Swords deal with the mental realm of air, and our belief systems. Where the Cups dwelled in our unconscious, the Swords reveal our conscious mind. Here, we’re dealing with ideas, words, communication, thought, reason, perspectives, principles, study, ethics, information, truth, insight, clarity of mind. Historically, Swords / Spades represented soldiers and warriors and the conflicts we face, which seems to have evolved in Air as thoughts and interpretations creating strife in our lives.

As such, there is much conflict in the shadows of the Swords. Their reason and strategy may help the lawyer presenting an argument in court, but we must also guard against being argumentative, self-righteous, seeing issues in black & white. While Swords can help Cups in understanding their emotions, they do so rationally and so they can be unfeeling, cold. They’re also prone to overthinking, allowing brain chemistry to run amok in worry and anxiety.

Historically, the four suits were associated with the four classes of society, and — as mentioned above — spades or Swords represented the warriors or knights. In modern classist or Marxist tarot, this translates to govt (including the military), police, as well as institutions of higher learning (academia).

If we consider the four humours of the body and temperament as in Galen’s time, air correlates with blood and was therefore sanguine — energetic and courageous (but may be impulsive and unpredictable). As Jung’s cognitive functions go, the suit of Swords corresponds to Thinking, which is where we strive to understand and discern so that we may make decisions.

Ace of Swords:
express your ideas

Two of Swords
remain objective

Three of Swords
consider your response

Four of Swords
retreat; take time to think

Five of Swords
take responsibility for your actions

Six of Swords
communicate your needs

Seven of Swords
focus on your strategy

Eight of Swords
step free of limiting beliefs

Nine of Swords
question your demons

Ten of Swords
develop new beliefs / thought patterns

Page of Swords
explore new info to find your own truth

Knight of Swords
defend your beliefs

Queen of Swords
establish boundaries and communicate them clearly

King of Swords
speak the truth for others to hear

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