ace of swords digital art

Ace of Swords Tarot Meanings

The card of clarity, breakthrough, & power.

Last Updated: April 16, 2024.

The Ace of Swords is the first card in the suit of Swords (also known as the suit of blades) and one of the fifty-six suit cards from the minor arcana. In divinatory tarot, the Suit of Swords is associated with thought, intellect, mental strength, and integrity. They can also represent conflict, hardship, and misfortune.

Divination practices such as cartomancy can help us make decisions, offer guidance, and help us tune into our intuition when we are at a crossroads in our lives. Understanding the meanings of each tarot card can help you sharpen your interpretative skills so you can get the most out of your readings.

In this article, we will discuss the meanings of the Ace of Swords in various tarot reading contexts as well as the different symbols and nuances that can be found within this court card.

Table of Contents

Pictorial Symbolism in the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck

The artworks from the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck contain deeper esoteric meanings that tarotists love to decipher. The Ace of Swords depicts a hand appearing from a cloud, holding a sword upright. A crown circles the top of the sword, adorned with hanging leaves. In the background, you can see a jagged and sparse mountain range. The hand is strong and holds the sword with power and intention, but the rocky background acts as a reminder that the path ahead is not all smooth sailing. 

ace of swords rider waite smith tarot deck

The Ace of Swords key correspondences

Upright keywords

New beginnings, ideas, clarity

Reversed keywords

Lack of clarity, Stuckness, Brain Fog

Yes or No






Ruling Planet


Astrological Sign

Libra, December 22nd to March 20th

What does the upright Ace of Swords mean in the Tarot?

The Ace of Swords is the first card in the Air suit of Swords. The aces in tarot represent new beginnings, a seed or a first step. The Ace of Swords is all about new ideas, a sense of clarity and opportunities.

When the upright Ace of Swords appears, be ready for new ideas and a new sense of clarity to appear. If you’ve been struggling to see a way forward or trying to make sense of a particular situation, this card is a sign that things will become clearer. 

You might be inspired to start a new project or go after a big opportunity, particularly one that stretches your mind. As with all aces this is the beginning of your journey, you’re encouraged to start something new, go after that dream and follow the path to the big idea. 

It might not all be smooth sailing and you will come across challenges on the way, so harness this energy to keep you moving towards what you want.


Upright Ace of Swords

When pulled in the upright position, the Ace of Swords is associated with new beginnings, ideas, and clarity.

What does the upright Ace of Swords mean in a love reading

The Ace of Swords brings clarity to your relationships. If you’ve been struggling with knowing where you stand or understanding your feelings, this ace clears the fog and shows you the truth. 

Be open to seeing the situation for what it really is, getting to the truth of the matter, and not allowing yourself to be clouded by emotion. 

As a card of new beginnings, you might meet someone new that you feel an instant intellectual connection with, or just have a fresh perspective on your current relationship.

What does the upright Ace of Swords mean in a career reading?

New opportunities and ideas are coming to you. If you’ve been thinking about starting a new business venture, this is a good sign that it will be successful, but it will take lots of focus and the use of your head over your heart – don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement. 

You might find yourself in line for a promotion or a new role. This will stretch your mental abilities, in a good way, and bring financial rewards with it too, so embrace the chance to do something new.

The Ace of Swords as feelings/emotions

If you are asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling the Ace of Swords suggests they find it easy to communicate with you, and you share important values and interests. This person values your company and opinion, and is very sure about their feelings for you. 

The Ace of Swords as a person

The Ace of Swords as a person is someone who is determined and motivated, and who uses their intellect to better themselves and push forward with their goals. They are very truth-orientated and need clear and open communication from people around them. They have a talent for always finding out the truth anyway. 

They are able to keep their emotions separate from their thoughts and aren’t easily manipulated by their feelings. They can come across as aggressive at times, but their main focus is following their ideas and their dreams.

The Ace of Swords as advice

If you are asking the tarot for advice regarding a specific situation in your life, pulling the Ace of Swords encourages you to go for it! Take the opportunity, start a new project or learn a new skill.

