The Suit of Swords is built upon the element air, which symbolizes thought and communication. Many of the cards in this suit depict strife, struggle, and challenge. We must always remember that, as an airy suit, the struggle suggested is centered around the experience of thought, rather than what is actually happening. Indeed, our thoughts may have been inspired by events and experiences, but sometimes our thoughts are the bigger problem. Shifting one’s perspective is highly recommended when these cards show themselves.
Ace of Swords
The Ace of Swords represents new energy manifesting as thoughts, words (written or spoken), and ideas. It can indicate fresh ideas; an insight, a new way of thinking, new information, a new perspective. You might (be about to) receive the answer to a question you have had. Clear your mind of old thought patterns and make way for new ones. Meditate. Listen. Consider something new.
This Ace could indicate new communication. Perhaps you will receive a message or phone call from someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Or maybe you will understand more of what someone is saying, or be understood better than before.
Two of Swords
The Two of Swords often shows up when a decision is weighing heavily upon you. Maybe you have already decided in your mind, but are stalling, hesitant, or feeling trepidation. You might not want to take action since you are not certain or confident.
At the Two, as with most of the twos, there is balance, but in this case, with tension. This balance is not sustainable; it is not meant to last a long time.
You cannot know what is down one road until you venture down it. Once you do, you cannot know what would have been down the other road.
It is important to choose. Not choosing is a choice. Once you choose one option, the others may seem to disappear. Remember, there are always more options and more choices coming in the future. In actuality, many are still here now; you just not be able to see them yet.
Things will soon shift. You can give yourself some time. Reach for centeredness, then move forward with caution and awareness. The doorway is open; take a deep breath and step through it. The road ahead may look precarious, but any challenges that show themselves will support growth.
If you currently face two discrete options, you might want to pull cards for each option.
Three of Swords
Traditionally, the Three of Swords indicates emotional pain, heartache, hurt feelings. This reaction may sting, having come from an event that took you by surprise.
Stepping back, this three highlights the part of the creative process where what is no longer useful is removed. Maybe you chose to break it off. Maybe your partner did. Maybe something was lost or broken or was taken away. Perhaps an opportunity disappeared or seemed to fail.
Letting go can be a painful process, but it helps to recognize that what is going away is not what is best for you. There will be better options down the road.
Let the emotion flow; don’t deny what you are feeling. Resisting what is happening will prolong the pain. Relief comes through acquiescence and acceptance.
Four of Swords
The Four of Swords highlights rest and reprieve. You might be in the middle of a chaotic or stressful time, but if you quiet your mind, you can find relief, which can lead you out of the storm.
Fours are typically stable, but the stability here it the most difficult to sustain. It could be the start of something, however.
The ease, the calm, the relief may have flowed in on its own. If not, reach for this by pausing, by giving yourself a break, by taking the time to step away for a while.
Five of Swords
The Five of Swords highlights fear in a general sense. You likely feel trepidation, dread, or anxiety. You might not know what the cause of it is.
More than likely, this is something that grew slowly over time. Maybe you have been entertaining worrisome thought long enough to experience this uneasy feeling almost daily.
As with all of the challenging Swords cards, the emotional response is to the thoughts you are having. The relief thus comes from directing your mind away from the worry and toward something better. At the five, this shouldn’t be too difficult, but the time is right to apply effort.
The fives signify change…so reach for change. The current pattern has outlived its usefulness. Reach for something better.
Fearing the worst doesn’t mean something bad is going to happen.
Six of Swords
At the Four of Swords, we find relief through quiet and stillness. At the Six of Swords, we find relief through movement.
You can view this as a movement away from harm. I prefer to view this as a movement toward harmony.
The movement of the Six may be literal. It could indicate a trip (a vacation) or the moving of one’s home (or office). In any case, the move will bring benefit.
Worrisome thoughts bring us to uneasy feelings. At the Six, we are being reminded that your thoughts can lift you up out of those uncomfortable feelings too. Even if you are still aware of the feelings, you can direct your focus above them. Don’t deny the feelings, just don’t focus on them either. Ride on top of the feelings to move forward.
Since movement restores harmony, if nothing above seems to match, it could be good to take a walk to clear your mind and thus refresh your vibration.
At the Six, it doesn’t matter where you started or what you were feeling. You are now, or could soon, move toward something better.
Seven of Swords
Like the Three, the Seven of Swords typically comes with loss and/or pain. In this case, there seems to be a culprit. Some person, and perhaps someone close to us, has betrayed us. Maybe they stole something from us. Maybe they said something slanderous about us. Maybe they failed to do what they promised and let us down.
You feel the loss. You feel cheated. You might even feel violated. You likely feel hurt and anger, and of course, blame.
Move yourself out of blame as quickly as you can. What occurred is over and done with. You now know more than you knew before. That information, albeit painful, is helpful…if you allow it to be.
Sometimes this card, as will all Swords cards, is abstract. It could be about the idea of theft and betrayal. Maybe you are worrying about being hurt by others. Maybe you feel like something outside of you is impeding your journey. Maybe you are blaming someone when it is not really their fault. In these cases, be aware of what you are thinking and believing and reach for something better.
Eight of Swords
Eights come with a lot of energy. In the case of the Eight of Swords, that energy is swirling. It doesn’t seem to have a place to go, so it sits and spins.
If the decision implied by the Two of Swords is held off for too long, it can grow into the experience of the Eight.
You might feel confusion. You might feel dizzy. Maybe there are too many choices and none of them seem right. Maybe each potential option requires something else to happen first. The pressure feels greater now.
