The Two of Swords is an image of defensiveness.

One of the main assets of rationality is that it affords us the opportunity to separate and compartmentalize. Sometimes that is a wonderful attribute of the conscious, rational mind. This ability to keep out unwanted influences is useful when we have to keep a clear mind in the middle of constant activity or stressful personalities, or when it is necessary to shut out certain forces for the sake of preserving the integrity of one prioritized activity. Perhaps this image is signifying that you need to quiet your inner world through meditation, or isolate yourself from certain people or situations in order to accomplish your personal goals. Perhaps it is time to rise above turbulent emotions which have their roots in experiences from your past; it’s time to face the cold hard fact that you can’t change the past, and that you are only prolonging these unpleasant experiences by keeping your emotional attention focused on them. In cases like these, the abilities of the mind to compartmentalize and detach are wonderful tools of liberation.

Yet in this image we also see the more negative manifestation of these abilities. The Swords threaten and keep at bay those things which we do not want to see (she is blindfolded), symbolizing the natural tendency of the conscious mind to repress all that it finds shameful, disruptive or disorienting. The conscious mind (of which the Sword is a symbol) can be severe and punitive, especially towards aspects of the personality that offend its austere sensibilities; ugly, forceful emotions, memories of our mistakes or weak moments, aspects of our personality which we don’t wish to acknowledge or which others have deemed unacceptable and even unwanted dreams and confusing messages from the unconscious are all banished by the conscious mind to a distant land of dark and shadow by the threat of piercing steel. This is because the ego and the conscious mind have self-preservation instincts; anything which threatens to disrupt the individual’s current conception of identity, or any highly painful or difficult emotion which would upset his sense of comfort and security is sequestered off by the Sword of the mind and warned not to come back.

The blind-folded woman sits with two Swords poised to strike if necessary, representing a state of closemindedness. Whether she is right to defend herself in this way is dependent on the particular circumstance of the querent. Sometimes we need to be strict, ordered and closed off; and other times what we need most is to surrender.

Astrological Association:

The Two of Swords card is connected to the Moon in Gemini as an expression of deep inner doubt.

Card meanings upright:

The Two of Swords can represent temporary compromise, passiveness, peace, or avoiding conflict in your life. You may be waiting to see what options you have in some aspect of your life before you can take appropriate action. You may have trouble showing others what you believe in or stand for due to a fear that you may upset or disappoint them.

Card meanings reversed:

When the Two of Swords card is reversed, it can indicate that you have unavoidable conflicts or areas where you cannot reach compromise in your life. You may have a tendency toward exhibiting a strong personality and creating drama that amounts to a lot of talk, but little action.


The Two of Swords card can represent feeling stuck or waiting on others in your work life. You may need to be patient and refrain from pushing others to make decisions before they are ready. Now is a good time to make sure you are caught up on all your work or projects as you may soon be held accountable.


The Two of Swords signifies good things to come in your romantic life, particularly if you are in a relationship. If you are committed, you may soon enter a lighter, more balanced phase of your relationship. If you are looking for love, you may need to look deep within and see if you need to heal any emotional issues before pursuing a romantic relationship. If you can find happiness in yourself first, then you may find a relationship you truly enjoy very soon.


The Two of Swords card can represent a need for balance or caution in your financial life. It may be important for you to make sure you know exactly where you are in your finances and avoid hiding from any issues. You may need to get creative if you need extra money during this time of balancing your books and practicing caution in your spending.


The Two of Swords card can represent questions you may have regarding your spirituality. You may be on a more balanced and positive path than you realize, so hold on to the things you believe, even if your belief system may not work for everyone.


Customized to your exact birth date and name, this personalized numerology report will shed light on your core numbers and life.

The Gilded Tarot Deck by Ciro Marchetti © 2004 Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125.  All rights reserved, used by permission.