The Suit of Swords

Swords represent the east or north, eagle, sylph, brown hair, brown eyes. They have to do with action, physical, working stages, change, force, movement, oppression, ambition, courage, trouble, and strife. They deal with the mental level of consciousness, thinking and intellectual. Swords mirror the quality of mind present in your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs.

The suit of swords corresponds symbolically to the alchemy element of air (Aquarius, Libra, Gemini), the most ethereal element of the four. In this sense the swords represent the mind, the intellect, and rationality. In addition, the swords represent power and thus their two-edged appearance; intellect and power can be used for either good or ill and must be balanced by spirit and feeling.

Many of the cards in this suit are fighting or in states of misfortune. Swords represent action, both constructive and destructive. They correspond to the suit of spades in a deck of playing cards. Sometimes this suit can also mean hatred, battle, and enemies. This is the suit of the warrior. Of all the suits, this one is considered to be the most powerful and dangerous. One can sense this by reading the above attributes of the card. Swords equals worldly power and sometimes violence.

Should the incidence of Swords be high in a reading, you may be quite correct to assume that the Seeker has many decisions or a decision has to be made. Also, there could be many arguments or even violence in his life at present. Don't be scared if a lot of swords appear in a reading. While swords represents a lot of negative aspects in a reading, swords serve as a warning to be careful and watch where you are going and to whom you deal with. That way we can use swords to our advantage and change things for the better.

The appearance of Sword cards is indicative of Winter or Spring, and months (as far as "time-telling" goes) in tarot reading.




Raw power, victory, imaginative, anxiety, perceived threat, anxious thoughts, mental force, definition, courage, justice, break-through


Karmic balance, stalemate, blocked emotions, tenseness, tense balance, impending conflict, anticipation, truce, doubt, path of discernment


Painful separation, heartbreak, conflict initiated, tension and stress, integrity, sorrow, suffering, without fear


Meditation, recuperation, reflection, withdrawal, contemplation, regrouping, retreat, peace, truce, prophetic powers


Blocked path, selfish, self-interest, humiliation, facing one's limits, cheat to win, salvage, betrayal, defeat, loss, passive endurance


Passage, pulling up stakes, insight, understanding, easing of stress, bridge over troubled waters, determination, assistance, journey, transition, as within, so without


Trust issue, sneaky, being evasive, guile, use of tact, shrewdness, cunning, diplomacy, stealth, theft, mistrust, futility, dishonesty, betrayal


Isolation, restriction, no choice, stifled, immobilized by fear of consequences, stuck, imprisonment, interference, danger


Depression, nightmares, worry, hopelessness, between a rock and a hard place, concern, intense anxiety, despair, misfortune, stress


Darkest just before dawn, desolation, catastrophe, defeat, foreboding about the future, disillusionment, extreme disappointment, transformation, crisis, unlucky, disaster, back-stabbed




A warning


Mental chaos, intellectual manipulations


Mental strength and power