In traditional tarot reading, the Two of Swords is seen as a card indicating strength and security achieved through balance, groundedness, and meditation. Filled with complex and interrelated imagery, the Two of Swords is one of the most powerful and beautiful cards in a tarot deck. Divinatory tarot treats the card as an icon of feminine power and balanced decision-making.
In the Rider-Waite tarot deck, the most popular and traditional tarot deck in the English-speaking world, the Two of Swords depicts a woman in a grounded, seated position, centered in the middle of the card. She is blindfolded, wears a white robe, and sits upon a stone chair in front of a cold, blue ocean. Her arms, criss-crossed evenly in a defensive position over her chest, each hold a long, silver sword. A waxing moon hangs above her left side.
The symbolism of the Two of Swords is complex and relates directly to other tarot cards. The character of the card is blindfolded, like in the Eight of Swords, but she is in control– her blindness gives her power, rather than stripping it away. This may be reminiscent of some cultural traditions that blindfold people temporarily to enhance the strength of other senses. In this way, the blindfold and sword symbols are also evocative of the Justice tarot card.
In the Two of Swords, the tarot card character is portrayed as centered, strong, and in-control. Her balanced position, defensive posture, stone chair, and central position in the card indicate a person who has achieved a secure and strong position in life through balance of priorities. It is important to note, however, that the card is one of stationary meditation and security: not of forward movement or sudden action. The ocean and moon: traditional symbols of the subconscious mind and meditation– further this implication.
Depending on the Two of Swords’ position in a tarot reading and the context of the tarot inquiry, the card might indicate that the querent has a need to embrace the features and strengths offered by the card. This is not a time to act irrationally or without careful consideration– strength can be maintained by balancing in a position of control. It is wise to act, under these circumstances, by following intuition, careful consideration, and clairvoyant thought.
When reversed in a tarot reading, the Two of Swords’ meaning becomes quite different. It indicates that the potential for security has been blocked by irrational and sudden decisions. The querent is out of balance, struggling to maintain a sense of strength and security. While good fortune could be met by following the heart and mind, too many poor, quick decisions have been made, and this has led to a loss of security.
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Source: Rider-Waite Tarot Deck.