Lead with your head, using logic and intellect to guide you, and allow yourself to harness the energy of the Ace of Swords as you follow through on this journey.

What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with the Ace of Swords?

The Ace of Swords is associated with the astrological sign of Libra. Libra is a sign of balance, order and harmony. Libras are natural communicators and thrive in social situations, which can be seen in the clear communication of the Ace of Swords. 

Libra is a cardinal sign and can always find beauty in new ideas. This embodies the energy of the Ace of Swords, with determination and intellectualism as the leading traits.

Is the Ace of Swords a yes or no card?

The Ace of Swords is generally a yes card. Below are some of my interpretations based on different types of questions:

  1. Will I get the job? Yes, new opportunities are on the way to you 
  2. Is this new person in my life good for me? Yes, they have appeared for a reason, and things feel easy with them
  3. Will I achieve my current goals? Yes, it won’t be smooth sailing but keep going
  4. Should I start my own business? Yes, be prepared to focus and put the work in

What does the reversed Ace of Swords mean in the Tarot?

Pulling the reversed Ace of Swords can suggest you are feeling stuck, things are not flowing the way you want them to, there have been delays or misdirections and you’re not sure what to do next. 

You might be feeling confused and lost or that you have too many options and you’re not sure what the right decision is. Before you take any actions and start moving towards what you want, you have to get clear on what that is. 

This might mean taking your head out of the sand and taking a proper look at your situation so you can evaluate what is working and what isn’t, so you can set yourself goals based on what you really want. 

Reverse Ace of Swords

When pulled in the reversed position, the Ace of Swords is linked with lack of clarity, stuckness, and brain fog.

What does the reversed Ace of Swords mean in a love reading?

Whether or not you are in a relationship, the reversed Ace of Swords suggests a difficulty in communication or misunderstandings. If you’re in a relationship, you might be struggling to communicate your feelings and needs and this is causing friction between you and your partner.

It can also mean that you are not sure what you want out of your relationship. Whether you are single or in a relationship, the reversed Ace of Swords reminds you that you must first get clear on what you want before you are able to communicate to someone else, and once you know, make sure you are clear with everyone else involved.

What does the inverted Ace of Swords mean in a career reading?

You might be feeling like you’re at a standstill in your career right now. You have experienced some setbacks or missed opportunities and are struggling with the motivation to keep going. This could also be affecting your emotional state, and mean your emotions are clouding your judgement or preventing you from moving forward. 

It’s important to evaluate where you are right now with a clear head and objective view. Don’t be afraid to shake things up and keep taking positive steps towards what you want in your career.


In conclusion, the Ace of Swords tarot card is a powerful symbol of new beginnings, ideas, and clarity. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that you are about to embark on a new journey or venture. This can be an exciting time, but it is also important to be mindful of the decisions you make. Be sure to think things through carefully before taking any actions.

Despite its association with mysticism and occultism, the tarot has grown to become much more than a simple “fortune-telling” tool. For many tarot practitioners, it is a complex system made of symbolic imagery and psychological considerations (Jungian archetypes for example) that can be used for self-exploration, meditation, and personal transformation.

The 56 lesser arcana cards relate to the day-to-day events of our lives, the more mundane aspects of our existence. Even though that part of the tarot is about the “smaller picture”, it symbolizes the constant choices we make that shape our lives, our characters, and ultimately our destinies.

Have you ever had a reading where the Ace Of Swords appeared? What was the outcome? What does that card mean to you personally? How do you interpret this card in your own tarot practice?

Share your thoughts and experiences with me in the comments below. 

Additionally, If you want to know more about the different tarot cards, feel free to check out my complete list of all 78 tarot cards and their meanings.

Charlotte H.

Written By Charlotte Hamilton

Charlotte Hamilton is an artist, tarot reader and founder of Sugar Storm Studio, a creative studio that empowers weirdos, rebels and outsiders through alternative fashion, creative workshops and tarot. Find out more at and follow on Instagram @sugarstormstudio.

Learn more about the Suit of Swords

This page is part of our comprehensive list of the 56 minor arcana tarot cards & their meanings. If you enjoyed the read, then you’ll love the following articles.