Have you been avoiding a decision? Do you have some great rationalizations as to why you should wait? Are you impatient for change but holding yourself back out of either fear or apathy? Are you withholding affection from a spouse, friend or child out of selfishness or spite? Are you trying to make someone earn your trust but in your heart you know you will never grant it? Expect the Two of Swords to appear in your Tarot reading if these descriptions hit too close to home. This is the card of turning your back on love and sticking with a stalemate.
A crescent moon is rising over a rocky shore. A stone bench rests on a flat gray foundation. On it sits a person wearing a full-length robe. He or she is blindfolded with a cloth of the same color as the robe. This person holds two gigantic metal swords, one in each hand. Their arms are crossed and the swords angle upward and off the sides of the card’s illustration. Many decks illustrate the person’s shoes as matching the color of the Moon.
The central facet of this card is the blindfold. Without it, the crossed arms are a simple defensive position. With it, the ability to attack or defend is impossible. This impasse is the core of the Two of Swords. The matching colors of the blindfold and robe indicate that there is a choice in the wearing of the blindfold. The swords point off the card, indicating that no goal or definition of a goal is in sight. The rocky waters indicate that no ship can dock; more than any other card in the deck, this one illustrates best the concept that nothing can happen. Swords represent thoughts, ideas and intellect. Meanwhile, the Moon gives a clue as to the basis of the situation: the Moon is the Tarot’s indicator of intuition. At its core, this card represents a refusal to let your intuition inform your intellect. You know what is going on, but you either do not want to believe it or are in denial over what to do about it.
Meaning in Past, Present and Future Positions
Every Tarot reading has sections covering your past, your present and your future. The cards landing in each of these positions paint a picture of this particular time in your life. What was, what is and what shall be … all are revealed in your Tarot reading.
When the Two of Swords is in the past position it recalls a stagnant time. Perhaps your stubbornness last month has led to an unexpected setback. Maybe your childhood was colored by a withholding of love as punishment and an insistence on higher achievement in order to earn a reward. As a result, your current situation has a cool avoidance at its core.
When the Two of Swords is in the present position, there are too many things you are willfully ignoring for you to make a decision. Your current outlook is one of either stubborn apathy or obtuse denial. You may be getting a Tarot reading to find an answer and will probably be upset to see the stalemate of your own creation dominating your day.
If the Two of Swords is in the future position of your reading, consider this a blessing from the Tarot. This puts control of your future squarely in your own hands. This indicates a developing ability to rise up against manipulative people, users and others who want to tell you what to do. You will be firm in keeping your own affairs under your absolute control even if it means adopting a standoffish demeanor. All of the stubbornness and fear from this card disappear when you know the Two of Swords is on its way – allowing you the power to keep your cool and maintain control.
When your Tarot reading begins, a few cards are drawn and placed before you to be read. These cards do not stand alone. They each have individual meanings that combine and contrast with the other cards in the reading. This way, no two readings are alike.
The Two of Swords is the lower echo of The High Priestess (card #2) and The Hanged Man (card #12). Both of these cards put a premium on passivity. The High Priestess knows all but only tells when asked. The Hanged Man holds himself back despite the wisdom he may have actually accrued that should propel him ahead. The Two of Swords retains both of these tense traits. If either of these cards accompanies the Two of Swords in your reading, you are likely controlling a situation through passive-aggressive behavior that will alienate you from friends and family in the long run.
When The Magician is in your reading along with the Two of Swords, you are refusing to make decisions as a way to manipulate others. When The Emperor is present, the refusal to make decisions is part of a master plan to maintain your power. If the Three of Pentacles is present, your plan to gain control is well thought out and should work better than you imagined.
Some cards challenge the fence-sitting that is inherent in the Two of Swords. The Tower is an indicator that a major upheaval in your life is in the works. If you are comfortable playing both sides now, circumstances will force you to take a stance sooner than would be convenient for you. The Two of Swords is challenged by The Chariot card; an irresistible goal may come within reach while you are concentrating your efforts on another area of your life. This dilemma will challenge your intransigence with an intense force. The Devil card appearing with the Two of Swords means that a deep character flaw of yours will be pulling you towards resignation. You are your own worst enemy when an addiction or a bad habit propels you to take your ball and go home rather than play a supportive role in the game of life.
The best card to see in your reading with the Two of Swords is Temperance. This card represents a mastery over your life and a conscious effort to avoid negatively impacting things around you. This sitting-out process insures that your words and ideas (your swords) are not attacking anyone.
Learn more about the connection that the Two of Swords shares with the other cards numbered two in the Tarot deck.