You feel stuck, trapped, imprisoned, or caught in an eddy of circular thinking. Know that this is merely in your mind. Just because you don’t know what to do doesn’t mean this is unknowable. It doesn’t mean there are no viable options.
A next step always exists. It might simply be to sit and calm your mind down (a la the Four of Swords), although given the energy of Eight, this might be difficult. The movement of the Six might be a more accessible reprieve.
At this card, your thoughts are your worse enemy, so ease or distract your mind in some way. Give yourself a break; go do something else if you can, focus on something stable and secure, even if off topic. Talk through the situation with another person. They might have insight or present a new perspective.
Try and channel the mental energy into something productive. Rely more on your eyes than you thoughts. In other words, really look at what is presented to you, not what you extrapolate from each option. Question your assumptions.
Nine of Swords
At the Nine of Swords, our fret has grown to the point where it is keeping us up at night. Perhaps we were able to go to sleep, but then woke from a nightmare.
Nightmares are helpful. Here, the worrisome thoughts we’ve entertained are only manifesting in the astral plane. This is good. We are not yet channeling this energy into events. We are getting closer, but we still have time to shift ourselves upward.
If a nightmare seems to pop up out of nowhere, look for the information it is bringing. The details of the dream might not apply to your life at all, but the feelings could be insightful. What were you feeling just before you were startled awake? Can you trace it back, feeling by feeling?
If you are not fretting or worrying, this card could simply indicate that information is coming to you through your dreams, so pay attention to them and perhaps keep a dream journal for a while to see what insights you uncover.
Ten of Swords
The Ten of Swords typically features a gruesome image. It is often referred to as the nadir. It is the lowest point in the cycle. It represents the worst that will happen. The good news is: it gets better from here.
That worst that will happen may not be anything close to what you fear. This card is not about the worst that can happen. As with this whole suit, temper your negative imagination.
Negative energy, from thoughts and then feelings, have to go somewhere. It is best to not hold on to them, which keeps them in your body and aura.
Sometimes, the best thing that can happen is an event that releases a bunch of negative energy all at once. We never like negative events, but they are often less difficult than festering. If that happened, make the best of it.
This card in the past is good. The storm has already passed. You can now start the cleanup and move forward again.
As with all Swords cards, keep in mind this is a mental suit. It is more about your thoughts than what will actually occur as events.
The Court of Swords
Do not rely too heavily on the gender of the archetype. These cards can represent anyone.
King of Swords
The King of Swords is an intelligent man. He is an expert in his field. He is methodical and logical. He has accumulated a wealth of knowledge over the years. At this stage of life, he typically knows what to do and takes action with ease.
Because he is knowledge-based, he can be cool and detached. He knows what he knows and thus doesn’t think about it much.
Abstractly, this cards suggests knowing what to do and thus putting that knowhow into action.
Although knowledge is usually reliable here, it never hurts to consider one’s intuition.
When representing someone else, this person has knowledge that can help you.
Queen of Swords
The Queen of Swords can represent a sharp woman or person. She is smart. She is formidable. She is strong-willed. She is focused and intent.
She can come across as cold and perhaps bitter. She doesn’t tolerate disrespect or dissent. If you are going to challenge her, you had better do your research and know the facts.
This Queen may seem unfeeling, but I highly doubt that is ever the case. She may be protecting her soft feminine and vulnerable side inside of an air of intelligence or superiority. If she has been hurt, she can be manipulative, but only for her own protection. She will use her strong will and intellect to protect those she loves. She is not afraid to speak her truth (right or wrong).
If this Queen represents an aspect of you, don’t disregard your feelings, your intuition, or your emotional needs. Yes, your intellect, your knowledge, and your knowhow prove advantageous at this time, but these are not your only assets.
If this Queen represents someone in your life, she will likely be a formidable opponent. Don’t challenge her intellectually from the get-go. She dominates from that position. Appeal to her feminine side first (by embracing your own).
You are not likely to win an argument with her, so strive for connecting on common ground. Seek underlying values where you can agree, then work up from there.
Knight of Swords
The Knight of Swords is quick-mined. He is fast on his feet. He may not be as knowledgable or experienced as the King, but he knows how to respond to most situations and can think his way out of a jam.
The Knight of Swords is the most warrior-like of the Knights. He is not just ready to take action, but itching to move. He can be impetuous. He relies on his quick mind, but may not have taken enough time to think things through. He will tend to take action from his first thought, which might not be the best one.
The Knight’s intentions are usually good. As a person in your life, he can be helpful. Just don’t let him talk you into taking action too quickly.
If this Knight represents you, you have both the knowledge and energy to get the job done, but it won’t hurt to think about it just a bit more deeply before diving in.
Page of Swords
The Page of Swords is the novice of this court. He is in a learning phase. He may have gained confidence, as he is intelligent for sure, but he could still be unexperienced enough to make mistakes. We do learn from our mistakes, so this is not necessarily bad.
When any page shows up as a person, it could be a child or someone young and/or inexperienced. Perhaps you have something to teach him.
When this card represent you, know that you have more to learn. Don’t fear this; embrace it. Take action when you (think you) know what to do. If you make a mistake, accept the knowledge and experience it brought you.
Even a mature and seasoned person might have to learn to communicate in a particular situation. Everyone speaks their own language to some degree. A word or phrase may mean something to you, but mean something else to the other person.
Be aware that what you say may not be accepted as you intended. Don’t be frustrated, just say it another way. Learn how the other person communicates.