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About the Suit of Swords



Note: While some of this material was taken from our experience and early training, much of this material was sourced directly from “The Tarot” by Eden Gray ISBN: 0553277529 and “The Enchanted Tarot” by Amy Zerner and Monte Farber. ISBN: 0312050798. Meanings are divinatory (for use as general guideline in interpretation in a reading) and do not provide the mythical or general background behind each major arcana card.


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Keyword: Force, raw power, victory, imaginative, anxiety, perceived threat, anxious thoughts, mental force, definition, courage, justice, break-through

Triumph, the excessive degree in everything, conquest, triumph of force. It is a card of great force, in love as well as in hatred. The seeds of success and triumph are taking root. Conquest. Triumph of power. Great activity. Power to love or hate strongly. Possible birth of a child who will be of heroic temperament. Championship. Make long term goals and initiate them immediately. Some destruction may be necessary to cut away dead wood but do not use force or manipulation. If you do use this powerful force for unjust manipulation or punishment, then karma/fate will determine your destiny. This card is a double-edged sword, capable of both attack and defense. Concentrate on principles and not on form.

Rev. Careful! Don’t apply any more pressure at this time to achieve your goals. Conquest, but results are disastrous. Obstacles. Great loss. Infertility. The same, but the results are disastrous; another account says –conception, childbirth, augmentation, multiplicity.


Keyword: Balance, stalemate, blocked emotions, tenseness, tense balance, impending conflict, anticipation, truce, doubt, path of discernment

Conformity and the equipoise which it suggests, courage, friendship, concord in a state of arms, affection, intimacy. You don’t know what to do, choice is six of one, half dozen of another. Grasp your sword of individuality and march to the beat of your own drummer. Tension in relationship. Indecision. Balanced forces. Military friendships. A well-developed sense of balance and rhythm but needs direction. Stalemate. Although you must be on guard to prevent time spent in contemplation from being a period of stalemate or procrastination, this is a time for considering the viewpoints held by others. Compromise is at the heart of diplomacy, and through diplomacy much may be won that cannot be gained through aggression. Though you may not possess all the pieces of the puzzle, for the time being, let things stand as they are. Arriving on safe ground after a rough journey, now uncertain of the right directions. Go with what’s close to your heart.

Rev. Things are happening! You’re able to make decisions. Care is needed. Release, movement of affairs, sometimes in the wrong direction. Avoid impostors. Sympathy for those in trouble. Possible disloyalty. Imposture, falsehood, duplicity, disloyalty.


Keyword: Sorrow, disappointment, painful separation, heartbreak, conflict initiated, tension and stress, integrity, suffering, without fear

Removal, absence, delay, division, rupture, dispersion, and all that the design signifies naturally. It’s hard to bear the pain of separation and to understand why we are afflicted with such deep sorrow. The pain is hard to let go of, but it will go. Stormy weather for the affections. Tears, separation, quarreling. A general upheaval of the environment. Possibility of civil war. Political strife. There will be some realization of incompatibility in a relationship. Someone has destroyed your trust and your defenses are down. You are experiencing feelings of hurt and having bitter thoughts. Remember your true identity as a spirit in flesh, and your true purpose as a soul traveling onward in knowledge born of experience. Give yourself the love you have been giving the other and your sorrow will be conquered. Disappointment is due to an imbalance between the heart and the mind – look more closely at your plans to see what you really want.

Rev. Similar interpretation as upright position, but circumstances are not so severe. Still, confusion, loss, sorrow, upheaval but in a lesser degree. Mental alienation, error, loss, distraction, disorder, confusion.


Keyword: Seclusion, meditation, recuperation, reflection, withdrawal, contemplation, regrouping, retreat, peace, truce, prophetic powers

Vigilance , retreat, solitude, hermit’s repose, exile, tomb and coffin. Feeling of being cut off and out of touch. Take this time to think of new plans for the future. Remain focused on your goals. Rest after war. Hermit’s repose. Banishment. Relaxation of anxiety. Release from suffering. There will soon be change for the better. Not a card of death. You are learning now to look inward, to accept and to understand. In doing so, you will be healed and renewed. This is a time for strategic withdrawal. Take sanctuary where you may find it and retreat in the midst of life’s apparent chaos. Reflection, self-examination and meditation are called for. You will receive guidance from your Higher Mind after a much needed period of repose. This card can also speak to an admiring, if distant, mother, to the repair of family relationships that comes over time.

Rev. You’re back in action! Good opportunities ahead, but do tread carefully. Renewed activity, qualified success. Movement in your affairs. Social unrest. A caution to be wise, circumspect and economical. Wise administration, circumspection, economy, avarice, precaution, testament


Keyword: Defeat, blocked path, selfish, self-interest, humiliation, facing one’s limits, cheat to win, salvage, betrayal, defeat, loss, passive endurance

Degradation, destruction, reversal, infamy, dishonour, loss. Lack of sensitivity. Interest only in self-gain. Drop old ideas. Change your attitude. Failure, defeat, degradation. Conquest of others. Unfairness, slander, cruelty, cowardice (client may be the conquered or the conqueror depending on cards next to this one in the spread). If a problem presents itself in such a way that victory cannot be won or that the cost is too high, the fight must be surrendered. Accept this. Look to the future and remember that this storm will pass. Revenge or blame need not be meted out as this will just waste what precious resources you still have remaining. Where no victory is possible, it is best to walk away – if you are lucky enough to be able to do so. This can also speak to a promotion that comes from others leaving as a result of dissatisfaction with their performance.

