Keywords for the Two of Swords
|GUARDED||AT AN IMPASSE|
In the image on this card, we see a waterfront by night, lit by a sliver of a crescent moon. The night is quiet, you can almost hear the soft waves whispering to each other as a lap against the rocky shore in the middle of the night.
In the background, a green coast appears in the distance, only just visible to us from where we stand.
The ground in front of us is made of smooth, unbroken gray stone. Here we see a woman in front of us seated on a stone bench. She is dressed in a robe made of similarly light gray, and she has a blindfold over her eyes.
She bears a sword in each of her hands, holding them tightly across her chest. The swords, as a symbol of the Air element, represent the forces of reason and logic.
She covers her heart with these weapons, in effect blocking access to her feelings and deep intuitive knowledge. Each sword points in a different direction, similar to the way in which her mind is divided. Each conflicting train of thought she follows leads to an unclear or undesirable outcome.
This card often appears when we have reached the limits of rational deliberation. When the Two of Swords shows up in a reading, it is evidence that we may be rationalizing, overthinking, or confused, and unable to come to a clear and decisive conclusion.
Interpretation of the 2 of Swords in a Reading
When this card comes up, it often means that we have reached an impasse in our current situation. We may have turned the issue over and over again in our minds, only to remain unsure and undecided.
It may be that we are rationalizing away someone else’s questionable behavior (or our own).
Like the woman in this card, we may simply be unwilling to see the truth. Rather than using logic and the mind as a tool to arrive at truth, we may be using the powers of the intellect to make excuses for what we already intuitively know.
Notice the woman’s blindfold: if you look closely, you can see the bottom edges of her eyes peeking out from under the bottom of the white fabric. This is an indication that she has seen, and knows, but is unwilling to acknowledge the truth.
The 2 of Swords is clearly reminiscent of the High Priestess of the Major Arcana. In some ways, she is her opposite, as she shows what the opposite of vision is.
We know that the High Priestess is deeply connected to the waters of the unconscious and the intuitive wisdom that arises from it. In contrast, the woman here is disconnected from her truth, and unable to access her inner knowing.
When this card appears it is asking us to put our swords down, and to drop our intellectual defenses. The Two of Swords asks us to be still and go within to find the truth that is always already available to us if we should become willing to see.