Two (II) of Swords

 Two (II) of Swords –

Painful Decisions, Cross Purposes, Stalemate

2 of Swords Upright


Mental Decisions, Stressful/Painful Decisions, Cross Purposes , Torn Between Two/Loyalties/Relationships, Stalemate, Fence Sitting, Denial, Face Your Fears, Being Blind to The Truth, Pains and Hurts From the Past Affecting You, Caught in the Middle, Closed Heart


In this card we see a woman sitting with her back to a body of water.  The tide appears to be out. The woman sits on a stone seat and holds two Swords crossed at her heart.  The Swords held at this position give us the impression that she is protecting her heart from something.  With the Swords standing in the way, nothing can get in at it and likewise nothing will be allowed out from it.

Her clothing is as cold and grey as the stone seat she rests upon.  She sits blindfolded. The sky and water behind her are clear and calm.  A light mist hovers over the still water.   The crescent moon illuminates the landmass in the background.  The Moon is in its waxing stage which suggests that the situation this woman has found herself in is building.

Both the sky and tide give the impression that it is very early in the morning.  How long has the woman been sitting here in this manner?  She sits rigid as if made of stone.  Judging by her fixed stance we may assume she has been here all night.

The Two of Swords in keeping with the nature of its Suit and governing Element, Air indicates a mental crisis of some sort.  We know that this Sword card is also a Two.  Therefore the crisis is more than likely to do with making a decision about something.  Because, we are dealing with the Swords, this will not be an easy decision to make.  It is bound to be causing a lot of stress and mental anguish.

The two Swords crossed symbolise that what she has to decide on is at cross purposes.  The woman may have gone to great lengths to reach a decision.  She may have removed herself from the centre of all the drama so that she can think quietly and without interference.  There is a possibility that she has sat on that cold stone seat all day and all night, but has it brought her any closer to reaching a fair and final solution.  We also must ask what she has to gain or lose as a result of making her decision? Perhaps she has found herself unwittingly dragged into someone else’s problem?  Whatever the dilemma, it is  causing her great turmoil.  She may be overwhelmed by the enormity of the task at hand and does not know what to do.

What purpose does the blindfold serve? Does it help her to cut out all external distraction so that she can focus on the main issue? Does it force her to turn inwards so that she can access her intuition or subconscious for guidance?  If so then she is indeed a wise woman and her very stillness and the time she has given to resolving this troublesome issue is to be commended.  On the other hand, she may have a hidden agenda with the blindfold.  She could be using it to deliberately keep herself in the dark about all the awfulness that is going on around her.  If the less she knows the better she can remain blind to the truth and believe that what she can’t see can’t hurt her.  Perhaps she just doesn’t want to get involved or doesn’t want to take sides.

The Swords positioned over her heart suggest that not only is her head in a tizzy but so too are her emotions.  She may look very still and as calm as the ocean behind her but do not be deceived by this external experience for inside she is struggling to maintain stability.

A decision needs to be made here but fear prevents her from making progress. The situation is never going to resolve itself without her input.  Internally a battle is raging between her heart and head. She needs to act but instead remains rooted to her cold stone seat. She must rip off the blindfold and face the facts or the awful truth for what it is.  She may have to face herself too depending on the circumstances.  She may instigate a lot of discord as a result but this situation is going to blow one way or another and she needs to be prepared for that.  Friends and position may be lost when she makes a stand and declares her position.  The issue needs to be brought out in the open so that a resolution can be found.  The time for sitting on the fence is over.  She must remove her blindfold and face her fears.

Did you notice that this card too is a Stage Card?  What can we glean from this?  Symbolically the body of water behind her represents her emotions and her subconscious.  The water is calm and tranquil.  Is this drama, all in her head?  Has she got herself into a heap about nothing? If so, then that would be typical of the Swords. The emotionally turbulent situation may in fact have calmed down yet she continues to stress about it.

Two (II) of Swords

2 of Swords Upright


Mental Decisions, Stressful/Painful Decisions, Cross Purposes , Torn Between Two/Loyalties/Relationships, Stalemate, Fence Sitting, Denial, Face Your Fears, Being Blind to The Truth, Pains and Hurts From the Past Affecting You, Caught in the Middle, Closed Heart


The Two of Swords turning up in a reading generally indicates that a difficult decision has to be made.  This is bound to be causing you a lot of stress as the decision is usually not straight forward.  You may find yourself torn apart with the whole situation.  You may be required to take sides in an argument but find that your loyalties are divided.

