The Swords Suit: How to Understand the Swords in Tarot

The Swords Suit: How to Understand the Swords in Tarot Girl and Her Moon

Represented by the air element and associated with the astrological signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, the Swords highlight everything that is to do with our thinking mind. It represents our capacity for thought, our logic, the action we undertake based on this thought and conflict that gets to the heart of the matter.

Where the Cups are feelings, and the Wands are passion, and the Pentacles are the material world, the Swords are cerebral. With Swords, it’s all about the brain!

Our society places a lot of emphasis on the brain. Sometimes, a little too much. For many years now, the rational and logical mind has taken precedence over the intuitive one. It has dominated creativity and the subconscious mind. 

Soul-based’ aspects, such as emotions, feelings and intuition, have taken a backseat to logic, ration and reason. While ration and reason are very important, this dominance has come with a price. We have not been taught in modern society to nurture our intuitive side as much as our intellect and, as a result, many people have become out of touch with this side of themselves.

We need the rational mind, the Sword mind, for so many aspects of our daily lives – to solve problems, to deal with conflict, to move forward with our plans and our goals. But head without heart comes at a cost. We are human beings, consisting not only of a mind, but of a heart and soul too.

Related article: The Wands Suit: How to Understand the Wands in Tarot


What do the Swords Mean?

As mentioned, Swords are cerebral. They are everything to do with our intellect, thought process and the planning we undertake to progress in many areas of our lives.

They can highlight the conflict and strife we face. They represent planning and preparation for daily tasks. They highlight out intellectual capacity.

Everything related to the mind is Sword.

This is why Swords are closely linked to Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Air signs are known for their intellectual capacity. Gemini is the great communicator who networks and brings people together, Libra is the one that seeks justice and balance and takes measures to bring this balance into fruition, and Aquarius is the innovative thinker that seeks to progress humankind throughout the ages. Swords people are inventive, genius and ready to tackle challenges, no matter how overwhelming they may be.


The Meaning of Swords from Ace to King

Each Tarot card has a variety of meanings attached to it depending on the context of the spread itself but if you are looking for some ideas as to what they could mean in your spread, the definitions below should provide some guidance.

  • Ace of Swords: Getting to the heart of the matter, seeking the truth, new ideas, fresh way of thinking, righting a wrong, being a champion for a cause, using your intellect, finding the strength to overcome a situation.
  • Two of Swords: Denying your true feelings, being disconnected from your emotions, refusing to see the truth, burying your head in the sand, keeping your distance, being stuck in a stalemate, refusing to take sides.
  • Three of Swords: Betrayal, heartbreak, earth-shattering news, hurting someone’s feelings/having your feelings hurt, feeling lonely, rejection, feeling that you have been abandoned, being in emotional pain, painful truth revealed.
  • Four of Swords: Taking time out, relaxing, finding inner peace, solitude, reflection, stepping outside of your situation and viewing it from a detached perspective, preparing for the future, accepting things as they are now, contemplation.
  • 5 of Swords: Looking out for your own needs and disregarding others, being selfish, acting with dishonour, determined to win no matter who gets hurt, gloating, lack of morality, hostility, violence, criminal behaviour, a losing battle, no winners in this situation.
  • 6 of Swords: Feeling low, dealing with trauma, starting to move to a better place, finding peace after the storm, finding hope, travelling, going on a new journey, being taken care of, helping someone get to a place of peace and comfort.
  • 7 of Swords: Running from responsibility, treachery, betraying someone, going at it alone, keeping to yourself, two-faced behaviour, lying, hiding a secret, secrecy, forbidden relationship, deceit, calculating, cunning plan.
  • 8 of Swords: Feeling trapped, feeling persecuted, feeling there is no way out, obstacles in front of you, bondage, helpless situation, confusion, in desperate need of guidance, desperate for help but not knowing how to ask for it, feeling powerless, looking to be rescued.
  • 9 of Swords: Anxiety, worry, staying up at night because of anxious thoughts, making a mountain out of a molehill, obsessive thoughts, feeling guilty, wishing you could turn back the clock, being too hard on yourself, dark night of the soul, unable to see the positives and focusing on the negatives.
  • 10 of Swords: The darkest hour before the dawn, being at your lowest, feeling it can’t get any worse than it is, feeling powerless, self-pity, putting yourself last, feeling you cannot take anymore, hitting rock bottom, struggling to see the light.


The next four cards are the Court Cards of the Swords suit and can represent the energy surrounding a situation or an individual.

  • Page of Swords: Using your mind to solve problems, clever, intelligence, keen to learn, truthfulness, acting ethically, refusing to be discouraged, if at first you don’t succeed then try again, righting a wrong, believing in justice, careless with words, cutting words.
  • Knight of Swords: Fighting for a worthy cause, brave, ready to leap into the thick of it, blunt, harsh with words, tactless, rude, gets to the point, gives honest feedback, strong influence, speaks with confidence, strong intellect, forceful in expression, alert, good debater, uses words well, knowledgeable, intelligent, logical, disregards feelings in favour of logic.
  • Queen of Swords: Cuts to the heart of the matter, sees through the lies, intelligent, sharp, doesn’t tolerate nonsense, honest, faces the truth, upfront, difficult to fool, understands the hidden motives of others, straight-forward, doesn’t beat around the bush, experienced, witty.
  • King of Swords: Highly intellectual, excellent speaker and writer, processes information quickly, excellent debater, knowledgeable, research skills, analytical, uses reason, excellent communication skills, honest, fair, just, able to size up a situation quickly and find solutions, ethical, works against corruption, strong principles, confident with beliefs, influences others with their words, cares about the truth.

Conclusion …

Of all the suits, the Tarot Swords are the ones where we may find some of the biggest challenges because it is in the realm of the mind where so many challenges tend to exist.

The Tarot Swords also teach us that no matter how challenging things can be, ultimately we are the masters of our mind. We may sink into the negative aspects of our mind as with the 9 of Swords where we allow worry and anxiety to get the better of us. Or we can become like the King of Swords who has mastered their mind and understands its workings to the degree that solutions can be found and implemented.

The Swords are a fascinating suit and enable us to understand ourselves at a deeper level. We all have the ability to become the King of Swords. It can be a tough journey from the Ace to get thee, but mastery over oneself is something we all have the ability to accomplish.

‘Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.’ – Lao Tzu

Read this next: The Cups Suit in Tarot: How to Understand the Cups in Tarot

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