Three of Swords Tarot Card

The Tarot Suit of Swords

The Tarot Suit of Swords is associated with the suit of Spades in standard playing cards - both have sharp edges. Although many tarot decks use the term swords to refer to this suit, it also has other names (that is, for the equivalent suit in other decks), which include daggers, blades or knives.

There are meanings associated with each of the suits in a tarot deck, as well as the more specific interpretations associated with each individual card - and yet more precise meanings pertaining to particular cards in particular locations within spreads.

The suit of swords is associated with the element of air. It is also associated with the season of spring and the direction East. The suit of swords concerns academic or philosophical thought, intellectual pursuits, truth, and clarity.

The Threes in the tarot deck generally suggest a family unit of mother, father and child. Another way to view this is as the three elements together forming a 'unifying force'.

In many decks the 3 of Swords is one of the most difficult and sorrowful cards of all.

Both the Rider-Waite and Robin Wood decks depict a heart pierced by three swords. This is sometimes interpreted as a painful romantic triangle with the associated pain and, perhaps sense of betrayal.

When the 3 of Swords tarot card appears in a reading, the interpretation may be as dire as the images suggest. However, there are other possible interpretations as well. One possibly more positive interpretation is the suggestion that the querent should "Get to the heart of the matter".


Keywords and phrases for the many possible interpretations of the 3 of Swords Tarot Card include:

  • Emotional Pain
  • End of a romantic affair
  • Grief, loss, tears
  • Separation
  • Sorrow
  • "Three is a crowd"

Robin Wood Tarot Deck Celtic Tarot - Tarot Cards and Book Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot Deck The Gilded Tarot (Book and Tarot Deck Set) Angel Tarot Cards

What about the Three of Swords Reversed ?

Some interpretations of the meaning of the 3 of Swords reversed include:

  • Disappointment in love, though less painful than the 3 of Swords Upright
  • Emotional pain subsides
  • Heartache may linger a while longer but the lost relationship is unlikely to be recovered

Tarot Articles:

Tarot Card Games - for, against and examples

Learning to Read Tarot Cards

20 Steps to reading Tarot Cards

Why use Free Printable Tarot Cards?

List of Tarot Card Meanings

Origins of the Tarot Nouveau - or 'French Tarot'

Learning Tarot

Uses of Tarot Cards

Many people find meditation helpful to still the mind and receive communication from Angels.

Although care has been taken when compiling this page, the information contained might not be completely up to date. Accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This material is copyright. See terms of use.

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