Exploring the Two of Swords

Welcome to Tarot Thursdays! This week we will be exploring the Two of Swords and how it can be used as a prompt or brainstorming in our writing.

Tarot is an interesting thing. It’s based upon symbolism and metaphors through imagery. With these images the subconscious mind is tapped into through the story provided. Not everyone gets the same thing from a piece of art. Each piece will influence each person in a slightly different way.


Introduction of the Card

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The Two of Sword is card number 51 in the deck and the second card of the Sword Suit in the Minor Arcana of the Tarot.

Let’s take a look at the following examples of this card below.


Card Examples

L-s2Notice the similarities between them and take note of their differences. Do any of these move you more than the others? Take your time and allow these cards to tell you their story.


My Analysis of These Cards

This is another one of those cards in the tarot that gets a wide variety of different visual representations. The Two of Wands was just as dramatically different visually between these decks. However, with the Two of Swords it was easier for me to understand and grasp the concepts behind it.

In the Mythic Tarot, there is a clash of swords between two people with a third person between covering their ears. The Dragon Tarot depicts a dragon calmly resting between two swords while holding a balancing scale in one claw. In the Universal Tarot a blindfolded woman sits beneath a crescent moon with two swords evenly crossed over her chest. The Tarot of Dreams has the woman leaning back while blindfolded and holding the blades in what appears to be in a more comfortable position.

In all of these images, it appears as though ideas are being weighed out in some way.


Themes of the Card

Each card has a set of keywords associated with it that serve as themes for its image. These keywords will vary somewhat depending on who you ask.

According to the Learning the Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • BLOCKED EMOTIONS
  • AVOIDANCE
  • STALEMATE

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.

According to the Biddy Tarot website, the keywords associated with the card are:

  • INDECISION
  • CHOICES
  • TRUCE
  • STALEMATE
  • BLOCKED EMOTIONS

You can learn more about what this site has to say about this card here.


What this Card Means to Me

This card is about finding peace with the choices or ideas you’re working with, which is a contrast to the Two of Wands which dealt with preparing and planning for the choices you have coming before you. Unlike the Two of Wands, the synergy between these choices is non-existent so there’s a conflict or stalemate until a resolution can be found.

So what we see represented in the cards above with the covering of the ears and the blindfolds is the attempt to block out distractions or emotions. Sometimes we’ll even block out the truth or critical information if we’re not careful. Whereas in the Dragon Tarot card, the dragon is wisely going into his decision with his eyes wide open, but he has his scale to carefully weigh and consider his options.

In each of these cards, how the decider is dealing with the problem also reflects how “heavy” these swords must be. The young man covering his ears isn’t even holding the swords. The two older adults are. This suggests to me, that the problem is too big for him to deal with. In contrast, the dragon is so comfortable in his ability to manage his problem that he’s floating in the air with these swords as though it’s no effort at all.

It boils down to not just choosing between the ideas we’re working on, but how we’re addressing them. Are we being fully honest with ourselves? Do we know all the facts? Is there anything we’re missing? Are we really paying attention to the other side or just our own? These are all things we need to consider when we’re faced with conflicting ideas or choices.

The keyword I choose for this card is: DELIBERATION.


Music Playlist

In this spirit of all this, these are the songs I have picked out for this card.


The Writing Exercise

This exercise is a free write. Permit yourself to write whatever comes to mind based upon the theme of this card. Choose a keyword or key phrase and run with it to see what you come up with.


I would love it if you linked or pinged back what you wrote so I could see where you went with this.

Happy writing!


Mythic Tarot by Liz Greene (Author), Juliet Sharman-Burke (Author), Tricia Newell (Illustrator) © 1989
Dragon Tarot by Terry Donaldson (Author), Peter Pracownik (Author) © 1996
Universal Tarot by Lo Scarabeo (Author), R. De Angelis (Illustrator), A. E. Waite (Designer) © 2001
Tarot of Dreams by Ciro Marchetti (Author), Lee Bursten (Author) © 2015

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