Queen of Swords: The TaskMaster / Critic

establish boundaries and communicate them clearly

Queens nurture the magic of their element within, reflecting it outward + Swords deal with the mental realm of the rational mind and its belief systems

from Touchstone Tarot (trimmed)

Cool, capable, and efficient, the Queen of Swords seeks clarity and gives straight answers. They communicate their beliefs and principles so strongly through their being that they are not threatened by others. They establish boundaries naturally and are clear in expressing them. Precise and uncompromising, they expect things to be done “by the book” and have a reverence for discipline which will keep us on task, teach us to do a thorough job, and keep our promises. More Thinking than Feeling (this is the ISTJ in personality typing), when they make a decision, it comes from the head, not the heart.  They take criticism and conflict well… and can dole it out. Their honest tongue may be sharp but will be direct. This is the friend you turn to for cutting through the bullshit, including your own. The sharpness of their mind allows them to be witty and insightful. They would rather live alone than give up their autonomy, and this independence is an ally of wisdom.

In resistance, the fairness of their sense of justice can be blocked, giving them an air of intolerance and even a vindictive streak. Perhaps they use their tongue unfairly by gossiping in their hushed little circles.

In excess, their sword cuts away at all that doesn’t mesh with their belief systems, and they become scornful, criticizing without compassion — or even basis. Turned inward, their self-critical eye can be ruthless.

Questions we may be prompted to ask when this card appears include

  • Are your boundaries permeable (or nonexistent)? How might you strengthen them?
  • Are you your own worst critic? Where does that come from?
  • What part is critical of others? Is this really just projection of the above?
  • Do you demand perfection? Why?

What else? This is a common archetypal character in fiction. Can you think of one? They are more complex than a simple label or character, of course, and you may have other descriptions or insights. Who is this queen in your life, or in your self?

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