In tarot, twos represent situations with two sides. Partnerships, balance, and opposition are all represented by the second cards in the Minor Arcana. The nature of these situations is dictated by the suit.
About Two of Swords
- Keywords: Difficult choices, careful consideration
- Keywords (Reversed): Indecision, confusion, too much information
- Yes or No: Maybe
- Yes or No (Reversed): Yes
- Element: Air
- Zodiac Sign: Libra
In decks inspired by the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot, the Two of Swords is represented by a seated, blindfolded figure holding two swords.
Pamela Coleman-Smith’s original artwork depicts a blindfolded woman sitting with her arms crossed and a sword held up in either hand. Behind her, a waning moon sits in a cloudless sky, and a river flows calmly around several rocks. In the distance, there’s a lush, green island.
The original artwork has several callbacks to themes of intuition seen in other cards. She’s seated like The High Priestess, and blindfolded — a form of sensory deprivation. Water is the element of the emotions, and figures prominently here.
The moon is also a symbol of intuition, and the lack of clouds in the sky indicates clarity. The message is that the seated woman has an inner clarity and, despite being unable to see, can easily keep her swords balanced.
The appearance of the blindfold is of particular significance. The seated woman isn’t restrained in any way — she could put down the swords and remove the blindfold at any moment. She may have even chosen to put it on herself. She’s a figure in control of her destiny, consciously choosing her path.
Two of Swords Meaning (Upright)
When upright, the Two of Swords indicates a situation with two equal and opposing forces. You’re facing a situation where it’s difficult to stay neutral or keep sitting on the fence and feel pressured to make a decision to release yourself from this stalemate.
The suit of Swords represents the intellect, but its message is deeply intuitive. Following the theme of balance, you’ll need to couple your gut feelings with logic in order to make the best decision.
In some situations, this card may represent blocking the emotions or repressed intuition. The seated woman holds two swords, symbols of logic, and has blinded herself to the moon and river.
Two of Swords Meaning (Reversed)
When reversed, the Two of Swords can be interpreted just like its upright orientation. The only difference here is that there may not be a “good” decision to make — it’s entirely possible that the stalemate is between two bad choices.
It may also represent indecision, delays, and an abundance of caution. The message here is that there is no real way to avoid making a choice, even if neither option is desirable. You may have to bite the bullet, decide, and prepare for the outcome.
See also: Check out alternate Tarot decks here.
Two of Swords Meaning – Love & Relationships (Upright)
In a love context, the Two of Swords still has much of its basic meaning. You’re likely feeling stuck between two options, or else are experiencing considerable delays. You don’t feel able to move forward from where you are right now.
If you have a partner, you may be experiencing arguments and struggles related to the balance of power in your relationship. The Two of Swords can also indicate that there’s a difficult choice to be made, but neither partner wants to be the one to make it. It’s not a good situation, but it’s necessary.
Two of Swords Meaning – Love & Relationships (Reversed)
The Two of Swords reversed indicates private emotional turmoil. If you’re single, you may feel compelled to choose between two potential partners, neither of whom seem right for you.
If you’re with someone, you might be putting off making important decisions about your relationship. In either case, the message here is one of delaying things to avoid pain. Unfortunately, this won’t work for long.
The important thing here is to make a conscious choice to move forward. The seated figure is still, facing away from the gently flowing river. She is choosing not to embrace that forward motion and won’t move until she decides to.
If you’re feeling stuck, consider what’s keeping you trapped where you are. Something may need to be cut away in order for you to free yourself.
Two of Swords Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Upright)
In the context of your career, the Two of Swords upright points to some kind of conflict. You may be stuck trying to please two supervisors, both of whom have different opinions about what they want.
You might even be struggling to balance your work and home life. If you’re responsible for making major decisions at your job, this could be a time when you feel overloaded by information. This decision fatigue can hamper your ability to make the right choice.
With regards to money, this card points to trouble balancing income and expenses. You may be trying to maintain your lifestyle, even though you don’t have enough money to do so.
Now’s the time to either make the tough choice to find a higher-paying position or pare down your expenses. If this seems impossible, you might want to consult a professional financial advisor to help you balance your budget.
Two of Swords Meaning – Careers, Business & Money (Reversed)
Reversed, the Two of Swords indicates that you are stuck in a position that’s causing a lot of stress and conflict.
This can be drama between co-workers, or even a struggle balancing a client’s expectations with what you’re able to deliver. In any case, the Two of Swords points to major decisions that are causing you anxiety.
Financially, the meaning is very similar. Your options aren’t very promising right now, and you’ve been choosing not to acknowledge that.
The Two of Swords may mean that you’re either finally owning up to the reality of your situation or have been suffering from a lot of stress because of it.
Don’t make a hasty decision here — even if it seems like you don’t have any good options, ask a professional or a trusted friend to help you sort through your feelings objectively.
Two of Swords: Yes or No?
Unfortunately for curious querents, the Two of Swords upright is almost always a “Maybe.” It represents having a choice to make, but the blindfolded woman indicates that the information you need in order to make that choice isn’t yet known to you. It might be better to revisit this query later.
Reversed, the Two of Swords can indicate a “Yes.” In this context, it represents having obtained all of the information you need in order to make the necessary decisions.
The Two of Swords might seem like a negative card, but it’s an important one. It highlights times when we feel conflicted but may not want to acknowledge it in the hopes that the problem will simply go away on its own.
This card highlights those times when a decision may be painful but is necessary in order to move on.
See also: For more Tarot Card Meanings, check out our list of all 78 Tarot Cards and their meanings here.
As an Amazon Associate, Terravara earns from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to readers.