What you have to decide on is at cross purposes making it very difficult to arrive at any decision. You will have to pull that blindfold off one way or another and face your fears.  A decision must be made.  Pretending that nothing is wrong or that it is nothing to do with you won’t make the problem go away.   You have been too passive in the situation so far.  You need to form your own opinions and make up your own mind.  It is time to get off the fence and speak up.  You don’t have to sit out in the cold as people will want to hear what you have to say.  As long as you speak your truth then everyone will understand and respect your opinion even if they don’t like what you have to say.  One way or another, a lot of mental and emotional stress accompanies this card.

If you are finding it difficult to make a decision it might be time to go within to access your intuition and listen to what your inner voice is trying to tell you. You will need peace and quiet for this so it might be best to distance yourself from all external influences.

The Two of Swords turning up in a spread can suggest that you are in denial about something.  You may think that ignorance is bliss and that if you ignore something for long enough it will go away.  The sad thing is that generally it doesn’t.  Instead the deceit or self-denial can get worse.  It then becomes shameful, pathetic and destructive.  If there is something you are aware of that is obviously wrong or unjust then you are duty bound to do something about it. Hiding from the truth or hiding the truth is not the answer.   The surrounding cards in a spread should provide some evidence or hints as to the nature of the denial.

The Two of Swords often indicates arguments between people who are being rigid and unyielding.  Both sides are locked into the battle.  There is little room for forgiveness and no sign of a thaw.  This argument could go on for years and taint generations to come unless someone is brave enough to sort it out. People need to lay down their weapons and open their heart to forgiveness.

In a relationship spread the Two of Swords suggests that a painful decision has to be made causing upset and distress. Perhaps you are  struggling with the painful decision to leave your partner and The Two of Swords highlights the mental anguish and dilemma you are experiencing.  You must withdraw to a certain extent to make sense of it. Maybe a painful decision has to be made between two prospective partners and you don’t want to hurt either.

The Two of Swords would suggest that you have been hurt, maybe not by your present relationship, but possibly by one in the past, leaving deep wounds. The crossed Swords protect the heart from further hurt.  This can block you emotionally and you may use the Swords to strike out should anyone attempt to get close to you.  Time is needed to learn to trust again.

The Two of Swords can suggest a warring couple.  This is bound to be an ongoing argument that builds with each venting.  This type of argument never gets resolved but blows up every now and then causing a terrible storm of angry words and insults.  Both sides then retreat into an icy and distant silence.  The Swords need to be laid down so that proper discussion and communication of feelings can be aired.

When it comes to denial, then The Two of Swords in a relationship may highlight problems which one partner refuses to acknowledge.  Instead they go about as if it is business as normal and avoid all discussions that might bring the painful truth out into the open.

In a career reading the Two of Swords can suggest that you are being asked to take sides in an issue and this is causing you great distress.  You may see yourself as the mediator between two opposing sides who refuse to see each other’s point of view.  A strike may have reached deadlock stage with neither side wishing to back down or compromise on their demands.  You may be blind to corruption or deceit going on around you in the workplace or is it that you just choose to turn a blind eye to it?  Your work environment may be tense and cold with ongoing arguments and unfriendliness.  You may keep to yourself as a result.

With the Two of Swords being a Stage Card, you must also ask yourself if things are really as bad as you think they are? Are you getting worried and upset over nothing?  Your emotions and imagination may have run away with you.  It is time to stand back from the situation to evaluate it in a clear and logical manner.


2 of Swords Rx


Fears Faced/Fears Overwhelming, Torn Apart, Emotional and Mental Turmoil, Eyes Opened to the Situation, Hanging onto Old Hurts and Pain, Guarded, Emotionally Cold, Blocked Off, Indecision, Afraid of Everything

When the Two of Swords reverses you either finally make up your mind and find a way of reaching a fair and just decision or you let your fears and worries totally overwhelm you making a logical decision impossible.  You become too emotional and can’t think straight.  You may feel torn apart by those around you with both sides appealing to you, calling on your loyalty and friendship.  You would love to just run away from it all.  Hopefully, and surrounding cards should give an indication of it, you have decided to jump off the fence and sort yourself out.  Make sure you side with the right one!

When the Two of Swords reverses, you either tear the blindfold off or it is ripped off by someone else to reveal the truth of the situation.  There is no getting away from the facts now as it is exposed in full colour before you.  It may be painful to discover that you have been living a lie all this time.  You may see so-called friends in a new light or feel shocked by what you discover.  However painful this may be, it has been for your own good.  Once the truth is out in the open, you do not have to carry the burden of pretence anymore and are now free to move on with your life.  This may be easier to do than you imagined as you feel a weight lifted off both your mind and heart.

With the Two of Swords reversed tensions begin to thaw in the entrenched battleground of the Upright Two.  There is real potential here to put an end to an age-old argument between friends or family.  Swords are laid aside and hearts begin to open to the possibility of forgiveness.

