tarot of the week--two of swords

It probably is no shock to any of you that when I pull the Tarot Card of the Week, I always say, "Oooooooo, two of swords." Or "Oooooo, the Moon." The Two of Swords is one of those cards whose imagery and symbolism absolutely enthrall me. It is so brilliant, succinct and confusing. Truthfully, this card has come to mean many things to many people, and my meaning has drifted afield of the traditional Tarot interpretation. But we'll talk about all the meanings, and you can draw your own conclusion for the beautiful Two of Swords.

With each card, you have layers of meaning--first the numerological implications of the card number, then the suit symbols, then the actual images on the card. Let's start with the number two, which numerologically is about balance, how we relate to others, communication, partnerships, relationships. This is no surprise. I think intuitively, we think of marriages as twos. Two people coming together. The suit of Swords is air and with it comes issues around communication, logic, thought. The Sword challenge cards are quite tortured. Think of the Ten of Swords, where a man is lying in a battlefield with ten swords in his back, or the Eight of  Swords, where there is a bound and blindfolded woman in a jail of swords. These cards are about self-imposed crisis. Those tortured thoughts and the way we trap ourselves. So, swords are often these internal struggles, the growth of our mind and spirit that pushes us to think differently, so we can act differently.


The Two of Swords is a beautiful card, all my favorite symbolic elements, which is perhaps which I cannot bear to associate this card with its traditional meanings.Traditionally, this card has come to represent repression and denial. The fear of expressing love or anger or our truth. Remember swords are about communication, so this card can mean a blocked throat chakra often along with a blocked or closed heart chakra. I understand how this card has come to mean this in traditional Tarot interpretation. The woman sits before a calm sea--water always coming to symbolize emotions. The moon harkens of shadow work arising. Her back is turned away from her emotions, she does not want to face or see what she needs to see, as the card is traditionally interpreted. She holds the swords over her heart chakra, protecting her heart center.  But I have trouble solely associating that meaning with this card. 

To me, the Two of Swords is a highly intuitive card. There is nothing tortured or suffering about her position. She seems absolutely in control, staid, trusting of herself. (Here I am referring to the figure of the Rider-Waite deck. Opposed to Two of Swords in the Universal deck, where the woman on the two is absolutely tortured by her repression. In this way, our decks can make a huge difference in our interpretations.) The water is calm, settled. The sky is clear. In Tarot, the backgrounds of the cards deeply dictate the mood and meaning of the fore figures. The blindfold, rather than put on by someone else, seems carefully placed by the only figure in the picture. Perhaps she is training to trust her intuition, or she knows that her eyes are untrustworthy when it comes to her heart. "What do we know about ourselves?" this card asks. Do you know that that handsome man seduces you with charm and cunning, but turns around to deceive you? Do you know he says what you want to hear, but not what you need to know? So, what do you trust? That feeling of dis-trust, feminine intuition if you will, comes for a reason. When we dismiss it, we are trusting our eyes over our gut. Her solar plexus, open and unblocked, is the source of that knowing, and her third eye is blue, illuminated, rather than covered with hair or blindfold.  This is what is shining through her. Strength and intuition. (Use Pietersite for that beautiful combination, if you are looking for Two of Swords energy.)

The two of the Two of Swords means this card is about partnerships, so often this is about protecting our heart.  But the Two of Swords is in a position of waiting--for the time when her swords must be lowered, or when her swords must cut. The Two of Swords asks us to wait, to reflect, to contemplate, to train our minds through meditation and positive affirmation before we move. Watch. Learn. This is the time of preparation. I keep hearing Karate Kid--Wax on. Wax off. In fact, you get the feeling that this woman has been waxing for years, waiting to blossom, open her heart again, or open it for the first time. The moon is a feminine symbol in Tarot, and it definitely rings strong and true in this card, hovering in waxing(!) stage, over the whole scene. There will be a fulfillment here.

The figure is female by all accounts. These feminine symbols often harken to tap into your female intuition, whether you are female or not. That gut feeling, as I said. Perhaps we can see the traditional interpretation of this card as part of her training. She has closed off her feelings, but her defensive posture is absolutely warranted. She needs the protection, and her next move is knowing exactly when to lower her guard. Without the usual cues, she will just know. And it is about knowing when you need to use your swords or not. She is not a knight, in this picture, rather she is dressed in bed clothes. So we are also reminded to watch our dreams and the way Spirit speaks to us, warns us even, of those who can and cannot be trusted in our sleep.

A beautiful affirmation for this card might be:

I am in perfect alignment with my personal integrity. I trust my intuition to protect my heart.

So, let me know what you think of the Two of Swords. How do you interpret it? How is her energy working in your life right now? And please do not forget to comment to win a pair of labradorite and moonstone earrings on this post. Drawing on the Full Moon. Moon blessings.