Two of Swords Tarot Card Meaning & Interpretations
The Suit of Swords, representing the Element of Air, covers the mental and intellectual aspects of life. It refers to the challenges and trials that we face which we apply our minds to solving. The positive traits of the number 2 in numerology are balance, diplomacy, cooperation, flexibility and patience. The Suit of Swords doesn't usually reflect numerology's positive aspects but the 2 of Swords is one of the exceptions.
This combination of element and numerology in the 2 of Swords can be interpreted as being the peacemaker card. Two swords, both equals, are the balanced sides of two differing points of view, philosophies or arguments. There may be no way to choose between them and common ground must be found to keep the peace and maintain harmony. Or they can represent a fork in a road offering two paths. Only one route can be chosen even though both seem to have equal merits. The common theme between all the 2's in Tarot is one of balance and fairness. In the Major Arcana the card most closely associated with the 2 of Swords is card 11, Justice. The number 11 reduces to 2 (1+1=2), in numerology, symbolically linking these two cards. Whereas Justice must preside over all the elemental realms, and not just Air, the 2 of Swords focuses only on mental and logical points. There can be no influence from any other element. For example Water, no emotional factors can be taken into consideration when attempting to understand the meaning of this card.
The Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck first depicted this card as a person, wearing a blindfold, sitting on a solid rock bench with their arms crossing their chest holding a Sword in each hand. Holding the swords in this manner, at an angle instead of upright, suggests they are focused entirely on weighing the swords and this is the only comparison being made. This is much like the scales of Justice symbolising impartiality in the decision making process. The background scene of this card explains the need for the blindfold. Behind the seated person is a sea of calm water with a crescent moon in a night sky. This calm water is an important detail as it symbolises the emotional calmness required to be able to apply clear, impassionate mental and logical decision making. The Moon makes an appearance in only two other cards in the RWS deck. The 8 Of Cups and The High Priestess . The 8 of Cups has a similar background scene and symbology. In it we see its character walking away from the calm waters, and the moon lit landscape, trying to escape emotional distractions. The 2 of Swords character has chosen instead to sit down and blindfold them self. In the darkness and light of the moon things are not what they seem and can be distorted, illusionary, confusing and disorientating.
The numerology of the number 2 also includes the art of negotiation and anyone skilled at it will understand the need for secrecy because knowledge of your opponents position can provide sufficient power to tip the negotiations in your favour. Like a game of cards you need to keep them covered and not give away any hint of what you really have to offer. Not only keeping your cards close to your chest but attempting to mislead your opponent and furnish them with inaccurate information. The art of negotiation is a morally ambiguous one and when the 2 of Swords appears care must be taken with what you reveal about yourself as well as believing all of what you are being told or shown. This links the 2 of Swords to The High Priestess who is the keeper of secrets and, by virtue of this, the master negotiator. In the RWS deck both the The High Priestess and the 2 of Swords feature a crescent moon symbolical of this danger of deception, distortion of facts and illusionary appearances. This link to The High Priestess may also suggest a meaning of studying an academic discipline, or sitting exams, when the 2 of Swords appears.
The 2 of Swords card meaning can be one of mental balance, harmony, dead lock or decision making. It can be interpreted as looking for a logical, rational, compromise over a dispute, agrument, decision or legal agreement that suits both parties. It can also be interpreted as a requirement for careful study and analysis when faced with two equally good directions where only one can be chosen. The decision must be made entirely on a logical basis only with impartiality disregarding wealth, power, status or emotion.
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THE PICTORIAL KEY TO THE TAROT
By Arthur Edward Waite (1911)
A hoodwinked female figure balances two swords upon her shoulders. Divinatory Meanings: Conformity and the equipoise which it suggests, courage, friendship, concord in a state of arms; another reading gives tenderness, affection, intimacy. The suggestion of harmony and other favourable readings must be considered in a qualified manner, as Swords generally are not symbolical of beneficent forces in human affairs. Reversed: Imposture, falsehood, duplicity, disloyalty.
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