Rev. If there is no change in attitude, loss can be incurred. Beware of pride. Chance of loss or defeat. Attendance at a funeral. Empty victory. Sorrow. Weakness. The same; burial and obsequies.


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

Journey by water, route, way, envoy, commissionary, expedient. Difficult cycle is ending. You are crossing the bridge. Set your sights on the future. It looks good. The future will be better. Success after anxieties. Journey to a new home, by water. Sending someone to represent you in an undertaking. Also, a journey in consciousness. A change of direction will give you a different perspective. A new vista may open up, bringing new, liberating solutions to old problems. A difficult cycle is now ending and the passage will be smooth after a few tumultuous waves of transition. If you can change your mind, you can change your world, for your world is greatly affected by your state of mind.

Rev. Feeling of being locked into a difficult set of circumstances. Nothing can be accomplished at this point. Just wait. You will stay where you are. No immediate way out of present difficulties. Unfavourable issue of lawsuit or undertaking. Declaration, confession, publicity; one account says that it is a proposal of love.


Keynote: Opposition, loss, theft, trust issue, sneaky, being evasive, guile, use of tact, shrewdness, cunning, diplomacy, stealth, theft, mistrust, futility, dishonesty, betrayal

Design, attempt, wish, hope, confidence; also quarrelling, a plan that may fail, annoyance Things may not have worked out the way you planned. Maintain inner harmony; there are many paths to personal freedom. A plan may fail. An unwise attempt to make away with what is not yours. Unstable effort. Arguments over plans. Spying on another. Partial success. To escape from the opposition you are encountering, you must be logical and persistent and not resort to trickery. You must face the fact that troubles are often self-created and that only by identifying and eliminating repeated negative patterns of behaviour will you cease to add your energies to the opposing forces. You can minimize your losses with attention to the situation at hand and a willingness to move on.

Rev. Listen carefully, someone may be offering the advice and help you need. Possibility of unexpected good. Sound advice. Instruction. Wish about to be fulfilled. Good advice, counsel, instruction, slander, babbling.


Keynote: Indecision, isolation, restriction, no choice, stifled, immobilized by fear of consequences, stuck, imprisonment, interference, danger

Bad news, violent chagrin, crisis, censure, power in trammels, conflicts, calumny; also sickness. Unable to make any decision, you feel very restricted. You have experienced hurt or anxiety. Your time will come soon in the spring of new opportunity. Narrow, restricted surroundings. Bondage. Imprisonment through indecision. Betrayal. Fear to move out of a situation. Temporary sickness. Don’t concentrate on unimportant details. Try to see the whole picture. In times of doubt and confusion, don’t act immediately but patiently wait for illumination from your Higher Mind. Don’t over-analyze; nor can you expect another to rescue you. Your own lack of perspective has imprisoned you. You must now work and pray to be freed. The worst is over, the best is yet to come – with effort and caution. Can represent someone who holds themselves back, is too restrained, the source of their own sorrows.

Rev. Pressure is being released. Soon you will be able to forge ahead. New beginnings now possible. Impulsive, generous nature. Relaxation from fear. Freedom. Disquiet, difficulty, opposition, accident, treachery; what is unforeseen; fatality.


Keyword: Nightmare, worry, depression, hopelessness, between a rock and a hard place, concern, intense anxiety, despair, misfortune, stress, inspiration in the night

Death, failure, miscarriage, delay, deception, disappointment, despair. Despair and anxiety cause misery and sense of hopelessness. Release your old burdens. Keep moving forward. Don’t look back. Suffering, loss, misery. Burden, oppression. Doubt and desolation. Illness. May mean death of a loved one. In darkness, personal demons seem larger than ever. The monsters must be met, identified and fought, in order to free yourself. Sometimes just admitting that such things exist may be all the knowledge necessary for your escape. If, as in a terrible dream, fears and frightening projections are not confronted, they may overwhelm you. Unchecked, they may even make you ill. Can also speak to the need to pay attention to one’s dreams, to the inspirations that come as we awaken or fall asleep – to be alert for a good idea to come from within.

Rev. Tomorrow holds new promise and hope. Patience, unselfishness. Time brings healing. Tomorrow is another day. Imprisonment, suspicion, doubt, reasonable fear, shame.


