X of Swords/Ten of Air

10 of swords

The 10 of Swords is characterized by defeat and misfortune, possibly a betrayal by another.  However, it’s also a death to an old way of thinking – a new perspective is arising.  Like the saying says, it’s darkest before the dawn.  Old ways of thinking no longer serve you – you’re rising above those old thought patterns now. Continue reading

IX of Swords/Nine of Air

9 of swords

The Nine of Swords comes up when we haven’t learned the lessons of the Eight of Swords.  Our negative thinking and misconceptions about our situation has become worse, and as a result, we’re suffering from nightmares, anxiety, or depression.  The Nine of Swords is one of the scariest looking cards and speaks to the fear that creeps up on us at night.  The card is only one of a handful that have a black background.  The bed-frame depicts a duel where someone is being defeated by another, and the bedspread is covered with red roses and astrological signs.  There is a sense that the figure in the card is suffering some kind of loss, and that they may be blaming themselves for the loss.  The Nine of Swords, however, tells us that this loss was inevitable.  The loss would have happened one way or the other – it’s time to stop blaming yourself. Continue reading

VIII of Swords/Eight of Air

8 of swords

The most important message of the Eight of Swords is that while situations can sometimes feel imprisoning, the figure has a way out.  The swords aren’t touching here, and her feet are free to move.  Take off the blindfold, babe!  Try to flip your perception and you’ll soon realize your prison is your own mental creation.  We have the power of personal choice to release ourselves from illusions.  The castle behind the figure is an indication that this negative thinking may be limiting us from achieving our goals.  Eights in the tarot are all about movement, or in this case, a lack of movement.  Now is not the time to jump into something headfirst.  If you have a decision to make, try to take your time.  That blindfold around the figure’s eyes is a good indication that we’re not seeing things clearly. Continue reading

VII of Swords/Seven of Air

7 of swords

The Seven of Swords is a tricky card.  The card often comes up when we’re (consciously or not) trying to manipulate a situation in order to get what we want.  We can see this sneaky expression on the figure’s face as he’s trying to sneak out of the camp with arms full of swords.  While he may think he’s getting away with it – an indication of that bright yellow sky, in reality, there are some shadowy figures far off in the distance who see what he is up to. Continue reading

VI of Swords/Six of Air

6 of swords

The Six of Swords is the ultimate in finally making the logical choice and ending a bad situation.  It’s painful and often we need to shut ourselves off from that emotional side in order to get in the boat and go.  One of the most beautiful aspects of this card is that the water on the right side of the boat is the more turbulent water, while the water where the figures are going is much more calm.  They’re moving from a present environment of agitation and strife toward one that is more calm and peaceful.  You can see by the way the woman’s head is covered and angled down that there is some sadness and grief associated with this decision, but it’s the only choice.   Continue reading

V of Swords/Five of Air

5 of swords

The Five of Swords is about winning at all costs.  This is an intense contraction card where the figure with the three swords appears smug while at least one of the defeated figures appear distraught.  The figure also has his back turned to the ocean – in order to win he needs to turn his back on his feelings.  To win at all costs means winning but hurting those we care about.  There’s a storm brewing overhead – a good indication that all is not well despite winning the battle. Continue reading

IV of Swords/Four of Air

4 of swords

I’ve learned that when there is a churchy scene in the Minor Arcana, it’s typically a representation of the suit in its most divine form.  This definitely seems to be the case in the Four of Swords.  As we know, the suit of Swords is all about logic, thought, critical thinking, higher minded ideas, words and communication.  In the representation of the Four of Swords, however, this is a person at rest.  This is the most sacred representation of the suit – someone in meditation.  Someone sorting through the bullshit of the crazy ideas that flood our mind and getting closer to some kind of inner clarity.  This is arguably the most beautiful of the sword cards and a reminder to find some mental peace. Continue reading

III of Swords/Three of Air

3 of swords

Welp, no one likes to get this card.  The Three of Swords is about heartbreak.  The heart, representative of beauty and emotion, is being pierced by three swords.  This can be a representation of the ability of cold logic to cause emotional pain.  The clouds and rain set the sad mood.  The rain can also be an indication of washing away the old in order to move forward, and a reminder that storms eventually pass. Continue reading

Two of Swords/Two of Air

2 of swords

The Two of Swords is often about indecision or two choices where there is no clear “right” path to take.  However, more importantly it’s about willfully cutting ourselves off from emotions, as represented by the blindfold.  The sea behind the figure represents the sea of our subconscious.  The little rocks peeking through are like ideas bubbling to the surface of our subconscious.  However, the figure has her arms crossed over her heart chakra – representative of guarding herself emotionally in order to work to operate purely through logic.  While the blindfold is about intentionally being blind to a situation and how it impacts us emotionally, it can also represent that we can’t understand a problem and the possible solutions clearly.  She’s sitting on a bench, representing a pause in trying to resolve the situation.  Sometimes this pause is necessary in order to gain some perspective and clarity.  Finally, the blindfold can be a reflection of a time when either we try to ignore a problem, hoping it will go away, or a time when we don’t know all the facts. Continue reading

Ace of Swords/One of Air

ace of swords

Can you believe we’re already talking about the suit of swords?!  Time flies when you’re blogging about tarot.

The Ace of Swords represents the nature of the sword suit more broadly, especially the double-edged nature of the suit.  The Ace of Swords represents the duality of an idea and you can almost see that in the way the sword in the card is split down the middle, with one side more shadowy and the other more clear.  The Ace of Swords is about the birth of an idea.  That idea can bring clarity, as expressed through the victory crown at the top of the sword, but it can also result in conflict, as seen in the dark clouds and tight grip of the hand holding the sword.  The card calls on us to work with new ideas and see where they take us, but reminds us not to grip those ideas too tightly.  If we become married to these ideas, we’ve seen how tightly held beliefs can lead to trouble in our own lives as well as in society at large.  This is expressed much more eloquently in Root Lock Radio’s Podcast, Episode 10 – The Suit of Swords.  By being flexible in our thinking, we have the potential for even greater discovery.  The Ace of Swords is like an “Aha” moment in our thinking, and is generally characterized as a period of great clarity and insight.  It’s up to us to use that power in the right way. Continue reading