When it comes to relationships your emotions are more than likely in turmoil and a difficult decision you know you have to make becomes impossible.  You may refuse to face the truth about your relationship. Fears, hurts and negative attitudes gain strength.  Arguments can go on and on rehashing the same old issues as you hang on to old hurts and wounds.

The crossed Swords over the heart prevent any love coming in or going out.  Couples can become emotionally cold and distant in a relationship. On the other hand, warring couples may draw a halt to hostilities.  The doorway to reconciliation opens as communication leads to forgiveness and understanding. Look to surrounding cards such as positive outcomes to determine which is the case.

If related to business or careers, the blind fold is ripped off forcing people to face a difficult situation.  Negotiation is now possible. A firm stand is made and sides taken. Lies and corruption are exposed and this may lead to a feeling of isolation and alienation as you stand up for your principles and not for some confused sense of loyalty in your decision-making.

The Two of Swords reversed may indicate that you are finding it impossible to choose between two job offers no matter what way you look at it.  Both may sound equally attractive or unattractive.  If conflict has intensified in the workplace then it is probably time for you to  get out as it is causing you too much stress and tension.

The Two of Swords reversed can represent a personality type that is fearful of everything.  Anything that is new or strange is actively avoided. This person takes no responsibility for their life and prefers to let others make any important decisions on their behalf.

You may need to go back to the Ace to find a new way of thinking and a fresh approach to your situation.

When we next encounter the Swords in Card Three we shall find out the outcome of the above dilemma.  Will the blindfold be ripped off or will we still find her stuck to her stone cold seat afraid to move or utter a word?

Back to Lesson 5

Ace of Swords 2 of Swords 3 of Swords 4 of Swords 5 of Swords 6 of Swords 7 Swords 8 of Swords 9 of Swords  10 of Swords

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9 replies »

  1. Hi Vivien,
    I wonder, how can you know that the moon is waxing? Secondly, you write that it is early in the morning: in that case the moon would be waning, wouldn’t you agree?
    It’s not that important, I just wonder. Thank you immensely for the huge amount of fantastic work you made available. It’s often a great help.All the best wishes, Silvia


    • Hi Silvia,

      Sorry for taking so long to reply. I am in the middle of a house move and my daughter’s wedding arrangements so many balls in the air.

      The shape of the moon in the Two of Swords suggests a waxing moon. The moon in the Northern Hemisphere waxes and wanes from right to left as it becomes illuminated by the sun and then falls into shadow once more. When you see the moon in its back to front C shape it is in its waxing stage. Slowly as the cycle progresses, more of the moon is illuminated by the sun and begins to take on the shape of a D. This is known as the half-moon or gibbous moon stage. It’s illumination continues until it transforms into an O shape and becomes the full moon. Once past this stage it shapes begins to reverse the order as it moves back into the shadow once more. It is now in its waning stage and will eventually reduce to a reversed D Shape before reducing further to a C shape. A waxing moon will be illuminated on its right side and a waning moon will be illuminated on its left side. In the Southern Hemisphere this happens in reverse order so it really depends on where you live in the world. I live in Ireland so when the Two of Swords Reverses, I would see the waning moon taking over with a potential lessening of stress or the fallout from the issue involved.

      I think the waning you are referring to with regards to the transition from night to day is not the same as the waning of the moon as this happens over a period of time and not on a nightly basis. The presence of the moon may become less obvious as daylight increases but it is not directly connected to the actual cycle of the moon.

      I hope this makes it a little clearer.




    • The cards combined can mean a number of things. It all depends on what you are asking about. If the question What Lesson Needs to Be Learned, then it could possibly suggest the need to overcome some issues with your mother, your own femininity, your sexuality, how you feel about yourself. The crossed Swords of the Two suggest a refusal to confront an issue or refusal to negotiate or forgive. There is stress and emotional turmoil surrounding a decision. You may hold a grudge that is standing in the way of you having a proper friendship or relationship with a certain person. Maybe you are being asked to take sides against someone quite powerful and you are afraid to get involved.It all depends what is going on in your life and only you know that. You asked what lesson needs to be learned? There are always lessons to be learned but you must have been thinking of a particular situation and the lesson it may challenge you with. Otherwise if it is asked in a generic manner, then it would be hard to pin point which lesson it might be. These cards can mean something very different from person to person. You must also look at the Strength of the Empress. She is empowered and knows her rank and position. The Two of Swords does not sit well beside her for it does not fit with her personality. Have you given your power away? Are you fearful about making a decision in your life that is for your personal growth. You may need to think about yourself in this issue as The Empress suggests self-care and also the retention of her territory which may be under threat in the two of swords. Meditate on what these cards mean in relation to your situation. Look further than the obvious. Hope that helps. Vivien


