Tarot for the Modern Reader
The Suit of Swords

min_s_acThe Suit of Swords corresponds to the element of Air. This is the designation given to it by the Order of the Golden Dawn. It is associated with mental activity, thinking, clarity, but also strife, difficulty and power issues. Generally speaking, it’s the Suit that seems to reflect the most difficulty, and in a broad sense, there are only a few Swords cards that readers typically welcome in a spread unfortunately.
That does not mean that the Suit is without merit, and on the contrary, these are the difficulties in life that push us to stretch to the next great thing. When Swords come up in a reading, it can indicate difficulties, hardships or endings in whatever area is being asked about. As a matter of timing, it usually indicates a month to a few months. The Suit of Swords corresponds to the Fall Season, again with the Autumnal Equinox falling in the third Cardinal sign, which is Libra, an Air sign.
Some key concepts for the Suit of Swords that are positive include mental acuity, sharpness in mind and speech, the ability to create and articulate clear ideas and directions, and forward movement. This is the desire to seek, and share, the truth. To “call a spade a spade so to speak”. On the negative side, this card is ripe with painful emotions such as heartbreak, indecision, unfairness, theft, deception, aggression and painful finalities.
The Suit of Swords corresponds in a deck of playing cards to the sharp, cold Suit of Spades. In other decks it goes by the names of Daggers, Blades and Knives. Of course this does not change the meanings of the cards, different Tarot Scholars over the years have used different systems of identification. If you use a deck that uses these different correspondences, you can convert them to Swords. The Sword cards are typically associated with the Air signs, and as such, the Court Cards from this suit are generally used to represent people who have their Sun in the sign of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.
Major Arcana cards that correlate to the Suit of Swords are as follows: The Fool, The Magician, The Lovers, Justice and The Star. In each of these cards you will find the Swords mental energy.

min_s_acAce of Swords

Keywords: New ideas, intellect, clear logical thought, truth, power

Reverse Keywords: Confusion, lies, delay, difficult communications, lack of clarity

min_s_02Two of Swords

Keywords: Indecision, difficult choice, contemplation, peace, mediator

Reverse Keywords: Impossible choice, can’t decide rationally, over-thinking, pressured

min_s_03Three of Swords

Keywords: Sorrow, heartbreak, sadness, betrayal, pain, rupture, separation, loss

Reverse Keywords: Moving on, recovering from heartache, or stuck in sorrow

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min_s_04Four of Swords

Keywords: Rest, recovery, retreat, relax, recuperation, review, incarceration, vacation, withdrawal

Reverse Keywords: Retreating too long, or not taking a needed break

min_s_05Five of Swords

Keywords: Defeat, self-defeat, arguments, no winners, smug attitude

Reverse Keywords: Laying down weapons, reconciliation, resolutions, apologizing, reflection

min_s_06Six of Swords

Keywords: Moving on, transition, starting over, leaving difficulties behind, travel over water

Reverse Keywords: Not moving on, difficulty leaving the past behind, travel difficulties

min_s_07Seven of Swords

Keywords: Lies, cheating, stealing, manipulation, deception, stealth, strategy, research

Reverse Keywords: Coming clean, fessing up, facing consequences, guilt, regret

min_s_08Eight of Swords

Keywords: Entrapment, feeling helpless, self-constraint, mental fog, victim mentality

Reverse Keywords: Removing limiting beliefs, reclaiming personal power, not a victim

min_s_09Nine of Swords

Keywords: Worry, anxiety, bad dreams, mental stress, insomnia, psychological fears

Reverse Keywords: Extreme anxiety, nightmares, depression, paranoia, phobias, shadow work

min_s_10Ten of Swords

Keywords: Hitting rock bottom, the end, ruin, destruction, closure, finality

Reverse Keywords: Nowhere to go but up, hope, recovery, fresh start, resisting ending

min_s_paPage of Swords

Keywords: Fresh ideas, messages, writing, student, immature expression, curious

Reverse Keywords: Trouble with words, difficult messages, misunderstandings, lying, gossip

min_s_knKnight of Swords

Keywords: Quick-witted, sharp mind, problem solver, quick-tempered, impatient, rushing

Reverse Keywords: Aggressive, cutting, fanatical, reckless with words, closed minded, slander

min_s_quQueen of Swords

Keywords: Intelligent, clear communicator, rational woman, truth, independent, mature, fair

Reverse Keywords: Cold, demanding, harsh cutting words, calculating, unjust, critical, gossip

min_s_kiKing of Swords

Keywords: Authoritative, logical, fair, just, unemotional, lawyer, judge, level-headed, direct

Reverse Keywords: Cold-hearted, controlling, absolute power, unfair, cruel words, harsh, manipulation

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