The Two of Swords is the second tarot card in the Minor Arcana suit of Swords and builds upon the seed of potential depicted in the Ace of Swords. Following the new idea or breakthrough in the Ace, the Two represents the need to balance enthusiasm and conviction with intuitive self-reflection and the consideration of multiple perspectives.
The Two of Swords corresponds to the element of air and the first decan of the astrological zodiac sign Libra (0-9 degrees) and is ruled by the Moon. This decan is associated with the Autumn Equinox, when the hours of light and dark are equally balanced. The Moon, which continually waxes and wanes, speaks to the changeable nature of the mind and the need to cultivate quietude in order to establish inner balance.
Two of Swords Keywords
seeking justice and fairness, balance, considering multiple perspectives, in-between, tuning in to intuition
indecision, stalemate, avoidance, tuning out intuition, taking action
Description of the Two of Swords Tarot Card
The Two of Swords is a Minor Arcana card that builds on the theme of new potential in the preceding card of the Ace by establishing the need to find balance by quieting the mind. The 2s in the Minor Arcana are linked by the theme of duality. In the Two of Swords, this duality is depicted as the need to integrate the wisdom of the subconscious mind with conscious thoughts and ideas.
In the Rider Waite Smith tarot deck, a blindfolded woman sits at the boundary of a body of water and land, holding a pair of crossed swords over her chest. She’s dressed in white, symbolizing neutrality and purity. On the right side of the card, a crescent moon hangs overhead in the sky, symbolizing the changeability of her moods and thoughts and the external world, which is constantly in flux.
The moon and the ocean echo the Major Arcana card associated with this card’s ruling planet, The High Priestess, which ties in themes of intuition and mystery. This card’s decan (Libra I) also connects it to the Major Arcana card Justice, with her blindfold alluding to the phrase “Justice is blind.” The combination of these references describes the need to tune into intuition in order to perceive one’s inner truth.
The blindfold emphasizes that she must use her inner vision in order to find the clarity she’s seeking. By tuning out the noise of the external world and her own mind’s chatter, she can feel her way forward. She holds the swords over her chest, suggesting she’s closed off to letting in new information. The swords create a sense of visual balance, representing the inner equilibrium she seeks amidst the changes in her own mind and the outside world.
Two of Swords Upright Meaning
In the upright position of a tarot spread, the Two of Swords represents the feeling of being mentally overwhelmed and the subsequent need to tune into one’s intuition in order to come to a sense of clarity. The mind (represented by the swords) is seeking balance with the emotions (represented by the water and the moon). Finding ways to quiet the anxious mind with silence, meditation, or solitude may support the cultivation of inner peace.
Because there are two swords, this card suggests the need to create a spacious internal environment that can accommodate the presence of multiple perspectives within yourself. By considering opposing viewpoints, you can find your way toward fair and balanced decision-making. If Justice is blind, then the internal environment must be balanced, harmonious, and calm in order to arrive at the truth.
The blindfold suggests the need to temporarily tune out the desires of the ego, or the conscious mind, which perceives the world based on outer appearances. Instead, this card suggests using one’s inner vision to access the deeper layers of truth that reside in the subconscious mind, which, like the wisdom of the High Priestess, may not reveal itself in communicable language or visible forms.
The Two of Swords upright suggests being in a state of liminality and the need to quiet the mind in order to navigate these changes. Like the moon and the tides, the outer environment may be in flux, necessitating the cultivation of inner peace, balance, and conditions that support self-reflection.
Love and Relationships (Upright Meaning)
The Two of Swords upright may indicate being at a crossroads in your love life and feeling unsure of which direction to take within a relationship. You may be on the precipice of making an important decision, and this card suggests that finding ways to quiet the mind and connect with your heart will support you in making the right decision based on your true needs.
The upright Two of Swords can also indicate an unresolved issue within a relationship that has come to a standstill. Both parties may be entrenched in their point of view, creating a feeling of gridlock around the situation. You may benefit from making an effort to consider each other’s points of view in order to come to a compromise that honors the needs of both parties.
Love/relationships upright keywords
Career/finance upright keywords
crossroads, an important decision, quieting the mind, standstill, compromise
change or flux, overwhelmed by unknowns, torn between heart and head, wisdom of intuition
Career and Finance (Upright Meaning)
In a tarot reading, The Two of Swords upright may represent a time of change or flux within your work and the need to find a still center within in order to navigate these changes. You may be in-between jobs or projects, shifting career paths, or feeling overwhelmed by the unknowns. This card is an invitation to find ways to cultivate inner balance by quieting the mind, connecting to your heart, and finding a sense of inner peace.
This card suggests that you may be at a crossroads with your work and are on the brink of making an important, but difficult decision about which direction to follow. You may be experiencing information overload and feeling torn between your head and your heart, logic and emotion, rationality and feeling. In order to make a balanced decision, you may need to find ways of tuning out your anxious thoughts and the opinions of others in order to feel into the wisdom of your intuition.
Two of Swords Reversed Meaning
An upside-down Two of Swords can indicate ignoring the wisdom of the deep self and solely using the conscious mind to make decisions. There may be an imbalanced focus on the concerns of the ego or the rational mind that is leading you away from your deeper truth. You can come back into balance by asking your intuition for guidance.
The reversed Two of Swords can indicate avoiding making an important decision, having a difficult conversation, or choosing a path forward. You may be overwhelmed by the choices before you and are feeling torn in multiple directions. This card reminds you that in order to find the right way forward, it is important to create inner peace and quiet to hear the wisdom of your deep self.
Alternatively, the reversed Two of Swords can indicate that you are emerging from a period of indecision or confusion and have reached a moment of understanding. With this newfound clarity, you can take action toward what is fair, just, and in alignment with your inner truth. Committing to this path of action will relieve you from the stress of liminality.
Love and Relationships (Reversed Meaning)
In a love tarot reading, the Two of Swords reversed can indicate that a relationship has come to a standstill and that no progress is being made toward a compromise or mutual understanding. Your active participation is required for change to take place. If both parties are unwilling to compromise or see the other’s point of view, it may be wise to make the difficult choice to walk away from a stagnant situation.
The reversed Two of Swords can also indicate that you are emerging from a period of indecision and stagnation within your relationship. By cultivating the willingness to consider each others’ perspectives, you lay the groundwork for a fair and balanced compromise. You may feel a sense of relief as you come to an agreement and a mutual understanding.
Love/relationships reversed keywords
Career/finance reversed keywords
stalled progress, no compromise, emerging from stagnation, mutual understanding
overly rigid thinking, need to consider other perspectives, emerging from a standstill, taking action
Career and Finance (Reversed Meaning)
The Two of Swords reversed may indicate that you have become overly rigid in your thinking and that this is preventing you from making strides in your work or career. You may be viewing a situation in black and white when a more nuanced or sensitive outlook is required. If you’ve arrived at a standstill in your work, you may benefit from considering other perspectives on the issue in order to find a balanced way forward.
The reversed Two of Swords may also indicate that you are emerging from a period of standstill or stagnation in your work. Now that you have removed your metaphorical blindfold, you can see the situation clearly. From this place of clarity, you can make decisions and take action that is in alignment with fairness and truth.