Tarot for the Modern Reader
The Suit of Swords

Image of The Ace of Swords cardThe 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.

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    Image of The Ace of Swords cardAce of Swords

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

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

    Image of The Two of Swords cardTwo of Swords

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

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

    Image of The Three of Swords cardThree of Swords

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

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

    I’m Liza, professional Tarot reader, writer and mentor, and this is Tarot Liza. Everyday we're working to bring our mission of delivering more value and Tarot education to the Modern Reader to life! Welcome! Read more...

    Image of The Four of Swords cardFour of Swords

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

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

    Image of The Five of Swords cardFive of Swords

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

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

    Image of The Six of Swords cardSix 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

    Image of The Seven of Swords cardSeven of Swords

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

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

    Image of The Eight of Swords cardEight of Swords

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

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

    Image of The Nine of Swords cardNine of Swords

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

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

    Image of The Ten of Swords cardTen 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

    Image of The Page of Swords cardPage of Swords

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

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

    Image of The Knight of Swords cardKnight of Swords

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

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

    Image of The Queen of Swords cardQueen of Swords

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

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

    Image of The King of Swords cardKing 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