Two of Swords Explained - Upright & Reversed Meanings
Last Updated: December 1, 2022
The Two of Swords is the second 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.
When it comes to the 2 of Swords, this card will be making you face the harsh truth of your reality. You can no longer keep sticking your head in the sand with what’s right in front of you, decisions must be made – regardless of how hard they are. Progress is made through decision making, these issues aren’t just going to disappear, and you need to get past this stalemate.
In this article, we will discuss the meanings of the Two of Swords in various tarot reading contexts as well as the different symbols and nuances that can be found within this court card.
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. There is a blindfolded woman, sitting down in front of a body of water, holding 2 crossed swords. The blindfold tells us that she is confused, she doesn’t know which direction to go in, and she doesn’t have all the information required that would help her make a clear decision, so she is stuck in limbo with what to do. The swords she’s holding represent the fact she is weighing up her options and addressing all aspects before making a fair and balanced choice.
There is a moon in the sky behind her, reminding the woman that she must tune in with her own intuition to help guide her to the answer she requires.
The Two of Swords key correspondences
Crossroads, stalemate, hard decisions, facing fears, denial.
Confusion, indecision, overloaded with information, delays.
|Yes or No|
Libra, Moon in Libra, September 23rd - October 2nd
What does the upright Two of Swords mean in the Tarot?
You have a decision to make but boy oh boy, this isn’t an easy one to make at all! You need to take all the time in the world before you come to a conclusion here, don’t let things sway your thoughts and opinions, turn inwards and really spend time with the decision in front of you, in time you’ll come to see the answer and/or solution.
Or perhaps you are torn between 2 decisions, 2 people, or stuck in the middle of a conflict, whatever is happening, know this: you can’t bury your head in the sand. You can’t keep choosing to be blind to what’s happening in front of your eyes, you need to face it in order to move past it.
But you cannot make a rushed decision! This isn’t going to be the easiest of times, but you must face it nonetheless.
When pulled in the upright position, the Two of Swords is associated with crossroads, stalemate, hard decisions, facing fears, and denial.
What does the upright Two of Swords mean in a love reading
You and your partner have been facing a lot of disagreements, and potential arguments, recently but it seems there’s no way past your current state of affairs. You’re at a stalemate with them and potentially have looked at taking a break from one another in order to ‘get away’ from these arguments whilst you try and allow the air to settle so you can figure things out – but that isn’t happening.
Turning away from the issue won’t make it go away, even if you’re telling yourself it’s healthy to step away from these arguments. Whilst that’s absolutely true, it however does not make for a healthy relationship long term. You need to address why these arguments are cropping up, and what can be done about them. Is this something you can move past, or have the relationship run its course? If it’s come to an end then you can’t just remain in denial about it no matter how hard it is, some pain we must face.
If you are single, then this could suggest you have 2 potential partners that you are struggling to choose between. But, honey, you have to! You can’t just sit and wait and hope the correct answer will fall in your lap. For the sake of everyone’s emotions, that’s involved, you need to choose. Get that thinking cap on and spend some time weighing up how you feel.
Or are you avoiding telling a love interest how you truly feel out of fear? You can’t let rejection hold you back, whilst ‘no’ is a potential answer, you have to remember that so is ‘yes’. You can’t let fear keep you in a rut.
What does the upright Two of Swords mean in a career reading?
You’re most likely facing some workplace conflicts, especially between 2 significant colleagues where you’ve perhaps been roped into the middle and are expected to take a side. Just because they can’t meet on common ground doesn’t mean you have to rush to either of their sides, if you’re expected to choose who is right and who is wrong then really weigh up what they’re disagreeing about being siding with one or the other – if you truly have to. It may be uncomfortable, but sometimes we just don’t have a choice.
Another possibility is that you are torn between 2 career paths – you may have some options to consider, yet don’t know which route is best. It’s time to just lay down all the pros and cons of both and sit with the decision for a while. Once the time is right then you’ll be able to come to the right conclusion with all the facts you need.
What does the upright Two of Swords mean in a health reading?
In the context of health, the Two of Swords may mean you’ve been holding on when it’s time to take a pause. If you’ve been bottling up how you feel, and not releasing those thoughts and feelings, then what you’re starting to deal with are those manifesting into illnesses now. You can’t keep things trapped inside and not expect to fall apart in one way or another, and now you’ll be facing the consequences of that.
But you have control over this, you can release all of those thoughts and feelings and get that energy released from your mind, body, and soul, and work on bringing your health back to where it was – but if you’re receiving any sort of medical care for the health issues/illness(es), then make sure you are focusing on both the physical and mental/emotional aspects of healing.
One cannot do without the other.
The Two of Swords as feelings/emotions
If you’re asking the tarot how someone feels about you, pulling the Two of Swords means that this person is weighing up all of their options right now. They are exploring the pros and cons before making a choice, but this doesn’t mean they necessarily see you in a negative way.
This is just someone that has a lot to consider, so can’t rush into anything without proper thought and planning.
The Two of Swords as a person
As a personality archetype, the Two of Swords represents someone who seeks peace everywhere they go. They are shy, private, and look to create or restore balance where they are. This is someone that will avoid confrontation and will feel uneasy around it so will do whatever they can to avoid arguments.
They will struggle to be open and honest about their feelings with others, they much prefer to just keep things to themselves.
The Two of Swords as advice
You need to look inward for the answers you require and not let external influences sway your decision-making. You need to take time for yourself, weigh up your options properly, and not just rush – you are allowed to sit on any decision that needs to be made so you can work things out properly.
Listen to all of the advice around you but also listen to your own intuition, you’ll find the balance you require.
