The Suit of Swords represents the realm of the mind, our mental landscape, and inner dialogue, as well as our communications with others. This suit speaks to the quality of our thoughts and beliefs and the ways that the mind is a tool for clarity, insight, and intellectual pursuits. As one of the four suits of the tarot deck’s Minor Arcana, its function is to describe the way our minds impact our experiences and relationships, unlike the Major Arcana which reflects spiritual lessons to be integrated.
An abundance of Swords cards in a tarot reading is indicative of a focus on one’s thoughts, beliefs, communications, and mental-emotional healing. The Swords cards describe a concern with developing self-knowledge through reflection, examination of one’s beliefs, and the attainment of knowledge, wisdom, and clarity.
The Swords are connected to the element of air and to the need for exchange, reflection, and dialogue. They represent the ways that our minds can be a tool for liberation and growth or keep us trapped in anxiety and fear. Through the development of the suit, the Swords illustrate the ways that we can manage the power of the mind by balancing intellect and intuition.
Suit of Swords: Key Attributes
The key attributes of the Swords cards include logic, discernment, assessment, analysis, communication, and self-reflection.
Positive traits: The positive qualities associated with the Swords cards are the possibility of clarity, insight, and breakthroughs that expand one’s mind, balancing logic and intuition, mental-emotional healing, greater freedom by working through limiting beliefs, the attainment of wisdom, intellectual growth, and the ability to speak one’s truth.
Negative traits: The negative qualities associated with the Swords cards are a lack of clarity, the presence of deception, and being overly reliant on logic, as well as feelings of defeat, betrayal, and anxiety, the presence of limiting beliefs, painful endings, and a disconnection from one’s inner truth.
Correspondences: The Swords are connected to the air signs of the Zodiac: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Air element signs are associated with communicative exchange, social relationships, and the desire to act in accordance with one’s higher ideals.
Suit of Swords Tarot Card Meanings
The Suit of Swords includes nine numbered cards (Ace to 9) and four court cards. Within the Suit of Swords, each card has a specific meaning, which is outlined below.
The Ace of Swords upright indicates the possibility of a breakthrough, the emergence of clarity, and the feeling of being connected to what you know is true. The Ace of Swords reversed can suggest that you are not seeing things clearly or that you may fear expressing your truth to others.Read more →
The Two of Swords upright represents the need to tune into one’s intuition in order to come to a sense of clarity. The reversed Two of Swords can indicate an imbalanced focus on the concerns of the ego or the rational mind, which leads one away from one’s deeper truth.Read more →
The Three of Swords upright invites you to examine strong feelings of pain or sadness so that they may be acknowledged and felt, which begins the healing process. The Three of Swords reversed suggests the removal of the swords and the release from emotional pain and suffering.Read more →
The Four of Swords upright invites you to prioritize the needs of the soul, which requires rest, contemplation, and quietude in order to come back into balance. The Four of Swords reversed suggests a feeling of exhaustion, burnout, and stress, which could be weighing heavily on your mental, emotional, or physical health.Read more →
The upright Five of Swords speaks to confrontations with others that leave you feeling hurt, burned, defeated, and possibly remorseful about the words exchanged. The reversed Five of Swords indicates that you are moving out of a period of struggle, strife, or conflict and are working towards reconciliation and healing.Read more →
The Six of Swords upright suggests a time of transition as you leave behind a former aspect of your life and set sail toward a new destination. The reversed Six of Swords can indicate that you are in a period of transition or change but are resisting it by fixating on the past.Read more →
The Seven of Swords upright represents the feeling that one must use strategy, covert action, or a tactical approach to getting one’s needs met. The reversed Seven of Swords can indicate that you’ve spun an intricate web of rationalizations around certain actions or behaviors that are becoming increasingly convoluted.Read more →
The Eight of Swords upright suggests that your thoughts and beliefs have served to imprison you, restrict your freedom of movement, or keep you trapped in cyclical and disempowering narratives. The Eight of Swords reversed suggests that you’re freeing yourself from feeling stuck by releasing yourself from limiting beliefs.Read more →
The Nine of Swords upright represents the inner turmoil and anguish that can overpower the mind in times of stress and create anxious projections about the future. The reversed Nine of Swords can indicate that you are releasing yourself from persistent worries, fears, and anxieties by working through their root causes.Read more →
The Ten of Swords upright represents difficult endings and feelings of betrayal and loss and signals the need to release old and painful attachments. The reversed Ten of Swords can indicate that you are finally emerging from a period of intense pain, depression, or heartbreak by finding acceptance and forgiveness.Read more →
The Page of Swords upright represents the beginning phase of a new project or idea undertaken with youthful curiosity, enthusiasm, and the hunger for knowledge. The reversed Page of Swords can represent the fear of exploring a new idea or embarking on a new life chapter due to self-doubt.Read more →
The Knight of Swords upright describes the desire to take bold action in order to speak your truth or come out on top of a conflict. The reversed Knight of Swords can indicate that you’re pushing your impassioned beliefs onto others or that your mind is overloaded, leading to scattered and unfocused energy.Read more →
The Queen of Swords upright symbolizes your ability to make clear assessments and decisions and to speak the truth to yourself and others. The reversed Queen of Swords may indicate that you are feeling a lack of clarity and are having difficulty seeing the correct course of action or resolution to a situation.Read more →
The King of Swords upright represents a maturation of the intellect, the ability to perceive the truth, and the willingness to give voice to difficult feelings. The King of Swords reversed can point to a rigidity in your thinking or beliefs and a tendency to rely too heavily on logic.Read more →