Astrology fans will recognize Mercury as the planet capable of turning communications upside down when it turns retrograde. The tarot has more than a few eligible equivalents, but the youngest court card of the Swords comes very close to being the card equal to the winged god’s abilities. The Page of Swords reversed stands out from the others because of its upright version’s emphasis on cutting through the mass of information you get. When you see this tarot card show up in a spread upside down, it may be time to take a second look at what you’ve been told or are telling people – and whether that speech sees any physical follow-through.
The Pages or Princesses
Pages are sometimes called princesses, but no matter the name, they’re often seen as girls and young women, and often boys as well. They can represent older people if the situation calls for it (the literal court-card gender-age match-up tends to work better in situations in which you’re asking about a specific unnamed person, like what your new co-worker will be like; however, it’s often more helpful to look at the qualities of the card before pinning the card’s identity on someone you know who matches the card’s supposed age and gender).
Pages represent fresh starts, new situations, and eager people. Get ready to learn! Swords are the suit of air, intuition, introversion, writing and editing, thought, and logic. So the Page of Swords is a new way of thinking and new ideas. It can often represent an editor, writer, or an indication of that type of work. The Page of Swords cuts through the information and gets to the heart of the matter. Swirling thoughts and distractions fade as the Page of Swords finds the core of a new idea.
Reversing the Meaning
When the card is reversed, those swirling thoughts take over and obscure the true meaning or idea. The Page of Swords reversed can indicate communication issues, initial misunderstandings, and inaccuracies. Think Mercury retrograde but in a more inconsistent context (a characteristic of the Pages in general is energy that ebbs and flows). This can be worked through if you take the time, so do not be upset at the appearance of the card with this meaning. Take it step by step and be extra careful about clearing up any points that aren’t so clear. Don’t assume, and so on.
The Page of Swords reversed can also mean overthinking and being unable to start because of indecision or too much distraction. There’s lots of talking but no follow-through. The card can also indicate blabbing, gossiping, verbal vomit, and a lack of discretion. Whoever this reversed tarot card refers to may not be thinking things through or not planning well, or not planning at all.
If you think the card may have something to do with writing or editing, typos could be an issue. Maybe what you’re writing or editing is unclear; have someone else read it to see if you’ve explained everything well (or if you’re the editor, go over the text again).
It is also possible that the Page of Swords reversed tarot card represents someone acting like the classic over-inquisitive child, the one who asks “Why?” after every. single. thing. you. say. Even if there are no real children involved in the situation, you’ve got someone – or maybe you’re this person – who is getting annoyingly detailed. Back off.
People vs. Influences
The court cards can be tricky to interpret because they could refer to people, or to characteristics and influences. It’s tempting to pin the card on a person, but be careful about doing that without thought.
Sometimes it can work out. If you ask a question along the lines of, “What will this new neighbor be like,” and you get a court card in the outcome position (or whatever indicates the culmination of the information in the spread), then thinking a young person may be moving in isn’t so out of place. But even then, watch out. Say you think someone is gossiping about you at work, and you try a spread to see if you can find out who is doing it. You get the Page of Swords reversed, and you have a co-worker who is young and female. Pulling that card still doesn’t mean it was her who was gossiping. So if you want to be more careful around her, go for it, but don’t assume that it can’t be anyone else.
Regarding the other example, maybe that new neighbor turns out to be an older person – but one who embodies one of the card’s characteristics. Or maybe the neighbor isn’t like the card, but he or she has a teen son or daughter who visits on the weekends.
You’d do well to consider the characteristics. Maybe the card refers not to a person, but to a miscommunication. Are you sure someone was gossiping about you? Maybe – for real – they were talking about someone else with the same name, and someone else confused that person with you?
And never forget that you could be this person. Maybe you think you’re just chit-chatting, but your co-workers think you just won’t shut up when they’re trying to work. Or maybe you haven’t been clear about what you expect from those you supervise, and it’s created havoc.
Because there is the risk of automatically assuming the tarot card represents a specific person in your life, instead of a characteristic, it helps to get a professional reading to untangle the situation. Again, a court card could represent an actual person; you just have to be judicious about assigning that meaning and think about whether that’s the right way to go.
The Page of Swords reversed isn’t always a horrible card. You can clear up misunderstandings and deal with a typo. But it is a card that you want to address as soon as you can so that problems don’t get any worse, and you can make the situation get a lot better quickly.