What is the zodiac or astrological sign associated with the Two of Swords?
The Moon in Libra rules the Two of Swords, and as a planet ruled by Venus, we will be feeling things deeper in these time periods.
Is the Two of Swords a yes or no card?
The 2 of Swords is neither a yes nor no, much more of a ‘maybe’, due to its nature of representing both a stalemate and also calling for you to seek out balance in order to make decisions. This card calls for you to seek wisdom from all corners you possibly can, and to take your time with coming to a conclusion, so it cannot outright be a yes or a no. You need time to find your answer, and a pause is necessary at this time.
Below are some of my interpretations, as an experienced tarot practitioner, based on different types of questions:
Question: “Will I get the job?”
Card interpretation: You may be feeling torn about the job you have gone for, so if it’s offered to you, you may have doubts. Is this really the job you wanted to go for? Don’t be blinded by the idea of just getting a job to get by, to survive, or because perhaps on paper this job looked grand, but your intuition has been telling you something isn’t quite right.
Or perhaps you will be offered more than one position and you don’t quite know this one to take, you’ll need to take the time to sit with this choice – don’t just jump at which one seems the ‘best’ at the time. Sit. Think.
Question: “Is this new person in my life good for me?”
Card interpretation: This is someone that you’ll no doubt struggle to bond with for a while, as they won’t be an open book, and much prefer to keep things private – especially their feelings. Whilst they may not have any ill intentions, figuring them out and getting to know who they truly are is going to take a lot of time! They do seek out balance and peace wherever they go, and will not be ‘rocking the boat’ anytime soon, so won’t be bringing you unnecessary conflicts of drama, but they also like to take their time with things. This is a person that will always be weighing things up before they make a decision – they definitely don’t live life in the fast lane!
Question: “Will I achieve my current goals?”
Card interpretation: It’s perhaps time that you took a step back and were honest with yourself about the potential timeframe you’ve given yourself to achieve these goals. Are they realistic? Can you genuinely do this? Because there’s a high chance you need to re-evaluate the direction you’re going in, the timeframe you’ve given yourself, and the way you’re going to achieve what you want. You need to plan and strategise your way forward now.
Question: “Should I start my own business?”
Card interpretation: If your business is to be successful, then you need to do a lot more planning. You need to take a lot of time with this one; you can’t afford to skip any of the details and just go at it – it will fail this way. You need to be clued up on as much as you can, know everything from every angle, weigh up all of your options, know your competition, and know what you can do to set your business aside from all of the rest.
You need to be 100% about everything in full detail before starting this venture – if you so choose to pursue it. So don’t try and do this overnight, take as long as you need, even if that’s weeks, months, or even years. Do not rush this decision.
What does the reversed Two of Swords mean in the Tarot?
You may be feeling incredibly overwhelmed at the minute due to potential information overload, or you may be having to make a decision that you are avoiding out of fear, and that in turn is filling you with anxiety and stress, and forcing you to avoid making the decision even more, and thus creating a nasty cycle of avoiding something you need to do, having negative emotions about it, and on and on the cycle goes.
When pulled in the reversed position, the Two of Swords is linked with confusion, indecision, being overloaded with information, and delays.
What does the reversed Two of Swords mean in a love reading?
You’re letting your fear drive your lack of decision-making when it comes to your relationship and what you should be doing for your future. You can’t remain uncertain about things if you wish to move forward, but you’re having your emotional state spiral out of control because you simply wish to bury your head and avoid facing what’s right in front of you.
Issues don’t just go away, you can’t stick a plaster on a wound and just hope it heals without an issue – especially when the things causing the wound aren’t being dealt with effectively. You may also be clinging onto negative emotions linked to your relationship, perhaps these have come through unresolved trauma the relationship has gone through, and this in turn is creating a lot of issues as these feelings are manifesting in ways that are damaging your connection.
If you’re single, then do you feel scared about getting back into the dating world? It can be daunting, it’s such a big world out there, but you can’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back. You’ve got to get out there in order to find your feet again, and remember that you don’t need to get serious about anything instantly – you can have a bit of fun exploring who you are in the dating world again, and especially working out what you’re after.
But also be aware of any negative emotions you’re clinging onto from a previous relationship, you must work through any trauma you. You can’t just bury these things and hope they’ll go away on their own.
What does the inverted Two of Swords mean in a career reading?
Work right now doesn’t seem to be a very comfortable place for you at all! Are there some conflicts happening which are causing you to be highly stressed and anxious about everything work-related right now?
Or have things reached a stalemate for you where you’re stuck in limbo waiting on things to progress (such as projects)? But also be careful of things at work right now, things may be coming to light about potentially dodgy practices and even lies, so make sure you don’t get blamed for something you weren’t part of!
But if you’re starting to become aware of problems, ones you were previously unaware of, then know you have the ability to still work through these and fix them – no matter how overwhelming it feels.
What does the upside-down Two of Swords mean in a health reading?
Big overwhelming emotions are the root cause for any health issues you’re currently facing right now, and avoiding dealing with them is just making you feel worse and having a further negative impact on your body. You may be struggling to find a healthy split between your mental health and your physical health also!
In conclusion, the 2 of Swords tarot card is a powerful symbol of crossroads, stalemate, hard decisions, facing fears, and denial. When this card appears in your reading, it is often a sign that you are at a crossroads in your life. However, it is also a reminder that you have the strength and courage to face your fears and make tough decisions. The key to moving forward is to listen to your heart and intuition.
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 2 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.
Written by Amy
Outside the weird and wonderful world of my craft, I like to cosplay and fully dive into the fantasy genre across all forms, from books to video games and everything in between.