your time or energy respected. This card encourages you to make a clear assessment of where you feel you are giving too much and make necessary adjustments so that you feel a sense of balance and reciprocity in your relationships.
The Queen of Swords reversed can also symbolize the fear of speaking one’s truth or embodying one’s authentic self with others. You could be hiding some aspect of yourself out of a fear of rejection or disapproval, which leads to feelings of confusion and repressed emotions. This card invites you to connect to your courage in order to unapologetically share who you are with openness and pride.
Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)
In a love tarot reading, the reversed Queen of Swords can represent the need to have open and honest conversations with your partner. There may be some area of tension within the relationship that is being ignored or denied, and this card reminds you that bringing the truth out into the open has the power to heal the rift and connect you again.
The Queen of Swords reversed can also point to a tendency to relate to others from a place of guardedness or defensiveness, or to be emotionally coldhearted. You may be fearful of opening up or revealing your true self to others, making it difficult to form deep emotional bonds. This card can suggest that cultivating greater emotional openness and vulnerability will support you in building authentic connections.
Love/relationships reversed keywords
Career/finance reversed keywords
need for honest conversations, healing power of truth, cultivating greater openness
ignoring an important truth, playing small, people-pleasing
Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)
In the reverse position, the Queen of Swords may indicate that there is an important truth that is being ignored or denied around what you want and need within your work. This could show up as playing small out of fear, allowing others to impinge upon your boundaries, or turning a blind eye to an uncomfortable situation.
This card encourages you to seek greater clarity around this situation by connecting to your inner truth and listening to constructive criticism. When you are able to tune into this voice within, you can begin to take the necessary action to ensure that you are not making decisions not out of fear, a desire to people-please, or an unwillingness to acknowledge the truth. From this place of honesty and wholeness, you can make empowered decisions.