Queen of Swords

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The Queen of Swords is the female ruler of the Minor Arcana’s Swords suit, which is linked to element of air.

The Queen of Swords combines all of the mental clarity and communication skills of the Tarot’s suit of Swords with the mature and nurturing energy of its Queens.

The Queen of Swords stands for clear communication, careful and unbiased judgement, intelligence, and the setting of boundaries, which sometimes includes the severing of ties. When she appears in a Tarot reading, the Queen of Swords is usually a positive omen, as she brings clarity, rational thought and positive air energy to the table.

What do the Queens mean in Tarot?

Each of the four Queens of the Tarot rules over one of the four elements; air, earth, fire and water. In their own right, all of the Queen court cards are representatives of the fluid, receptive and nurturing element of water.

What this means is that the Queen of Swords embodies and combines the elements of water and air, and al of the qualities each of these two elements represent.

What element is Swords in Tarot?

In the symbolic language of the Tarot, the swords are linked to the element of air.

Air is linked to thinking and communication, including thought patterns, beliefs, self-talk and the ways in which we express ourselves and make ourselves be understood.

Swords, when wielded with skill and care, is a powerful and exceptionally useful weapon to have in your arsenal. But swords are also sharp and deadly, and if you treat them carelessly – or have never learned how to wield them properly in the first place – they can cause great damage to yourself and others.

An example of a Tarot archetype demonstrating mastery over the swords and its meaning is the Judgement card. Here, we see the unbiased judge holding a large sword aloft, keeping it perfectly straight and balanced. An example of a Tarot archetype displaying poor swordsmanship is the Five of Swords, in which we see a sly-looking character scavenging swords from the battlefield. He is holding two swords clumsily in his arms while reaching for another – it is not unfeasible that he will injure himself on the powerful weapons he is handling with so little respect.

The Queen of Swords, of course, is a ruler of the element of air, and she knows how to wield her weapon with grace and purpose.

Queen of Sword Tarot card description and symbology

The appearance of the Queen of Swords may vary between Tarot decks, but most card will have the following symbols in common, based on the traditional Rider-Waite Tarot.

The Queen

The primary figure in the Queen of Swords Tarot card is, naturally, the Queen herself.

The Queen of Swords sits on her throne and is facing out of the card, ostensibly lookingtowards the future, her gaze clear and focused. She is dressed in a flowing light grey robe, the same colour as the clouds behind her, making her seem as light and ethereal as one of the clouds. Her blue cape is decorated with a motif of clouds, and she is wearing a crown of golden butterflies, signifying lightness and transformation. Her left hand is raised in a gesture of receiving, or perhaps of welcome.

The sword

In her right hand the Queen holds a very large sword, perfectly poised and pointing straight upwards.

The Queen holds no sceptre or other royal power symbols – she derives her power and authority from the blade and the mastery she has over it.

The throne

The Queen of Swords sits on a throne decorated with cherubs and butterflies. Both are winged creatures, connected with the air.

The butterflies flies are also symbols of transformation and of the potential we all have to become more than what we currently are – just think of the caterpillar reforming itself inside its mysterious pupae before emerging as a beautiful butterfly. The butterfly as a symbol reminds us of our own power to transform and evolve, if we set our mind to it.

The cherubs hint at the spiritual realm and subtly suggest that the Queen of Swords has a softer side behind her rather stern and tight-laced exterior.

The landscape

Behind the Queen’s throne, large clouds gather – something we see often in the suit of Swords.

The clouds remind us of the malleable, moveable landscape of our inner thoughts as well as of our outer expression.

Queen of Swords Tarot card meanings

When the upright Queen of Swords appears in a Tarot reading, she is often a good omen, a sign of self-sufficiency, boldness and independent thinking. However, she can also be a tough character to come up against when we encounter her in someone else, a superior at work for instance.

When the Queen appears reversed, she may suggest a person struggling to set boundaries and trust in their own inner voice.

