Two of Swords

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The Two of Swords Tarot card often appears in readings when you are at a crossroads and are facing a difficult decision about which direction or option to choose. Turning the question over and over in your mind is doing you no good. Perhaps you are working with too many unknowns, or perhaps the logical answer doesn’t feel right. As a result, you are feeling stuck and frustrated – you’re in a bind.

But the Two of Swords doesn’t only describe the situation you’re in. It also offers a clue as to how you might solve your dilemma and be able to move forward.

The answer lies not in your logical brain hemisphere, but in your inner feelings. You may not have all of the facts, and you may not be able to work the situation out logically. The answer is that you don’t have to, that deep within, there’s a part of you that needs no facts to know, that doesn’t need certainty in order to have clarity. When you lean into your intuition and trust in its guidance, you’ll be able to see your way forward.

What the Swords mean in Tarot

The Tarot’s Minor Arcana consists of four suits representing the four elements; the Wands for fire, the Cups for water, the Pentacles for earth and the Swords for air.

The Swords deal with the invisible, intangible realm of the mind, including thought patterns, beliefs and communication.

What the numerological number 2 means in Tarot

The numerological number two is ruled by the moon and shares some of the planet’s most prominent characteristics of being supportive, nurturing and highly intuitive.

Within the context of the Tarot, the number two involves stability and balance.

Two of Swords Tarot card description

Depictions of the Two of Swords Tarot card can vary between different decks. Most include the essential imagery and symbolism of the classical Rider-Waite Tarot – these are the ones we will be looking at here.

The blindfolded woman

The main figure in the Two of Swords Tarot card is a woman dressed all in white. She is blindfolded, unable to take in her surroundings and any vital information or impressions it may contain. The blindfold is what keeps her from seeing either her obstacles or their solutions clearly.

The swords

In her hands, the woman is holding two swords, perfectly balanced and straight. The swords and their careful positioning suggest that the woman is weighing her thoughts and options carefully. Rather than making rash or impulsive decisions, the woman is contemplating all of her options.

The water

Behind the woman is a vast body of water – the sea. In the world of the Tarot, water is a signifier of intuition and of the subconscious mind. Since the woman’s sight and thereby her ability to take in the facts she needs to make a logical decision is restricted, the inexplicable knowing of intuition is exactly what she needs. But as it is, she is focused entirely on the swords and may not even be aware of the literal ocean of internal knowing that is right behind her.

An interesting detail about the water is the many little islands or rocks poking through its surface, indicating that the woman’s situation and her path forward are not uncomplicated.

The crescent moon

A sickle of silver hangs in the sky above the woman’s left shoulder, underscoring the card’s connection to the number two and its links to the lunar energy. The Two of Swords is also linked numerological to the High Priestess, the second trump card of the Major Arcana. The High Priest is the very embodiment of intuition, psychic perception and deep, internal knowing.

Two of Swords Tarot card meanings

Like very other Tarot card, the Two of Swords contains a prism of meaning and significance. Which facet of meaning stands out in a particular Tarot reading necessarily varies, and depends on a number of factors including the individual Tarot reader’s interpretation and the context that has been fleshed out by any surrounding, clarifying cards. Here are some of the most prominent Two of Swords Tarot card meanings.

Difficult decisions

The Two of Swords symbolizes facing a difficult decision. This could be anything from having to decide which university to apply to, decide whether to accept a job transfer or a new role of some kind, to having to choose between romantic partners, or between a romantic partner and your family’s approval, perhaps. Either way, your decision-making process involves many unknowns, and quite possibly a few blind angles.

Weighing up options

The energy of the Two of Swords is careful and deliberate, so when the card appears in a Tarot reading, it means that you are weighing up your options carefully and with much consideration. You are taking all of the information you have into consideration, adding it all carefully on the scales in your mind.

A dilemma

Unmade decisions or seemingly impossible choices can turn into full-blown dilemmas. Sometimes, the Two of Swords Tarot card can be a sign of just such an impasse.

A purely logic-based approach

The blindfolded woman in the Two of Swords Tarot card is making decisions based on careful logic – and as a result, the wings of her perception and her decision making powers are clipped. The best decisions, the ones that ring most true, are made using both logic and feeling. The Two of Swords often symbolizes blocked emotions and a purely mental approach to a situation that cannot be solved with logic alone.

Reversed Two of Swords Tarot card meanings

When the reversed Two of Swords Tarot card appears in a Tarot reading, its meanings are inverted, heightened and distorted. Here are some of the most prominent meanings of the Two of Swords reversed.

Indecision

When the Two of Swords is reversed, the careful deliberation signified by the upright card becomes full-blown indecision, a complete inability to feel your inner compass pointing in any direction. You may be experiencing the frustrating feeling of having lost your sense of direction, and you are unsure of even your next step forward.

Analysis paralysis

The reversed Two of Swords can be a sign of analysis paralysis, also known as information overload. You may have started a new course, a new career or a new project, launching yourself towards some grand but distant goal. Your determination may be clear, but you are deluged and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information or options before you. As a result, you may be stalling and floundering, despite your clear aim at the far-away goal.

Avoidance

The Two of Swords reversed can occasionally be a sign of avoidance, which most often takes the form of letting important decisions slide and refusing to gain the overview you need to be able to move forward.

You might be feeling intimidated or overwhelmed, and as a result, you are deliberately closing your eyes and shutting off your sense of perception – excluding the obstacles, as well as the ways around them, from your field of view.

What the Two of Swords means in a love Tarot reading

Upright

When it comes to love and romance, the upright Two of Swords suggests a sense of your relationship or love life being stuck, at an impasse.

You are unsure of the path ahead, and perhaps unsure of what you really want in a relationship. You are trying to work out your wishes and desires using your logical faculties – which is exactly the wrong approach to questions of love and romance, which are inherently irrational and illogical. Perhaps you are afraid of leaning into the deep irrationality of your feelings and are deliberately trying to remain anchored in pure logic.

Reversed

You might be caught in a stalemate between your heart and your head – your logical mind and your authentic feelings pulling you in opposing directions.

To deal with your tumultuous feelings, you might be refusing to remove your metaphysical blindfold and take in the full view of the situation. Perhaps you sense that a decision will have to be made, once you acknowledge the potential stalemate or conflict you are facing.

What the Two of Swords means in a career Tarot reading

Upright

When it comes to career, the Two of Swords is a sign of indecision, or of being at a crossroads.

You are unsure of your forward trajectory, whether your uncertain comes from a lack of clarity about your options or an inability to envision what kind of future you want to create for yourself. You might be lacking the skills, the knowledge, the information or the overview – or the practical experience – that would allow you to have certainty.

Alternatively, you might be faced with a dilemma, a spread of different options. Even if the options are all good, a dilemma is still a dilemma. And some decisions, once made, are bound to have a lasting impact on the overall direction of your career and life. The different options before you may seem as good as each other on paper, but in your internal perception, one is bound to feel more right, more exciting and magical than the others.

Reversed

Here the reversed Two of Swords implies indecision, overwhelm, and an inability to prioritize your workload, loosing sight of your overall trajectory.

You might be trying to take in too much information, too much new learning all at once. Drowning yourself in busywork is not the answer. You probably need to make some some tough decisions, scaring back on your activities or redistributing your workload so that you can breathe, as well all work.

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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