Swords In the Minor Arcana Of The Tarot
The Suit Of Swords. The Element of Air.

Swords In the Minor Arcana Of The Tarot

The Minor Arcana represents a slice of life. The Suit of Swords in the Minor Arcana corresponds to the element of air. The cardinal direction that they represent is East and the season is spring. It is thought that the Suit of Swords was meant to represent the nobility and the military. The Swords are a masculine, active, yang element. They correspond to the spades in modern playing cards.

The Swords represent the intellect, communication, conflict to a certain extent and the effect it has on the emotional side, in terms of being subjected to aggression or becoming a victim. Since the element of air represented by the Swords is associated with the mind, it is usually twin-edged. As Milton had mentioned, “ The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven”. The mind thus is an instrument both of pleasure and of torture. The Swords highlight the extraordinary capacity of the mind.

The swords touch upon rationality and the intellect so the focus is on that aspect of the psyche. They represent ambition, and planning and executing of tasks leading up to that end. As a result of its association with the mind, the swords also rule communication and writing, education and intellectual pursuits come under the arena of the Swords.

In the positive aspect, the swords deal with fairness, justice, logic, sound rationality, analytical thinking, enterprising and problem-solving. The power of the rational mind and logic can be helped to bring healing to a situation when emotions threaten to overwhelm us, as is seen in the Six.

Reversed, however, or on the negative side, the swords deal with conflicts, stress and mental imbalances which result as cause, paranoia, delusion, depression, aggression, victimization, insomnia, mental anguish and torture. The Nine showcases the mind as a potent instrument of torture.

Swords cards are unwelcome in a reading since they represent the trials that we are subjected to. Even the Ace which is a gift is shown as twin-edged with the power to liberate and wound. The Swords offer the gift of intellectual perception, but that perception does not make life easier in any manner. In fact, that very perception complicates life, and thus the twin-edged Ace.

In NLP, it is said that the subconscious mind stores away unpleasant experiences so that it can present them to the conscious mind when the individual is in a better state to access, accept and release that memory. This Suit casts a light on how these repressed memories and feelings lead to depression, paranoia, anguish, neurosis, and a multitude of other mental illnesses. The Two presents indecision and the Eight the inability to be able to see the way out of a situation.

The signs associated with the Swords are the air signs of Aquarius, Gemini and Libra. On the positive side, the Swords court is logical, rational, driven, just, balanced, brilliant at communication, creative and possibly great readers since their mind is very active. On the negative side, they could be cold, distant, devoid of emotion, rigid, domineering, and argumentative.

When there is a high concentration of Swords in a reading, It implies that the seeker may be having a very difficult time, and is under a lot of mental anguish, arguments, stress, conflicts both internal and external. It can often be linked to being pressured by someone, as in the Five, or being hurt by slander as in the Ten. It is a good idea to seek help if that is the need of the hour.

The Swords at a Glance

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