Keyword: Ruin, darkest just before dawn, desolation, catastrophe, defeat, foreboding about the future, disillusionment, extreme disappointment, transformation, crisis, unlucky, disaster, back-stabbed, end of cycle, completion

Whatsoever is intimated by the design; also pain, affliction, tears, sadness, desolation. Extreme unhappiness, depression and deep sense of loss. Allow new energies to transform you. Change is imminent. This is serious – ruin of plans and projects. Defeat in war. Disruption of home life. Tears will fall. Trouble comes in spite of riches and high position. Not a card of violent death. A suggestion to give charity freely to those in trouble. When you are terribly afraid that things will not work out; that ruin and despair will beset you, you must “let go and let God”. Accept that the struggle must end and blessed release will come at its finish. Healing a wound this deep may require outside, professional help. Do not attempt it alone. Work on completing tasks in order to move past the current cycle and open the new.

Rev. Cycle of events changing. You are coming out of a bad situation. New and positive vibrations on the way. Overthrow of evil forces. Some success and profit. Courage to rise again. In spiritual matters, looking to higher powers for help. Advantage, profit, success, favour, but none of these are permanent; also power and authority.

PAGE OF SWORDS (Sometimes known as Princess of Swords)

Keyword: Young Woman or Child; Vigilance

Authority, overseeing, secret service, vigilance, spying, examination, and the qualities thereto belonging. A young person’s activities could cause you some concern. A young person who might be a page in diplomatic or government service. He/she already has great understanding and knows how to use diplomacy. This card can mean a message and certain types of spying as well as grace and dexterity. Some interesting information will surprise you. You will be filled with innovative ideas concerning how to apply your theories to your world. Your ability to think in an abstract manner will enable you to see weak spots in planning. The ability to cut through extraneous words in communications will be of benefit to you. Can indicate that a worrisome time is passing.

Rev. Young people are sometimes unpredictable. Be prepared for the unexpected. Impostor, likely to be exposed. Frivolity and cunning. Possibility of ill health. Be prepared for the unexpected. More evil side of these qualities; what is unforeseen, unprepared state; sickness is also intimated.


KNIGHT OF SWORDS (Sometimes known as Prince of Swords)

Keyword: Young Man; A warning, fast actions, angry disputes

Skill, bravery, capacity, defense, address, enmity, wrath, war, destruction, opposition, resistance, ruin. Courteous young man has good intentions but his attitude can be overbearing. A dashing, brave young man. Though he may be domineering, he has a clear heart and is full of courage. The card may mean the coming or going of misfortune. Now is the time to respond. This card indicates a lot of movement, expressed as the interplay of all kinds of ideas and people with new ideas. Words will have to be exchanged but it is possible to forcefully express oneself without an argument. Be careful of sarcastic or cutting words that will provoke future conflict. Ideas can stimulate you now as they never have before.. This card also speaks to the need to make productive use of one’s anger, to get involved in causes or one’s community, to take some action around whatever is troubling you, and to stay in action around the solutions.

Rev. Steer clear of this young man; he could upset your plans and create trouble. Extravagance. Given to bragging. Tyranny over helpless be it man or animal. A person always ready to start a fight. Destruction may come about through his activities. Imprudence, incapacity, extravagance.


Keyword: Mature Woman; Mental chaos, intellectual manipulations

Widowhood, female sadness and embarrassment, absence, sterility, mourning, privation, separation. Lady with sharp wit who appears to have money. Could be widowed or divorced. Probably does not have children, but is interested in them. A subtle, keen and quick-witted woman who may be unable to bear children. Perhaps she is mourning for those she loves who are far away from her. If no woman, may mean widowhood, mourning, privation. Kindness but also firmness. Keen observation. Gracefulness, fondness for dancing. Use your ideas and insight to establish your power and know success. The sheer volume of information to be considered at this time may be something of a burden in itself. Solitude is necessary to devote your full concentration to the matter at hand. Take care that strictness will not cause prudish or unscrupulous acts if there is any deviation from what is considered the norm. May speak to the need to get organized in one’s life.

Rev. This lady can be intolerant with a narrow outlook on life. She finds it difficult to see anyone else’s point of view. Unreliability. Narrow-mindedness. Gossip. Deceit. Malice. A woman of artifice and prudery. Malice, bigotry, artifice, prudery, deceit.


Keyword: Mature Man; Mental strength and power

Whatsoever arises out of the idea of judgement and all its connections –power, command, authority, militant intelligence, law, offices of the crown, and so forth. This man has authority; he could be with the government or associated with the law. Gives excellent counsel. This is a man who may be a lawyer, a judge, a general or a governor, certainly someone who takes things seriously. Gives wise counsel, is firm in enmity as well as in friendship. Man of many ideas, thoughts and designs. If no man, qualities of strength, power, authority or military intelligence. A lawsuit is in the offing. If you would be a master of the realm of ideas, remember that even if your intellect is aroused and stimulated by a flurry of new ideas, do not let it lead you into a state where daydreaming and imagining become more important than making your ideas real. Be aware that there are others who would love to share your thoughts and be stimulated by learning from you.

Rev. This man’s personality is inclined to be strict to the point of cruelty. Does not appear to have any compassion. Distrustful, suspicious. Also harsh and malicious. Plotting, barbarity, power for disruption are revealed. Cruelty, perversity, barbarity, perfidy, evil intention.

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