      • Yes it help me out a lot I had a dream of two swords on Eastside it was upside down and it was a cup in the center I got up this morning and wrote it down on a piece of paper exactly how I dreamed it Google this page up about what I dream and I end up coming to this View about the woman sitting in the chair with the two swords across her some of it was really based on what I’m going through or what I’m really getting at that my guy is like we are going about religion I’m very religion and he’s not so I figured that the sword was talking about me and him having this argument when I wrote it down on a piece of paper but when I came on this website it kind of help me out and what you were speaking on this very true thank you so much


      • Hi Juanita,

        Thanks for your message. Your dream sounds very interesting and also very symbolic. You say you are having discussions with your guy about religion with you being very religious and him not. Yes, the two swords would strongly represent a disagreement or strongly opinionated discussion about something with both sides not willing to concede or back down. Because it is Swords it would suggest much tension and stress around this communication. Right in the middle you have a Cup which in your case would represent both the negative impact the disagreement is having on your relationship and the Cup itself would be symbolic of spirituality. What you hold dear to you and fills you up, your guy does not get as much from. This makes you sad and I feel with the Cup upside down you may not see a future for the two of you if you hold such differing strong beliefs. With the Swords appearing upside down you may agree to disagree and get on with your relationship, not letting it get between you, or you become further estranged through further arguments that get more heated. This could be a deal breaker for you.




  2. Hi there!

    So recently in the past year or so I’ve been noticably picking a common thread of either two of swords upright and/or reversed, knight of swords upright and/or reversed and king of swords upright and/or reversed. I mean, from what I can tell, those cards have been consistently showing up in one reading or another for me, combined with other cards or not. I mean, I’ve researched all cards through websites and books, but I don’t think Ive been able to understand the bigger picture/message of why they keep showing up. I can tell you I have been emotionally hurt in my past by people and extremely complicated relationships. Even though it has been years from the worst of it ever happening, i can still look back and be bothered time to time. Despite my unfortunate experiences, I have learned from them, and still do to this day… But i have a feeling these swords have been popping up lately because of what I just told you. Could you help me interpret anything in anyway?


    • Hi Gabriela,

      I think you have worked this one out yourself. I believe the transitory nature of the cards you are drawing as in Upright/Reversed, always shifting, never staying constant suggests the link with you being affected by past hurts and complicated relationships ‘bothered time to time’. Thus you have Upright as acknowledgment, and Reversed when they bother you. I think this is telling you that although you are getting flare ups of being bothered or affected, they are not fixed in your life. You are detaching bit by bit. However, there may never be a complete healing. Your past may have left some permanent damage that you must deal with when it surfaces. You are managing to keep on top of these issues by allowing them to surface. There is only a problem if you are shoving them back down rather than allowing them air their grievances. If you have been through a close bereavement, the initial loss of your loved one is acute, severe, intense. However, as time goes by, grief begins to fluctuate. It hits you every now and then, but not constantly. You never fully get over the loss but you learn to live with it. Grief does not own you or control your life. Certain memories and times of the year will trigger the resurfacing of loss, you will go Reversed. You will acknowledge it, reflect on it, shed a few tears, and then let it pass over. I think you are doing the same. That is unless other cards in the reading give evidence otherwise. The negative aspect of the sword cards have lost their full power over you. They may be appearing when you are experiencing a trigger. There are still issues to be dealt with, but think of it as a car crash you were involved in. You may be left with some scars, that sting occasionally and will forever remind you of the crash, but you have safely come through it. I think we all sustain injuries as we go through life. Some knocks are worse than others. At times we feel like the walking wounded, but most people feel the same if you were to ask. You will always be aware of these sword cards. They could also act as a warning if you are in any way getting close to being similarly hurt.

      I hope this is of some help.

      xxx Vivien


      • Just had an afterthought about this. Is it possible the fluctuation between Upright and Reversed Sword cards, especially the Two, could suggest you are in two minds about how you handled the situations of your past. Do you at times feel torn between what you should and shouldn’t have done? Did you take some time to arrive at your decisions and act? Where there some things you let go, that continue to eat you up? Did you take a lot of abuse before acting? Did you turn a blind eye to it for too long? Do you get angry with yourself for being too fearful to assert yourself? Their regular reappearance could point to you not been sure about the exact decisions you made in the past. There may be unfinished business in your mind. Things you would like to have said, expressed, but couldn’t at the time due to fear or intimidation. You may subconsciously go over these times from your past, play them out allowing you now to express what you wish you had said. I went through a horrific divorce and suffered greatly. I often look back and think of all the things I should have said and didn’t. I was emotionally too distressed at the time and could not fight back. I sat there and took a lot of abuse, abuse that I would let no one away with now. Hindsight is a great thing. Yes, those times surface on rare occasions, and bother me too. Sometimes I become incensed and frustrated that I didn’t handle it differently.

        Just another aspect I thought might be worth looking at.



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