From the good to the bad, here are the most prevalent Queen of Swords Tarot card meanings.

Independence

The Queen of Swords is a confident, original and independent thinker. She calls her own shots, makes her own decisions and while she may lend and ear to constructive criticism, she rarely takes it on board.

The Queen of Swords might be a mature or older woman, although any person might possess and express her qualities regardless of age and gender.

The Queen of Swords knows who she is and what she wants. She is confident; fully aware of the vast reserves of wisdom and ability she presides over.

Clear and direct communication

The Queen of Swords is completely honest and often very direct in her communication. She neither pussyfoots around or leaves things up to chance or supposition. She says it as she sees it.

Setting boundaries

The upright Queen of Swords is adept at setting boundaries – she does not take orders from anyone.

The Queen of Swords is sometimes described as a cold-hearted Queen, but this is rarely the case; she is simply comfortable insisting on her own space, stating her wants and needs, and setting standards and boundaries.

Cutting ties

When her requirements are not being met or when the Queen of Swords has been slighted, she is not afraid to cut the cord.

The Queen of Swords rarely give second chances, and people in her life would be wise to mark her words when she confides in them what she needs and expects.

The Queen of Swords has a lot of self-respect and does not dwell on negative emotions. Instead, she deals with them in a straight-forward and practical manner – even if this means ending a longterm relationship or friendship.

Reversed Queen of Swords Tarot card meanings

When the Queen of Swords card is reversed, everything the card represents is either twisted and turned on its head, or becomes exaggerated and distorted. Here are the most common interpretations of the Queen of Swords reversed.

Irrationality

Whereas the upright Queen of Swords suggests clear and rational thinking, the reversed Queen hints the opposite.

The reversed Queen of Swords can represent someone who is overly emotional and unable to see things clearly. Their thinking is skewed and unclear, as cloudy as the sky in the background of the Queen of Swords card.

Inability to set boundaries

The reversed Queen of Swords represents an inability to stand your ground or set boundaries.

The reversed Queen of Swords card may point to someone who is a people-pleasure and is unable to assert or even sense their own needs and wants.

Cold-heartedness

The Queen of Swords reversed can be a bit of a bitch.

The upright Queen has a cool and intellectual exterior, but she also has a softer, nurturing and emotional side. When the Queen shows up upside down, she looses access to her sense of empathy and becomes bossy, controlling and overly critical.

What the Queen of Swords means in a Tarot reading about love and romance

Upright

When the Queen of Wands shows up in a Tarot reading about love and romance, she usually appears as a reflection either of yourself or of the other person in the relationship.

While the Queen of Swords is an exciting, stimulating and inspiring energy to be around, she is not very emotional or spontaneous. The appearance of the Queen of Swords can be a nudge, telling you to become a little more playful and a little less serious. Emotions are inherently irrational, and attraction is inherently playful. Focus on bringing these energies into the relationship a little more.

Reversed

This spells bad news in a Tarot card reading about love and romance. You are either being overly emotional and irrational in your dance with your partner, or conversely, you are being cold and all of and need to put the sword down for a moment in order to connect at the heart level.

What the Queen of Swords means in a Tarot reading about money and career

Upright

The Queen of Swords is a good omen in a career Tarot reading.

You are on the up and up – your assertiveness, intelligence and skill are taking you places. You might be rising in the ranks or receiving accolades for your contributions.

Reversed

Upside down, the Queen of Swords is a bad sign when it comes to work and money.

An overly controlling boss, a difficult client, or a rigid work environment with standards and deadlines you cannot possibly live up to are all possible interpretations.

Lucius Nothing

Lucius has been slinging tarot cards professionally since 2014. He’s taken the tarot to places most wouldn’t think of: His best-known patrons include Torture Garden, The Dark Circus Party, Handel & Hendrix, A Curious Invitation and The Candlelight Club, where he has been resident tarot reader for the past half-decade. His writing on divination, magic and creativity has been published in Sabbat Magazine and on Medium.

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